Tag Archives: Consent

No Thanks, That Doesn’t Work For Me

4 Nov

I know a man who has a reputation for anger. 

Really? Him?

Yeah. When he goes off he goes off.

I don’t see him often. It’s not usually my problem, I keep out of it. Apparently he’s often buying apology baked-goods though.

The other day he had trouble with a piece of technology and asked for my help. You’re young, aren’t you an expert on this? And when none of my suggestions helped he cursed, loudly, suddenly, and directly in my ear.

I vocalized in shock, nearly spilling my tea, and gave him a look. This is not acceptable behavior in my presence.

Moments later he was ashamed, apologizing for startling me like that, and stalked off to torment someone else. Someone who would let him.

You can decide how you’re treated. If you decide that something is unacceptable and you stick to it then the people around you will notice. Expect a higher level of respect and you’ll either foster that behavior in those around you or lose the people who aren’t willing to give it to you.

Tonight I got dinner with a family member who’s favorite topic is “Oh, I couldn’t possibly eat all that, you’ll have to help me.” If I order dessert it’s, “You should order two! But don’t ask for a spoon for me.” It isn’t about me, it’s about her. And it makes me crazy. And tonight as always she tried to foist her food on me. After years of “Fine, just put a little on my plate,” and “I don’t really love eggplant,” tonight I just looked her in the eye and calmly said “No.” Oh. “I ordered exactly what I wanted and I don’t want anything else, but thank you for the offer.” And for once in her life she dropped it.

So ask for what you want. Say no to things you don’t. You only live once, right? Don’t let anyone make you eat eggplant. Or worse, calamari.

What If We Treated All Consent Like Society Treats Sexual Consent?

13 Jul

Some really wonderful Everyday Feminism

Wall, Body, Foot

29 Jun

I keep forgetting to write about this experience I had last week. I keep forgetting that it happened. I keep forgetting about this moment.

I met a guy, I brought him home. This wasn’t the first time I had been with this guy. He’s a sweet guy, nice hair, big nose, remembered facts I had told him the last time we met. Jewish to boot!

And a bit on the rough side. And rougher and rougher as he starts to lose himself.

Which wasn’t doing it for me that night. And which was reaching my brain as pain instead of pleasure.

“That hurts, no harder than that.”

“Ok, I’m sorry.”

And he backed off.

Until he was nearing the finish line and starting losing himself again.

But, no, this is not an excuse I’m going to make for him.

I bucked him off and kicked him into my wall. Literally, pinned him to the wall with my foot.

“Did I hurt you?”

“Yes, I told you not to do that.”

A tumble of very breathless apologies. He’s still against the wall, catching his breath, apologizing.

I hear the words “I’m sorry” rise to the back of my throat and I bite down hard.

Because I’m not sorry. I’m not even sorry I’m not sorry. How do I really feel?

I rise to my feet and join him at the wall to whisper in his ear, “I don’t make a habit of placating men.”

More apologies tumble out, “I don’t want you to placate me.”

I go get two glasses of water.

We drink the water and talk naked for 45 minutes or so, with our heads resting on each others knees like a yin yang. A yin yang of pale jewish skin but nonetheless. There was no resentment, there was no fear, no anger, it was the best conversation we’ve ever had.

And I keep forgetting about it. This could have turned into a moment I played back for the rest of my life. If I hadn’t said something in that moment I would have hated him. I would have hated me. I would have been full on anger and empty on self-esteem.

And instead it’s a moment that I don’t even conjure up unless reminded of how pleased I am with it.

The thing that keeps striking me in the retelling is how easy it was, and how well-received. I know this makes me lucky. These things make me lucky. But also, if every woman could feel how easy it was to react that way then maybe it would be easier to convince ourselves that we’re allowed to be active participants in our sex lives, to convince our partners that we’re active participants in our sex lives. Perhaps it would go some way towards not being treated like chattel. Towards being treated like subjects in our own spaces.

It’s worth a try anyway.


Consent: An Earworm

18 Jul

My new summer tune. I want to drive down a highway with the top down singing this one.

The Best Consent Posters

11 Oct

I Will Protect Your Name And Your Heart

17 May

FG favorite, Sociological Images, had an interesting post about a scene from Vampire Diaries and how we can use it as a launching point for discussions of consent.

They’re question was “does him asking ‘do you want to get out of here?’ and her affirmation count as consent?”

I’d say that her saying yes to that was her consent to get out of there with him.

Her grabbing his head and kissing him is her consent to kissing him.

Her helping to take off her dress is her consent to be dress-less.

Her throwing him on the bed and then crawling on top of him is her consent to be there with him. The rest we have to infer.

I don’t want to downplay the importance of verbal consent, but I would say that there are a lot of small consents happening throughout the scene.

That’s how I think of consent in my own sex life. And right now I want to talk about how I use consent in my sex life personally. Because one of the things that people first starting to explore sex are missing is exact how-to information on all the things we politely eupheme.

Three days into our honeymoon we found ourselves in Barnes and Noble trying to find a book to help us figure things out in the bedroom. We’d read a number of Christian books about sex prior to getting married, and they were very helpful in terms of the theological and relational aspect of sex, but not so helpful on the supremely practical “how to” aspect—and more specifically, how to do it well and mutually enjoy it. [x]

When I’m first seeing someone I test their respect for my boundaries a lot. I tell them I don’t like them paying for my food and then see if they respect it. I tell them things they should know and then ditch them if they don’t respond the way I want them to. End of story. It’s a zero tolerance policy.

I don’t stop until I’ve made it clear that my boundaries are solid, they are not going to be pushed, that I am a force to be reckoned with and that I will throw them across the room if they try to remove my shirt before I’m ready.

And then, when they’ve cleared all those hurdles, I let them know that they can push me and I’ll say stop if or when I have to.

This isn’t the right thing for everyone and it doesn’t happen immediately but it works for me. And it works because I know myself and the minute I’m uncomfortable I let the “St” sound out of my mouth and in the blink of an eye I am un-handed. And that is my favorite form of consent. That is what makes me feel safe and sexy and cared for.

Consensual Pain

12 Dec

People can get really squicked at the idea of pain during sex sometimes.  I mean there are all sorts of things that people are into and I’m not but I try not to get visibly squicked about them all (eating cow tongue- I fail, reading Catcher In The Rye- I succeed)

I just think it’s so funny that people can be confused by how someone can continue to consent to pain in bed when that same consent is so obvious and readable outside of bed.

I don’t know what this couple likes in bed and I don’t care but look at how they continue to consent to pain over and over again.  If you were squicked out by BDSM then watch this, notice that you yourself have done it and then realize it’s not so foreign after all.