Consensual Non-Consent

What does CNC (Consensual Non-Consent) mean?

What is CNC(Consensual Non-Consent) or Metaconsensus?

BDSM is always based on mutual consent , the consensus between all parties. This distinguishes BDSM from an act of violence or assault because it means that everyone agrees with the actions. In this context, one comes across the abbreviation CNC again and again. The abbreviation CNC stands for “Consensual Non-Consent”, literally translated as “agreed not to agree”.

Basically, CNC is about something happening that was not explicitly agreed. Usually these are fantasies of being forced into sex, services or other actions by a party. So it is the will that something happens against the will.

“I like it when I don't like it. I want that even if I don't want it."

Actually an oxymoron, because consensus is the most important pillar of BDSM. Nonetheless, this practice is often part of a D/s gradient . After all, you otherwise reveal part of your plans if individual actions or sessions are discussed beforehand. Additionally, many subs find it very arousing when they don’t know what to expect.

Nevertheless, CNC always requires that detailed preliminary talks take place beforehand, in which hard and soft limits must be explicitly discussed. CNC is not a free pass, a universal license to free actions that can be carried out on another person without consequence.

Distinction between CNC and meta-consensus

Meta-consensus is often used in connection with CNC. The word “meta” in conjunction with a noun expresses that something is at a higher level or level, above or behind something. Accordingly, meta-consensus could be roughly translated as “over-consent” or “general consent”. This means that consent to practices, once given, does not have to be repeated for each session. In this way, a part receives general permission to carry out these specific actions without prior notice. Thus, metaconsensus is not the same as CNC, even though CNC cannot be agreed upon without metaconsensus.

And: Even a blanket consent can be revoked and should ideally be renewed continuously to ensure that those involved still want the same thing.

CNC and consensual

As mentioned above, with Consensual Non-Consent it is also important to first negotiate the underlying consensus by specifically talking about practices, actions and boundaries. Because agreeing to CNC does not mean removing all limits! Here, too, a hard limit is untouchable until it is shown to be solvable. It is precisely for this reason that it is important to communicate mutual ideas honestly and openly.

A safe word is also important in a CNC system . While in many scenarios a safe word is traded as “non-erotic”, it is particularly important here. Because when it comes to forced fantasies, there will often be statements such as “No, please don’t, that hurts”, which one also wants to provoke here. Therefore, a detached safeword that is not used reflexively in uncomfortable situations is absolutely necessary.

The legal situation must also be observed here, because in the eyes of the law , “No” is considered “No”, and a consensus discussion or a written agreement does not change that. It is therefore in the interests of all those involved to set up appropriate measures here.

What can Consensual Non-Consent look like?

The best-known form of CNC is rapeplay , ie the re-enactment of the act of rape as a role-playing game . A fantasy that is relatively widespread, of all women . For example, in a 2008 survey of the conception of an erotic rape game , around 30 to around 60 percent of women stated that they had fantasies in which they were forced into sexual acts against their will. Of these, 9 to 17 percent indicated rapeplay as the most common and favorite fantasy. So these fantasies are common not only among BDSM practitioners, but also among vanillas .

However, CNC can also involve individual actions that have not been agreed beforehand, such as putting on gags , plugs , clamps or shackles . This can include arbitrarily determining the time or place, for example in an outdoor session . Or the initiation of a session through certain gestures or actions.

Ripping clothes can often be a good place to start. But also third-party use or the like. The practice of somnophilia, i.e. sexual acts on a person who is sleeping, cannot be clearly addressed, or the like also belongs to the CNC. So there are also less violent entries.

The community and CNC

If you ask the community about their views on CNC, you will get a wide variety of answers. The following summaries are subjective perceptions gathered for this article via social media, personal environment and anonymous registered mail.

For some members, RACK and CNC go hand in hand. RACK means the conscious practice of dangerous practices such as C BT , needle games or breathplay , which cannot be practiced under the SSC system (Safe, Sane and Consensual) as they always involve a certain risk of injury.

Furthermore, it is often assumed that CNC involves breaking hard limits, i.e. that it is always about exceeding limits. This can be the case with soft limits, i.e. limits that are lifted by Sub under certain circumstances. At CNC, these are often exceeded if the dom deems it appropriate. However, this is not always mandatory under the circumstances that Sub would require for this.

However, playing with such transgressions is only possible with a lot of effort and attention. It is important to keep a delicate balance so that these actions do not turn in a negative direction. In no case, however, is this approach taken for granted or even a main component of CNC.

What to look out for with Consensual Non-Consent?

Communication in a CNC session is often different than in a normal session. That’s why it often has to be made clear in a different way at the end that the scene is over. It makes sense to verbally say “We’re done now”, to put away all the toys and even to go to another room.

Unlike most other sessions, one should be careful with close physical contact after a rapeplay or overpowering scenario. Since these types of games are often about physical superiority, a hug, for example, can almost seem like a continuation of the game. An offered hand or palm contact is a smoother transition.

So it makes the most sense to ask the other person what he or she needs right now. Some people want closeness, others want distance. Some want to turn on their playlist, watch a series or a movie, others just need rest.

Otherwise, the same applies here: have your own aftercare routine. Nurture and provide for the basic physical needs and have blankets, drinks and food ready, as well as things that your counterpart associates with security. Slowly allow the submissive person to regain self-control.

Autonomy and a sense of responsibility

At CNC, the question quickly arises as to who is responsible. When the submissive person sets unreflected boundaries, they run the risk of being violated. It must also be noted that it is not always easy to defend oneself against a partner, since it is a specific and dedicated action against them. With many types of CNC, resistance and resentment is clearly desired and makes up the attraction. Nonetheless, these are actions with a non-consenting person, even if done by consensus.

For example, a perpetrator-victim situation is created in which the dominant person deliberately pushes the submissive to the ground and rips her clothes. The latter will probably defend themselves physically and verbally and show emotional signs. Overcoming this inner inhibition takes strength.

So it is also important to assert personal responsibility. A Dom also needs aftercare, especially when strong statements like “no”, “I don’t want that” or “you’re hurting me” have been made. In addition, when both parties are in a close relationship, a conflict can arise when one person injures or overpowers the other while the other is actively fighting back. It could even hurt mutual trust or create fear. The possible consequences of such actions are simply different than in an ordinary session.

Those involved, but above all the Dom person, must be very aware of all these circumstances, consequences, effects and their possible dimensions and deal with this awareness carefully. One’s own limits and those of the other person must be able to be assessed comprehensively in order to minimize risks as much as possible. Because as a Dom: you often find yourself in the role of the perpetrator in these types of games.

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