If you’re like most of the Internet, you were excited (and a little confused) when Playboy, a mainstream publication sporting a less-than-stellar record with feminists and critics of porn and rape culture, announced yesterday that some of their past attitudes were, indeed, harmful to women. To right these historical wrongs, they would shift the focus of their annual party schools list from bikinis and binge drinking to the importance of sexual consent.
Except…not quite. It turns out a group called FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, along with college students and other activists, are behind the fake Playboy websites that promoted consent, body acceptance, sexual diversity, and other awesome things not typically seen in the party guides of yore. But the reason so many people initially bought it - including us (oopsies!) - isn’t because we’re all overly-optimistic, naive dumdums. It’s because framing consent as a way to make parties more fun and sex hotter ACTUALLY MAKES COMPLETE AND TOTAL SENSE.
All too often, discussions of rape are hijacked by the bogus claim that getting genuine consent is confusing and difficult, that it ruins the mood, spontaneity, and pleasure of sex. But in reality, it’s actually really easy to not rape someone. The genus of the Playboy hack (and also what made it so believable) is that the activists managed to harness everything the Playboy brand claims they represent - sexual liberation, sex positivity, and pleasure - while seamlessly proving that none of it is possible without consent.
And it’s true! Consent isn’t about killing the mood, it’s about making sex BETTER. When you communicate with your partner(s), sex is BETTER. When people pay attention to and acknowledge each other’s verbal and non-verbal signals, sex is BETTER. When partners cooperate with condom/birth control use to protect against STDs and/or unwanted pregnancy, sex is BETTER. When nobody is being pressured or coerced, sex is BETTER. When everyone is consciously, genuinely, enthusiastically into what’s happening, sex is BETTER. When people treat their sexual partners like autonomous human beings who deserve respect and kindness, SEX IS BETTER.
Fake Hugh Hefner breaks it down real basic-like: “Consensual sex is simply sex that is pleasurable for everyone involved. The anti-rape and consent movement bubbling up in America is important and I support it. It’s good for women. It’s good for men. It’s good for sex.” Bravo, Fake Hugh Hefner. Bravo.
Maybe someday, this is what magazines will REALLY be saying. In the meantime, we doff our party hats to the visionaries who not only demonstrated that consensual sex = good sex, but proved that people actually want to hear more positive messages about consent from the media. This is what engaging yet socially responsible journalism about sex truly looks like - hopefully it won’t have to be faked for long.
There seems to be little information out there on coercive rape, and that is troubling because it is extremely prevalent. What is even more troubling is the lack of recognition coercion gets because it doesn’t fit an idealized rape script, and is often dismissed as merely “bad sex”, which it’s not.
In order to understand it, lets define rape first.
Consent is not just about saying yes, or a lack of a clear no. Consent only counts if it is enthusiastic, given by someone who is able to consent (sober) and was not obtained by coercion. Consent can also always be revoked.
This means that if your partner has not created a safe environment for you to say no, the consent was not given freely.
Coercion is simply anything a person does to make it harder for their partner to say no.
Some of the examples are :
Guilting (saying you owe them sex because they did something, such as pay for dinner)
Threatening body language
Nagging - Continually asking for sex after you have already said no
The list goes on.
Reblogging this because I didn’t know. I didn’t know and maybe if I did, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad.
To her total shock, he looked appalled, let go of her, apologized, and left. As far as she could tell, it had not occurred to him that cornering a stranger, grabbing her arm, and insisting she go get a drink with him might be seen as the sort of thing a rapist would do."
Ugh. I need a psychic shower. Just talked to some fifty year old guy who mid conversation admitted to molesting women while they were too fucked up to know. He thought it was cool.
I need the fucking rent money too much to call him on it and/or tell him what a piece of shit human being I think he is so I let the call continue, which earns me the first solid chunk of money I’ve gotten all day.
That, right there, is the only thing that ever makes me feel
like a whore at odds with myself - is doing anything, ever, soley because I need the money. But, you know, socialism would be wrong. And work is good for you; instills character and all that rot.
command fail: rage not ended