Enthusiastic Consent

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.
Yeah, this right here shows why "enthusiastic consent" is so black and white. Sex is really so often about the gray and forcing people into trying to see only in black and white does no one any favors - not just legally (which I think we've covered), but personally.

If enthusiastic consent is the rule, Friday is either never going to have sex again, or will have to break the rule (which may be more fun for her anyway, I don't know). But teaching that enthusiastic consent is the ONLY way is going to add to a lot of people's shame around sex, not lessen it.

Teaching that anything is the only way is just asking for trouble.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
The thing about being intoxicated and consent that seems to be the problem...... Well, there's a situation where both people are intoxicated, probably shouldn't be making important decisions, and they may or may not regret the choice later. Then there are the situations where one party sets out to get the other intoxicated with the intent to manipulate them into a sexual encounter of some sort. Very different things! In the first case both parties are on equal footing. There maybe regret, but mostly I don't think there should be blame. I know sometimes it happens that there IS blame, but that doesn't really seem fair. At least not to me. In the second case? That honestly flips a switch for me and MY idea of appropriate consequences mostly aren't legal in a first world country. But that's ME. And the fact that it flips some kind of switch suggests that we've wandered off into symptom land. (Which we have, and sitting here in my living room, I know that. In a different situation, I might NOT know that.)

@somerandomguy I'm not sure what you mean about "enthusiastic consent" being too black and white. @Friday said her personal preference is to NOT discuss the details of sex in the moment, beyond something like "yes" or "no". That doesn't seem like it prohibits enthusiasm. You can SHOW enthusiasm without talking about it, can't you? I'd like to think that if her partner had some things they wanted to talk about first, she'd be ok with that. Maybe not, but when the situation arises that's just one of those places where there's a fork in the road and you either proceed or you don't. Isn't it?

There is a situation where one party may really not want to have sex, the other party does, and the first party decides to proceed even though they'd rather not. That exists on a spectrum that goes all the way up to rape. But at the other end you can have something like long term partners with different feelings about sex too. I can see where you might have "consent" without enthusiasm. That seems like a problem to me too. Personally, I wouldn't want to have sex if the other person was acting out of some sense of obligation. Other people don't feel that way. (But the idea of someone feeling they are OWED sex seems pretty selfish. Actually, it's a little scary, but then there's that personal history thing.)

If I'm understanding things accurately "sex" for @Friday is just sex. For me, it's WAY more complicated than that. It's important that I know that, but I think it's also important that a potential partner knows that. For a start, there are a couple things that are totally off the table as far as I'm concerned and a guy has to know and be willing to respect that or things are going to go horribly wrong. I don't want that to be a surprise, it's not fair. It's also not really fair to hold my partner responsible for my feelings. That's holding them responsible for my triggers and those are MY responsibility. But, if I don't want to set off a mine while walking through a minefield, I should probably share what I know of the map with whoever I'm walking with, right?
 
You can SHOW enthusiasm without talking about it, can't you?
Well, my enthusiasm may be someone else's complete lack of same. The only way to be sure is to use your words ... but it has been pointed out consistently that someone might say "yes" while actually meaning "no."

There's no real way to be 100% sure your partner is providing a truly enthusiatic "yes" without mind reading. Which is not possible. So how is enthusiastic consent better than the old standard of no-means-no?
 

grit

Not Active
I have to say this kind of discussion has the potential to run amok cause it sounds like policing what two consenting or not adults may do at any given time from 18 to death in some private area. And often the underlying thread is one person is powerless.

It is impossible to do so and I think, IMHO, I would at any given time give the credence to the adult in the picture and believe their words if I am standing on the mountain of judgment. The only time this is an issue is when it appears one person says one thing and the other does not agree. These two people in the western world have two options: Go to the legal system and file a charge or leave the relationship - consider it incompatible and cruel.

There is really no way to make a person follow anyone's rules. What I find makes this so much more difficult (aside abuse related events) is that some people stay in relationships that often disregards their personhood for YEARS - that is more interesting to me than the abstract of are you enthusiastic in every move of a finger while having sex! A good sex should deem your irrational and useless to allow leaning into the whatever that is happening or about to happen!

My gut tells me unless there is a direct violence, disregard of personhood, and oppression/manipulation/coercion, the adult can make that decision and who am I to police - if I is standing for the ever observing eye of the society.

I am often very curious how two men do this dance? or two women for that matter? Cause the minute this becomes hetero sex for one reason or another, most people lost their shit! That underlying power given to men over women in most of society is so sneaky but when it is moved, how do two healthy same sex (assuming equal power in the eyes of society) do this enthusiastic consent? I have never ever seen this discussion in non-hetero way. I feel so inexperienced.
 

Friday

Moderator
If enthusiastic consent is the rule, Friday is either never going to have sex again, or will have to break the rule (which may be more fun for her anyway, I don't know).
Other way around.

I’ve been using the enthusiasm rule since I started.

Asking me permission for XYZ? Shows both a hesitancy & total lack of situational awareness that is miles away from the level of enthusiasm I require to have sex with someone. Even possessing the ability to talk indicates that one or both of us isn’t doing our job / heart isn’t in it &/or distracted / or we’re not really “there”, yet. If someone is talking it’s time to either up one’s game, and steal their words from them, or stop completely.

I know there are people who like to talk whilst having sex. That’s fine. More power to them. For me? Sex IS the conversation. If someone wants to use their words? We’re going to be stopping.

A lack of enthusiasm? Is the opposite of fun. It means something’s wrong. Big something, small something, doesn’t matter. When something is wrong, one stops what one is doing, and fixes that. Whether it’s sex or anything else.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
My gut tells me unless there is a direct violence, disregard of personhood, and oppression/manipulation/coercion, the adult can make that decision and who am I to police - if I is standing for the ever observing eye of the society.

Yeah - that’s why enthusiastic consent is important though- because in cases of oppression, manipulation, coercion or violence often the ‘unenthusiastic’ person doesn’t feel safe to say no. They fear no might lead both to ( unwanted sex) AND a beating. Or worse. Or other punitive measures.


I don’t think two people who have had A drink or two cannot consent. I do think two people who have had two much to walk straight Cannot consent ( regardless of gender) . Sometime ago I posted a piece of research about ‘regret’ sex and what classification that generally broke too across the gender divide. It was interesting to me because while it’s all just numbers and semantics - it did - I think let me focus on where some people see Something as regret and others see it as rape. I had not considered a gender thing before - and I am still not sure one paper determines that- but it did focus my understanding of how I felt about it. I think I posted it under studies / research and that it’s pertinent to this angle on this discussion?
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
So how is enthusiastic consent better than the old standard of no-means-no?
I don't know that it IS better. To me, it more expands and elaborates on "yes". I see it as an attempt to take into account the "reluctant yes". And to avoid going ahead when one person IS reluctant. (I'll grant that not everyone CARES if their partner is reluctant, but I, for one, do.) You're right, mind reading is an imperfect art. But if someone is THAT good at acting enthused when they aren't? That's kind of too complicated to worry about.
I have to say this kind of discussion has the potential to run amok cause it sounds like policing what two consenting or not adults may do at any given time
I suppose it could turn into that. This particular discussion got started with "What does it mean to you?". I think that's valuable. It's not so much about telling anyone what to do, as it is about different ways to think about things. Personally, I value those kinds of conversations because there are a LOT of ways of thinking about most things and I'm always looking for new and better ideas as well as just differences that I might encounter in the wider world.
 
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