Queer 101. Do you have consent?

Okay guys this is important and it’s a topic that isn’t discussed in the LGBT community enough.

I think it’s time that we talked about consent.

As a Gay man I have on many occasions been subjected to sexual acts without my consent. Darkrooms, saunas and sex parties are dangerous places where consent is often ignored. On many occasions I’ve had to physically force men to back off who have continued to make advances on me after I have asked them to stop. I have had to remove myself on many occasions from situations where I have been sexually assaulted because of men who would not take no as an answer. I have been urinated on without my consent, I have been penetrated without a condom without my consent, I have been fingered without my consent and I have been drugged without my consent and if you think that all this sounds a bit extreme I am here to tell you it’s happening to a lot of us.

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found 40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men

Some of you might think well if you put yourself in those situations then you have to expect that kind of behaviour, but that doesn’t validate that behaviour and I will not tolerate victim blaming as an argument. You’re an Adult – fucking act like one. No means NO! It doesn’t mean try again later. It doesn’t mean wait until they’re drunk or high and it doesn’t mean they’ll like it if you can just get them going first.

Asking for consent means asking your partner,

Can I fuck you?

Can I suck your cock?

Can I play with your ass?

Can I fuck you bareback?

Is this okay?

Are you okay?

and then they will reply enthusiastically yes. An uncomfortable “yeh okay” or an “um alright” doesn’t cut it.

Silence is not consent.

Just because your partner does not verbally say no does not mean you have their consent. When I first came out and was starting to explore my sexuality I was not as forceful or as confident when confronted with unwanted sexual advances. I was on a few occasions pressured in to sex but felt too uncomfortable or nervous to speak up. You must always ask and if the answer is not clear or enthusiastic then it’s a no.

Consent can be withdrawn at any time.

If you are in the middle of a sex act and they decide they want to stop then you must stop. You could be hurting them or they might have changed their mind. The reason doesn’t matter, if they say stop then you must stop. I was with a guy a couple of months ago who wouldn’t stop until I cried angrily out in pain loud enough to scare him. He was really hurting me but would not stop when I asked him too and he was very promptly told to leave.

 

Check out this great video from Planned Parenthood for more information on what Consent is, how to ask for it, how to say no and what to do when consent isn’t clear.