Welcome back, Monarchs! We’re back at the keyboard with our Sexing the Body class, committed to bringing you quality content! During our first week, we discussed the importance of understanding the difference between arousal, consent, desire, and pleasure. We were inspired by NPR’s Let’s Talk About Sex‘s episode on why it is so hard to have honest conversations about sex. Here’s our take on it:

Desire: wanting someone or something in a sexual or romantic way – e.g. I desire a long term relationship or I desire sex. You don’t necessarily get what you desire!

Arousal: the body’s natural response to sexual stimulus. Arousal can be biological and not match your desire and always necessitates consent even if you are aroused.

Pleasure: something that feels good, it is mental and does not always necessitate arousal.

Consent: a verbal and explicit agreement about an act that can be taken back or changed at any time. Consent should not be implied and it must be expressed continuously, you can always withdraw consent and abstain from any further action. Consent is the equivalent of cement within a foundation; it creates a layer of trust and without it, the core connection isn’t strong enough (or ethically built to last). Everything comes back to consent.

What do you think? How can these be better expanded and why is it that in 2019 we tend to conflate them when we talk about sex?