Refusing to give consent should never be framed as negative or any less exciting or valid a choice than choosing to give consent for sex acts. And while I’ll admit to rarely experiencing outright exclusion (entitled vibes notwithstanding) at refusing sex in a sex-positive community there is a disproportionate amount of praise for those who consent to participate and support sex/play in sex-positive communities. Saying “yes” is framed as empowering and to give one’s consent is “sexy”. Which can and often does imply that a “no” or hesitation is a problem or “less cool/liberated”. Hesitation and refusal are totally valid expressions of uncertainty and deserve respect. The framing of “consent is sexy” can, in some applications, invalidate this vital uncertainty.
Good article. “Sexiness” is not the right standard by which to value either consent-as-situation (“Wow, I’m really into this!”) or consent-as-practice (“So, uh, do you wanna have sex?”). My response is in the comments.