Tell Me What You Want

Consent is awkward, consent kills the mood, I wouldn't know what to say...

I do a lot of work with consent on campus, and I hear these responses all the time. I get it, verbally expressing consent is awkward when no one else is doing it. It can be really hard to know what to say, and hearing the words "shall we engage in coitus" probably would kill the mood for most people.

But it doesn't have to.

I've had some really positive experiences with consent, and from talking to friends I realised they had too. There all sorts of cool phrases that people are throwing in to their encounters that aren't remotely awkward, in fact they're kind of sexy.

The best part of it? You're both on the same page. When two people (or three, whatever your jam is) know where they stand with each other, it not only stops all those grey areas that people like to bring up when discussing sexual assault, but it also just makes for better sex. 

So we made a video. We want to show you how to talk about consent in a way that feels natural. These are based on real encounters, and this shit works. 

And ladies, let's break down a myth here: you don't have to wait until you're asked. It's the responsibility of all involved to be asking, and we can't assume the guy (or girl) we're hitting on is automatically down. There can be a poisonous stereotype that men want sex all the time and they'll never say no, but that's just not true. They have to decide what they want too, and we should be checking in with that.

Sexual assault happens, consent happens, and there's that whole messy part in between. I know so many examples of situations that were almost consensual but not quite, or one person didn't want it to happen and didn't know how to communicate that, or one person assumed and things carried on too far. These don't fall neatly under the assault category, but they're still really damaging. We need to prevent this from happening, and I believe we have the power to do so. 

I'd love to know what you think of the video; and if you like it and think it's useful, please share it. The more we can give words to people, the better this whole sex thing is going to be.