Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let's Talk About Consent

In our society today ‘consent’ is sometimes a scary word. Consent means a lot of different things to different people. It can mean awkwardness, a roll of the eye, scared, court, a sexy question, etc. A lot of times, consent is seen as the feeling we have towards the notion of consent. But here is what consent actually means a freely given, clear, unambiguous agreement between the participants to engage in sexual activity. This basically means, AGREEING to any form of sex at your own FREE WILL, saying a verbal “YES!’. It’s NOT coerced, physically or verbally. Consent is NOT the absence of ‘no’, which means, if someone doesn’t answer you it’s a ‘no’ because they are nervous or they aren’t conscious enough to give an answer. Which is another thing, for someone to give consent, they must be sober. So their judgement is not impaired in anyway and they can give you verbal agreement.  Now I get it, understanding consent can be tricky and hard to grasp at times so here is an example of consent that everyone might understand better.

Sex is like Pizza! Yes, I said it, PIZZA! When you want to order a pizza with a friend, roommate, significant other, or a stranger you ask, “Hey, what do you want on it?” or “What size of pizza do you want?” they usually give you a clear answer on what they want or say, “anything BUT (insert nasty pizza topping here).” They, FREELY, give you a CLEAR answer of what they want and what they don’t want. So, together, you come up with a pizza that you both agree on and ‘BAM!’ you both enjoy your pizza together because it was something you both wanted and agreed upon. So you may ask, “What if they are unsure on what they want or they don’t know if they even want pizza anymore?” Then you don’t get to order pizza and you don’t get to make the decision for them. They are allowed to be unsure or change their mind.

Consent looks similar to deciding on a pizza with someone. You ask what they want, what they like, what they don’t like, etc. Just like sex, you want to ask the other person, what they like, what they don’t like, if they want to have sex or if they don’t want to have sex. What makes sex so much fun and beautiful is that BOTH people are participating and wanting it. Some tips on how to gain consent are, ASK THEM. You know what is powerfully sexy? Someone who asks me if they can kiss me. That means they have respect, knowledge of common courtesy, and know what consent is and how to ask for it. So just ask and enjoy all the pizza in the world together!

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