On consent, manipulation, and sex

I think there should be a discussion here about these things. I think there should be a discussion everywhere about these things, but this could be a start.

I think the answer to the problems is that we need to TALK about sexual things. (that includes kissing and touching and all) It's not enough anymore to use the common idea of non verbal consent that exists in our society. No means no, but also anything other than a yes means no too. Even if the less assertive person makes no attempt to stop the assertive one, that's not what matters. What matters is whether they really want it and that can't be decided by body language. It has to be decided by a consistent, continuing, and absolute yes.



Comments

  • crowlovescorecrowlovescore GermanyPosts: 44 ✭✭
    @iamnofallenstar for making this a general discussion, because it is defiantly not an exclusive youtube  problem.
    And at least in my opinion the most important step we have to take is that the person who is likely to sexually abuse you is no the creepy guy that is waiting to jump at you on a lonely street at night, which my mom made me fear, but they can also be the people who we trust especially since we are more vulnerable as well emotionally (people might feel pressured to take part in sexual activities for a lot of reasons) but also physical (we are around those people when we are drunk, asleep or sick) I don't mean we have to fear our partners or friends but we have to pay more attention to if what we or people around us do always follows the rules of consent and teach people about it I am always shocked when I talk to non internet people about rape culture how less aware they are of it.
    sorry for my thoughts being a bit all over the place. 
  • iamnofallenstariamnofallenstar Posts: 52 ✭✭
    edited March 2014
    @crowlovescore

    I totally agree with everything you said. The fact that lots of people have very fuzzy definitions of consent really scares me. Despite that I have found that most of my peers accept that they were wrong when I explain to them how important it is to have a clear idea of what consent is.

    my definition of consent is an obvious and continuous yes. the obvious part meaning that it has to be said using words and not just failure to protest and the continuous part meaning that permission must be given whenever you are moving to a new kind of sexual activity (ex: kissing to touching) and every time that these activities are happening. consent must be given by both parties to be valid.

    side note: lack of pronouns is intentional. people who say that only men assault women are ignoring the experiences of many men who have been abused and also being pretty heteronormative and in general Not Awesome
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,669 ✭✭✭
    This is one of the reasons I find relationships terrifying. I have a fear that if I ever do end up in a real relationship either I'm going to do something to my partner or they will do something to me that they don't want to do but is too scared to say no. I fear me getting it because of obvious reasons and I fear accidentally giving it because I don't want to hurt anybody. So even though I don't plan on being in an even remotely sexual relationship for years I'm glad that there will be sources to help educate me on this. I've always thought that there's nowhere to learn relationship stuff of a serious nature and that you just kinda have to guess on how things work and what to do/not to do. I'm glad to know I'm wrong, and this is yet another reason why I love nerdfighteria.
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  • iamnofallenstariamnofallenstar Posts: 52 ✭✭
    @SANTA_ATE_CHICAGO

    I totally understand what you are saying about this making you scared to be in a relationship. About the fear of hurting someone else though, I encourage you not to be. you are obviously very conscious of this issue. as long as you clearly ask any partner you may have whether they are okay with you doing the things you want to do and they say yes, you are 100% okay.
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,669 ✭✭✭
    @iamnofallenstar But that's part of it. I fear that I'll ask, they'll want to say no, and they'll feel pressured to say yes.
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  • iamnofallenstariamnofallenstar Posts: 52 ✭✭
    @SANTA_ATE_CHICAGO my best advice is to talk about everything you and your partner are going to do before you are in the situation of doing it and to make it clear that you don't want to do anything they are uncomfortable with.
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,669 ✭✭✭
    @iamnofallenstar I'm reminded of this zefrank video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG9VPvhRsuY
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  • NillieNillie Posts: 888 ✭✭✭
    My belief when it comes to implied consent is that it's rather worthless unless you also accept implied rejection; if I can't trust someone to accept my implied rejection, how can I trust that person to understand what is or isn't implied consent?
  • BriRose23BriRose23 MarylandPosts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    I'm really happy that this is a thread! I think this is something super important to talk about. I know that everyone here is of different ages but as I am a college student, this is something that is greatly stressed to us at school. 1 in 3 college age women are raped every school year. as with all other rape/sexual assault statistics, this is only the reported cases, and thats pretty scary.
    as most statistics about rape only consider the women being raped, there is very little research about men being raped. So i think its important to keep in mind that men are also the victims of rape and sexual assault.

    okay, that's enough for now, i'll just continue to ramble if i dont stop now. 

    also, I think the video that @Iamnofallenstar posted is a great resource for what is and is not consent.

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  • TitusMoodyTitusMoody MainePosts: 90 ✭✭
    The only thing that I've come to think about consent that I don't hear made explicitly clear very often is exactly why "lack of consent" is good terminology. It seems (to me) that the way most people think about consent has three possible categories: given, denied, or neither. As in, someone either gives you consent, doesn't give you consent, or consent hasn't been brought up one way or another, so it's "neutral" so far. This is extremely problematic, as most of the people in this thread can probably figure out for yourselves.

    In reality, there are really only two categories: consent, or lack of consent. If there isn't consent, then there is lack of consent. I really think that simplifies things, and it's probably a distinction most people either haven't made, or don't realize it's important to make. 
    So, for all of 2014, my brother, sister, and I are doing a Brotherhood 2.0 inspired videoblogging thing! Check it out, we'd love to have you there: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMEaDCjIItXBEFs-gDGGn2Q
  • BriRose23BriRose23 MarylandPosts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    I totally agree with @titusmoody maybe if it were explained to people that way they would have a better understand of how consent works. it may make it more clear that if the person didn't say 'yes' then it means 'no.'

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  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014
    One thing that gets left out of this conversation far too often is that while implied consent is a very dangerous thing indeed, and receiving explicit verbal consent is a great idea in theory, there's still very little that's attractive about a man asking a woman permission to kiss her in practice.

    I want to be clear that I don't condone that viewpoint, that I don't necessarily agree with it, and yet, it's the prevailing status quo, and I think more people actually use "implied consent" than would care to admit it. There needs to be something in the culture that gets changed such that asking something along the lines of "is this okay?" isn't an anti-aphrodesiac, which I think it is for a lot of people. And I get that it may seem stupid or frustrating to have such a conversation, given the stakes of consent and even the way that we talk about it, but until we have this conversation on a pretty large scale, I think there's going to be something missing from the conversation that's already being had.

    Also, one thing that's always kind of dumbfounded me about consent is when alcohol gets thrown into the mix. As I understand it, one can't give consent if one has been drinking. And yet, legally, if both parties are drunk, (in a heterosexual relationship at least), the male is at fault because he's not so drunk that he couldn't maintain an erection. This is actually what the law says on this in Maryland. Am I the only one who finds this preposterous--and even something that undermines the entire logic of the movement to make consent  something we're more conscious of on a large scale? Either alcohol negates one's ability to give consent or it doesn't, and it damn well better, given how vulnerable people become to abuse when intoxicated.


  • BriRose23BriRose23 MarylandPosts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    I was not aware of that law. Does being drunk affect ability to maintain erection?

    i do think it gets hard to tell who (if anyone) is at fault when alcohol is involved. I think that is why its important to have someone around who is not drinking, or maybe only has a tiny bit to drink so that they can stop something from happening. but it does get fuzzy when alcohol is involved.

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  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    BriRose23 said:
    I was not aware of that law. Does being drunk affect ability to maintain erection?

    i do think it gets hard to tell who (if anyone) is at fault when alcohol is involved. I think that is why its important to have someone around who is not drinking, or maybe only has a tiny bit to drink so that they can stop something from happening. but it does get fuzzy when alcohol is involved.
    It can, but it's rare. You'd basically have to drink yourself to the verge of unconsciousness. Which is why that law is so ridiculous. But yeah, I think drinking needs to be a part of the conversation.
  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 633 ✭✭✭
    On the subject of what happens when you're drunk: I'd say that if you know you can't control your actions when drunk, and you make bad decisions that could hurt others, then you are doing wrong already by getting drunk. It's like driving too fast: it's illegal because you CAN end up causing an accident, you can't know on beforehand whether it will. It's not like it would be legal until the accident happens! By this I'm definitely not saying that it should be illegal to drink too much, just that it is immoral. You don't let people around you do things that could seriously harm them; then why would you put yourself in a state of mind that could hurt them equally bad? If you're just doing embarrassing things when you're drunk, then it's your problem, but if you get aggressive or too dumb to notice a lack of consent, then you're doing an potential act of violence already by getting drunk. And I don't think that is okay.
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  • crowlovescorecrowlovescore GermanyPosts: 44 ✭✭
    On the subject of what happens when you're drunk: I'd say that if you know you can't control your actions when drunk, and you make bad decisions that could hurt others, then you are doing wrong already by getting drunk. 
    That is kind of a bit what negligence is about if you are aware that you tend to violent etc while drunk and you are to drunk to be hold accountable for the real crime you can still be hold accountable for negligence (but it always also depends on your law)

    I think if both people are at the same level of drunk which is to drunk to give consent but not drunk enough to not be hold accountable by law which is probably really seldom the case since mostly one person is more drunk than the other it should be treated like mutual insults they just weight each other out, because I think it would be weird if they could rape each other at the same time. if they have agreed to have drunk sex before getting drunk we don't have that big of a problem anyway.
  • HannahIreneHannahIrene Posts: 19
    On the subject of what happens when you're drunk: I'd say that if you know you can't control your actions when drunk, and you make bad decisions that could hurt others, then you are doing wrong already by getting drunk. It's like driving too fast: it's illegal because you CAN end up causing an accident, you can't know on beforehand whether it will. It's not like it would be legal until the accident happens! By this I'm definitely not saying that it should be illegal to drink too much, just that it is immoral. You don't let people around you do things that could seriously harm them; then why would you put yourself in a state of mind that could hurt them equally bad? If you're just doing embarrassing things when you're drunk, then it's your problem, but if you get aggressive or too dumb to notice a lack of consent, then you're doing an potential act of violence already by getting drunk. And I don't think that is okay.

    However, if you are beginning to drink, you may not know your limit. There are many underage people who drink and do NOT know their limit because if you feel drunk or even tipsy and are still drinking, there is alcohol that your body hasn't digested yet, and then they would become more drunk. They may not realize this. They should not be penalized for this. It shouldn't be okay just because they're drunk and do not realize what is happening. They may not realize they cannot control their actions until it's too late. 

    That drunk person could be taken advantage of, especially by those who are more sober than them. And if one person is sober or consciously aware of what they are doing is wrong, they should be held accountable for their actions. I'm not saying that it's not unhealthy to drink that much, because it is, but they may not realize what they are getting into!

    There is certainly a difficult decision to make in cases where there was drinking and I believe it varies from case to case. Some questions that could make this vary are: how much has each party been drinking? was there a previous discussion with the parties about what can and cannot happen? did one party purposely try to get the other party drunk in order to take advantage of him/her? and so on. 
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014
    On the subject of what happens when you're drunk: I'd say that if you know you can't control your actions when drunk, and you make bad decisions that could hurt others, then you are doing wrong already by getting drunk. It's like driving too fast: it's illegal because you CAN end up causing an accident, you can't know on beforehand whether it will. It's not like it would be legal until the accident happens! By this I'm definitely not saying that it should be illegal to drink too much, just that it is immoral. You don't let people around you do things that could seriously harm them; then why would you put yourself in a state of mind that could hurt them equally bad? If you're just doing embarrassing things when you're drunk, then it's your problem, but if you get aggressive or too dumb to notice a lack of consent, then you're doing an potential act of violence already by getting drunk. And I don't think that is okay.
    I really don't like this kind of logic because it can so easily be deflected and turn into victim blaming (e.g. "if it's the guy's fault because he got drunk, then it's the drunk-victim's fault too" (to be clear I DO NOT agree with that statement)). 

    Not to mention, if a person can't give consent while drinking, and if sex without consent is abuse, then this concept of the drunken predator, who is too drunk "not to notice lack of consent" is logically impossible. He can't himself give consent, and under this logic, he is being abused, which of course is nonsense, but then of course you have to concede that a person can be intoxicated and give consent, which, understandably, nobody wants to do.
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,669 ✭✭✭
    On the subject of being drunk, I think people should just say before they drink a single drop "If I consent to anything after I begin drinking, do not (or do) take it as truth."
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  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014
    On the subject of being drunk, I think people should just say before they drink a single drop "If I consent to anything after I begin drinking, do not (or do) take it as truth."
    I think that's probably impractical. I doubt very much most people would feel comfortable making this announcement, and I also doubt that others would be comfortable receiving it. And anyway, they don't have to say this, because the law already says it for them.

    Part of the problem is a lack of dialogue about sexual abuse. I know that it doesn't even occur to most people that there may be sexual abuse involved in a lot of "drunken hookups" and yet, if people looked at it differently, or even knew the laws about it, there would probably be a lot less sexual abuse. The problem, legally and morally, is when both parties are drunk. Can one party be liable for abusing the other? And if so, why? 

    Probably, the laws and the new discourse on this subject are too black and white. I think an adult can probably still give consent after a few beers. It's after the fourth or fifth that a line should certainly be drawn. 
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,669 ✭✭✭
    But the discomfort of saying or receiving anything we talk about here is pretty much moot because all of it is. That's the problem we're really talking about: how do we make it feel ok to discuss this stuff?
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  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    But the discomfort of saying or receiving anything we talk about here is pretty much moot because all of it is. That's the problem we're really talking about: how do we make it feel ok to discuss this stuff?
    There's a difference between discussing this stuff abstractly and announcing that you are not responsible for your actions before a night out. And anyway, according to the current discourse on this stuff, you can't give consent if you've been drinking. Furthermore, the laws are in agreement with that discourse, so there's really no need to make yourself/everyone around you uncomfortable. (Also, it's debateable that a person who is capable of sexual assault would become disarmed by some pre-drink announcement). 

     And the rule is a pretty a good one, as a lot of sexual abuse does involve a victim who is very intoxicated, but it kind of logistically falls apart when both parties have been drinking. The only way to rectify this problem and make it so that women are still protected is to say that men can't be raped, which, obviously, is a hard argument to make, and not one that I am eager to support.
  • SeaCowKieraSeaCowKiera Posts: 3
    edited April 2014
    This thread is dead, but I'd like to add, consent in relationships starts when the two begin talking about it. 

    In my relationship, personally, I was big into consent. In my first relationship, I was violated a lot. I had poor self esteem, and I didn't think it was my place to say anything--he often told me he was older, he knew what he was doing, I was dumb and naive and should just go along. Afterwards, it was embarrassing. I should've been stronger, better... So I decided I needed to change that. I started reading into consent, getting in touch of my sexuality, knowing myself and my boundaries. A year and a few months later, I met an awesome guy and we went out (and skipped the "getting to know you" stage to just "dating", because we were each other's only friend and it was easier that way). I was an ace, and was also uneasy because of my past. He's a straight male, and it was his first relationship. So, after some seriously awkward conversations (that we strive to continue for the fun of it, now :3 ), we started discussing consent. 

    We still have that conversation--I hold him when he cries, he wraps me in a blanket and finds me non-dairy chocolate and has me watch Frozen when I do. We abstain together because the thought of "doing it" puts me off, but we cuddle so he's okay (but we make sure both of us are comfortable throughout, and ask each other lots of questins). If either of us gets tired at the other's house, we leave the other in a room with a closed, locking door to rest, or nap in a completely open area. If something happens that we don't like, we squeeze the other's hand or say "circle" and the situation stops immediately (or as close to immediate as possible), and it's over. We talk. A lot. About everything and anything, and we discuss WHY something made us uncomfortable, and if it's okay if it should ever happen again--like, me not being in the mood or he's just not ready for it yet (or vise versa)--or we make it clear it should never happen again. 

    Consent starts with discussion, and I can honestly say I've never felt like I've been in a dangerous situation with him. And if you're nervous going into a relationship, I encourage you to ask questions and talk about what consent means to you and check and see if they have the same morals/standards/ideas that you do. Set up a safe word, and if they don't respect it, drop them. Immediately. 

    *whispers* because you deserve someone who isn't a jerk, and that's what a person who disrespects consent is--a jerk. 

    (EDIT: My point trying to be, in a committed relationship, it can be really helpful to set up boundaries. And respect them. And have ways "out" of situations if you feel unsafe and uncomfortable. And telling a person if that changes, or asking the other if it has, is okay. Don't just act out-of-the-blue in a way they've already requested you not. Always asking to make out after months or years of doing so can be redundant, and for us, it's easier if I just politely squeeze his hand or whisper to stop. At the beginning, though, it was totally needed and very respectful. So ask in the beginning, and respect each other, and make your own rules. Just RESPECT MAN.

    Also, I guess this is mostly for committed relationship-wise stuff.) 
  • nasirdukesnasirdukes Posts: 1 Newbie
    It depends. If you lie about something or pressure the person psychologically using manipulation it may be rape as no informed consent was obtained but it won’t be easy to prove legally.

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