Enthusiastic Consent

Sues

MyPTSD Pro
To me consent is something that I give. It's not something someone can take from me. I have huge triggers around this topic, and I never want to be in a relationship again, and definitely no sex again. That being said, If (shudder) I were to consent to sex, I would need to talk about it first, disclose my past SA and figure out what is bad and off limits. Also telling them ahead of time that I would want them to check in with me through it... "You ok?" "How're you doing?"

I love what joeylittle said about the freedom to say what you're feeling without anxiety or self-doubt....

he individual to say how they're feeling, as they are feeling it, without anxiety or self-doubt..

I think that is a huge problem. So many times people are afraid or even just hesitant to speak up about things in general. They don't want to upset the other person, etc. The same thing can happen with sex and on-going consent. Once you've started, it can feel difficult to speak up and say you don't want to do this anymore. Yes, it falls on that person because they need to speak up and the other person is not a mind reader. But, it's still an issue and can be somewhat alleviated with discussion beforehand, especially about checking in or deciding ahead of time that it's ok to speak up about it.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I think that is a huge problem. So many times people are afraid or even just hesitant to speak up about things in general. They don't want to upset the other person, etc. The same thing can happen with sex and on-going consent. Once you've started, it can feel difficult to speak up and say you don't want to do this anymore. Yes, it falls on that person because they need to speak up and the other person is not a mind reader. But, it's still an issue and can be somewhat alleviated with discussion beforehand, especially about checking in or deciding ahead of time that it's ok to speak up about it.
maybe enthusiastic consent Han only be given when both / all parties are willing to hear others as well as speak up? I think it’s also important to look at the ‘yes is yes’ campaigns / those which highlight that it’s not ‘no means no’ because sometimes people ARE too scared to speak out - whether it’s people with previous trauma or people with poor communication skills. These kind of campaigns focus on things that aren’t ( enthusiastic) consent like ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I’ve got to go to work in a few hours’ or ‘not here’.

These are often gender free and I certainly know people of both / all genders and sexualities who can by pass enthusiastic consent and I think - personally- that’s why it’s such an important part of our future sexual education when done properly and appropriately.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
maybe enthusiastic consent Han only be given when both / all parties are willing to hear others as well as speak up?
I think that's really true and really important. "Willing to hear" is huge. And not everyone is. @joeylittle has made a couple of passing references to the kinds of people who might be involved and I think that has to be considered. There are plenty of people out there who really DON'T care about anything beyond what THEY want. I don't think selfishness has to always rise to the level of being criminal to be a problem either. But I suppose it's also not the SAME problem for everyone.
 
For a lot of people, getting a "yes" is totally sufficient to go ahead. It doesn't matter if the "yes" is because their partner is too out of touch with themselves to say no or if there's been a concentrated campaign of coercion to get that yes. I don't think you'll be able to convince those people that enthusiastic consent should be the standard.

Moreover, I don't think you'll be able to convince most other people that someone who said "yes" isn't complicit in some way in their own abuse.

There's also absolutely no way to divorce gender roles from anything that happens during sex, enthusiastic consent included. We all have biases that we're mostly unaware of and we expect one gender to act one way and another gender to act another way. It takes a great deal of thought and examination to get over those humps, and in a bedroom situation I can't imagine many people will be able to quickly run down their biases in order to act more in accordance with the guidelines of enthusiastic consent. And in the aftermath, we have victims all around - the women who weren't sure how to say no clearly and end up traumatized, and the men who are later expelled from college or who get called rapists after the fact.
 
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joeylittle

Administrator
We all have biases that we're mostly unaware of and we expect one gender to act one way and another gender to act another way.
Very true.

I also think it's worth acknowledging that there are generational and cultural differences within these biases. (not an argument w/you SRG, I'm stepping off your comment into something broader.)

I've noticed that the generation a couple doors down from me sometimes has a noticeably different perspective than I have - and that includes their biases. So, you could put a 60 year old, a 40 year old, and a 20 year old - all of the same cultural/geographical backgrounds - all in a room together - and each one would have some major differences in how they discussed this very topic. Within those differences would be the built-in assumptions that each one carries, as a result of how each of their lives has been lived, up to that point. The multiplicity is MASSIVE, which is why any attempt at supporting the forward evolution - the bettering - of really personal, complex things like sex, there's never going to be a one-ring-to-rule-them-all solution.

The betterment lies in the discussion itself - not in the guidelines that arise from it.
 
You're comments about gender roles is very heterosexual/cisgender way of looking at things.
Well, that is very true. I am approaching this from my own frame of reference and will gladly admit that I don't really understand anyone else's. Frankly I'm glad that it doesn't apply to you since heterosexual sexual relationships are just mercilessly grim from my own point of view.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
Ok, this is a really good conversation and I wish I could do this and stay ok, but apparently I can't.

If I've upset anyone I apologize. I'm putthing thread on ignore. sorry.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
@somerandomguy I know this is a very difficult subject for you and I'm glad to see you.



You're comments about gender roles is very heterosexual/cisgender way of looking at things. It doesn't apply to a lot of the worlds I live in.
i know muttly is ignoring this but this comment was spot on for me. I’m a woman who has had no problems initiating or asking men out despite leaning ‘submissive’ and as many know, was raped by a woman despite being heterosexual . There was no gender role involved there but both of us had some kink involvement so theoretically should have been versed in consent and communication.

The clichés often don’t holdin real life and whatever people say should happen doesn’t- the poster Somerandomguy linked is an example of that too. However - I think the baby can be thrown out with the bath water - perhaps even more easily when we have trauma reactions. People involving gender inappropriately ( as opposed to raising it where relevant to be inclusive or discuss societal norms and damaging expectations and experiences) might be a ‘bathwater’ imo - where as I see enthusiastic consent as the ‘baby’.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I don't think you'll be able to convince those people that enthusiastic consent should be the standard.
The conversation, I think, is where it starts. Because not all that long ago, you would never have convinced people that it was possible to rape someone they're married to.

But, society's standards evolved. Being married to someone is no longer a free pass to have sex with them whenever, however, irrespective of what they want.

Is it difficult? Sure. For a tonne of reasons. But I think it's an important conversation to have. And I like to be optimistic about what future generations will be capable of in terms of what they take into consideration before they have sex with someone. I think the concept of 'Enthusiastic consent' is an important part of that discussion.
I don't think you'll be able to convince most other people that someone who said "yes" isn't complicit in some way in their own abuse.
I'd be an outlier if this is the case. I think there are a lot of situations where people could agree that "they said yes, but really they meant Hell No", or that 'yes' was immaterial.

Easy examples are when the yes comes from a child, or when the yes is in the context of threatening situations, like the person had a gun to their head, or a hand against their throat.

Easy examples blend into tougher areas. There's a huge grey in between "genuine yes" and "yes that means no". That grey area is, I think, why we continue with discussions like these ones, so that there's less grey.

An enthusiastic yes, is more likely to be a genuine yes, I think. I don't think it will always be definitive, but it does, I think, reduce that area of uncertainty.
 

Friday

Moderator
I really struggle with the idea that a person can't be under the influence and consent to sex.

LMAO… I just disagree with it, entirely!

It’s one of those well intentioned common sense things, where if a person is too drunk to walk, stay awake, etc.? They’re too drunk to consent to sex. But that’s been extreme-ivsed / all-or-nothing-thinking’d to ANY drinking. Which is just stupid.

- I can be too drunk to drive, but perfectly capable of performing at 2/3s of the jobs I’ve worked (the other third = zero alcohol, full stop).

- I can be too drunk to work, but am still perfectly capable of making good decisions / parenting / cooking / socializing / etc. Thousands of weekend BBQs full of happy people, well taken care of children, everyone & everything safe as houses? Cheerfully attest to that fact.

- I can be too drunk to be responsible for the safety & well being of others… which is when we’re nearing the territory of I would consider myself incompetent to agree to sex with a new partner.

- I can be too drunk to walk without assistance (careening off nearby walls, tables, & passersby counts as assistance 😉) but still be very much aware of my environment and what’s happening in it, as well as engaging with the people & things in it, in a relatively reasonable manner (vey clearly 6 sheets to the wind!). This is where I personally draw the line at sex, full stop. Sex is a physical activity. And, dammit, I have my pride. Sex is one of my favorite things, ever, and clumsy fumbling ain’t my style. If I am THIS drunk? Getting laid is off the table, entirely.

<<<Beyond here doesn’t matter to me, since I drew my own lines back thattaway. But in my own personal spectrum of FridayDrinking? Continues on well past where I quit cheerfully consenting/dissenting & defend my ability to make those decisions, for myself, in my own life. >>

- Beer Goggles. Right here is where my judgment is SO impaired I cannot trust what I’m seeing, much less rely on my own judgment based off of what I’m “seeing”. My judgement has undoubtedly been impaired prior to this, but not so much as I wouldn’t make the exact same decisions, sober. Here? Is where I start being stupid. Fortunately, I quit having sex before I hit this particular BAC.
- Spinning & Sickness & Alcohol Poisoning, oh my.
- Passed the f*ck out. Whether from acute intoxication, or dead to the world following just enough alcohol to relax (and not be woken up easily).

Personal responsibility says that me, myself, and I get to choose WHERE on those highly personal / individual spectrums I choose to stop having sex with people AND when I choose to refuse someone wanting to have sex with me, regardless of whether I want to or not, I judge them to be too drunk. My line may be well before or well after theirs. But I’m not making decisions for them. I’m making decisions for me. They’re too drunk for me.

Absolutism -meanwhile- says I can drive a car, go to work, care for children, etc. after drinking “this” much (IE at all), but cannot be trusted to make decisions as to whom I get nekkid with, when, how, where? Priorities backwards much? That’s insane, IMO. And can f*ck right off.

Having sex isn’t driving a 2,000lb battering ram capable of speeds in excess of 100mph. But absolutists say I can do that, or be responsible for the safety/health/well-being of those incapable of caring for themselves, but not delight in another person? Pfft. Like I said, stupid.

Ps. I really really love the idea of abstract sex talk before anything happens so everybody knows in abstract what we are into (as @joeylittle ) notes above. But again that is the funny part, people want to f*ck not talk!
For my own self… if someone asks me? The answer is no.

Can I kiss you? Nope.

I have no problem discussing any/all aspects OF sex with people, whether I’m sleeping with them or not, but my personal preference disallows that during sex, or in preamble to sex.
 
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