In terms of what people like to explore in terms of sexual kinks, the sky’s the limit. That doesn’t mean, however, that some kinks aren’t hotly debated (even in the BDSM community) and maybe even a little scary to ask a partner to engage in. Consensual Non-Consent Kink (CNC) is one of many kinks you or they might have (or just be interested in).
Sexual fantasies about non-consensual or rough sexual play are quite common, so if you have one of these fantasies, know that you’re not alone. Introducing consensual non-consent into your sex life can be a thrilling way to explore power dynamics in a safe manner. It can also lead to a deeper exploration of bondage and fetish activities. CNC is both enjoyable and potentially healing for those involved, so don’t be afraid to give it a try!
How do we go about CNC play safely? What is consensual non-consent? We’ll talk about all that and more! Get ready, folks. It’s time to learn the ABCs of CNC!
CNC KINK: WHAT IS IT?
Let’s address the main question: What is a CNC kink? This consensual kink involves partners agreeing beforehand to being coerced into sexual activities. It usually requires both parties establishing hard limits and guidelines for safety in order to ensure everyone benefits from the experience. During playtime, a safe word like an uncommon word like “kumquat” or even traffic light terms like “red light” should be used to end the CNC scenario if one changes their mind.
Due to the “non-consent” part of consensual non-consent, people sometimes associate it with sexual assault, and, indeed, rape fantasy play does fall under CNC kink. As long as boundaries and consent are clearly negotiated — enthusiastic consent, explicit consent, informed consent, ALL consent, etc. — and the ability to stop the scene at any time, forced sex can be played with safely and consensually.
Besides rape play, consentless non-consent can encompass a wide variety of forms of dominant and submissive play, rough play, or edge play, which pushes participants beyond their comfort level.
Spanking, whipping, or flogging a submissive
Performing sexual acts on a sleeping partner with their explicit consent
Playing with impact or electrostimulation that tests the recipient’s limits
During sex, restrain and/or gag a partner
Dress up as an attacker (be sure your partner can still see your face and knows you are not an actual attacker) and act out a sexual assault scenario (e.g. kidnapping).
The key to consensual non-consent is to remember that dominant partners must always have permission before engaging in this kind of power exchange, and boundaries – including a safe word that means “stop” – must be mutually agreed upon before it begins.
FANTASIES ABOUT CNC KINK ARE NORMAL?
Studies have shown that a large number of people fantasize about dominating someone. CNC kink can also be all about giving control to a trusted partner.
Coming across something that turns you on, such as handing over control to a partner or taking complete control of a partner, can be jarring. Nevertheless, consensual non-consent play is not the same as sexual assault and should never be viewed as such. It is vital to bear in mind that this type of roleplay is not mandatory if it makes you feel uneasy. If you do choose to give it a go nevertheless, ensure communication with your partner runs smoothly and emphasise the consent aspect of CNC play which will make everything more comfortable.
No matter what your interest is in CNC, you don’t need to feel guilty or bad about it if you practice risk-aware consensual kink, stay aware of personal responsibility, and approach it in a way that is safe, sane, and consensual.
WHO ARE THE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT?
At a first look, some victims of sexual violence may not be interested in consensual non-consent (CNC). But it’s essential to bear in mind that the experience of sexual assault varies from person to person. For others, it can be beneficial, offering an aspect of control which was absent when they were violated. The permission, restrictions and option to end the play whenever desired can give survivors a sense of agency that helps them feel powerful instead of powerless.
One key point to remember is that everyone is different. Some sexual assault survivors feel compelled to withdraw from sexual intimacy completely or may simply not wish to exchange power. If you or your partner are an assault survivor, give yourself the space to pursue the relationship with sex that feels right to you. There is no right or wrong way to engage with sex.
You may feel guilty or afraid about engaging in consensual non-consent play as a partner of a sexual violence survivor, as some aspects may seem like they will trigger your partner. Because of this, it is crucial that you talk openly before engaging in any intimate activities. It is important to acknowledge any trauma, ask each other questions, discuss concerns, set boundaries, and emphasize the importance of autonomy and consent.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE?
If you haven’t tried CNC before, even the idea can be a bit intimidating, but there are definitely some things you and your partner can do to gradually introduce this type of BDSM.
Engage in an open dialogue
Starting off with an open and honest conversation is essential. During this chat, you can discuss what appeals to you about CNC, how it will make each of you feel and the boundaries needed for safety. Writing it down or making a game plan can leave both partners feeling prepared and comfortable (even if one partner feels like they are giving up control). Getting creative with props, clothing or even an order of events can ensure a pleasurable time!
When it comes to playtime, you don’t have to jump right into intense rape play scenarios (or even explore those at all!). Start with little consensual nonconsent and take the time to evaluate how both partners feel about what’s happening without becoming overwhelmed by full-on CNC intensity. Additionally, adding some light consensual non-consent to your typical sexual encounters can help you both associate CNC with safe pleasure.
EXPLAINING CONSENSUAL NON-CONSENT VS. RAPE FANTASY
We need to consider the relationship between consensual non-consent (CNC) and rape fantasy play while studying the topic. Despite a considerable degree of similarity between them, it’s not quite right to use the terms interchangeably. Rape roleplay or fantasy usually focuses on sexual activity, while CNC may include power exchange activities beyond just sex.
No matter what you call your own relationships, make sure everyone is on board with what you call them. You may choose to use one term or another in your own relationships. The word “rape” can trigger a lot of emotions, so some people don’t want to use that word to describe their sexual behavior.
BDSM Consensual Non-Consent Meaning
CNC roleplay is frequently a feature of BDSM dynamic partnerships, wherein one person takes on a dominant role and the other submissive. This type of relationship is referred to as DS. The individual in charge (Dom) would then act as if their partner (Sub) has relinquished consent – however, similar to when CNC kink play is involved, consent must be given prior and can be perceived as an ongoing understanding within the couple.
It’s consensual for a sub to agree to CNC in a power exchange relationship. The “non-consensual” part occurs when a Dom has to make their Sub obey. In this case, Subs may “disobey” or disagree with their Dom, but ultimately gain pleasure by serving them.
In CNC, do you need safewords or a contract?
Trust is the cornerstone of consensual non-consent that is enjoyable and safe, so employing a floor word is wise. It delivers a sharp boundary between when someone says “no” in fiction, and when they sincerely need or want to put an end to it. This gives the submissive another layer of security that the dominant will bring things to a halt if necessary. As well as this, the dominant can be sure everything continues to stay within safe and consensual parameters even when their partner is shouting “no” or “stop”.
In 24/7 Dom/Sub relationships, as we discussed above, there may be a formal contract or agreement specifying the terms of consensual non-consent, including safewords.
There will be a difference between subdrop and aftercare
Submissive partners may experience a psychological, physiological, and emotional phenomenon known as subdrop after any type of kink play, which is why aftercare is so important in kink play. The situation may be different, however, when consensual nonconsent is involved. The partner may need space to process the experience and return to a sense of safety and control instead of being held and cuddled as aftercare.
CNC play is consensual, however it is important for dominant partners to keep in mind that it may still result in emotions and physical reactions similar to those of an abusive relationship. If this occurs, defend themselves or engage in a disagreement (“but you wanted this!!!”) should be avoided and instead the understanding that their partner requires post-play care, which may take different forms, should be had. Discussions must take place before engaging but flexibility should also be kept in mind as needs can change during activity. The support of the dominant partner is essential.
There Is More To Rape Play Than Just Kink Fantasy
We touched on this a bit earlier but let us take a moment to expand on the role of rape play in CNC. Many BDSM players use rape play and consensual non-consent interchangeably, but rape play is just one of several aspects of CNC kinks. Rape fantasy is actually very popular and not just limited to people who engage in BDSM, surveys have shown it to be common among even people who consider themselves “vanilla” (aka not kinky),
For survivors of sexual violence, consensual non-consent can have a deeper meaning than it does for others. Having the ability to relive the experience in a safe setting can be empowering and healing as it puts survivors in control of the experience, since they have the power to stop it.
In order to engage in rape play, it is essential to discuss limits and boundaries, such as what activities can be included, and how one feels comfortable being touched. Consensual nonconsent should involve the submissive partner actively and enthusiastically agreeing to everything, but in the case of rape play, a safe environment is crucial, especially for survivors of sexual violence.
Know that you are not the only one considering engaging in a CNC kink. An almost universal fantasy is to want to be dominated or “forced” to do certain activities and to want to dominate or “force” a partner to do certain things. You and your partner can ensure that consensual, non-consent play is safe, comfortable, and pleasurable with open communication, firm boundaries, safe words, and aftercare.
Read our linked blogs if you have any more questions about kink, such as what is kink vs fetish, what is cbt kink, what is wax play, or even if you are just starting out and looking for tips on kink for beginners.