• Elisabeth Bachmann

Why We Need Sex Ed: Consent

Good morning! Today I am continuing my blog series: Why We Need Sex Ed. If you haven't seen the previous posts, please take a look.

Did you ask for consent

So... consent. This should be pretty cut and dry, but it is an essential part of sex education. Without it, you aren't really having sex. You could be assaulting someone.

Consent is by definition telling someone that it is okay to do something. This is also how it should be considered for sex -- except not quite. When you are asking for consent (YES, you must explicitly ask!), if the person hesitates or seems to need more time to think about it, then you should stop. Immediately. Then, you should have a conversation. Sex makes a lot of people nervous, but it's also an important choice to feel you are making in the right mind. No one should be able to pressure, bully or coerce another person into having sex if they do not want to.

No means no.

Maybe means no.

Yes means ask again to check.

Only an enthusiastic yes should be good enough to keep going without talking about it first. Sex is something that should be enjoyed! (and it will be a lot better if both parties are equally enthusiastic)

Sex while intoxicated

I am in my third year of college, and to be honest, the number of friends or just classmates that I know who have been sexually assaulted is astounding -- and absolutely heartbreaking.

A lot of these assaults have occurred because of -- or with the aid of -- alcohol and other drugs. Let me be clear, being drunk or intoxicated does not give anyone the right to do anything to you. Anyone that uses that as an excuse is either stupid or knows it's not true and is trying to make you blame yourself. Don't.

A simple rule of thumb is if the person you are with is intoxicated, tonight is not the night. Even if you are intoxicated too, it is still not the night. The first and most important reason is that they cannot give consent which means you are running the risk of assaulting someone. The second reason is that it will not be good. Drunk/drugged up sex is not worth hurting yourself or others because it is bad -- at a minimum in comparison to being sober, if not just straight up awful.

If someone wants to sleep with you, they will do it sober. Don't trick them or make it easier for them not to think about it.

Also, if you have sex while drunk you are less likely to discuss things like birth control, STD/HIV status, or condoms. This will create a mess that could change your life, or at least be super annoying for the next couple weeks.

Important Information Summed up in 10 Points

1) If you are not sure your partner wants to have sex, ask. Even if you are, you should just ask.

2) Men can be sexually assaulted. Do not deny their stories or their pain. It can happen to anyone.

3) Asking about condoms, STD/HIV status, and birth control should be a part of the consent conversation

4) Alcohol is not a reason to deny someone's assault. If you see someone who is intoxicated at a bar or a party, offer to help.

5) Consent that is pressured is not really consent. Previously consenting is not still consent the next time -- and you can always revoke your consent during the act if you become uncomfortable or change your mind.

6) Sex is a lot of fun, but only if everyone is enjoying themselves and wants to participate equally.

7) You can be in a relationship, be in love with someone, even live with them if you like, and still not have sex. It is your choice when you are ready.

8) Condoms are important and effective -- USE THEM.

9) Nothing -- I'm going to repeat and bold it -- NOTHING, gives anyone the right to your body. Not marriage. Not drinks at the bar. Not a nice dinner. Your body is yours and yours alone.

10) You could walk through downtown, completely naked, drunk and high as a kite, and if anyone touches you in an inappropriate manner, that is their fault. (I wouldn't do it though, you could face charges like public indecency, public intoxication, etc. -- that's not the point though)

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