With the #EndSARS hashtag making waves across the world, I thought about what to write for today’s edition that would be in line with the struggle. Just as many young men are brutalised by SARS, many women have been protesting against rape and the brutality they face in men’s hands. Therefore, this is an opportunity to talk about the concept of consent. Just as a policeman needs the warrant to search you, your phone, or house, you need consent before having sex with anyone.
We seem to be in a patriarchal society that downplays the role of consent through various representations of sex. However, consent is vital for mutually enjoyable sex. Remember that good sex is mostly about communication. The other partner (whether male or female) has to communicate his/her consent to you before the sexual activity.
Below are some key things to note in understanding the concept of consent:
Don’t pressure or coerce
This is not the kingdom of God that suffers violence, and the violent can take it by force. No! Fling out Matthew 11:12 from your head because sex doesn’t work that way. It is not about pressuring or coercing. It is not a struggle to get the other person. In fact, pressuring is assault. Don’t pressure anyone to have sex with you. Don’t use drinks and drugs to influence the other person to have sex with you. If the other person says “no”, respect the person. Learn to take “no” as the final answer. Don’t pressure or coerce (verbally or physically) anyone to have sex with you.
Not wanting sex is okay
If the other person doesn’t want sex, it is okay. Because you are horny doesn’t mean the other person is. Probably go and masturbate, or find another way to satisfy yourself. The other person has the right to turn down sex, and you have to respect that right. Remember, nobody owes you sex, and vice versa. Never forget that it is okay not to be interested in having sex.
Always be certain of the consent
Never assume consent. Because someone is in a relationship with you or is sexually involved with you doesn’t mean that he/she will always be sexually available to you. Because you have had sex before doesn’t mean you will have sex again. Consent expires. So, always ask for consent. Let the other person approve the sexual activity. Remember that communication is critical. Learn to communicate smoothly with the other person, and ensure you get a clear consent before sex.
Don’t look away during harassment or abuse
When you are chilling with your friends, and one of them does or say something appropriate, don’t be silent in an attempt to look cool. Speak up. Learn to stop other people from infringing on consent. Don’t be passive in the face of harassment, abuse, assault, or rape. By being passive, you become a collaborator and an enabler in the act. Develop the habit of speaking up against anyone that violates the consent of others.
Consent is more than just sex
Consent can apply to all aspects of life. Inculcate consent into your daily life, and it would be easier getting consent before sex. If someone tells you “no”, respect the person, and leave. Don’t pressure, coerce, blackmail, or manipulate. Learn to accept and respect other people generally. Never make anyone do anything without their consent. Basically, develop a habit of consent as it is much more appropriate and appealing.
Thank you for reading. Do you have suggestions or comments? Kindly share them with me in the comment section. Have a beautiful sex life!