My girlfriend isn’t verbal during sex – how do we navigate consent?

My girlfriend isn’t verbal during sex – how do we navigate consent?

Dear Roe,

I am a queer woman in a new but wonderful relationship. My girlfriend is thoughtful, caring, kind, beautiful, and I feel very lucky. One thing we’re trying to navigate is that she has some trauma which can make it difficult for her to verbally communicate during sex, and she can find it difficult to say “no” or “stop” (or similar) during sex if she needs to. She has said that she’s happy for us to find non-verbal ways of expressing consent, but I’m concerned about how effective non-verbal consent can be. I don’t know whether I should be trying to help her get more verbal during sex, or to try non-verbal? Any advice would be appreciated.

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