Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey Talks ‘Consensual Non-Consent’

Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey offers invaluable insights into the realm of 'Consensual Non-Consent,' enlightening individuals interested in exploring this intense form of intimate expression. Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey Talks 'Consensual Non-Consent' The renowned clinical psychologist, accredited advanced GSRD therapist and sex/intimacy coach working with couples looking to expand their relationship boundaries outside the ‘monogamy box’ on Channel 4 (UK)’s smash hit reality series, Open House: The Great Sex Experiment, explains:
“A consensual non-consent scene is negotiated where one party gives up total control and autonomy - including the ability to give or withdraw consent - to the other party. The main motivator is when people want to engage in, say, a realistic rape or kidnap scene and want to be able to shout NO and really fight without the scene ends. No matter the negotiation, you can withdraw your consent at any time and there needs to be a clear way to let your partner know that you want to stop the scene.”
Bisbey says that while this practice is reasonably common within the kink community and fueled by media and erotica, consensual non-consent often carries inherent risks and demands careful negotiation, as well as building deep trust and understanding with a partner.
“Make sure your partner responds to your wants and needs, listens well, knows how to manage a scene that has gone wrong, is observant. It is important to know your motivations and desires and be clear about your triggers, as intense scenes are more likely to trigger. It is also important to make sure you have ways to handle your triggers.” To prevent misunderstandings, Bisbey advises thorough vetting of partners and input from trusted sources familiar with this type of play: “Know who you are dealing with and make sure to vet the person with others specifically about this type of scene. Start your negotiation with definitions, make sure that someone outside the two of you is aware of what you are doing, when, and where, then write out your agreement and sign it. This way it is clear what was agreed to in full.”
Aftercare plays a crucial role in consensual non-consent, supporting individuals in returning to everyday reality after intense experiences. Aftercare varies based on individual needs, ranging from physical comfort to emotional support and debriefing.
Bisbey warns that consensual non-consent is not for everyone: “If you have experienced real-life trauma that is not fully processed, it is best to avoid this practice. Using this to try to process trauma, though a popular suggestion currently, is not a good idea unless a therapist is supervising and the person who is playing the role of the perpetrator is very experienced with stepping into and out of a role. This is extreme play, so the more psychologically healthy you are, the better.”
You can follow Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey on Twitter @drbisbey.

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