“Please can I take this off you …?”

Things get hot and heavy and you whisper this in a manner so low it is barely audible. The night just gets better from there.

That was an instant of asking for consent.

There are so many ways of asking for consent. I have friends who go bad for a little tsotsitaal, some are swayed by Swahili or Zulu. Personally I’m partial to some of that African francophone swagger, it’s even better than the original, in my view.

Asking for consent can be hot, especially when it becomes a fine art. It can ring a far cry from being a mood killer or a hindrance.

Consent and condoms are two things that have gained a bad rep as destroying the sexy atmosphere. But just like protection, consent is extremely necessary even if it seems a tricky terrain to navigate.

Charlotte Cooper/flickr

Problems arise when things move forward powered by the heat of the moment, or signals given from before are interpreted as being the same signals that are being given now. It’s an issue that has been tackled before in pieces such as Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah’s article on consensual sex or even the #Mollis clip that went viral in Kenya. It had a nation divided on what consent is, down to what it sounds like.

The debate indicates how this can be a very murky area.

Things can change at any given moment and any sexual encounter is almost always prefaced by one person wanting it more than the other. They might be more driven to make things happen. But there is more than one person in the car and you must make sure that everyone is happy coming along for the ride. Think of it this way, if you simply bundled someone up in your car and said “Come, let’s go”, it would be kidnapping.

That’s what consent is about. Yes the person might have once said they wanted to ride you like a Cadillac but maybe today they feel like walking, and you need to check in and respect that. Do not kidnap their sex.

Shockingly, some people choose to avoid the consent conversation completely. They use stale/old consent or register consent “during” the act. Some bypass the whole process and simply force themselves onto another person. Without consent you have forced yourself on another person and we all know what the word for that is.


Now if you want a thought that isn’t sexy, there is one.

When it comes to sex the “yes” must be streamed live.

Some people think the constant checking in will ruin the mood. But this isn’t the case. If words aren’t your friend then just go with the less complicated “Want to get naked and do stuff? Sex stuff?”

Sometimes it’s best to just keep it simple.

One of the most sensual moments I’ve experienced during the deed was when someone whispered “Can I taste you?” That moment of asking for consent was probably the hottest moment of the entire night.

Mind. Blown.

Whispering “How does that feel?” or “Does this turn you on?” does far more than thinking you have it under control because if you are that self-involved, chances are, you don’t.

We can all grunt but humans have the gift of language so using it to check in can be extremely erotic or at the very least add a little fun to the proceedings. Never presume someone wants to see you naked, sit on your face or have you inside them.

It is best to always ask.


  • Tiffany Kagure Mugo is the host of the Basically Life podcast and author of Touch: Sex, Sexuality and Sensuality and Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex


Tiffany Kagure Mugo

Tiffany Kagure Mugo is the host of the Basically Life podcast and author of Touch: Sex, Sexuality and Sensuality and Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex

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