posts tagged "consent"
Non-verbal cues that someone is not consenting
I’m on the autism spectrum, which makes it difficult for me to read body language, especially if I’m in the situation instead of watching it on TV, etc. I really enjoy hugging and leaning on my friends, and I’m in a romantic and sexual relationship. I’d really appreciate it if you could provide a list of physical indications that a person is uncomfortable with contact. I know to take “no” for an answer, and I can tell when someone dramatically reacts, but I don’t want to harm anyone, period.
I really appreciate this ask! Here are some things I can think of off the top of my head, and I hope others can chime in and add to this list. This is not exhaustive, and not every one of these would indicate a lack of consent in every situation, but if you observe these signs, it could be a good time to check in verbally, and ask if the contact if okay. These may be indicators that the other person is uncomfortable with cuddling/non-sexual activities:
- Getting up from the couch to get something, and then sitting farther away when they come back;
- Quickly releasing you from an embrace;
- Pulling or turning their body away, such as turning a cheek to avoid a kiss, pulling a hand back when you touch it, or leaning their body further away;
- Stiffness or tension in their body;
- If the other person never initiates the hug, cuddle, etc;
Additional cues for sexual situations:
- Avoidance of eye contact (this may not always mean lack of consent, but I would take it as a cue to ask verbally);
- A blank or unengaged look on your partner’s face;
- They’re not pulling you closer, or touching you—generally laying still beneath you, or not reciprocating;
- Obviously things like tears, shaking;
- Lack of any sort of verbal feedback—talking, moaning, etc
When in doubt, it never hurts to ask. Can others add some more to this list?
What unites creepshots, the Middleton photographs, the revenge porn websites, is that they all feature the same fetishisation of non-consensual sexual activity with women who either you don’t have any access to, or have been denied future access to. And it’s really this product of rage and entitlement.
Scotland really seems to be getting good at the whole ‘blame the perpetrator not the victim’ part of campaigning against rape (I’m reminded of this campaign which takes a similar tact). Which is far more than I can say for the English police force.What can you do to help stop rape?1. Take responsibility … »Find out about the law regarding rape and understand that no matter what the circumstances are, sex without consent is rape.If there is any doubt about whether the person you’re with is consenting, don’t have sex.2. Respect your sexual partner … »Listen to the other person and treat them with respect – effective communication is key to healthy sexual relationships. It’s important to talk to your partner and listen to their wishes.
Any kind of sexual act must be consensual – both partners should agree to it and be happy with it.3. Question your own attitudes … »Consider the messages you hear about how men should act and think about your own actions, attitudes and behaviours.
Understand that behaviour, such as pub chat about a woman ‘asking for it’ because of what she is wearing, can perpetuate harmful attitudes towards sexism and sexual violence.Work towards positively changing attitudes. Choose what kind of guy you want to be.4. Stand up for your beliefs … »It’s easy to look the other way or keep quiet about your opinions. Don’t. Challenge attitudes that disturb you. For example, if a friend makes a joke about rape, tell them it’s not funny. More often than not you’ll find others share your opinion.5. Be proactive … »If you’re with friends and become aware of a situation developing, don’t stay silent. For example where one or both parties are too drunk to have consensual sex, go and have a quiet word with your friend. It might feel awkward and difficult to intervene, but you are looking out for them in what could potentially be a risky situation.
Also, if you see a similar situation arising outwith your group of friends, tell someone in authority, for example a bartender or door steward.6. Be supportive … »If you know or suspect someone close to you has been abused or sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help, offer them your support and encourage them to contact the police. There are also a range of support organisations which can help.7. Speak up … »If you know someone is abusing their partner, don’t ignore it. If you feel able to do so, talk to them and urge them to seek help. There are many support organisations that can offer advice.
You can report abuse by contacting your local police office or anonymously via Crimestoppers. In an emergency always dial 999.8. Get involved … »Support the campaign.
Display ‘we can stop it’ posters in your college, university or workplace – contact us for firstname.lastname@example.org(This address is not for crime reporting - in an emergency always dial 999)Tell us why you support the campaign – we are always looking for fresh email@example.com(This address is not for crime reporting - in an emergency always dial 999) Rape is a difficult subject to talk about but it’s only through raising awareness that attitudes will change.Sex without consent is rape. We can stop it.Look at that. Not a ‘don’t drink too much’ or ‘be careful when you’re walking alone’ in sight.
More campaigns like this please.
There are only two types of men who are upset that they need permission before they can have sex: rapists and potential rapists.
[TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT] I’ve Been Sexually Assaulted Twice
I don’t talk about them openly because I just don’t, but it happened twice.
But tonight I’ve been thinking about it and realizing that both men have no fucking clue that what they did was wrong, and they will never realize that what they did was wrong, and that fills me with much more rage than the acts themselves.
These guys weren’t evil. They were normal college guys who didn’t understand that what they were doing was wrong.
We can help survivors all we want, and that is a noble and worthy cause.
But until we start educating men that touching a woman without consent is wrong, that pushing her head down during a make-out session is wrong, that having sex with a drunk person is wrong. We will never end sexual assault.
Sexual assault does not have to happen. It is not required for a normal functional society. It is the result of a society that does not educate it’s youth, and treats women as objects. I am fucking sick of it.
If you are not fuming with rage that sexual assault is preventable, and yet is not being prevented, I do not want to know you. I’m so mad. My rage is so great that I don’t think I can use words to describe it.
This shit doesn’t need to happen.
here’s my sex+ guide to having safe, pleasurable butt sex! leave your taboos at the door :P
-butt sex should not hurt.
-lube! lube! more lube!
-never go straight from anus to vag
-only do it if you want to
-everyone has a butt! anal play is not inherently “gay”
(Sex+: Laci’s Guide to BUTT SEX)
This is one of the big problems with sex-positivity. Laci Green says she received an “alarming amount of messages about people being pressured into anal sex”. I think we all know that by “people”, she means women. Her solution is to make a video giving advice on how to have anal sex. How does that help those women? “Just don’t do it if you don’t want to”. No shit, Laci, I’m sure that idea had already occurred to those women. It’s easy to tell women to just not do things they’re not comfortable with, but that doesn’t do anything about the GUYS PRESSURING THEM TO DO THOSE THINGS. They’re still in the same boat they were before, trying to figure out what to do with a guy who wants to fuck her butt in a world that says women will die alone if they don’t let guys fuck their butts. There’s not a moment in this video where she is reprimanding these guys or telling em’ to knock it off, because OMG THAT MIGHT HURT THEIR FEELINGS AND MAKE THEM FEEL ASHAMED OF THEIR SEXUAL DESIRES. On the first fucking page of Youtube comments, there’s a guy saying that he’s “too big for her butt”, so he’s gonna buy her “anal relaxers”. That makes perfect sense if you’re a misogynist! Her body is rejecting his penetration despite their best efforts, so he will numb her ass instead so she can’t feel the pain and tearing that comes with forcing your penis inside a rectum that is not receptive to penetration.
P.S. putting numbing gels and relaxers on/in someone’s butt before anal play is a huge NO-NO. It’s very dangerous for the aforementioned reasons. You need to be able to feel pain to make sure you’re not injuring yourself. This is safe anal sex 101, and I wish I wasn’t so well-versed in this doodoo. No pun intended.
Fucking thank you Eli. I’ve had this problem with her for a while but didn’t quite know how to articulate it. She’s far too passive. Her videos all make sense if you are in a loving open relationship with someone who’s not a douche. Her videos all seem like the perfect Ta-da solution FOR A PERFECT WORLD. The sex+ attitude excuses a lot of things that are fucked up purely because they are sexual in nature, and sexuality is not to be shamed. This attitude leaves no room to call out misogyny and rapey situations. She’s far too passive. Tbh, men don’t need anymore encouragement to want to try buttsex. They don’t feel shamed for it, the porn industry fixed that problem a long time ago.
yeah I’ve had quite a few asks about people wondering what to do if their significant others (remember not just guys can pressure not just girls in to any kind of sex) pressure them into sex and I’ve had messages asking how to get their partners to do a certain sex act for them. THIS IS A HUGE DEAL. You HAVE to respect people’s boundaries. It is never okay to pressure anyone in to sex. It can be difficult to remember that this needs to be said when you’re used to dealing with totally consensual relationships but it’s something that needs to be said over and over again.
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE CULTURE*
I know a lot of guys tend to get really defensive and angry when women are on their guard about sexual assault, and act like they’re personally being accused of being a rapist. But dude, here’s the thing: it’s not personal, its statistics: MORE THAN HALF of college men ADMIT to being potential rapists!
Guys. that’s why we need to take responsibility for this shit. That’s why we need to confront and call out attitudes and ideas and language and jokes that promote rape culture or the idea that rape is ever acceptable in any context. That’s why we can’t be silent. Unfortunately, this information *will not be taken as seriously by men coming from women*, so we need to be the ones to hold ourselves and each other accountable.
Every time someone makes a rape joke or uses the word “rape” casually or says something that justifies rape, and it’s in a group of *more than TWO people*, there is a statistically strong chance that there is someone in that group who could actually commit a rape, and, in hearing one of his fellow men say something that condones or trivializes it, and hearing his other fellow men say NOTHING to condemn it, will feel more secure in knowing that this is something he could get away with.
As a society, we tend to artificially divide people into “rapists” and “non-rapists”, as if they’re discrete categories of people, where one is composed of slobbering, predatory, psychopaths, and the other is composed of clean-cut, upstanding, respectful gentlemen. This is not the case at all.
There are a lot of guys who are potential rapists. Guys who are extremely susceptible to cultural influence, who could easily recognize the importance of respecting women and consent if placed in a community that stresses that, but could just as easily become the type of guy who’d willfully take advantage of a girl who’s falling-down or passed-out drunk if placed in a community that dehumanizes women and treats women as targets and justifies rape.
When these guys repeatedly hear things that make them more COMFORTABLE with the idea of rape—and yes, every single time a rape joke is made and goes unchallenged, or “rape” is used as a casual synonym for “defeat” or “do really well”, and this goes unchallenged, or women are treated as objects, whether of decoration or of sexual conquest, and this goes unchallenged, it makes people more comfortable with the idea of rape—it makes them more likely to actually commit a rape at some point.
It may be hard to believe, but standing up and saying “This is not acceptable” when people talk this way could actually make a difference between someone getting raped and not getting raped.
That’s why we have to put our foot down EVERY SINGLE TIME WE HEAR THIS SHIT.
Look, guys. No matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink, it’s never, never, never, never, never okay to touch her without her consent. That doesn’t make you a man, it makes you a coward.
“It’s important to clarify that sex education that teaches about pleasure doesn’t have to teach about technique (though elective college-level sex education that does this is great). Letting teens know that women usually achieve orgasm through the rubbing of the clitoris, whether fingers, mouth, object, or penis, isn’t the same as screening an instructional video on giving good cunnilingus. It’s not the same as writing down the names of sex-toy shops on the blackboard, or handing out diagrams of cool and exciting coital positions. And teaching that lubricants reduce pain and increase safety and pleasure during many kinds of sex should be thought of not as performance advice, but on par with vital lessons about condom use.
Real sex education is not the same as porn education. Instead, it’s about teaching that pleasure is an important part of any sexual relationship. It’s about teaching that there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexual pleasure and seeking it out, so long as it is done safely and responsibly. It’s about teaching comfort with one’s body and a lack of shame over desires, and there is more to sex for all people than sticking penises into vaginas. Real sex education teaches how to go about making intelligent , safe choices, rather than just stating the choices available. I believe there is a big difference. And I believe that teaching teens to make smart choices about sex must involve teaching them that having sex, partnered or alone, can be a smart choice”.
Sex positivity means creating an environment where individualized sexuality and sex is supported and encouraged in a safe and consensual manner. Sex positivity works within a system of consent and open communication. Dialogue should be used to ensure the parties involved are fully consenting and aware of the sexual activities. Sex positivity means people support healthy sexual encounters as well as supporting a person’s right to chose a non-sexual encounter or to not engage in sex. Sex positivity fosters an inclusive environment for all.
Forming Safe BDSM Relationships.
So over at my political blog, I got into a discussion about a novel of sorts called 50 Shades of Grey, which originated as a Twilight fan-fiction (I know.. eh) about a BDSM relationship. In short, what happened was a person posted an anti-BDSM post using this novel as a reference point to share why BDSM is inherently degrading for women and that you cannot be a feminist or an empowered woman if you take part in BDSM ect, ect. I obviously pointed out the ridiculousness of that assertion (though never having read the book myself) and a good follower of mine pointed out that, while the OP’s BDSM negative views are wrong, 50 Shades of Grey is a bad depiction of a BDSM relationship, and relies heavily on actual abuse and control that is out of the female sub’s comfort zone. So today, I thought that I would go over some stuff that makes a healthy BDSM relationship.
1: Lay Down Ground Rules.
- Subs should articulate how much they are willing to be put through and what they are willing to do. They should also discuss things that they would definitely try or like if their Dom wants to, and things that are 100% off limits that they would never be comfortable with.
- Doms should also articulate how much THEY are willing to put their subs through. If a Dom isn’t comfortable inflicting excessive amounts of pain, or using certain items on their sub, that should be expressed so that the Dom is comfortable in their role.
- Figure out simple safety words or signals, and come up with an easy to memorize system. If your particular brand of BDSM involves gags or one party not being allowed to speak, this will help communicate when things need to be turned up or turned down.
- Establish if you’re going to have a BDSM relationship where the dominant and submissive roles are played even when you’re not “in the bedroom,” so to speak. People find playing their roles in public, though not entirely with the sexual exhibit, to be a turn on. So discussing what kinds of things you’d keep about your dom/sub dynamic while in public could be a good experiment.
And as always, remember that consent is not ongoing. If someone agrees that they want to try something, but then doesn’t want to go forward with it once it starts, respect those wishes. Coerced participation is sexual assault and can be considered rape; it doesn’t matter if you’re partners or not.
2: Always Have Safety in Mind
- If you’re using any kind of equipment or toys, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. I know, reading can be hard, but it’s the difference between a good time and a bad time. This is especially true if you’re using penetrative toys, restraints, or other devices. If certain things are not used properly they can result in injury, and even though the point in BDSM is to sometimes get “hurt,” unwanted pain is never fun.
- Know your own strength/how much pain you can take. Let’s look at this on a scale of 1 to 10, one being lowest strength/pain that can be dealt with, and 10 being the highest. If you’re a Dom and you’re strength is at a 10, but you’re sub can only take a 5, you’re going to have to work a little harder at judging how much you should dish out without hurting your partner. Likewise, if you’re a sub who can TAKE 10, but your Dom is at a 5, you will have to work together to find a good middle ground so that both of you can be satisfied.
- Pay heed to any health risks that you are your partner(s) have. Allergies or physical/mental conditions that can be affected should be taken into consideration before you start.
- Properly maintain your toys and equipment! Neglected or poorly cared for “extras” pose more threats to yours and your partner(s) safety. Make sure restraints are in good condition, that anything that is holding or suspending is well maintained.
- Be aware of any cautionary notes about how much or how long your equipment can be used before it needs to be replaced.
Keep in mind the materials that your things are made of and how often you plan on using them before purchasing. If you’re not going to be using your toys or equipment often, investing in relatively inexpensive toys might be the best way to go. However, if you’re going to be using it often, or using things that receive a lot of wear and tear, invest in something a little more expensive made with materials that will last a long time.
3: Some Last Things to Remember:
- Be comfortable with your partner(s) and express any discomforts you might have going into BDSM. And, importantly, be comfortable with the idea of BDSM itself! Looking into what it’s about, reading about the various degrees of a Dom/sub relationship, ect, can help get a grasp for what you might like and will help you better understand BDSM.
- You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. While BDSM relies on one partner being “dominant” to another, BOTH partners have a say in what goes on, and a sub is only a sub in the scope of actions they are willing to be a sub in.
- If you’re a Dom, keep in mind the bolded point above. While you are exercising dominance, it is only because your sub lets you, and respectful and loving doms never go past what their subs are willing to do.
- Likewise, Doms cannot be forced to perform any acts on their subs they are not comfortable with. Healthy BDSM relationships involve both parties being completely comfortable in the roles they’re playing.
- There will be people who find BDSM degrading or “immoral,” and usually those people are people who have come by their opinion by a very warped or uninformed manner. Just keep in mind that if it’s what you want to do and you’re consenting, there is nothing degrading or bad about it. Hell, you can even tell them about it!
As always, message me if there’s anything you want to note about this post, and if you’re into BDSM, feel free to tell me what you think.
Not only does abstinence-only education completely erase and forget about people who become pregnant as a result of rape, but they don’t even shed any light on sexual assault as a thing that exists in the real world, or something that can possibly be assuaged by clear, concise, and assertive sexual communication. Essentially, they are helping to create a culture of sexual ignorance – something that is a huge contributor to rape culture. If a person is never taught about sex, consent, and communication beyond “no” or “yes”, they are more likely to commit sexual assault.
Rules for good sex
Active consent and waiting for a yes, instead of going ahead when you don’t get a no always work better. Talk about what you like, what you don’t like, things never to do, and so on and so forth. Knowing the boundaries is always excellent and can make everything go so much smoother in the long run.
Bodily fluids should not mix unless you know that your partner is clean. Dental dams, condoms, gloves, and so on are your friends! Sex toys can spread infections too. Make sure your sex toys are body safe, and if they aren’t use a condom. If they smell like chemicals, they probably aren’t safe. Sterilize your toys or use condoms if they are doing to be shared between partners.
And that’s it. Seriously. These are the only two hard and fast rules for good sex. Everyone defines what make sex good differently, and these are pretty much the only universals.
This concludes Mike’s feels about sex. Feel free to send asks if you have more specific questions!
Great resources for safer sex include:
http://www.scarleteen.com/ - an excellent queer and body positive site
https://www.smittenkittenonline.com/ - a site that sells only body safe toys and discusses some of what’s bad about them. A member of the Coalition Against Toxic Toys.
We’ve been getting some questions about sexual education/health resources and I haven’t had time to put together anymore dedicated answers. Here’s some great advice and a few resources for anyone that might be looking for them :D