People Vary, Variously

9 Oct

I heard the best thing ever on This American Life. Chana was interviewing a young college student about the consent class he was taking and his previous experience dating girls.

Nagib Gonzalez

This is an example. I remember my cousin telling me, yo, you got to kiss your girl’s neck. I do it all the time. Oh, my girl loves it, and stuff like that. So then that’s kind of where you learn.

Chana Joffe-Walt

Nagib, ever the careful student, kissed necks, every one of them. Another friend told him, women like it when you’re funny. He tries to be that. But then Nagib had a girlfriend who told everybody he was a bad kisser. And someone told him, please stop kissing my neck. She thought it was gross. And he felt like, wait, do I know things, or do I not know things?

Nagib Gonzalez

Definitely when you’re younger, like you think of it more as like rules and steps to get laid. When you’re younger, you think, like, oh, I have to do this step. I have to follow this step. So I have to kiss her in this certain place. Then I have to make out with her.

And I have to, I don’t know, touch her, like, I don’t know, grab her butt or something. And then finally we get here.

But it’s not like that. It’s not like that at all. It’s less– it’s very– it varies. It’s different from person to person.

It could be anything. I don’t know. Girls vary. Not every girl will like something that you do. Every girl is different.

Chana Joffe-Walt

Everyone is different. Girls vary. People vary. What if that was the first thing you learned about sex?

What if, instead of starting at 18 years old with rape and moving backwards to teach consent, what if you just started with “people vary”? Because if you understand that, consent follows. You have to ask questions and talk about what you like and don’t like. Otherwise, you’ll never know. You may be with one of those neck people, and you may not. [x]

People vary. What a novel thought.

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