The most important thing is recognizing how important clear, informed consent is as a vital part of healthy sexual experiences. Making sure everyone is comfortable with what’s happening should be addressed whether it’s in a sexy way or not. But there *are* ways to ‘boundary check’ without interrupting the action.
1) You can use pre-negotiation as foreplay. Getting to know what turns you partner on (and what would put the brakes on that arousal) will help you both get what you need out of the experience. This is especially true when you’re new lovers, but even long-time partners can do a ‘consent check-in’ every once in a while, tastes and boundaries do change and there needs to be an open conversation to share those changes.
2) You can make it into a game while you’re in the middle of sexual exploration. As long as there isn’t a feeling of pressure behind the questions, then it can be as simple as “would you like me to…” or “would it feel good if I …” with responses like “yes I would like you to…” or “No, that wouldn’t feel good right now but I’d love it if you…” Keeping the tone sincerely light and playful gives you all room to answer honestly.
3) For BDSM it can be especially helpful to communicate through writing establishing without a doubt what is consensual and what would be non-consensual. When there are complex activities having clearly drawn lines can prevent unintended consequences. Let me repeat though, it can HELP prevent bad experiences, but it doesn’t guarantee a good one. That’s why, even with written consent (by the way, dirty talk isn’t automatically consent, but that’s for another article) it’s important to find straightforward ways to communicate with your partner about consent in a light-hearted, easy going way.
Remember that consent is only valid when that person is coherent and aware of any risks. Inebriation of any form makes consent an even murkier pool, so error on the side of caution and respect boundaries & you’ll actually end up having way more sexy fun!