Friday, 5 June 2009

Ground rules in the first, second and third person

I am under the influence of alcohol =/= I consent to have sex with you.

I have sex with other people =/= I consent to have sex with you.

I have sex with more than one person at a time =/= I consent to have sex with you.

I smile at you and chat with you =/= I consent to have sex with you.

I've had sex with you in the past =/= I consent to have sex with you.*

I wear a short skirt and a halter top =/= I consent to have sex with you.

I allow you to come into my hotel room =/= I consent to have sex with you.*

You invite me to go to a function with you =/= I consent to have sex with you.

You buy me a drink =/= I consent to have sex with you.

You take me out to dinner =/= I consent to have sex with you.

You gave me a ride home =/= I consent to have sex with you.*

You book a hotel room for me =/= I consent to have sex with you.

You are more powerful than me =/= I consent to have sex with you.

You occupy a prestigious position =/= I consent to have sex with you.

You are a member of the majority culture and I am an immigrant =/= I consent to have sex with you.

Other people have sex =/= I consent to have sex with you.

Other people have sex with you =/= I consent to have sex with you.


What is so hard to understand about that?


*H/T Hugh, anon, SMSD (in comments)

42 comments:

Hugh said...

You forgot:

I've had sex with you in the past =/= I consent to have sex with you.

Anonymous said...

OR you gave me a ride home =/= I consent to have sex with you

Deborah said...

Thanks, Hugh and anon. I will add those to the post.

The ex-expat said...

I have had sex with you =/= You consent to have sex with my friends

Deborah said...

Point of clarification, e-e? Could I put that one this way?


I have had sex with you =/= I consent to have sex with your friends.

Anonymous said...

Deborah, perhaps another way of writing ex-expat's one is

I have had sex with you =/= I consent for you to have sex with my friends

Deborah said...

Could be - let's see what e-e says.

But you can't consent to what two other people may or may not do anyway. If your boyfriend thinks that it's okay to have sex with your girlfriend just because he has had sex with you, then the issue is that he failed to ask your girlfriend for consent, not that he failed to ask you for consent. (Though of course you may have a problem with fidelity or lack of it. But that's not a "consent" issue - it's an issue of what you may or may not have previously agreed about sexual exclusivity within the relationship.)

Of course lots of people try to withhold consent for activities between other people (I'm thinking here of prohibitions against homosexual sex and/or group sex and/or BDSM and/or anything the speaker thinks she or he would like to outlaw).

Hugh said...

Well put Deborah.

I'm not aware of anybody ever attempting to outlaw group sex though...

SMSD said...

Here's one from Fran O'Sullivan in the Herald.

Just because I allow you to come into my hotel room =/= I consent to have sex with you.

To quote Fran...

"Surely any business woman in her 40s would be street-wise enough - this is the 21st century - to make her own hotel bookings, pay her own tab and let her sponsor know in no uncertain terms that she did not want him near her hotel room, unless she was prepared to go along with the seduction."

Anita said...

Speaking as a business woman in my 30s whose hotel rooms (and flights) are sometimes booked and paid for by clients (otherwise they're booked and paid for by us, and recharged to the client – it kinda depends on which is less paperwork for everyone involved), what does Fran expect me to do?

Should we include in our standard contract wording that they shouldn't expect to visit in me in my room and in addition should have no expectation of sex? Maybe contract wording is not enough, maybe I should stick it in my signature, or put in on the front page of any proposal?

Cactus Kate said...

So are mine Anita.

But Witness B's case (the criminal complainant) seems to have had her hotel paid for by Worth personally. He is not (as far as we know!) a client of hers.

This is the distinction here.

If I was personally invited by a much older man who wasn't necessarily a very good and established friend to an event in another town and he offered to pay for my hotel and/or flights for no apparent reason - I must say that I would find the situation very odd and probably would not go.

That is unless I did wish to sleep with him. In which case the offer would be gratefully accepted.

Amanda said...

How about

I consent to have sex with you but change my mind afterwards=/= I consent to have sex with you

stargazer said...

kate, you probably would, with your background (meaning well-travelled) & experience (meaning growing up in a western environment, understanding the cultural undertones of such an invitation etc). i haven't read anything at all about "witness b", except that i understand she's korean and she may (or may not) have thought that that the nice minister was giving her a present in return for work she might have done for the national party. it may not have occured to her that there were string attached, especially given that he was a much older married man. as i say, i'm simply speculating without full knowledge of the situation. as i suspect are you, kate.

Cactus Kate said...

Stargazer

Ex-expat can tell you about Korean businessmen and their "progressive" attitudes towards women. The cultural argument won't wash I am afraid.

My boss will not even send me to Korea for business. There is a cultural reason for this, even then as a foreigner I would be treated better than a local Korean woman.

Korean women are very well versed in the role of businessmen and those in power offering them anything. Always strings attached.

I couldn't imagine in Korea a divorced woman accepting a married man inviting them to another city and organising their hotel, unless they knew that strings were attached and they were happy with that. Worst, if their father found out they had they would face his wrath.

This is why I find this case even more unusual.

AWicken said...

Hmmm - this is beginning to sound familiar, Kate.

She should have known what to expect, given the offer, and therefore can't change her mind (or if reality dawns) before or during delivery of her part of the deal the guy turned out to be offering?

Sounds a bit like "she should have expected it, wearing that".

Look, if a guy can afford to ping for an all expenses paid trip for his prospective mistress, he should have the good grace to accept that it's money down the toilet if it doesn't work out the way he wants, rather than behaving "inappropriately" (to whatever degree).

Maybe it's all a big conspiracy against him - that's for the courts to decide - but the possibility remains that someone, offered a free trip by a wealthy individual who won't miss the money and is apparently happily married, might look at that offer purely at face value.

And I note once again, just for the record, that this thread is turning into a public debate as to whether a complainant was gagging for it at the time, then "changed her mind afterwards" to the point of making a baseless criminal complaint.

How about this one:

I am incredibly naive =/= I consent to have sex with you

Cactus Kate said...

No, I was merely answering the point above about the Korean culture.

Here is another one that I am sure you haven't considered, in light of this being at least her 2nd allegation of sexual assault/harassment/nuisance:

Oh dear I didn't get what I wanted from the relationship =/= lets make his life hell.

And for the record I thought Clint Rickards and his Cop mates were guilty as sin so you can't smear me with the whole "oh...you are always on the man's side" brush.

Deborah said...

I am incredibly naive =/= I consent to have sex with you

I'm not so keen on that one, mostly because I don't think we can protect people from being foolish. ON the other had, I do think that we can specify that consent is a positive act, and that just because someone bought you dinner / paid for a hotel room / whatever, it doesn't mean that she or he is thereby entitled to have sex with you.

But here's one that might work: I say yes but I am aged 15 =/= I consent to have sex with you.

AWicken said...

Actually, I was looking more at the statements along the lines that people who are offered holidays shouldn't accept, unless they are happy to sleep with the person paying the bills.

Kind've stuffs the rich person who doesn't particularly enjoy travelling alone, not to mention hitch-hikers.

And now we're supposed to reconsider a sexual assault complaint (prior to a single court appearance) because it has been reported that the complainant has made a previous complaint?

False complaints are made, just as sexual assaults are committed. This particular case, whichever it might be, is not overly interesting to me - but like most of these sorts of cases in the media (not just this thread)I really can't understand why people seem to want to reach assumptions about motive, even definitive conclusions on guilt, from the thinnest shreds of hearsay.

It's a bit ookey.

Anonymous said...

I’ve got some questions for you guys. I’m in my mid twenties, I’ve had one girlfriend in my life (for a year) and she asked me out. That was some time ago. I’ve maybe kissed 12 girls in my whole life. I have absolutely no understanding of women on a romantic level. Women seem to like confidence, decisiveness, yet how can you take the lead if you don’t know what they want? Most people find “nice” people boring, but when is it ok to be edgier?

I’m fine talking to women, I’m good friends with a number of women, but I’m absolutely incapable of reading them. As a guy how am I supposed to know if someone likes me just as a friend or as more than that? If someone thinks they are my friend, isn’t it horrible to ask them out? In the past I’ve felt like I’m almost betraying them (and so haven’t.) Do women put men in different categories, and if so how long do I have after I meet someone that I fall into one? What’s the appropriate way to let a women know you’re interested in her, and you don’t just want to be a friend? If two people are flirting at the bar, how does the guy know when to kiss her? If you meet someone at a party you like, when is it ok to ask her out?

If I ask a women out and she says no and comes up with an excuse, do I try again another time or do I give up? How do I know when the excuse is genuine? And apparently some women like to be pursued a little, they want to be asked more than once so they know you really like them or something? Is that true? How do you know if they’re like that or not? Women never seem to tell you to fuck off, so when do you know when to leave them alone? Like in the Richard Worth example he was being a creep - I don’t want to be a creep, so how do I know where to draw the line?

How do you know when it’s ok to kiss someone? Is it offensive to a women if a guy she doesn’t like tries to kiss her? Will some women just kiss you back because it’s easier than hurting your feelings? I don’t want to kiss someone if they don’t want to kiss me… How do I know if she wants to kiss me or not?

How should sex be initiated? A number of times I’ve been in situations where I’ve done absolutely nothing in terms of initiation, and then looked back afterwards and realized, I should have made more of a move. I should have tried to take off her top etc. How are you supposed to “take charge” as a man if you don’t know what she wants? If I’m kissing someone how do I know when they want me to take off their top? Am I just supposed to try? If you try once and she slaps your hand away are you supposed to try again, or give up?

The problem I have with feminism and consent is that it seems to me that in the real world consent is never given. Sex is never discussed or agreed to – rather as a man you’re supposed to assume agreement until you get some signal that no you don’t have consent. (Because if you assume you don't have consent until she makes it obvious that you do, you very seldom have sex.)

I understand that
I am under the influence of alcohol =/= I consent to have sex with you.
You take me out to dinner =/= I consent to have sex with you.
I allow you to come into my hotel room =/= I consent to have sex with you.*

But this just means that I never have sex. And everybody else does. So what am I supposed to do? Looking at those 3 points as an example – a man goes out with a female, has some drinks, has dinner, she invites him back to her hotel room, they’re kissing on her bed… This doesn’t give him consent for sex. So how do they end up having sex??

Anita said...

How does it go from kissing on the bed to sex? The simple answer is that both people check for the ability to consent, for actual consent, and signal consent.

To take your example, if I were kissing someone on a bed I would
1) Consider whether I thought they were genuinely able to consent (are they too drunk? too drugged? likely to feel they have to say "yes" because of some power difference? likely to feel they have to say "yes" because of some obligation?)

2) Say something like "Shall I find a condom?", it both asks for consent (the other person can easily say "no, i just want to keep doing this" or "no, i need to get up early tomorrow" or "no, i don't on the first date" or "yes, i've got one in my bag actually") and signals that, at this moment, I am consenting to move forward.

3) I would also make sure I checked immediately before sex, a "do you want this?" works just fine in that moment, "yes please!" or "can we play a little more first" or "i'm not sure" are all good clear answers.

I think it is difficult with a complete stranger, and perhaps my suggestions are more suited to someone you know at least well enough to read, but I guess my point is that asking and signalling and checking are all normal parts of sex. Talking is better than ok, it's very ok :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anita. But so are you supposed to ask through the whole process? Like ask can I kiss you? Can I take off your top? Can I touch you there? Can I get a condom? Is this still ok? Etc etc. Because again my impression was that a lot of women like decisiveness and that doing this would annoy many of them.

And with regards to the ability to genuinely give consent, what reasons are ok for her saying yes? What if I think she's just doing it because she's feeling a bit lonely, or thinks it'll make me like her more? Like what if she's not thinking properly because she's tired or depressed or another reason? How do I measure the obligation factor? And should people never have sex when they're impaired?

Trouble said...

Anonymous, you sound like you have a lot of trouble seeing women as non-scary people more or less like yourself, rather than some great alien race with the power to reward you or crush you to goo. How can you be a leader if you don't know where they want to be led? Please, that's not being a leader at all and in any case most healthy people want companions rather than leaders. Or followers.

How do you interact with your friends so that they don't take advantage of your generosity or you don't rip them off? You use the same set of social skills as you do in relationships. You read body language, you measure reciprocity, you assume good faith, and you back off when you're shot down. See a website called Heartless Bitches on the subject of Nice Guys (TM) for more information.

Anonymous said...

Firstly - most of my friends were made over a long period of time - they were people I went to school or college with. They didn't necessarily like me straight away, or vice versa. However you don't get that chance with romantic relationships. There's pressure. You come off weird to someone on the first day of uni, you still might end up as friends with them. However you get shot down by a women and they generally don't want to keep hanging out with you.

What's the difference between a guy and a girl who are friends, and a guy and a girl who are lovers? For me the only difference is physical attraction. But it seems to be different for other people.

I like myself, but I mean that's no reason why someone will like me. Not everyone likes Shakespeare or the Beatles, and I'm not in their leagues. I don't blame women for not liking me - I'm not sure I'd want to date me until I got into my 30s either. (People have different strengths and weaknesses. I like my combination, but that doesn't mean I think I'm ridiculously fuckable.)

I wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination call myself a "nice" guy. I mean, I'm possibly pathetic and cowardly. I know how I act but it seems like it's almost a mental crutch to jump over. And it does frustrate me that a number of times now I've been in situations where I've felt afterwards I could have got laid, if only I'd taken more initiative at the time. And as I've tried to point out, this initiative seems to sometimes be out of place with the idea of consent expressed here.

stargazer said...

wow anon, i'm just wondering your alternative vision is. a world where you don't have to bother with consent, where you can just take what you want without having to care about the consequences? without having to treat the woman you're with as a whole human being with feelings and desires of her own, and as a person with the autonomy to say no at any stage of proceedings? it seems to me that you don't want women to have the right to say no, or to be consulted about their feelings or wishes, because it's too much hard work and it means that you miss out on getting laid a few times. really, why is your desire to get laid more important than treating a woman with courtesy and respect?

here's a thought: ask the woman you're with if she actually does want you to be "decisive" and maybe define to her what you actually mean by "decisive" (from your earlier comments, i'm reading it to mean ignoring her wishes, not caring enough about her to find out what she likes etc, but you might have another meaning).

if you don't think women are worth the trouble to take the time to do this, then it might actually be better for you avoid sex altogether.

Anonymous said...

No that's not it at all. I'm simply questioning the extent of the consent required.

You guys are saying you have to check if they can consent, ask, and then confirm their answer. Women saying no I can understand. It's how many times they have to say yes I'm confused about.

I'd say in reality many people have drunken sex, many guys try to have sex without asking explicitly, and many guys certainly don't check again once they've got the green light.

Are these all bad people?

Does a women in a bar (for example) always want to have her feelings consulted, to be given courtesy and respect etc, or does she sometimes just want you to take her home and fuck her?

(Again please bare in mind I'm in NO WAY suggesting that if a women says no at any time you should do anything other than stop.)

stargazer said...

you seem determined not to get the point anon.

Does a women in a bar (for example) always want to have her feelings consulted, to be given courtesy and respect etc, or does she sometimes just want you to take her home and fuck her?

just ask her if that's what she want. i don't know how you can't seem to understand that women are individuals, they don't actually all want the same things. there is no way that anyone, male or female, can tell you what "women" as a collective group want. that means the onus is on you to have that discussion around what you want, what she wants, how you both want to proceed (if you want to proceed at all). yes, it's more complicated, and yes, it takes more time, and yes, it may take the spontinaity out of your encounter. but unless hurting another person is ok with you, then it's definitely worth it.

Trouble said...

At this point I think it's necessary to point out that the primary purpose of a feminist blog is not to give insecure guys advice on how to get laid without getting accused of attempted rape. It's your life, bub, we're not your mothers to sort it out for you.

Anita said...

I am also unclear on what you mean by "decisive", I want a sexual partner to be clear and sure about what they want and able to communicate it (verbally or non-verbally) clearly and effectively.

"Do you, um... y'know, want, um..., kinda" is not communicative or clear and doesn't actually express what you want. "Shall I get a condom?" is clear communication, it expresses what you want without riding roughshod over the other person.

One of the things I find baffling about anonymous' question is that it seems to be saying that the communication should be assymetrical - the man should be asking and the woman should be acquiescing. To me I think both people are responsible for communication, and negotiating consent. I think that if one person is doing all the moving forward and the other person is doing all the letting-them-move-forward then it's worth spending a little effort on figuring out if that's actually ok. For me, if my partner is making all the next moves then they're probably going too fast. If I'm making all the next moves then I'm probably going too fast.

Anonymous said...

"just ask her if that's what she want."

Would you not be offended if somebody asked you "do you want to go home with me and fuck?" I'd assume you would be, which is why I'd never ask anybody that.

"At this point I think it's necessary to point out that the primary purpose of a feminist blog is not to give insecure guys advice on how to get laid without getting accused of attempted rape."

The first point in your post was "I am under the influence of alcohol =/= I consent to have sex with you."

I'm just trying to point out that if people took this literally there'd be a hell of a less sex.

People don't get laid by adhering to the letter to the ground rules pointed out in this post. To me this means they are in some way faulty.

"One of the things I find baffling about anonymous' question is that it seems to be saying that the communication should be assymetrical"

But it is. I go to a bar and there's not a whole lot of women talking to me (or most males). It's expected we initiate the conversation, and we initiate everything else too. I'd love if it happened both ways, but realistically it doesn't seem to.

stargazer said...

dude, you just want to come here and whine about how difficult life is and how you can't get enough sex because the fact that women should be treated like humans is hampering your ability to use them. sorry but i'm having very little sympathy. life is difficult, you have put some effort it. if you can't be bothered, then that's entirely your problem, not any woman's.

Anonymous said...

"if you can't be bothered, then that's entirely your problem, not any woman's"

I'm sorry, but where in any of my comments did I blame women for anything?

All I've done is try to question something that was posted, and try to explain my reasons for doing so. Clearly this has been a waste of everybody's time.

stargazer said...

yes it has been a waste of time. the mistake you're making is that you think you're the first person to ask these questions and to have this discussion and to complain about how there'll be a lot less sex in the world if only [insert perceived unfavourable restriction here, eg "no means no" or "don't have sex with a woman too drunk to consent"].

but the thing is that feminists have been having to deal with this stuff for decades. there is ample, no screeds, of reading on this issue all over feminist blogs on the internet. you need to take the time to find those conversations and read through them and think about them. but instead, you expect us to waste our time educating you because you're too lazy to do it yourself.

that's fine. if you don't want to spend the time on the reading then don't. but at least don't waste our time by expecting us to repeat what has been said a million times before in many places by many people.

Hugh said...

Anon, if you want to talk about this further in an atmosphere that is more appropriate for the sort of queries you have (eg not a feminist blog), give me an email: hughteg (at) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

"you need to take the time to find those conversations and read through them and think about them. but instead, you expect us to waste our time educating you because you're too lazy to do it yourself."

Your views are never going to cross into the mainstream (which I assume you want) if somebody needs to do a whole lot of research before they can understand what you're saying. I'm sure I'm not the only person who's a little lazy - if you want to realise equality for women you're going to have to find a way around that.

"but at least don't waste our time by expecting us to repeat what has been said a million times before in many places by many people."

Well why not tell me that straight away? I mean I started by explaining that I can't read women - I'm clearly not somebody who takes hints.

And furthermore why do you need to call me insecure and accuse me of trying to use women / do whatever I want without any consequences, etc etc? I don't feel like having shared personal information in an effort to explain myself that you were particularly fair.

Like I understand if you're tired of answering the same questions, but how was I supposed to know that? I simply tried to question a post on a blog which allowed comments. I didn't say anything bad about women, or about any of you.

And thanks Hugh.

stargazer said...

if you want to realise equality for women you're going to have to find a way around that.

this is why we feminists have a thing called bingo cards. it represents all the old arguments that feminists have had thrown at us endlessly, and which we have refuted endlessly. a blog called hoyden about town has quite a few of these bingo cards.

i don't particularly feel any responsibility towards people who don't want to take the time to educate themselves about feminist issues. i suggest you read the "about" section and the comments policy which directs you to a post so you can get a sense of what this blog is about: a safe space for us discuss feminist issues, for example. it's pretty useful to do that before jumping into another person's e-space and expecting them to behave in the way you want them to. it's also useful to read for a while a get a sense of the place instead of jumping in straight away to ask a whoele bunch of questions. that's the answer to your question "how was i supposed to know that?".

you're feeling hard done by even though several commentors including myself gave you valid answers to your questions, which basically said: treat women with respect, take time to communicate, take things slowly, and if that means people having less sex (which i very much doubt, research shows that feminists and partners of feminists have relatively high sexual satisfaction compared to other groups and there's nothing to show that they're having less of it) then so be it.

your responses indicated to me that you were choosing to ignore a lot of this and expecting us to tell you how to do relationships. that's not what this blog is here for. it's nice to see that hugh has kindly agreed to help you out with that.

your education on any matter is your personal responsbility. if you don't want to take up that responsibility, then nobody has any obligation to do it for you. it's a little rich for anyone to say that they don't want to take the time to find out, but then expect that others should take the time to explain things in detail that are pretty easy to find.

Anonymous said...

"this is why we feminists have a thing called bingo cards."

I bet conservative Christians who think abortion should be illegal have bingo cards too. How much religious crap do I have to read before I'm allowed to disagree with them? How many Rush Limbaugh books have you read?

"i don't particularly feel any responsibility towards people who don't want to take the time to educate themselves about feminist issues."

Ok sorry, I'll continue happily along in ignorance then. At least I'll still get paid more I guess.

"you're feeling hard done by even though several commentors"

Because you called me names, totally unprovoked.

I haven't dissed your comments - I've merely questioned in a practical sense if they're workable. Like taking things slowly and communicating isn't what seems to happen down on at the Viaduct.

"your responses indicated to me that you were choosing to ignore a lot of this and expecting us to tell you how to do relationships"

It was supposed to be an example in terms discussing the extent of required consent, and where you draw the line.

"your education on any matter is your personal responsbility. if you don't want to take up that responsibility, then nobody has any obligation to do it for you. it's a little rich for anyone to say that they don't want to take the time to find out, but then expect that others should take the time to explain things in detail that are pretty easy to find."

I totally agree. But if you want the world to be a better place for women, you're going to need to stop relying on people educating themselves. Most people will not bother. I mean look at the effort needed in marketing campaigns just to get people to wear seatbelts or stop drink driving.

I guess I had a warped idea that you'd be more supportive of someone trying and struggling to understand your point of view.

stargazer said...

I guess I had a warped idea that you'd be more supportive of someone trying and struggling to understand your point of view.

i'm sorry, but you've just said you don't want to try. you've just explained at length that you're not interested in reading up and finding information for yourself. you've just said that you'll continue along in happy ignorance when you've been directly asked to go read up the basics yourself. you are not interested in trying, all you are interested in is ignoring points made and repeating yourself. in no way have you shown that you're trying.

I totally agree. But if you want the world to be a better place for women, you're going to need to stop relying on people educating themselves. Most people will not bother. I mean look at the effort needed in marketing campaigns just to get people to wear seatbelts or stop drink driving.

and that's why we would rather spend our time lobbying the government to spend money on campaigns like the "it's not ok" rather than spend it debating feminism 101 with someone who chooses to stay ignorant. that's why we'd rather spend our time organising the pay equity faxathon than spend it with someone who comes here and demands that information be spoonfed to him in the way he wants. that's why we spend our time in a myriad of ways trying to change society, but for someone to come here with a huge sense of entitlement and then spend so many words complaining because we don't engage in the way he wants to engage, no we'd rather not spend our time on that.

so thank you for your contribution here. please don't comment on this post again, because i'm not interested in wasting any more time on this conversation. and if you have a "i must have the last word" itch, then rest assured that it isn't going to be satisfied here. i hope you have a better time discussing these issues with hugh. and i hope one day you'll come to the realisation that women's rights are human rights, and that men have to take responsibility for their actions, including the responsibility to not commit acts of sexual abuse, harassment or violence. it is not and should not be the job of feminists in the way that you want to try and lump it on us while taking no responsbility for yourself.

Anna said...

This is in no way a 'taking sides' comment, but the fact that so much of our mating behaviour revolves around the pub adds to the consent problem. Lots of people rely on Dutch courage to meet potential partners (myself included, back in the day).

These days I don't drink, and it makes me wonder how I'd actually get on if I was single and looking to meet someone. I'd have to have to find a new and different way of having that conversation about sex and consent, rather than doing first and discussing later.

The US dating culture is a bit naff, but I often wish we had some equivalent here - a kind of socially 'safer' way of meeting potential partners. (Not to imply that everyone does the booze thing, mind you.) It would be great if we had a wider range of culturally sanctioned ways of meeting people, that was more conducive to being open about discussions of sex and consent - this should be the norm, not something awkward.

Anonymous said...

For the previous anon:

If things are going amourously enough to the extent that they might be heading in a bedroom direction, then I'd be asking 'do you want to come home with me?' or some other variation of that 'your place or mine' question. Every adult knows what that implies. Yes or no answer, and there's your consent, and you haven't had to ask something as blunt or embarassing as 'Can we have sex?'

Oh, and on that subject, a better place to try for advice is
http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/blogs/greer-2-0
In fact, the current post is 'why nice guys finish last', which sounds exactly what you might want to read.

... and I was sure the ex-expat had made another good post on this topic some time in the last year, but I can't manage to dig it up.

Hugh said...

Last anon

I say I want to come home with you =/= I consent to have sex

'Every adult knows what it implies is' is probably something we hear a lot from rapists trying to defend themselves.

I almost suspect you're being facetious, but whether you are not, I think this needs to be addressed.

AWicken said...

Hugh,

I kind've half agree/half disagree.

I do not want to go home with you (your place or mine or a hotel)PROBABLY= I do not want to have sex with you tonight (one or two more exotic venue solutions notwithstanding).

Sure it's not a guarantee of consent, but it's an opportunity to check if the evening's going well for the other party, too.

Although it is beginning to confuse "comfortable, enjoying your company" with "therefore wanting sex".

If one's own interests are purely sexual (and this is another communication issue), then a "no" would be a pretty reliable indicator of refused sexual consent, although I agree a "yes" does not indicate sexual consent either way.

Hugh said...

AWicken

I agree that, unless you're cool with park benches or piles of coats in a nightclub, going home with somebody is probably a necessary prerequisite to casual sex. But that's a long way from what the last anon was saying.

Maybe I should have been broader:

I consent to something which is a necessary prerequisite for sex =/= I consent to have sex with you