21 Jan Left at the door with our trousers
As a young guy, I’ve thought a lot about consent – when exactly has she had too many drinks, when am I a bit too boozed, will I ruin the mood if I ask, did I ask the right thing at the right time, did we go too far?
The answers: I’ve got no idea.
I chat to guys around the country about consent and many of them are also unclear on where exactly the lines are drawn.
When thinking about consent, we seem to be encouraged to conceive ourselves as potential perpetrators, and focus only on the minimum standards of acceptable behaviour. However, when we need it most – when we’re drunk, when we’re stressed, when we’re about to get laid – this kind of thinking fails us completely. For better or worse, this finger waving rhetoric which says “don’t do this, don’t do that” is left at the door with our trousers.
But are these rules dictating how, and with whom, we have sex actually helpful in understanding consent? What about backing up and asking some simple questions. Do we really want to be sleeping with someone who is not really into us, who might say no if we actually ask them out loud, who is just doing it because they’re pissed? Instead of considering ourselves as potential perpetrators, why not instead ask ourselves what kind of sex do we want to be having?
The answer: Good sex, great sex.
Instead of focusing on the minimum we can get away with – “did they technically say yes” – let’s instead aim to have awesome sex with someone who can’t get enough of us. If everyone involved is this enthusiastic, we’re going to be having great sex – and surely this is the best kind of consent.
Instead of considering ourselves as potential perpetrators, why not instead ask ourselves what kind of sex do we want to be having?
Author: Dave Llewellyn, Good Lad Initiative