Do You Want To Have Sex? Text Yes Or No

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

So we're all for consent around here, of course, but this might be taking things to a silly and obnoxious level. In an opinion piece on, Roxanne Jones, ESPN The Magazine's founding editor, advises young men to get a text message of consent before having sex. This way, they'll be in the clear should their hookup later try to claim they were raped. Writes Jones:

Never have sex with a girl unless she's sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand. And it's a good idea to even follow up any sexual encounter with a tasteful text message saying how you both enjoyed being with one another — even if you never plan on hooking up again.

Oh, goodness gracious. I don't want to be too hard on this idea, because it does emphasize the importance of consent. And at least it's a step toward the oft-repeated maxim that we should tell men not to rape instead of telling women not to get raped.

But Jones' advice perpetuates the idea that women frequently lie about being raped (hence men's need to get textual "proof" that consent was given). And I'm not sure how well a texted "yes" would hold up in court, should rape charges be brought. It's not as if someone forcing someone into sex couldn't also force them to send a text message (or simply take their phone and send it themselves). Young men would do well to take part of Jones' message to heart (get enthusiastic consent!), but probably don't have much to gain from consent sexting.

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