Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:12 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,667
What would be wrong with a norm of explicit, enthusiastic consent to every sex act?

"I'm going to do X now."

"Cool do it!"

"Okay now I'm going to Y"

"Alright! I'm into it."

"Can I do Z now?"

"Yes, please do!"

"I suggest now we do A, B, and then C."

"I'm down!"


Suppose things evolved into a state where the above was considered the norm, deviations from it considered a breach. (Not necessarily a serious breach every time, just at least impolite, and of course at worst much worse than impolite.)

I get the feeling people think that this would be a bad situation. That there'd be something wrong with that norm.

Here I briefly argue that it's an okay norm, and possibly even the best norm.

First of all, it would be silly to have a norm that's psychologically impossible, and some people I think think the above is not possible. So my only evidence against that unfortunately is personal. I actually practice the above with my partner, and it works just fine. There's nothing impossible about it. Some people find it naturally a very enjoyable way to proceed.

Of course not everyone does, and the question is, why not?

It seems to me the reason why not is, people are taught to be afraid to ask, and afraid to say no, when it comes to sex things. Were we to teach people instead to be unafraid of both of these things, then the above norm would become much more realistic for people.

Now as to whether it would be a good thing. That seems simple to me. The norm of enthusiastic consent to each activity minimizes the risk that someone is accidentally assaulted through a misunderstanding, or intentionally assaulted through coercion. Other norms fail to minimize that risk. And that risk is overridingly important of any other concerns you may care to describe.

Even if such a norm existed, of course not everyone would follow it, and many would follow it imperfectly, just as in the real world the norms we do have are not followed by all and only imperfectly by many. That's not a unique problem for this norm, it's just a problem about norms in general.

Some people naturally enjoy doing sex things one way, others naturally enjoy doing sex things other ways. Whatever norms exist, favor those who naturally happen to enjoy doing sex that way. There are certainly people out there who enjoy the game, the back and forth, the low key consent play, that happens in many sexual relationships. Our current norms favor that kind of game. Such people would be made sad should the above become a new sex norm. But this is no argument against the value of the norm itself--every norm makes some people sad, and others happy.

And that's my argument.
__________________
hopelessgeneralist.blogspot.com
  #2  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:29 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 37,969
What works for you doesn't work for everybody. I can't speak for many people but I'm pretty sure a lot of people engaging in consensual sex work things out without having to play 20 Questions. People should certainly set up ground rules but that doesn't require asking about each and every move.

Also, there should not be narrow sexual norms. You wouldn't think so either if the norms weren't to your liking.

Last edited by TriPolar; 01-16-2018 at 12:31 AM.
  #3  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:31 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
What works for you doesn't work for everybody. I can't speak for many people but I'm pretty sure a lot of people engaging in consensual sex work things out without having to play 20 Questions. People should certainly set up ground rules but that doesn't require asking about each and every move.

Also, there should not be narrow sexual norms. You wouldn't think so either if the norms weren't to your liking.
I did mean the proposed norm to include setting things up beforehand all at once, though I know that wasn't clear.

Your point about some things working for some people and not for others was addressed in the OP. What are your thoughts about how I addressed it?
__________________
hopelessgeneralist.blogspot.com
  #4  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:40 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 10,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
And that's my argument.

That we become robots?

Most people don’t have a problem with Spontaneity. It’s only narcissistic rapist types and screwed up millennials that are messing with a time proven formula. I can’t believe how screwed up people have gotten.

But you may be pleased to know that my wife does practice a form of Your idea, just 8 hours in advance: ”tonight when you get home from work I’m going to [s***] your [d***] until you [c**] all over my [****].” Does that satisfy what you advocate? If so I could maybe get on board with it.
__________________
I got tired of coming up with last-minute desperate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people!

William Stranix

Last edited by pkbites; 01-16-2018 at 12:41 AM.
  #5  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:41 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
That we become robots?

Most people donít have a problem with Spontaneity. Itís only narcissistic rapist types and screwed up millennials that are messing with a time proven formula. I canít believe how screwed up people have gotten.

But you may be pleased to know that my wife does practice a form of Your idea, just 8 hours in advance: Ētonight when you get home from work Iím going to [s***] your [d***] until you [c**] all over my [****].Ē Does that satisfy what you advocate?
It basically does, on some charitable assumptions about the context.

The rest of your post is counter-asserting but not engaging with the reasoning.
__________________
hopelessgeneralist.blogspot.com
  #6  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:48 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 37,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
I did mean the proposed norm to include setting things up beforehand all at once, though I know that wasn't clear.

Your point about some things working for some people and not for others was addressed in the OP. What are your thoughts about how I addressed it?
I gave you my one my part of my thoughts, there should not be narrow sexual norms. In addition people shouldn't end up sad just because the consensual activities they prefer are not part of your norm, or anyone else's. Do you need some examples of where that has happened.
  #7  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:03 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I gave you my one my part of my thoughts, there should not be narrow sexual norms. In addition people shouldn't end up sad just because the consensual activities they prefer are not part of your norm, or anyone else's. Do you need some examples of where that has happened.
So it looks like, where I argued "rather than norms X we should have norms Y," you're arguing that no, Y is too narrow, and the norms should be broader. And whatever the norms are, they should not be such that anyone will be made sad by the existence of those norms."

Is that accurate?
__________________
hopelessgeneralist.blogspot.com
  #8  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:05 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 37,969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
So it looks like, where I argued "rather than norms X we should have norms Y," you're arguing that no, Y is too narrow, and the norms should be broader. And whatever the norms are, they should not be such that anyone will be made sad by the existence of those norms."

Is that accurate?
Except for leaving out the part about consensual activity, then yes.

Now can you tell me why you or anyone else should decide how my wife and I have sex?
  #9  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:08 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Except for leaving out the part about consensual activity, then yes.

Now can you tell me why you or anyone else should decide how my wife and I have sex?
My post is written against a background assumption that there are norms and always will be, it doesn't take a position on the question of whether there should be any norms at all. It's coming from a point of view of "since we're going to have them for good or ill, let's make the best of that."

Having said that, I'm trying to narrowly discuss not just sexual norms in general but specifically norms around what constitutes clear consent.
__________________
hopelessgeneralist.blogspot.com

Last edited by Frylock; 01-16-2018 at 01:08 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:11 AM
Velocity Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 10,668
To answer the OP: Because, for many (if not the vast majority of) people, saying and getting permission for every sexual move, out loud, Step-A-through-B-through-C-through-Z, like following an instruction manual, would absolutely kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex.


This stuff reads like a parody of what sexual consent would or ought to be, like people who suggest that partners be required to fill out a sexual-consent legal form before every instance of sex. That was supposed to be satire, not a real suggestion.
  #11  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:16 AM
Frylock Frylock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 19,667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
To answer the OP: Because, for many (if not the vast majority of) people, saying and getting permission for every sexual move, out loud, Step-A-through-B-through-C-through-Z, like following an instruction manual, would absolutely kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex.
But as I intimated in the OP, the current norms concerning consent also kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex for many people. So this is not a unique problem for the proposed norm.

The question isn't "should we kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex for many people," the question is "who's pleasure or enjoyment of sex should we kill?"

How would you answer that question?
__________________
hopelessgeneralist.blogspot.com

Last edited by Frylock; 01-16-2018 at 01:17 AM.
  #12  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:18 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 8,047
In a sense we're getting there, and I would agree that it's not particularly a problem.

But the thing is, all interactions of any kind involve ground rules, but the reason there's no slippery slope is because there's a degree of common sense most of the time. If a girl has let me kiss her neck, I feel pretty safe in assuming it's OK to kiss her shoulder. But if I'm going to move on to something genuinely more sexual I will either ask, or, more likely, very slowly and tentatively proceed giving her ample time to say "stop" if she's not comfortable.
Why more complicated than that?
  #13  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:23 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Medford, MA
Posts: 21,742
Assuming the quotes in the OP are a dialog, it would go like this:

A: "I'm going to do X now."
B: "Cool do it!"
A: "Okay now I'm going to Y"
B: "Alright! I'm into it."
A: "Can I do Z now?"
B: "Yes, please do!"
A: "I suggest now we do A, B, and then C."
B: "I'm down!"

Person A never explicitly consents to any of this. It's certainly implicit in his (or her) words, but even your own example seems to fall short of absolute, explicit consent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
That we become robots?
Aw, dude, I'm sitting right here.
  #14  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:26 AM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 980
Yes, this definitely makes sense. as Mijin said. If vocalizing "I'm going to do this, to that" or the like, may make the entire scenario a wee-bit awkward. But as mentioned above, it depends on the people cooperating in the act. What works for some, may not work for another.

I get the sense that for most, it may kill the mood a little, via removing some on the sensuality to it. To each their own though.
  #15  
Old 01-16-2018, 02:51 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 7,141
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
That we become robots?

Most people donít have a problem with Spontaneity. Itís only narcissistic rapist types and screwed up millennials that are messing with a time proven formula. I canít believe how screwed up people have gotten.
We have norms around a whole host of other behaviors around consent that don't face accusations of "acting like robots". If I'm over at somebody else's house, it's generally considered polite to ask first if you can use their bathroom even though you're 99.99% sure they're going to say yes. If you're at a dinner party, generally you ask someone else to pass you the salt & pepper rather than reaching over and grabbing it yourself. It doesn't seem that hard for me to imagine a world in which "is it ok for me to kiss you now" is a phrase as tossed off as "could you pass me the salt and pepper" and nobody considers it weird.

Perhaps a better example is that, ~30 years ago, it was considered fairly normal to just show up at someone's house unannounced and then they would either be expected to accommodate you or have to turn you away at the door. Nowadays, that still happens in small pockets of the country and among certain closer friends but the norm has shifted into always asking first before coming over, it would be considered gauche and rude to just show up at someone's door unless you knew they were the type who welcomed it.

Neither system is superior to the other, they both have pros and cons to them. But the point is, we shifted from a system of implied consent to explicit consent and society gave at collective shrug about the impact of the change. It doesn't seem too hard to imagine youngsters 30 years from now going "Wait, so the man just has to lunge at the woman for her first kiss and she either has to awkwardly deflect him or accept a kiss she doesn't want?" in the same way we marvel at people spontaneously showing up at people's houses (that is, we can see the appeal of it on some level but it's just not a thing that's done anymore).

I think people who believe that consent is "unnatural" or "unsexy" simply don't realize how much negotiation of consent we do in the rest of our lives that is totally unremarkable. It's only unnatural now because it's unfamiliar but norms around consent in society shift around all the time and people just generally go with it.
  #16  
Old 01-16-2018, 04:11 AM
Grim Render Grim Render is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 902
The OP is pretty much how it works currently. Its just that at the moment, its nonverbal. The proposal seems to be to move consent from nonverbal to verbal. The assumption, I believe is that verbal consent is less prone to ambiguity and misunderstandings. It would, however, completely ban sexual encounters between people who did not have a language, or much of one, in common.
  #17  
Old 01-16-2018, 04:39 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 10,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
We have norms around a whole host of other behaviors around consent that don't face accusations of "acting like robots". If I'm over at somebody else's house, it's generally considered polite to ask first if you can use their bathroom even though you're 99.99% sure they're going to say yes.
But if it's my brothers or best friends house that I've been to a zillion times do you really expect me ask to use the bathroom every single time I'm there? What if they are having a party with 30 people. You expect everyone to bug the host to use the can?

As of later this month my wife and I will have been married 38 years and we are still sexually active. Would the OP really have us recite that ridiculous script every time we bump naughties?

In situations like these there is a social contract known as implied consent. The consent can be retract via clear verbal communications. The OP's idea is actually absurd and quite sad.
__________________
I got tired of coming up with last-minute desperate solutions to impossible problems created by other fucking people!

William Stranix
  #18  
Old 01-16-2018, 04:40 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,056
My argument against this is pretty simple: It's obviously not better. It's not better than what we already have. It confers no benefit, in my estimation, at the same time as imposing detriment to the process of lovemaking.

It's like at the ice cream store, you suggest that rather than choosing chocolate or strawberry, we go outside and rub dog shit on our faces instead. Now I'm not going to stop you doing that if you really want to, but don't be surprised when I decline, and I don't feel that I even owe you a detailed explanation.
  #19  
Old 01-16-2018, 07:50 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,056
I should probably clarify - it isn't just that I don't want to have to be asking for consent all along the way. I don't want to be on the receiving end of a running-commentary consent-narration stream of bullshit either.

If the goal of this idea is to promote abstinence, it might succeed.

Last edited by Mangetout; 01-16-2018 at 07:50 AM.
  #20  
Old 01-16-2018, 07:55 AM
doreen doreen is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Woodhaven,Queens, NY
Posts: 5,426
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
But if it's my brothers or best friends house that I've been to a zillion times do you really expect me ask to use the bathroom every single time I'm there? What if they are having a party with 30 people. You expect everyone to bug the host to use the can?
I don't think I've heard anyone who was in the house as a guest* ask to use the bathroom in my life. If the house is not familiar, they will ask where it is, if it's a small gathering they will excuse themselves.

Similarly, in my experience it was not common to just show up at someone's house without prearrangement 30 years ago. It wasn't unusual in certain contexts - kids did, a neighbor on my street may have rung the bell to talk to me rather than calling on the phone and a friend or relative unexpectedly in the area may have rung the bell to say "Hi". But nobody except my grandfather ever unexpectedly rang my bell and expected to be invited in for a visit. And those things haven't really changed in my area, in my lifetime. My neighbors still ring the bell instead of calling on the phone, and kids still ring their friend's bells without prearrangement. **

Which I think is part of the issue with trying to change norms- we're not starting from the same place. And that's if the norms even exist- and I'm not sure there is a norm for how one communicates consent. I don't see how there could be - I suppose there could be many norms, but I don't see how one norm could cover everything from two people who met an hour ago to a couple that has been married for 30 years. And even that leaves out individual preferences - Frylock thinks the script is fine, doesn't see anything wrong with it and actually uses it , but if anyone at any time ( but especially my husband of 30 years) had actually started that script with me there wouldn't have been any sex. Because I would have been laughing too hard.










* I have heard people who were there as part of their job ( like say a someone delivering furniture) ask

** And even that only happened once - he had been at my uncle's a few blocks away and after dinner they were watching a "dirty movie" - probably a PG13 movie on HBO.
  #21  
Old 01-16-2018, 08:04 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 26,455
Frylock, you sure post perty!
  #22  
Old 01-16-2018, 08:10 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 26,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Render View Post
The OP is pretty much how it works currently. Its just that at the moment, its nonverbal. The proposal seems to be to move consent from nonverbal to verbal. The assumption, I believe is that verbal consent is less prone to ambiguity and misunderstandings. It would, however, completely ban sexual encounters between people who did not have a language, or much of one, in common.
That's not how I interpret the OP. If I understand him correctly, he's asking what would society be like if sex were treated as casually as, say, walking up to a stranger and discussing the weather. Like it would be rude NOT to have sex with a total stranger under most circumstances. (I mean...for the rest of you. For me it's already more or less like that )

I think "enthusiastic consent" might be a bit much to expect. Sometimes you might have to fuck some girl up the ass just to be polite.
  #23  
Old 01-16-2018, 08:12 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
But as I intimated in the OP, the current norms concerning consent also kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex for many people. So this is not a unique problem for the proposed norm.

The question isn't "should we kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex for many people," the question is "who's pleasure or enjoyment of sex should we kill?"

How would you answer that question?
I think the conclusion of this challenge is that 'norms' should be descriptive, not prescriptive - and in some cases, there may not be a single standard - it might be a case of "Some like it this way, others, not so much"

People are different - why should we expect them to all behave the same?
  #24  
Old 01-16-2018, 09:19 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 82,377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
"I'm going to do X now."

"Cool do it!"

"Okay now I'm going to Y"

"Alright! I'm into it."

"Can I do Z now?"

"Yes, please do!"

"I suggest now we do A, B, and then C."

"I'm down!"
You don't say which is the man and which is the woman (assuming hetero-sex).
  #25  
Old 01-16-2018, 09:42 AM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Burlington VT
Posts: 8,131
I think the concept of "enthusiastic" consent being the only true consent makes consent so outside what most people experience/practice that it actually hurts the conversation.

People have sex plenty of times when they're only kinda interested, or only kinda in the mood. It's still consensual.

Some people have sex when they're trying to conceive, even if they're not feeling enthusiastic about the encounter. It's consensual.

Some people have sex as a means to some other goal, even if they're not that enthusiastic about the sex itself. It's consensual.

And, sometimes people know the true state of enthusiasm of their partners. Sometimes they don't. Still consensual.

(And a note to clarify; I'm not arguing against consent, I'm arguing against "enthusiastic" consent as a reasonable standard of consent)
  #26  
Old 01-16-2018, 09:44 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
You don't say which is the man and which is the woman (assuming hetero-sex).
I'm assuming this is meant to be practised by all parties involved in equal measure - I mean, if this were just a prescription for men, or just for women, or just for hetero men, it fails before it even starts.
  #27  
Old 01-16-2018, 09:51 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eonwe View Post
(And a note to clarify; I'm not arguing against consent, I'm arguing against "enthusiastic" consent as a reasonable standard of consent)
I'm going to argue against 'explicit'. I may wish to express consent in general until countermanded - in fact there are some acts for which consent cannot be explicitly and immediately given (for example: if my wife asks "How about if I wake you up tomorrow by tickling your balls with an egg whisk?" and I say "sure, any time you like, with any blunt utensil", then the consent stands until the day I say "Not the cutlery drawer tomorrow, dear - I want a lie-in" or something)

And if that kind of consent is OK, then so is "to have and to hold, from this day forth" - blanket consent to anything 'reasonable' at the time of the marriage union.

Last edited by Mangetout; 01-16-2018 at 09:52 AM.
  #28  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:19 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 19,444
a) I hear a lot of people complain that "doing it that way would take away all the frisson and life, you're putting romance on a dissecting table" or something.

The people who promote explicit consent at each stage assume that the everyday alternative is more intrusive, and that this represents a careful cautious approach.

I don't think it's that simple. There is a whole world of hints, body language, and other nonverbal and indirect inquiry and dialogue that can be less pushy than the verbal inquiry.

I suspect some of the people complaining about the robot-like artificiality of doing the "consent at each stage" are actually complaining about that: that doing it verbally is clumsy and klunky and that they do inquire about consent at each stage, but that they do it nonverbally.

b) There's an implicit gender assumption that tends to operate here, in which the "asker" of each little question is male and the "consenter" (or non) is female:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
"I'm going to do X now."

"Cool do it!"

"Okay now I'm going to Y"

"Alright! I'm into it."

"Can I do Z now?"

"Yes, please do!"

"I suggest now we do A, B, and then C."

"I'm down!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
If a girl has let me kiss her neck, I feel pretty safe in assuming it's OK to kiss her shoulder. But if I'm going to move on to something genuinely more sexual I will either ask, or, more likely, very slowly and tentatively proceed giving her ample time to say "stop" if she's not comfortable.
Why more complicated than that?
(note the gendering)

(I'm not saying that each and every person visualizes it with him doing the asking, just that there's a tendency to do so. also not saying Mijin assumes this or does so inflexibly, I just stole the post to use as an easy example).

The people who propose or support explicit consent at each stage tend to see it as empowering women: that if sexual communication is done this way they have a better opportunity to opt out. (And again they are often visualizing the men doing the asking and the women doing the consenting at each stage. They could probably sell the idea better if they did more videos and acting-outs and example-dialogs in which the people take turns taking the initiative)

There is a perception among the supports of explicit consent that some of the people who dislike it do not want women to be more empowered ó that his domination of her, the power imbalance, is sexy and to make things more equal takes that away.

My perception is that a lot more would be accomplished by ditching the entire expectation that the person with the external genitalia bits is going to be doing the asking and initiating and work towards a model that's more like a "co-reactive dance" óI made a move, so now it's your move, you initiate something or you must not be interested.

Last edited by AHunter3; 01-16-2018 at 10:22 AM.
  #29  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:27 AM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eonwe View Post
I think the concept of "enthusiastic" consent being the only true consent makes consent so outside what most people experience/practice that it actually hurts the conversation.

People have sex plenty of times when they're only kinda interested, or only kinda in the mood. It's still consensual.

Some people have sex when they're trying to conceive, even if they're not feeling enthusiastic about the encounter. It's consensual.

Some people have sex as a means to some other goal, even if they're not that enthusiastic about the sex itself. It's consensual.

And, sometimes people know the true state of enthusiasm of their partners. Sometimes they don't. Still consensual.

(And a note to clarify; I'm not arguing against consent, I'm arguing against "enthusiastic" consent as a reasonable standard of consent)
Seduction is not rape. And sometimes the seduction and the sexual tension is fun. And exciting. And part of the experience. And the non-verbal cueing can be fun. And sometimes, even if I want sex, I want my partner to have to work for it a little bit. Because it’s not just about the 30 minutes or so in bed. It’s about feeling desirable. And making myself desirable.

This is assuming both parties are mature adults. And mature adults are not afraid to use their words if they feel the non-verbal communication isn’t working. So much of the new mentality around sex seems to be based on the idea that women don’t have equal agency with men. The idea that in a coequal situation women are weak creatures and easily pressured into doing things they don’t want to do. The idea that in a coequal situation, women must be protected from themselves and their overly agreeable nature. I don’t want to be treated that way. I came if age at a time when women fought not be treated that way. My incoming freshman college class was the first one NOT to have a dorm curfew. And the women before me fought for that.

Yes, non-verbal communication can result in mixed signals. And sometimes you have to speak up, either to say “No, I’m really not into this right now” or “Go Away” or “I’ve been trying to get you to make out with me for the past hour, dude”. But the solution to miscommunication is not to try to make a bunch of rules that codify and limit communication. The solution is more and better communication. It’s a skill that takes practice.

Yes, and sometimes there are “fails” when it comes to non-verbal and indirect communication. And sometimes that leads to an uncomfortable situation. And you might have tp speak out. That has happened to me many many times. In both non-sexual and sexual situation. For example, I was in the habit of introducing my technicians to my client while praising their work. It my thinking, it made them seem appreciated. But one of them really didn’t like it when I did that. So he took me aside and said “I don’t like it when you do that”. So didn’t do it anymore with him. And I was more mindful about doing that with other employees. I didn’t stop,most of my employees DID feel appreciated when I did that, but I was more mindful about it.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-16-2018 at 10:31 AM.
  #30  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:39 AM
Quartz Quartz is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 27,624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
"I'm going to do X now."
I remember a porn story with that as a theme. The twist at the end was the characters decided to make it into a porn story.
  #31  
Old 01-16-2018, 10:43 AM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Burlington VT
Posts: 8,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia View Post
Seduction is not rape. And sometimes the seduction and the sexual tension is fun. And exciting. And part of the experience. And the non-verbal cueing can be fun. And sometimes, even if I want sex, I want my partner to have to work for it a little bit. Because itís not just about the 30 minutes or so in bed. Itís about feeling desirable. And making myself desirable.

This is assuming both parties are mature adults. And mature adults are not afraid to use their words if they feel the non-verbal communication isnít working. So much of the new mentality around sex seems to be based on the idea that women donít have equal agency with men. The idea that in a coequal situation women are weak creatures and easily pressured into doing things they donít want to do. The idea that in a coequal situation, women must be protected from themselves and their overly agreeable nature. I donít want to be treated that way. I came if age at a time when women fought not be treated that way. My incoming freshman college class was the first one NOT to have a dorm curfew. And the women before me fought for that.

Yes, non-verbal communication can result in mixed signals. And sometimes you have to speak up, either to say ďNo, Iím really not into this right nowĒ or ďGo AwayĒ or ďIíve been trying to get you to make out with me for the past hour, dudeĒ. But the solution to miscommunication is not to try to make a bunch of rules that codify and limit communication. The solution is more and better communication. Itís a skill that takes practice.

Yes, and sometimes there are ďfailsĒ when it comes to non-verbal and indirect communication. And sometimes that leads to an uncomfortable situation. And you might have tp speak out. That has happened to me many many times. In both non-sexual and sexual situation. For example, I was in the habit of introducing my technicians to my client while praising their work. It my thinking, it made them seem appreciated. But one of them really didnít like it when I did that. So he took me aside and said ďI donít like it when you do thatĒ. So didnít do it anymore with him. And I was more mindful about doing that with other employees. I didnít stop,most of my employees DID feel appreciated when I did that, but I was more mindful about it.
I agree! (Not totally sure why you quoted my post)
  #32  
Old 01-16-2018, 11:03 AM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eonwe View Post
I agree! (Not totally sure why you quoted my post)
To indicate agreement and to elaborate. Sorry for any miscommunication ( see how easy that was!)

And the other thing about the idea of enthusiastic consent for everything is it could lead to some lousy sex. Like you may consent with mild enthusiasm to A because your partner loves it but youíre just OK with it but maybe you donít like doing B much at all and want to move on to C, lots and lots of C. Hard to communicate that if thereís a social stricture that demands enthusiastic consent to everything.
  #33  
Old 01-16-2018, 11:14 AM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
But as I intimated in the OP, the current norms concerning consent also kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex for many people. So this is not a unique problem for the proposed norm.

The question isn't "should we kill the pleasure or enjoyment of sex for many people," the question is "who's pleasure or enjoyment of sex should we kill?"

How would you answer that question?
If you can’t enjoy sex without affirmative consent at each step, that’s definitely something you should communicate to your partner(s). But asking the whole world to do it that way every time just so you don’t have to communicate YOUR preferences to YOUR partner seems a bit much.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-16-2018 at 11:14 AM.
  #34  
Old 01-16-2018, 11:42 AM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Burlington VT
Posts: 8,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia View Post
To indicate agreement and to elaborate. Sorry for any miscommunication ( see how easy that was!)
Gotcha!


I also feel that I need to add that while I stand by everything I have said above, I also acknowledge that there are plenty of people who don't feel comfortable/don't have a voice to communicate lack of consent clearly and end up having sex in unwanted situations, and I think that's bad, and I think we as a society need to work to undo a lot of the internalizations that lead to those situations. I just don't think that the method/definitions in the OP are the most constructive path, nor do I think they would stand up as an effective, long term, systemic solution.
  #35  
Old 01-16-2018, 11:48 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 13,405
I'm not sure that the OP's proposal solves the problem that it's meant to. If the circumstances are such that person B feels pressured or otherwise unable to refuse a nonverbal advance from person A, wouldn't there be similar pressure not to say no to a verbal request?
  #36  
Old 01-16-2018, 11:48 AM
spifflog spifflog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,079
Part of the sex process, among those looking for a potential long term relationship at that time, is understanding their potential partner's non-verbal clues, body language and the like. That's how much of the communication my wife and I have. We don't have a two page form, with a number 2 pencil and bubbles to figure out what we're going to have for dinner on a given night. Part of this journey though life is communicating with others, figuring out what works and what doesn't, what's offense, what's hurtful what helps what doesn't.

Using your flowchart to orgasm is a giant step backward for mankind.
  #37  
Old 01-16-2018, 11:56 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 27,765
I thought about this for a little while, and here are my thoughts:

Enthusiastic consent (which may not have to be verbal, IMO, but it must be enthusiastic) is probably a wise standard for folks that you don't know well, like first (or 2nd or 3rd) dates. The benefit -- you have pretty much zero chance of making someone feel uncomfortable or fearful. The cost -- you may miss some chances for sex with a partner who is outwardly more reserved, despite an inner enthusiasm you wouldn't detect until you know them better. That benefit strikes me as more than making up for the cost.

With a long-time partner, it's all different, and every couple that's respectful of each other finds their own pattern and approach.

Later in my dating life, after I had learned and matured, I always said something like the following at the end of a date (if/when I saw an opening to get closer): "Hey, you can come up to my place/hotel room, but you don't have to. And even if you do, nothing will happen that you're not comfortable with. No hard feelings if you don't want to come up, and no hard feelings if you want to come up but don't want to do anything." And after that, if they chose to come up, any intimate encounters would be gradual, with plenty of pauses.
  #38  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:17 PM
Do Not Taunt Do Not Taunt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Later in my dating life, after I had learned and matured, I always said something like the following at the end of a date (if/when I saw an opening to get closer): "Hey, you can come up to my place/hotel room, but you don't have to. And even if you do, nothing will happen that you're not comfortable with. No hard feelings if you don't want to come up, and no hard feelings if you want to come up but don't want to do anything." And after that, if they chose to come up, any intimate encounters would be gradual, with plenty of pauses.
I'm struggling to understand what's better about this as compared to, "Hey, you wanna come up?"
  #39  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:19 PM
adaher adaher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by spifflog View Post
Part of the sex process, among those looking for a potential long term relationship at that time, is understanding their potential partner's non-verbal clues, body language and the like. That's how much of the communication my wife and I have. We don't have a two page form, with a number 2 pencil and bubbles to figure out what we're going to have for dinner on a given night. Part of this journey though life is communicating with others, figuring out what works and what doesn't, what's offense, what's hurtful what helps what doesn't.

Using your flowchart to orgasm is a giant step backward for mankind.
I think that one of the underdiscussed issues around casual sex is how sex between strangers invites many problems, unintentional sexual assault being one of the biggest.

If you know the person you are having sex with, you don't have to ask at every step. You do read nonverbal cues and you probably have a sense of what this person is into. Even if it's the first time there's already some level of familiarity. Now take this total lack of familiarity, add alcohol, and it's easy to see how bad things happen.

I have no problem with casual sex, wish I'd had more of it before getting married. But I've never thought that sex with strangers was anything but Russian roulette, and it's not just the disease I'm referring to. Going to a stranger's house or bringing one into your house is always a dangerous proposition and I've always been amazed at a) how normalized the practice is, and b) how shocked people act when it goes badly.

If people stopped going to strangers' houses after imbibing alcohol or inviting strangers to their house, I bet sexual assault would drop by 70% overnight.
  #40  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:24 PM
adaher adaher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I thought about this for a little while, and here are my thoughts:

Enthusiastic consent (which may not have to be verbal, IMO, but it must be enthusiastic) is probably a wise standard for folks that you don't know well, like first (or 2nd or 3rd) dates. The benefit -- you have pretty much zero chance of making someone feel uncomfortable or fearful. The cost -- you may miss some chances for sex with a partner who is outwardly more reserved, despite an inner enthusiasm you wouldn't detect until you know them better. That benefit strikes me as more than making up for the cost.

With a long-time partner, it's all different, and every couple that's respectful of each other finds their own pattern and approach.

Later in my dating life, after I had learned and matured, I always said something like the following at the end of a date (if/when I saw an opening to get closer): "Hey, you can come up to my place/hotel room, but you don't have to. And even if you do, nothing will happen that you're not comfortable with. No hard feelings if you don't want to come up, and no hard feelings if you want to come up but don't want to do anything." And after that, if they chose to come up, any intimate encounters would be gradual, with plenty of pauses.
I agree that enthusiastic consent is a good standard, but I don't think it should be considered the only reasonable standard. If we're going to go that far then we might as well just take the next step, which is "only females initiate casual sex". Because now we're starting to get into issues like "pestering" and "nonverbal cues", and while men should not pester women for sex, and while men should notice verbal cues, we're starting to get far enough into the weeds on this issue that it's establishing a standard that actually takes a lot of effort for men to meet. And failure to meet those standards, if made public, carries a very high price.

You know what standard is really, really, easy to meet? Don't grope strangers. Don't proposition strangers. Don't bring strangers into your apartment. Things are a lot easier when you actually know the person you're trying to hook up with. And I think we just naturally treat people we know with more respect than people who we're just trying to shag and want them out of our lives when the shagging's done.
  #41  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:57 PM
Crazy Canuck Crazy Canuck is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,049
Well, if I tried the OP's suggestions with my current nookie provider, she would probably kick my ass out of her bed and tell me that she already has a pussy and that she doesn't need another one. I know it's un-PC to state this, but some women just want to be taken and dominated, and that requires a diametrically opposed method to the one the OP suggests. That doesn't mean that consent isn't still required, but consent can be enthusiastic without being verbal.
  #42  
Old 01-16-2018, 12:58 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 27,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Not Taunt View Post
I'm struggling to understand what's better about this as compared to, "Hey, you wanna come up?"
IMO, just makes one's stance much more clear, and more likely to put someone at ease and feel safe. But I'm not saying that my specific way is the best way, just that I thought it was a good way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I agree that enthusiastic consent is a good standard, but I don't think it should be considered the only reasonable standard. If we're going to go that far then we might as well just take the next step, which is "only females initiate casual sex". Because now we're starting to get into issues like "pestering" and "nonverbal cues", and while men should not pester women for sex, and while men should notice verbal cues, we're starting to get far enough into the weeds on this issue that it's establishing a standard that actually takes a lot of effort for men to meet. And failure to meet those standards, if made public, carries a very high price.
I purposefully avoided any mention of gender in my post.
  #43  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:02 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 38,885
My wife would absolutely hate this. Of course,, if it was a new norm, maybe we'd be used to it.

Granted, I've never assaulted anyone because I'm not that kind of guy, so maybe I'm weird.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #44  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:07 PM
adaher adaher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I purposefully avoided any mention of gender in my post.
I know you didn't, and the MeToo movement has been great about acknowledging that men can be victims too, but the "enthusiastic consent" standard has been used exclusively by females in reference to heterosexual encounters so far. And it kinda came up just out of the blue. I'd never heard the term until like a month ago. first it was "no means no" then "yes means yes" and now "enthusiastic consent". The only step that remains is for women to make the first move ,or if we're being gender netural here, nobody makes a move, because if you make a move and it makes the other feel uncomfortable, you've committed sexual misconduct.
  #45  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:07 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 18,798
After the first few sexual encounters people become a lot more comfortable with each other and can usually tell what the other person wants. That eliminates the need for a step by step yes/no directive.

Also for people who enjoy consensual non-consent games, this totally destroys that.

Basically for any couple that has been together for more than a week, this sounds like unnecessary overkill.
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #46  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:12 PM
adaher adaher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
My wife would absolutely hate this. Of course,, if it was a new norm, maybe we'd be used to it.

Granted, I've never assaulted anyone because I'm not that kind of guy, so maybe I'm weird.
All this talk of consent, seems to me that 99% of it is about sexual encounters between people who haven't had sex with each other before. Once you've been in a physical relationship you learn to read each other's nonverbal cues, and you know when you have to get verbal.

I've been married for 20 years, obviously I'm not asking for consent every time I touch my wife and she's not asking me for consent either. But if one of us is obviously not into it, it stops.
  #47  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:18 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 27,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I know you didn't, and the MeToo movement has been great about acknowledging that men can be victims too, but the "enthusiastic consent" standard has been used exclusively by females in reference to heterosexual encounters so far. And it kinda came up just out of the blue. I'd never heard the term until like a month ago. first it was "no means no" then "yes means yes" and now "enthusiastic consent". The only step that remains is for women to make the first move ,or if we're being gender netural here, nobody makes a move, because if you make a move and it makes the other feel uncomfortable, you've committed sexual misconduct.
But what's the downside for "enthusiastic consent" for any potential encounters with someone you don't know very well? What's wrong with that being the standard for encounters before a real relationship develops? You did call it a "good standard", but then you seem critical again.
  #48  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:24 PM
Voyager Voyager is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 42,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
As of later this month my wife and I will have been married 38 years and we are still sexually active. Would the OP really have us recite that ridiculous script every time we bump naughties?

In situations like these there is a social contract known as implied consent. The consent can be retract via clear verbal communications. The OP's idea is actually absurd and quite sad.
This. I can see the proposal as useful, maybe, the first time. But I've been married well over 30 years also, and we are both quite capable of saying no to sex in general or particular actions if they are not working.
I'm sorry to say my impression is that the OP has n ever been in a relationship where trust has been established.
  #49  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:26 PM
adaher adaher is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,936
I'm supportive of it as the standard you should use. I just don't think people that fail to get the "enthusiastic" part should be treated like they committed a capital offense. There's a difference between advocating ideal behavior and punishing nonideal behavior. The standard for social or legal punishment should be failure to gain consent. Grudging consent is still consent.

For example, ideally, a person should only have sex in safe situations. You know the person you are having sex with, you use protection or have each other's paperwork showing a clean bill of health, and you are sober, or at least if you are in an altered mental state, you got that way with the other person under conditions where you both intended to get that way and have sex afterwards.

But in the real world, people often break from that ideal situation. They get wasted without intending to have sex and then have sex, they have sex with people they don't know in places they've never been, they don't use protection. While such actions deserve criticism, we wouldn't punish people for these actions beyond the punishment they've already inflicted on themselves.

Last edited by adaher; 01-16-2018 at 01:29 PM.
  #50  
Old 01-16-2018, 01:29 PM
Voyager Voyager is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 42,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
After the first few sexual encounters people become a lot more comfortable with each other and can usually tell what the other person wants. That eliminates the need for a step by step yes/no directive.

Also for people who enjoy consensual non-consent games, this totally destroys that.

Basically for any couple that has been together for more than a week, this sounds like unnecessary overkill.
My understanding is that those doing CNC things have safe words, which allows either person to stop the action. Trusting long term relationships have safe words also, though they can be "no" or "stop that" and not a special word.
Much more efficient.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017