In the sexual and domestic violence prevention worlds, we talk about consent a lot. I mean, a lot. As a training and technical assistance provider, I received countless requests for resources about consent – definitions, especially. And there are so many out there.
A colleague from the Oregon Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence recently shared this blog post about consent. It breaks down the “yes means yes” approach in full detail, with relatable and somewhat amusing examples.
Good sex is like running together while holding hands. Both people running. You have to be paying attention to your partner at all times, because if you let go, you’re no longer running together. You can let go or they can let go at any time. You can’t get started or change speed or direction without buy-in from your partner. Consent is keeping a hold of your partner’s hand, agreeing to go with them, agreeing to not leave them behind.
I love how the post, several times, refers to being a decent human being. After all, as my colleagues and I often lament, isn’t that what it’s all about? I also love the affirmative, positive approach in the post. And this brings up a newly emerging question: Why the consent approach? Do we know that sexual violence takes place because people don’t know what consent is?
The above is a tough question, but one we need to ask. We can all agree that it never hurts to write and teach about consent, what it means, and what it looks like. Read on for more about consent in practice, and check out the additional links in the post.