The Sexist

Name That Consent Porn!

Kids today are taking more sexual cues from Internet porn, GQ reports. Parents are frightened because their teenagers are gang-banging and ejaculating on each others' faces. GQ is disappointed because its aged readership can't get in on the fun. Personally, I'm pretty freaked out that "Travis and Cody, typical 21-year-old college students in Florida," find female pubic hair "disgusting." But more than pornography's peculiar sexual obsessions—group sex, mandatory facials, and "porn-star trim" vaginas—I'm worried about what mainstream Internet porn almost never features: scenes of consent.


Recently, the problem of consent arose in two porn-inspired real-life incidents. In one, a teenage girl claims she was coerced into having drunken videotaped group sex with four men in her dorm. In another, a teenage girl apparently consented to drunken videotaped group sex with four men in her dorm, then instantly regretted it. Scenarios where four men have sex with one woman carry obvious challenges for establishing consent. Each sex partner must establish consent with every other partner. Each sex partner must be able to listen to every other partner to establish that each new sex act is OK. And each sex partner must realize that a group power dynamic can be a seriously coercive sexual environment for everyone involved, and discuss the act accordingly.

I don't blame porn for these incidents, but I do think that if enthusiastic, informed, and sober consent were featured in pornography to the extent that gang-bangs are, it might help teenagers clear up consent issues before sex begins—not in the press, through the student judicial process, or in the courtroom.

But how do we make consent porn-ready? Let's start at the beginning: Punny consent porn titles! Here are mine:

ID Check XVIII: Girls Your Own Age

The Mile High Club: Consent From Above

Consenting Adults II: Double Checking

Doggy Style: Consensual Seduction

Safe Word III: When "No" Doesn't Have to Mean "No"

Totally and Completely Legal

Night of Refusal: No Anal Sex This Time, But Maybe Next Week

Sex, Extended Consultation Over Each Party's Feelings, and Videotape

Backseat Bangin': The Honda Accord

Suggestions?

  • match

    Does anyone on this message thread have a job?

  • Victor

    An interesting turn.
    First- lets deal with what I suspect is a miscommunication.
    "The context to which I was responding was: A drunk man and a sober woman have sex. She does not consent. That is the context: a drunk man having sex with a sober woman who does not consent."
    I never outlined a situation where a woman indicated a negative consent. I only have outlined instances where consent was not formally granted (inebriated or not). If you interpreted any of my situations to be otherwise, its a miscommunication. I really have no interest in a situation where one partner or the other says "no". that's too easy. An interesting twist.. what if both drunk partners verbalize a removal of consent, yet somehow sex occurrs. Who raped who? (obviously a theoretical discussion).

    "It isn’t necessarily the case that if no consent has been verbalized, then there is no consent — most “drunken sexual escapades” that you describe fall into this category."
    Of course they do. That's the point. However, some individuals have indicated that they would like to see this labeled as rape, or dangerous behavior which borders on rape or leaves a male exposed to a rape charge at the whim of a woman. My point, and the entire reason I got dragged into this, was that this is inherently painting women as a passive victim, who's regret over a "drunken sexual escapade" could easily turn into a rape accusation, and that it would be a legitimate accusation. This reduces rape to essentially a bad case of beer goggles.

    So here's the kicker -
    "The fact is that we live in a society where men pose a much greater threat to women’s safety — and to other men’s safety — than women do to men. ..." etc.

    "...All of this suggests that men are much more at risk of becoming rapists than women are, and therefore have a special responsibility to secure consent."

    You are again blurring lines. First, you describe men as more violent... that's fine. And men are the main perpetrators of violent rapes and most other violent crimes. HOWEVER, this fuzzy "lack of consent" rape which seems to be absolutely impossible to pin down, is by definition NOT violent. Again, I want to be clear, I am not talking about any situation in which either party says "no", or even implies "no", or is in any way incapacitated.

    We are talking about the situations where positive consent can be legally questioned. If she/he is drunk, then does it matter if he/she said "yes" or otherwise indicated an interest in sex? According to some posters on this thread, if she is drunk, then it doesn't matter if she is an enthusiastic participant. I simply suggested that this same situation happens to men all the time.
    It is a decidedly non-violent situation, so your argument that men should be have a special responsibility, because of their violent tendencies, is questionable. Heck, the argument itself is VERY questionable, and if you were to apply it to a race rather than a gender you would be called racist.

  • baraqiel

    "dangerous behavior which borders on rape or leaves a male exposed to a rape charge"

    I've been saying all along that having sex with a drunk person, even if you're drunk, leaves you exposed to a rape charge regardless of gender. But given the realities of who rapes and who gets raped, it leaves men more exposed because no matter how hard it is for a woman to prove a rape charge against a man, it is usually harder for a man to prove a rape charge against a woman (and this is unfair -- the patriarchy hurts men too).

    " HOWEVER, this fuzzy “lack of consent” rape which seems to be absolutely impossible to pin down, is by definition NOT violent."

    But my entire point of describing how men are more likely to be violent than women was to explain how a situation can be perceived as violent by a woman when it is not perceived as violent by a man. Since a man is more likely to be violent than a woman, actions of his can be perceived to contain an implicit threat, even if he doesn't intend for that to be the case. This is why men have a special responsibility. It's interesting that you bring race into it: the analogous situation is actually that white people have a special responsibility to be tolerant and examine our own motivations with regards to people of color, lest we let our privilege blind us into perpetuating oppression.

  • Victor

    "(and this is unfair — the patriarchy hurts men too)."
    No... the patriarchy would say "hey, great move, next time get her drunker before you do it". The patriarchy is definitely not creating this vague "if anyone is drunk when consenting to sex, it might be rape, but it's more likely rape if it's a woman" situation. I know, because I was at the last meeting and it wasn't in the minutes. I don't know what this is a construct of, and I honestly don't care. From my point of view, if two people consent (either verbally or through enthusiastic participation) it shouldn't matter how drunk they are (again, consciousness is required here), or how much they regret doing it in the morning, it just isn't rape. And this desire by some women to start labeling it as such is interesting, and paints women as quite the victim (since they are only willing to label it as such when it's women who regret it).

    As for "the analogous situation is actually that white people have a special responsibility to be tolerant and examine our own motivations with regards to people of color" you would only be right if we were talking about intolerance. The analogous situation for your argument would actually be: "Because a significant percentage of violent crime is committed by black people, this suggests that blacks are much more at risk of becoming violent criminals than whites, and therefore have a special responsibility to avoid perpetrating a violent crime"... Kinda jackassy, isn't it?

    Your second argument, which is that men have to be careful to not be too threatening, or we might scare some poor woman into being raped... is kind of odd too. So now we also have to be worried about actions which might be percieved as threatening by a non-violent woman, and because of this percieved threat it will scare her into dropping her pants and having sex with us? This one is a VERY interesting argument, on a lot of levels. First and foremost being, I'm just too damn pretty to be that threatening... but, secondly, something which I believe is missing in this argument is the concept that rape, (real rape) is supposedly about control and power, not really sex (or at least that's what I've always heard)... I suspect a real rapist would be horribly disappointed if he accidentially raped a girl by an implicit threat so vague he didn't even realize he made it. It reminds me of a time a couple friends of mine went to baltimore. They were mugged by a lone black man who demanded their wallet, in the daytime, 2 blocks from a police station. No weapon was displayed. I had very little respect for them for acquiescing.

  • baraqiel

    "No… the patriarchy would say “hey, great move, next time get her drunker before you do it”."

    You shouldn't talk about things you don't understand.

    "“Because a significant percentage of violent crime is committed by black people, this suggests that blacks are much more at risk of becoming violent criminals than whites, and therefore have a special responsibility to avoid perpetrating a violent crime”… Kinda jackassy, isn’t it?"

    This is oversimplified, but I'm honestly not interested in having this discussion because I'm getting really bored with you. The short version is that people of color are taught that they have no reason to respect a justice system that is set up to oppress them, whereas men in general are taught that solving problems through violence is a good thing.

    "Your second argument, which is that men have to be careful to not be too threatening, or we might scare some poor woman into being raped… is kind of odd too. So now we also have to be worried about actions which might be percieved as threatening by a non-violent woman, and because of this percieved threat it will scare her into dropping her pants and having sex with us?"

    I'm just going to copy and paste some stuff from another blog because she said it way better than I ever could:

    "Aggressive body language is used to imply violence that could possibly occur if you do not relent. There doesn’t have to be a verbal threat; a verbal threat is documented evidence of assault. Lots easier to just let a victim know you intend to hurt them, without giving them anything that can be used in a court of law. Can you imagine that? “Could you explain what you mean by saying *snigger* he leaned threateningly?”

    This is what I mean when I say a rapist does not have to actually, physically employ violence in order to rape his victim. A rapist does not have to verbally confirm that he will use violence. What a rapist does is place his victim in a position where she knows she is at a physical disadvantage, and violence is not out of the question. Because nobody bothers to put you at a physical disadvantage if violence isn’t one of the possible outcomes in their mind. Then later, it’s much easier for others to justify to themselves that rape did not occur, because violence did not occur. The victim’s genuine perception of the threat of physical harm is considered invalid, while the rapist’s perception of full consent is totally valid."

    Combined with:

    "[A researcher] discovered that the vast majority of rapists do not consider what they did to be rape. They will describe the act accurately, and their description will match up with legal and common definitions of rape. And if asked to describe “rape,” they will describe an act similar or identical to their own. But they will not admit that the act they committed was rape."

    And maybe you will start to see what I mean when I say that men have a special responsibility to obtain consent, because clearly men who rape are not able to objectively evaluate whether or not they are raping someone.

  • Victor

    "You shouldn’t talk about things you don’t understand"

    So, what, I'm male, but I cannot understand the patriarchy? Can I say you don't understand the matriarchy and get away with it?

    Interesting, I don't dispute your blog posts at all. But what you are describing in the blog post is intentional threats. You imply premeditation: "without giving them anything that can be used in a court of law". but then in your later example, you claim that rapists don't consider what they do to be rape. This is not consistant. and, I'd be very interested in that research, as it goes against everything else we've been told about rape (that it's about power, not sex). You can't have it all. Either a guy realizes he's raping someone, and does it in a manner to minimize legal exposure, or a guy is raping someone without realizing it, and considers himself to be acting in a legal, responsible and moral manner.

    It seems to me that someone (the matriarchy, probably) is purposefully making the definition of rape a very challenging moving target. At this point in time, the only way I'm safe from unknowingly raping someone is if I'm drunk to the point of unconsciousness. If I ask for consent, I may be doing so in a threatening manner, either purposefully or un-intentionally, or intentionally but not knowingly. If I have sex with a drunk person, I may be raping her, but that depends on whether my level of inebriation is greater or less than hers, the only way to be sure is to ask consent. But again, I may be asking consent in a threatening manner, either purposefully or un-intentionally, or intentionally but not knowingly. I can be drunk and have sex with a sober girl, but if I black out, then she maybe raped me. but if I don't black out, I may rape her because my reduced impulse control will cause me to do so.

    I give up. I'm going gay.

  • baraqiel

    No, you said yourself that you don't understand it: "I don’t know what this is a construct of, and I honestly don’t care."

    And: "without giving them anything that can be used in a court of law”. but then in your later example, you claim that rapists don’t consider what they do to be rape."

    You don't consider the complexities of the human mind. People are absolutely capable of doing things for reasons that they aren't aware of and then believing that they're not responsible for their actions for whatever reason. Look up such concepts as cultural cognition and cognitive dissonance.

    "If I ask for consent, I may be doing so in a threatening manner, either purposefully or un-intentionally, or intentionally but not knowingly"

    No. It's everyone's responsibility to not say "yes" if you don't mean "yes". If you give verbal consent without meaning it, the law can do nothing for you unless there is unambiguous physical intimidation involved, like weapons or explicit verbal threats.

  • Victor

    "No. It’s everyone’s responsibility to not say “yes” if you don’t mean “yes”. If you give verbal consent without meaning it, the law can do nothing for you unless there is unambiguous physical intimidation involved, like weapons or explicit verbal threats."

    So I can intimidate a woman into having sex with me, through manipulation of the environment, unintentional (or intentional, or unknowing) threats and my general male violenciness... and it's rape. But if I use all those superpowers to coerce her into saying "yes" first, it isn't?

    I understand cognitive dissonance. I just believe in this case it is being used to characterize an entire group of people, and essentially hobble an entire gender in what should be a rational discourse. Using these two statements, you can essentially call any man a rapist, and if he denies it, he just hasn't realized his rapeyness yet.

    At least when I go gay, it'll be equal rapeyness all around. I won't have to worry about unintentionally/intentionally/unknowingly intimidating them into sex because they'll be doing the same to me.

  • baraqiel

    "Using these two statements, you can essentially call any man a rapist, and if he denies it, he just hasn’t realized his rapeyness yet."

    Not if the woman consented of her own free will. If the woman consented, no one has anything to worry about. If the woman didn't consent, it's rape. Why is that a difficult concept?

  • Victor

    Oh come on... you should be able to piece all this together.
    1 - consent can be verbal or through "enthusiastic participation"
    2 - men can apparently unknowingly/unintentionally put women in situations where the threat of violence will cow them into doing whatever is requested
    3 - men's cognitive dissonance causes them to not realize they are doing this but at the same time prepare for it and ensure that it is done in a manner that makes them legally safe

    You don't see how this can be used to call essentially every man a rapist?
    ex 1 - You just thought she was an enthusiastic participant, your inability to recognize your own rapey actions caused you to misremember the event.
    ex 2 - Your threatening maleness, combined with your ability to put her in a threatening situation forced her to say "yes".

    In fact, a creative woman could probably use these concepts to label essentially every sexual encounter as rape. By taking self awareness away ("I know I'm not a rapist") and taking awareness of the event away ("I was there, I never said anything threatening or violent in any way") you essentially take him out of the equation entirely.

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  • Michael

    Yo, Vic. All men are rapists and that's all they are.

    Didn't you get the memo? It's been up on the patriarchy post for a looooong time now.

  • Ldorado

    Victor - do your fears about every man being called a rapist stem from the idea that women LIKE calling rape? or that, in general, women can't be trusted?

    think about the kind of attention, stigma, vilification someone experiences for calling assault.

    or maybe we just think men are the victims, right Michael?

  • Ldorado

    so here's the scenario that makes me sad. i deny my power to rape with impunity (which is one of the things male privilege gets me). and i assert that the "playing field" is equal by recounting stories of when individual women took advantage of me, or got into bars when i couldn't.

    ignore the big picture. but prejudice is like water to fish, we swim in it, and easily forget that it affects the way we experience everything.

    it's sad to hear men being defensive about how they have sex, rather than being outspoken, generous, curious about how to create a safer community. it says a lot about who we are today.

    Amanda, thanks for telling the story about google searches. what i haven't heard anyone say, is that WAY MORE people are survivors than we think. chances are that a third (maybe more) of your partners/friends were assaulted. Would that change anything?

    btw, Dirk, i laughed at the predictable accusation that i am a female who just shouldn't have sex! i'm a hetero man who loves fucking! i just figured out that my nut doesn't take precedence over my compassion, or her health.

    it sounds like you are very comfortable with the kinds of relationships your are having. women certainly have responsibility for the choices they make, too. but have you ever talked about assault or consent or addiction with any of your partners? there's a gray area between clear consent and assault, but the best sex i've ever had has not been in that gray area. it's been dirty and honest, open and slutty. and sober.

  • Michael

    ldorado you got it dawg. I got my rape status card in my wallet right now. Whenever I'm on the street and a woman is like, "yo! It's a man! Is he gonna rape me!?"I'll be like hold on, shorty let me pull out my rape card right quick and see cause I don't know. Yall might wanna get ready to run...survey says...!

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  • nikita

    First off. No means no. Guy or girl. no means no. It's not worth getting off then realizing you just raped him/her. oh and the guy above me is a cuntfacedickhole.

    Second. How about people stop feeling like they have to be drunk to fuck other people? what is up w/ that anyway? drinking makes many ppl hornier..but drunk sex sucks!! lol it really isn't that great. some people would benefit from trying sober sex once in a while insted of pretending like they're from some fucking fraternity/sorority. lame.

  • Josh

    This article is wrong in that a woman (when having group sex in an adult video) is required to give separate consent to each sex act. If she were to state - "I hereby give consent to screw the next ten guys that walk into this dorm"....then she doesn't really need to sequester each of the next ten individuals that walk in.

    This article is grasping at straws to try to suggest that there is something almost illegal is taking place. Also, the author suggests that somehow reqreting something that you did in grounds for taking it back.

    People should be held accountable for their decisions. This is true in all situations in life (not just amateur porn).

    The irony of this article is that it attempts to be somewhat of a pro-woman write-up...but I find it an article that really puts women down. The author doesn't seem to feel that women can make decisions for themselves and are at the wim of what men want them to do. It also suggests that women should not be held accountable for their decisions.....what year is this??? I thought we were more evolved in terms of women's rights than this.

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