Tag Archives: relationships

A brief point on consent

Let’s talk a bit about ambiguous consent, and the double standard we have in our society toward sex, verses other social contracts. In no other area are we so comfortable in saying that ambiguous consent is “good enough” for sex, or whatever else may be implied. It’s basically like this: a person is going to a party, they begin talking to the host about how much they like host’s TV and ask if they can have it, but the host, for whatever reason, doesn’t make it clear if they can have the TV, only giving an ambiguous answer. Since there was no clear communication of “no, you can’t have my TV” then it must be safe to assume the host was saying yes.

“Hell, no,” you’re probably saying, and good! That person who went to the party stole that TV from the host, yet why then do we say ambiguous consent is okay when it comes to sex? People will jump in and say “well, some people play hard-to-get,” or “non-verbal communication isn’t clear communication, so it’s ambiguous.” I have some hard stances in this area, particularly since in every other area dealing with contracts the law and cultural understanding is clear*. If someone is playing hard-to-get, and there isn’t some sort of clear communication that they are doing it, then you should assume that they are saying “no.” They are not giving clear consent, so any respectable person should not have sex with them until they give that clear consent. And, if your non-verbal communication isn’t clear, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re hot and bothered, and so is you partner, and there is a lot of reciprocal grabbing of body parts, particularly genitals, you’re almost certainly safe to go forward. But, if one partner is not reciprocating, particularly if they are laying still, not moving, or if they look like they are uncomfortable or scared, that’s when you stop and ask for consent directly.

Or better yet you just ask for consent right at the beginning, and then keep asking as you’re going along and trying out new things. Plus, this can be really hot, so honestly there is no downside, unless you actually do want to rape people. But, if you’re going about fulfilling that particular desire, you should be going to jail for what should be obvious reasons.

*Take business as another example, you can’t take over a business just because someone said it might be a good idea. That sort of thing need clear and written consent of both parties. I’m not saying you need written consent to have sex like with legal contracts, but you need clear affirmative consent like you would with other social contracts.


I’m Not Perfect

I wish I were, but I’m not. Have you ever had one of those discussions with someone where you disagreed, and you wanted the person to come to your side but instead all that happened was everyone involved got upset? I had one of those a few weeks ago. But my conversation was six of us against one. It was never our intention to dog pile our friend, but we all disagreed with him and we thought that what he was saying was harmful. We still do. But we got over it nonetheless.

But now it’s back. Not because anyone in the fight brought it back, but because another of our friends brought it up. He wasn’t part of the fight. He avoided it. But he believes that he has the moral high ground to bring it back. This is really annoying me. It’s annoying me because we all knew that things got out of control. We all know what we did wrong. It’s annoying me because, despite the fact that we have all left it in the past, somebody who was not involved in the fight feels the need to rub our noses in it. They want to shame us. I know that this is not his intention, at least not consciously, but it is still what he is doing. He wants to clear his own conscience despite not having been involved.

But what hurts most is that this person didn’t come to me with his concerns. He went to others and I had to hear it from them. He seems to think that it is my responsibility as a “leader” to avoid having my feelings hurt and reacting. If I had been acting in my position at the time, I would have been more careful. But this was a fight between friends. It had nothing to do with my position. I can understand his concerns: this could impact the club indirectly and it could affect how others view me. But, at the same time, I’m human. I’m not perfect. I do get emotional and I do get mad. We fought, we got over it. Why bring it up? And why avoid telling me?

I wish I were perfect. I wish I could keep myself from getting over emotional. I wish I were always rational. I wish that what had happened hadn’t. 

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