Was No Means No Not Clear Enough? Or....
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Was No Means No Not Clear Enough? Or....

The C in Consent does not stand for Compromise.

Was No Means No Not Clear Enough? Or....

It has always seemed that the understanding of consent was clear; no means no, clear and simple. I mean we’ve all seen the tea video by now, haven’t we? Although, there is one thing that that video and others like it tend to miss, possibly because they thought it was common sense, but apparently, it’s not. Or maybe it is in fact common sense and some people are just being assholes, who knows? Anyways, the thing I’m talking about it compromising on consent. It’s rarely talked about, but needs to be brought up more because it’s something that shouldn’t be happening. You don’t compromise on consent.

For those who are still a little unclear on what exactly I mean by this, allow me to give an example. I have a friend who had been in a relationship which was approaching the one year mark. Given how long they had been together, he started a conversation about sex as he felt they had reached that point in their relationship. In this conversation, my friend explained that she had no interest in the act or anything along those lines, and more than likely never would. In other words, no and no for the foreseeable future. He responded by saying they could talk about it again in a little bit, to which my friend explained there was really nothing to talk about, restating her stance and noting that he would receive the same answer if he brought it up again. She then mentioned that she might actually be asexual, and if he still wanted to date her, he would have to be okay with the idea that they may never have sex. He then rebutted by saying that he was fine with her potentially being asexual, but also that relationships are about compromise. And he’s right, you do have to compromise about some things in relationships, but consent is not one of them. No means no, and any attempt to change their answer into a ‘maybe’, then it becomes coercion. And do you know what coercion is? Besides wrong, well I’ll give you a hint; it starts with an R and rhymes with tape.

Perhaps the saddest part about this particular topic within rape culture is that there are many times that an individual’s consent is infringed upon, and sometimes it’s unbeknownst to the other member of the party. Picture this scenario, you have a friend that is in a relationship, and much like the other individual mentioned earlier, they also have no desire to have sex. However, they still consent to the act because it made makes their partner happy, and they enjoy the ‘connection’ between the two of them despite the fact that they hated the act itself. In fact they mention that sometimes they’d drink a little beforehand, not enough to get drunk but enough to get a little buzz going so that they’d feel more at ease with the idea of what they were about to engage an undesired intercourse. Perhaps their partner doesn’t even know that they’re interested in sex; maybe they won’t ever realize that sex shouldn’t be a requirement to feel an emotional connection to your partner; but ultimately they did compromise on their consent.

The idea of sex can be very complicated at times, but the consent part of it should never be complicated. No means no, and it will stay that way, until the time where you decide you are ready to say yes. If that time never comes then so be it; there’s nothing wrong with that, and your partner should accept that. If your partner is not okay with that, then consider asking yourself whether or not the relationship is in your best interest. That decision may not always be pleasant, but if being with them infringes on your consent in any way, then once again that is not compromising, that is coercion. I know this article specifically talked about the act of sex itself, but this ultimately applies to just about any kind of sexual act, it all requires consent and none of it should be compromised on.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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