Sunday, June 15, 2008

What is consent?

What is consent? It is an interesting question. One that likes to be debated. One that most people still don't seem to have a good grasp on. I was pondering this question the other day and was reading one of my old zines (i love zines) and a little slip of paper fell out from between the pages answering the question for me.
I cannot and I am not taking credit for this. But would like to copy it out onto here for you all to read because it kick ass! There was no author or anything on the piece of paper and I consider it to be a meme thats purpose is to be passed around and to provide information to its readers...

Consent is an agreement that people must make if they want to have sexual contact. The issue of consent can be a complicated and ambiguous area that needs to be addresses with clear, open and honest communication. Keep these points in mind if you are not sure consent has been established:

All partners need to be fully concious and aware.
The use of alcohol or other substances can interfere with someone's ability to make clear desicions about the level of intimacy they are comfortable with. The more intoxicated a person is, the less they are able to give conscious consent.

All partners are equally free to act.
The decision to be sexually intimate must be without coercion. Both partneres must have the option to choose to be intimate or not. Both partners should be free to change "yes" to "no" at any time. Factors such as body size, previous victimization, threats to "put" someone, and other fears can prevent an individual from freely consenting.

All partners clearly communicate thier willingness and permission.
Willingness and permission must be communicated clearly and unambiguously. Just because a person fails to resist sexual advances does not mean that they are willing. Consent is not the absense of the word "no".

All partners are positve and sincere in their desires.
It is important to be honest in communicating feelings about consent. If one person states their desires, the other person can make informed decisions about the encounter.


- you are never entitled.
- communicating.
- hitting on them before they're drunk.
- knowing your own boundaries and asserting them.
- asking if they want to be touched, and if yes, asking how.
- stopping in the middle of whatever you are doing if they say so.
- asking "Is this ok?" or "Do you like this?" throughout the experience.
- never assuming that just because they had sex (or a specific sex act) with you before, they want to do it with you again.
- being responsible.
- not punishing them because they won;t have sex with you.
- paying attention and stopping when you realise something is wrong.
- many different things to different people.
- enjoying yourself and your partner.
- more than what can be defined on a blog post.

consent is sexy


Nikki (Mother of the Devil Child) said...

Good definition/explanation.

I was just thinking about consent as I opened your site... though more in the frame of parental consent for terminations. It really gets me that people consider that the option of terminating without parental consent and getting parental consent as mutually exclusive.

I know the world isn't so black and white... but if you build a relationship with your child where you would have open communication then there would be no need for controversy around parental consent - and the fact that parents don't is the VERY REASON that there is the option to keep the information between the teen and the health provider.

Bleeeh. Excuse rambling. Had to get it out.

P.S. I may eat my words in about 10 years. ;)

Nikki (Mother of the Devil Child) said...

I just wanted to apologise for rant the other day. Totally off topic!


C.C. said...

Hey Nikki! Its all good! I would of replied to that but I have been run ragged by my nutty toddler and barely have time to check emails!!
As for the topic of parental consent and abortion. I think if you do raise your kid to be straight up with you and trust you then they are going to tell you anyway. Terminations for teens needs to be kept confidential between the girl and her health care provider just like any other medical procedure. There are girls out there that would be MURDERED if there parents found out they were pregnant/having a termination. We need to protect our girls. If they are forced to tell there parents they are just going to go down the path of back-alley or unsafe terminations... So terribly sad...