Consent Doesn’t Ever Resemble The Phrase ‘I Guess’

Consent, much like the word “intersectional,” has become a familiar buzzword. I hear it mostly from women who identify as feminists, but also from straight men who like the idea of women agreeing to have sex with them. Regardless of context, once states like California and New York passed affirmative consent legislation (and as others started to consider those same policies), it became clear that there was finally a national conversation about rape and sexual assault that could be headed in the right direction.

Now, for the people who understand consent, that’s great news. But considering affirmative consent is only sparingly taught in schools, and the incredibly oversimplified “yes means yes” model for consent, I wonder how we can truly emerge as a consent culture when so few people recognize what that looks like.

We have normalized sexual encounters that are absent of a continuous, mutual conversation about boundaries.

In fact, I wonder how people feel comfortable engaging in anything less than “absolutely” sex, or “please, baby, please” sex, because those are significantly more fun. If one (or more) people are leaving a sexual exchange feeling shocked or uncomfortable, you’re possibly having “I guess” sex or “nobody asked you” sex, and guess what? Neither of those sound consensual.

“Stealthing” is a form of sexual assault

We have normalized sexual encounters that are absent of a continuous, mutual conversation about boundaries. It’s why describing a sexual encounter where someone secretly removed the condom is rarely called rape, and why patrons of sex workers who refuse to pay for the services they received think their crime was only theft. It’s true evidence of how tolerant of rape culture we’ve become.

When I describe a scenario where a partner came inside of me when we’d agreed that he wouldn’t, nobody ever calls him a rapist. In fact, nobody even really sees him as a bad person. He came inside of me, rolled over and handed me money to purchase Plan B — making two decisions for me simultaneously, but refusing to see how that violated my consent — and even my close friends were confused by my pain. They asked, “So it’s because he lied to you? Is it how he treated you?” It’s the kind of rape that still feels emotional and violating, but you tell yourself it could’ve been worse.

There is a gender …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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