Enthusiastic Consent


Policy Enforcement
I will come back later and respond more fully if the thread hasn’t been shut down by then. But to the person who is determined to make me out to be not only sexist but apparently racist as well- no drunk women can’t consent AND NEITHER CAN DRUNK MEN.


Policy Enforcement
I have maintained all day that consent is for EVERYONE not just one demographic against another. Enthusiastic consent to me is someone being fully 100% no f*cking doubts about it consenting to have sex with another person. Not a single f*cking line in there has anything to do with race or gender so get the f*ck off your high horse and realize what you are saying and implying to people.

I am not the f*cking college. I am a human being.


Policy Enforcement
All I wanted was a peaceful discussion on what consent looks like to people so that people who are questioning it can have more information on what the norm is.


I feel like this helps protect everyone, male or female. Obviously rape is still going to happen. False accusations are still going to happen. But for the rest of the time when everyone is just trying to safely navigate life? This would clear up those murky waters a bit.
Yep. For normal life sex stuff “Arent we setting the bar a little low with consent? Shouldn’t we be aiming for enthusiasm?!?” is one of my favorite things. 😁

It’s also absolutely zero proof against accusations of sexual assault. “Real”, or coached, or false.

- “Real” meaning it very much is real… in their head. No possible way for anyone else on the planet, including their sex-partner, other people present, or people watching the film of it later, to have any idea that they weren’t 100% on board, or even (often) the person driving the show.

- Coached, meaning that no matter how much they enthusiastically -or casually, or begrudgingly, or automatically, or whatever- consented in the moment? Consent did happen, but Other People, after the fact, have guilted/shamed/pressured/ or in any other way convinced them they were assaulted. <<< This, right here, is why I treat each and every “Was I raped?” Q the exact same way I would in real life, if someone was coming to me with doubts (rather than from the view point of most sexual assault survivors blame themselves, let’s put the blame where it belongs!). Because it’s a very different thing,

- False, meanwhile, is simple. Someone is deliberately lying. For whatever reason.

I have tremendous empathy, as long as I wasn’t involved, for those dealing with

- the pain, tumult, and chaos of flashbacks, disassociation, a history of abuse not allowing them to say no, as well as the taste the rainbow of other mental illnesses (delusions, etc,) that make normal life experiences brutal & terrible affairs of being a helpless victim… whether that’s sex or buying groceries or going to the doctor or getting a speeding ticket.

- coercion/agendas of other people

I have zip zero nada zilch in the way of empathy for people lying, regardless of their reasons -as well as- those instances where I’m either a participant or witness.


I think there are at least two distinctly different "enthusiastic consent" models being talked about here.

One is a a more legalistic one used to define if sex was willingly given. And @somerandomguy has outlined some very good issues with that. I can see how it can be sexist and racist. That poster in the link certainly is sexist.

The other is what I've found in the bdsm community and am more familiar with that. And that's about making sure consent is discussed, given freely and with desire and continued to be given freely. Is it sexist is and racist, when used that way? I'm sure it could be, but the bdsm community is a large and varied place and the people holding the power can most certainly be women, trans, non-binary and people of color. It's not assumed that the power holder is a white male. This is the model I find beneficial thinking about. Not in the framework of assigning blame but in making sure that myself and anyone engaged in sex want it, keep wanting it, and are making sure that each other is wanting it.


I get my ideas are maybe less passionate then people want but I genuinely think that’s safer in the long run. I’m curious what made you (@joeylittle) feel like meeting ahead of time would be more dangerous (genuinely curious I’m not being facetious).
Because, it's not unusual for this common misunderstanding:

A: How do you feel about [insert specific sex act or position here]
B: I don't know, I've never tried it. Though I've been curious.
A: So you'd be open to that?
B: Sure, why not?

The more abstract the conversation is [ETA: abstract meaning rooted in hypothetical descriptions of scenarios, not the immediacy of the moment], the less real it feels, and the easier it is to impulsively think "yeah, I'd be OK with that" - when under the reality of the moment, B may quickly discover that they don't want to attempt that idea. Not that they get into it but don't like it - I'm talking about when it suddenly feels wrong, even though it hasn't happened.

So everything's generally fine, but B in the moment doesn't feel ready for that one thing.

Except A heard B say a few days ago, "sure why not?", and B was confident, and open, and genuine. No doubt being expressed.

Now, add in the possibility that A has been extremely built up about introducing you to this thing....and might want to try and assuage B's fears. The impulse might even be genuine and not at all selfish. Doesn't matter. There's no room for A to make any error here - even saying, "are you sure?" starts to create pressure on B.

This is assuming that both A and B are incredibly good people. If A is willing, in that moment, to ignore B and just go ahead, because they're not hearing the "no", they're remembering the yes? That's extremely common, and while I fundamentally believe that A is in the wrong for continuing - I think that the entire set-up - having this architecture conversation completely separate from the event - was flawed from the get-go.

now with this idea of let’s just lean on personal responsibility I’m bothered and I don’t totally know why.
Let me be clear - I'm not saying, ONLY use personal responsibility. I'm saying, shift it to the primary position, and let the taking responsibility for your partner stuff be in there, absolutely - just consider it as the second line of defense, not the first.

I'd rather first be able to expect that my partner is willing to talk to me about where they're at - instead of first expecting that we are responsible for each other. We can ALSO be responsible for each other, but right now? The conversation is leaning that way so hard that I believe we're completely skipping over normalizing the open sharing of our own experience.

Or, the short version: There's a reason why you put on your own mask before helping others. There's a reason why we talk in mental health about how, in the end, we can't make other people do things - we can deal with our own reactions and experiences and be willing to validate ourselves.

On BDSM: it's very obvious, to me, why it can't be the leader in conversations about consent. Much, if not all, of the vast spectrum of BDSM engages with the power. dynamic. There's a mutual agreement on the taking and giving of power. And of course, being dominant isn't about taking the power, it's more complicated than that. Same thing for submission. But in BDSM we are deliberately allowing others to enter into our own locus of control. That's a huge part of the fun.

Without first understanding and operating from an equal power dynamic, where there aren't roles, there's just the unvarnished self - without knowing how to do that, how could one possibly know how to do the much more sophisticated willing surrender of power, or willing assumption of power, that comes with the dance of BDSM?

Yeah, I think it's vital for BDSM partners to meet away from the actual heat of the moment, because they need to memorize each other's boundaries. They want to memorize those boundaries. But the power dynamic they've mutually chosen to work within is specific, and therefore provides some structure that vanilla sex doesn't have. I just think it's naive to mix them together, or think that they should borrow from each other. BDSM has predators, just like life.

But mostly, my point is: It's one thing to be cool with going skydiving for your BFF's 40th birthday when you're having a nice day on the ground, and feeling in that moment like nothing could be better.

It's a very different thing to be getting suited up.

And a concretely different thing to be jumping out of an airplane.

Sex is a highly-charged act. Doing something that creates a false sense of security around planning, runs the risk of damaging the willingness to be honest right in the moment, and it can compromise one person's ability to receive a sudden "no", when the plan dove into the ideas of "yes".
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