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Verbal and Non-Verbal Consent

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  • #16
    Then you haven't found your match yet. Keep trying! I'm not too bothered about finding my 'other half', I feel pretty complete alone to be honest. I guess that makes things easier for me.
    SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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    • #17
      Yes, if you don't mind being celibate, then it's easier and cheaper. I couldn't stand it, though.

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      • #18
        Yeah, it's not that I want to be celibate, I just have a 'meh' attitude on the whole thing. If I meet a girl who I can't live without, great. If I don't, ah well. At least I can always depend on the love of a labrador.
        SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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        • #19
          The reason that I want part-time relationships is to have the best of both worlds. I'd be both in a relationship and single.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Robert View Post
            I didn't say that sex should be a commodity - although the reality is that most women demand/require some form of payment before they will agree to have sex (flowers, chocolates, jewellery, restaurant dinner, designer clothes, money, him paying her bills etc.) That's true in many long-term relationships as well, in which the man pays all the bills, mortgage, holidays etc. whilst the woman contributes little or nothing.

            Having sex when single doesn't mean that it has to be a one-night stand. Some people have long-term sex buddies.

            Many women become rich by charging strangers a lot of money to put their penises in them.
            I'd love to know where you get this ideas and facts from... most woman don't demand or request a payment of anything for sex.... that would be basically selling yourself. Sex is part of a relationship.

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            • #21
              I also find none verbal ques hard to understand for example flirting doesn't necessarily mean they want to have sex. I would much prefer someone to ask me if I want to take things further not just assuming by my body language.

              I've never gone into details about this particular event. I have spoken about the fact I was sexually bullied and harassed at school but another incident happened.

              I was speaking to a guy online and with encouragement from a friend who knew him I ended up meeting him. My friend knew and I had arranged a public place close to home. For some reason it ended up being very quiet. We were talking when he asked if I liked him. I told him I wasn't sure yet as we hadn't been talking for very long. He seemed happy with this. Eventually he asked me to hug him, At first I was reluctant but did. Straight away he started kissing me and feeling me up and stuff which I was not ok with. But I felt scared and couldn't say anything. I managed to get out of his grip and said I needed to go home. Again he had no problem with it. Later on I messaged him saying I didn't feel comfortable with what went on. He replied to me saying he thought I was into it and wanted to go further with him. After I replied no he decided we probably shouldn't talk anymore and we haven't.

              Unlike what happened at school where I clearly said "No!" "Stop!" "Don't" which they ignored
              I didn't use verbal concent or said no to this guy but I also didn't concent either. He may have thought (not sure) that the hug meant I wanted to make out and even go further but it didn't. This is why I like to be asked clearly if I'm ok with it or not.

              I know my friend and her boyfriend have been together for over a year but even now he won't have sex unless he has a secure yes as like everyone she's not always in the mood

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              • #22
                That's sounds awful Emma. But at least he did the right thing and isn't in contact anymore. If you were reluctant for a hug, what gave him the idea you wanted kissing and groping?

                That's what scares me about intimacy; all it takes is an innocent mistake or simple misunderstanding, then things escalate into you being sexually abused.

                I'm with you on this- if you haven't explicity and frankly verbally consented to something, you haven't given consent.
                SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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                • #23
                  Some super important and interesting discussion happening here guys - really insightful to hear about your personal experiences as well. It seems like a lot of us find it tough to read non-verbal cues or other subtle signals, which can understandably make anything intimate seem quite scary as you said Aidan. Asking outright for a clear and frank yes or no can be a great way to get around the guesswork if you happen to struggle with communication. I wonder if we can share a few more ideas for how to make these situations a bit easier?

                  Anyway, I just wanted to chip in with our article about enthusiastic consent which has a few useful pointers for what you can look out for. I reckon Shaunie hit the nail on the head with her response around non-verbal consent - actively moving, showing you're enjoying it, etc rather than just kind of 'going with it'. You can also check out our (fairly) new consent tool at the bottom of that page - it's a bot you can talk to if you're not sure whether you have consent in a certain situation.

                  Curious about what you guys think about this - would the ways you give consent in a long term relationship differ from a one-night stand?
                  ďBut I donít want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
                  "Oh, you canít help that," said the Cat: "weíre all mad here. Iím mad. Youíre mad."
                  "How do you know Iím mad?" said Alice.
                  "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldnít have come here.Ē

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                  • #24
                    Honesty and communication seems to come up a lot in this discussion. With one night stands, perhaps both parties have to be more verbally direct with their consent as you may not know the person too well and therefore, struggle to read their non-verbal cues. If in a long-term relationship, it may be that you understand each other's subtle clues more and are more aware when someone isn't reacting how they would if they were consenting.

                    An issue that can arise in both situations, one night stand or in a relationship, is the issue of sleep. Say a couple had tried to had sex but it hadn't worked or they got interrupted so they fell asleep. But later, one of them started the sex again but the other was still sleeping or dozy and didn't realise what was happening until after, is this consent? They had consented earlier but did they consent this time? Consent needs to be given each time.

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                    • #25
                      Hey emishere you've raised some interesting points here, particularly around different situations where non-verbal and verbal cues might be more difficult to pick up on.

                      There's a really great article on The Mix website which goes into detail about different situations around consent. Some of the important points mentioned in this article is that if someone falls asleep or passes out, they are unable to give consent and consent can always be taken back during sex even if someone's said yes at first, but then changes their mind halfway through. It's important to look out for non-verbal signs, like the article mentions:

                      If they stop, you stop. Even if they don’t say ‘stop’ but they seem freaked out, stiff and uncommunicative – stop, and ask they if they’re OK.
                      Like Mike mentioned earlier, do you have any ideas of how consent can be communicated more clearly? Do you think there's a gender difference when it comes to the approach taken to communicate consent? Really interested to hear what you think about this

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Aife View Post
                        Hey emishere
                        Like Mike mentioned earlier, do you have any ideas of how consent can be communicated more clearly? Do you think there's a gender difference when it comes to the approach taken to communicate consent? Really interested to hear what you think about this
                        ​I don't think it's a gender difference as such, but I think it depends who's on top. Let me rephrase that: who's 'giving' and who's 'receiving'. The 'receiver' can just lie there and they're technically having sex, but just taking it isn't really consent if they're obviously uninterested. Meanwhile, the 'giver' has to actively engage in intercourse; they don't just lie there doing nothing.

                        ​The point I'm trying (very badly apparently) to make, is that the 'giver' non-verbally shows consent just by engaging in intercourse. If they don't want sex, they wouldn't be engaging in it to begin with. The 'receiver' has to appear to be enjoying the experience, or else I would say it wasn't consented. Obviously, the 'no means no' rule applies still. It always applies. Either people in sex can say no and not participate any more at any given time.

                        ​Stereotypically (in heterosexual relationships anyway), the women 'receives' whilst the man 'gives', so I'm assuming that is what you meant about gender differences. I'm probably wrong though, I read between the lines like how a blind person reads the lines.
                        SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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                        • #27
                          Is consent, consent, when you are made to consent or feel made to consent ?
                          "To me where the wild things are is a place that exists in our minds.
                          Its a place of liberty and shamelessness.
                          It can take a split second of a life time to find it, but once you do, you'll be free" - Alessia Cara

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                          • #28
                            It is never consent if it's against either person's will, and they are coerced or manipulated into engaging sexually. That's sexual assault or rape. I wouldn't say it was consent if either person just 'rolled with it' either, I think they'd have to show genuine interest.

                            Anyone seen the police ad about tea?
                            SUCCESS is not final, FAILURE is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts

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                            • #29
                              These are really good questions to ask, Shaunie.

                              I reckon Aidan is bang on - If it's against the person's will, then that's not consent. Consent, by definition, needs to be given freely. In the same way that if someone had a gun to your head and asked for your money, and then you gave them your wallet, you did't consent to that action. You were made to it, right? The same applies to sexual consent.

                              I think what you said, Aidan, is quite interesting - that is could be more about 'giving' and 'receiving' rather than your gender. It could make sense that someone 'giving' can non-verbally consent much more easily than someone 'receiving'.

                              If you're not sure, what are some ways to check if the 'receiver' is into it? (for example, you could ask if something feels good or ask them what they like)

                              (Tea video that Aidan mentioned!)
                              ďBut I donít want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
                              "Oh, you canít help that," said the Cat: "weíre all mad here. Iím mad. Youíre mad."
                              "How do you know Iím mad?" said Alice.
                              "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldnít have come here.Ē

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