What Consent Looks Like

Anyone who been to the movies has seen a sex scene-- a steamy, heavy-breathing, under the covers frolic. 

However, few of us have seen a consent scene when one character asks: do you like me touching you, would you like to have sex, do you like ear-nibbling, or would you like to do that again?

During the recent Steubenville trial, the defense attorneys for the boys convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious girl argued that the absence of a “no” indicated “yes.”   The assault on Steubenville Jane showed clearly that the boys did not understand the principle of consent--and their defense suggested their lawyers did not understand the legal framework of consent, either

Authors of the book, Yes Means Yes, Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti, discuss a new notion of consent based on yes.  In a recent story in the Nation, they wrote,“…the absence of a 'no' is not the same thing as the presence of a 'yes.' And until American culture and law frames sexual consent as proactively, enthusiastically given, there will be no justice for rape victims. It’s time for the US to lose the ‘ 'no' means 'no' ' model for understanding sexual assault and focus on 'only ‘yes’ means 'yes' ' instead.”  It’s called affirmative consent.  Some also call it enthusiastic consent.

It's clear that not only young people need to learn what consent is, and what it actually looks like; lawyers and judges do, too.

To make that easier, VITAMIN W created this special graphic that shows some steps to getting full, enthusiastic consent.  It won’t fit into a condom pouch, but you can still share it with anyone who might need it.  Which might just be everybody.

for permission to reproduce or repost please state intended use and write: editor@vitaminw.co 


And while we're talking what a consent scene might look like, here are two funny videos that deal with the complexities of getting consent.


Credit:  Image+Language / Jana Marie Soroczak  www.imagelanguage.com