Good consent leads to great sex if you play this fun little game

There’s an aspect of consent that is sometimes overlooked.  Beyond the basic human-rights level of whether or not one has consent, there’s an aspect of the process of gaining consent that offers better sex and better relationship dynamics.

The following is an example of the ‘gamification’ of consent, drawn from my experience of running hundreds of sexuality workshops for thousands of people …and, of course, from my private life – I love this structure!

'Switch' is a game for two (or more) people to play, and it's a sweet little way of introducing a lot more adventure and pleasure into your sex-life.  It's deceptively simple, often fun, and surprisingly profound.

How to play!

The rules are easy:  One person starts by issuing an instruction or request to the other person.  If the other person is agreeable, they carry out the instruction or request.  If the request is not something they're into, they instead say 'switch', and it's their turn to issue an instruction or make a request.

The game can go for five minutes, or longer; my personal best is a month.

'Switch' will teach you how to get really good at working out what you want, and asking for it.  This simple little piece of self-development is a revolution in itself, and one of the essential skills of good consent practice; you’re unlikely to get what you want if you can’t articulate it.

You’ll probably start with some fairly safe and conservative requests; "Massage my feet", "kiss me gently on the cheek", or "make me a cup of tea".  But once you find your groove with whoever you're playing with, you'll start to match each other's escalating requests; one instruction will lead naturally into the next, regardless of who's doing the instructing.  It keeps you in step with each other.

Pretty quickly, you'll get your confidence up.  Maybe you'll even throw in a few things as jokes, or to see what happens if you ask for something adventurous or taboo.  Sometimes, you will be stunned to discover the things you're up for, or that your partner is interested in.  And the worst that will happen is that it’s about to be your turn to receive an instruction.

Consent is firmly built into this game; in fact, the whole game started as an experiment on how to make consent – the process of knowing what’s going to happen and agreeing to it – easy and fun to work with.  From the perspective of the person making requests, it’s assumed you’ll only ask for something that you’re into.  And from the perspective of the person receiving the request, if you don’t like something, you just say ‘switch’.  And then you take things in a direction that’s more interesting to you.  (You can also negotiate for something slightly different, of course – you won’t always want to give up the role of being the one receiving instructions!).

The instructions you issue can be purely verbal (“Tell me why you like me”, “Tell me what you’re hoping I’ll ask for next”), through to directions on what you’d like to receive (“Massage my shoulders”, “Slowly lick the insides of my thighs, starting at my knees”), through to requests for things you’d like to do (“Allow me to look at you all over”, “Allow me to kiss your belly”).  Let your imagination run free!

Pro-tip #1: Always say ‘thank you’ when your partner asks for something, even if it’s not something you’re into.  It makes it easier for them to ask for things in the future (and vice versa).

Sometimes you’ll want to get sexy, and sometimes not.  Sometimes, you’ll take it in hilarious directions.  I fondly remember one game that turned into a rolling series of comedy routines (“Show me what I look like when I’m dancing”; “Let me blow raspberries on your chest”), and another that deteriorated into a delightful series of dares, complete with impossible circus stunts.

Sometimes you’ll have forgotten you’re playing, because you get so pleasantly distracted fulfilling an earlier request.  Then after a pause, someone will say ‘switch’, and it’s all on again.

Pro-tip #2:  You can use a ‘passive’ voice (“Would you be able to massage my g-spot?”) or a more ‘active’ voice (“Get the lube, and massage my g-spot. Now!”).  Both are perfect, and in either case, the other person will either do what they’re told, or simply say ‘switch’.

This game is a great leveller – and therefore very empowering – for relationships where one person tends to be more active, and the other a little more passive.  ‘Switch’ is great therapy for anyone that’s been shamed for asking for what they want, or for being sexually creative.  And it’s one hell of a fun way to get to know a partner, whether it’s a first date, or your twentieth year together.

Many of the games I teach in my workshop ‘Fun Little Sex Games’ carry a similar feel to ‘Switch’; they aim to bring together good communication, solutions to the sexual problems we all face, and lots and lots of fun.  ‘Switch’ actually appears in the workshop ‘Kink 101’, but it’s applicable to all forms of sexual expression.

Have fun switching it up!

25 Comments

  • KinkyGirl101 Photo
    KinkyGirl101
    More than a month ago

    Having been lucky enough to attend one of Roger's workshops with my partner I can tell you this game is brilliant!!! Not only do you get to learn what your partner may consider a red light but you also have to become more inventive and think about new things to ask for, which in turn opens up even more possibilities. And all this while ensuring that everything is with each other's consent. For the naysayers aka likeamagician this article is ultimately about consent which we need to be aware of even in long term relationships as things shift over time. What you say no to today, you may not say no to next week. This game opens up a discussion. If the humans you know would turn this into an argument then I suggest you find a more sex positive group of friends as everyone I met at the workshop loved it.

    • likeamagician Photo
      likeamagician
      More than a month ago

      Being a developer of adult apps who has researched this subject at length and who has the benefit of statistical insight that has not at all even been touched on here, I feel that with that extra detail having been revealed - to call me a naysayer wouldn't be fair. Especially since I've gone over the reasoning quite logically - whereas this article is just rubbish so far as qualification of itself goes. It clearly presumes the readers will just take whatever is written at face value without affording them the respect of being able to analyse anything behind what i written in it - and apparently rightly so, with idiotic fanboy comments like that from someone who was in effect involved as a tester of the game.

      Because that kind of f*cking yes-man follower bullsh*t does nothing for anyone - instead of promoting progress and results it blindly denies the existence of any potential flaws and blocks progress completely.

      In this case based on the anecdotal experience of persons biased by involvement at a fundamental level of testing.

      Come on, you can't be such an idiot as to let the logic of what I'm saying be utterly ignored simply because the author is likable and a single group had fun in the introduction to it?

      Because I've got news for you. What you think is completely irrelevant in any instance where it is not tied in with fact and rationality. Whether you like it or not.

      edit - by the way, I would like to apologise to everyone for taking so seriously a subject which was never meant to be analysed in this way and an article not written or intended in the light by which I have criticised it.

      I guess I'm really attacking irrationality itself here out of frustration and it's not fair on you guys to be a buzzkill for my own gripes with what is really a much larger issue.

      I should shut my mouth - please forget I mentioned this (though I'd leave it up for the benefit of devils' advocacy if nothing else, for any who DO like to consider human nature in this kind of context)

      But yes, I've been rude and selfish to some extent and I'm sorry. Especially to the author. I'm out of line.

      All the best.

    • KinkyGirl101 Photo
      KinkyGirl101
      More than a month ago

      I was hardly a "tester" they've been running regular workshops in Melbourne for years and I've seen Roger's name on the presenter's list at many of the sexuality workshops which are run around Australia. He is well respected and his programs are amazing. I just wish I lived in Melbourne and had access to attend more. I say I was lucky enough to attend because they came to Sydney to run workshops one weekend.

      And I repeat this article is about consent, about finding new ways to interact with your partner/s to have open discussion and move past your boundaries with an open mind. Perhaps to people in a totally vanilla relationship this won't be relevant but as soon as you move beyond those boundaries, or would like to move beyond those boundaries, this is a great way to explore with your partner. In a kink scene you will negotiate what is acceptable, what's red light, a safe word if a boundary is about to be broken. It also gives partners who may normally take a more submissive role the opportunity to switch things up and ask for things which may not be the norm. And don't forget you can ask your partner to do things to you as well as ask if you can do things to them.

      Hey it's just all about finding ways to have consensual fun the bedroom after all.

  • likeamagician Photo
    likeamagician
    More than a month ago

    ... I must be missing something. So if I say "no" then that means it's MY turn?
    So let me get this straight.. beyond so far as the limitations of one's desire to please goes - the rules to this "game" award players for REFUSING their partner's requests by triggering a role-switch from giver to receiver?

    Really? I'm sorry but if you're trying to imply that lovers are generally more inclined to give than to receive, then you're probably a virgin.

    The vast majority of humans I know would very quickly reduce this game to an argument with a toddler whereby each side does little more than shout "no" as quickly as they can. Be it in response to a request for a blowjob or a request for a jump-start - nature always takes the path of least resistance.

    And so I'm sorry - but I have to know why it isn't obvious to simply reverse the mechanic so that you swap only after you accommodate. If you're saying that the surprising instances where the partner obliges will generate a reciprocal effect, then I submit that this inclination is not powerful enough to overcome the benefits of rejection. "The aversion to loss is twice the prospect of gain" - in this case you've got the aversion to loss COUPLED with the prospect of gain in the same act.

    Preserve the incentive to give by making the "switch" represent going from receiving a request to making an offer. THEN you have a game that works AND does the fluffy bs you claim this version would by some miracle.

    And by the way, what happens when rather than unlock confidence this game unlocks frustration or resentment when a partner not only makes a surprising refusal - but seconds later is actually in your seat making their own request as a result of that refusal?

    Like.. .. whatever. This wasn't worth explaining to someone who didn't see it for themselves just as there's no point wearing a bike helmet if you don't feel the need to wear one - as you've likely got little to protect.

    BUT HOW ARE THERE SO MANY POSITIVE COMMENTS TO THIS, NOBODY HAS POINTED THIS OUT, EITHER?

    I really have missed something, haven't I ? Either I'm going to be so embarrassed when someone points out the mistake I've made and ranted on without seeing...

    Or we are going to find out that these comments are all posted by you or your friends and family members.

    Either way, TLDR: I CALL BS

  • Johann1802
    More than a month ago

    This is such great game to play.

  • Natalia700 Photo
    Natalia700
    More than a month ago

    What a fantastic article and game to play!

  • daybreak1965 Photo
    daybreak1965
    More than a month ago

    great article Roger, maybe you could articulate in reasonable detail how your favourite version of this game progressed. I always like to know what other couples ask and do, food for thought..

    • AMM.Editor Photo
      AMM.Editor
      More than a month ago

      From reading the article it sounds like it would be a looonnng list. Don't be governed by what someone else did, just try it for yourself, you might be surprised where it leads.

  • Uw457xz
    More than a month ago

    Great idea and article, well expained. I like to be able to ask for or be asked anything. No harm in asking, can always say no.

  • 2ringround
    More than a month ago

    Great idea and very great picture to start it off....lol

  • Leolady727 Photo
    Leolady727
    More than a month ago

    What a brilliant idea! I have found that some men are very reluctant to say what they like,want,need and this game might make it easier - sometimes it's a bit like flying blind!

    • Zamboon Photo
      Zamboon
      More than a month ago

      Feel like a game sometime;)

    • Leolady727 Photo
      Leolady727
      More than a month ago

      Ahhh - if not for the distance ;-)

    • Zamboon Photo
      Zamboon
      More than a month ago

      Blindfold yourself - relax and let your hand trace the outline of your face, your eyes, nose along your jaw line, and lightly across your lips, now part them with your
      Oh and insert them until they are covered with your moisture ... oh dear I knew it was too good....

  • Brunny Photo
    Brunny
    More than a month ago

    Love this idea and will definitely use it BUT often a partner is hesitant to ask for things, it kinda separates the romantic from the simple sexual. How many woman will ask for anal (sorry but necessary analogy) to test the boundary, its more likely something a partner has expressed interest in an asks permission.

    • NawteeGirl Photo
      NawteeGirl
      More than a month ago

      I think the idea is that when you’ve played the game for a while, asking anything becomes easier. I understand what you’re saying though. I’ve never verbally asked for anal sex even though I love it. But then again, getting down on all 4s and wiggling my ass in the air has always worked just as well!!!

    • Brunny Photo
      Brunny
      More than a month ago

      Agreed Nawteegirl, you wiggling your ass is pretty irresistable.

  • Michelle112
    More than a month ago

    Absolutely love this idea. Thanks Roger ??

  • Papillon48 Photo
    Papillon48
    More than a month ago

    Mmmm. Love your way of thinking.
    Pandora’s Box! X

  • Zamboon Photo
    Zamboon
    More than a month ago

    Great concept - and you could do this over a phone or by email or long distance - and when you get together bingo !
    And if you were unsure of how to approach a subject you could try it with a lol at the end ? Go fishing ... Love it

  • KinkynFetish Photo
    KinkynFetish
    More than a month ago

    This is brilliant!!!!

  • Speedy34
    More than a month ago

    Can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing

    • Account Closed
      More than a month ago

      You should speedy

  • Tricky15
    More than a month ago

    Thanks will try this great idea out shortly.

  • RightGirl900
    More than a month ago

    Fantastic article Roger and what a great game to play... thank you!!

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