In the wake of the sexual assault epidemic on college campuses and the #MeToo movement, activists have been calling for a new model of consent: affirmative consent. This means that rather than simply teaching people “no means no,” we teach them “yes means yes” and anything else is too ambiguous to serve as consent. This idea has gotten criticism from people who believe asking permission for every sexual act is unsexy or ruins the mood. But there are ways to do it that actually are sexy and only enhance the experience. At ConsentCon, held at the Brooklyn club NSFW, NSFW's Founder and Chief Conspirator Daniel Saynt explained how to do this.
“We’ve been given this constant steam of people who don’t practice enthusiastic consent,” Saynt said. He has a point: How often do you see people in porn stop to talk about what they’ll do next? Or see movie couples establish what people are and aren’t OK with before sex scenes?
However, the #MeToo movement has been getting people to think harder about how they practice consent in their own lives. Critics have said that men are now afraid to even ask women out because of it. But the truth is, women (and people of all genders) still want to go on dates and have sex. They just want to be respected in the process. Instead of feeling like bad people if we haven’t always practiced affirmative consent in our lives, we can use this opportunity to be better people. Here’s how everyone can better practice affirmative consent in their lives, according to Saynt's talk.