The talk (that must be had)

Sex on Tuesday

nadia.new.web

Here is one of the most important words in the English language:

con·sent /kənˈsent/
Noun: Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
Verb: Give permission for something to happen.

Comprehend it and internalize what it means. Now internalize this: Sex cannot happen without consent.

Sex without mutual consent is not sex. Sex without consent is rape. There are no exceptions to this definition of rape, whether a person feels that he or she has been raped or not. There is also no such thing as nonconsensual sex. There’s no difference between “forcible rape,” which was the only exception in the 2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that did not pass, or any other type of rape that some politicians are so good at coming up with. Whether or not a woman’s body “has ways to try to shut the whole thing down”— it doesn’t — when there is no consent, the act is legitimate rape. And by the way, when a woman gets pregnant from rape, God probably did not intend for that rape or pregnancy to happen.

Consensual sex is when all involved individuals are informed of what activities will take place and are willing to engage in them because they personally want to. Consent can be taken away at any time, even during sex. Everyone has the right to give or withhold consent and to say so verbally when one does not want to consent to a sexual act.

Every person needs to understand there can be no sex without consent as an unconditional truth. I wish all sex scenes in movies and TV shows included the conspicuous exchange of consent before showing the nitty-gritty. Exchanging consent should be a normalized procedure that all people should know how to follow before partaking in a sexual act.

But consent in sex isn’t taught or told explicitly to all people as general knowledge. One of the most authoritative and far-reaching media to teach knowledge is through American public schools, and consent is not a defining feature of sex education in schools today.

If you were to ask a random high school student about what consent in sex means, he or she is more likely to think it has to do with asking a parent for permission to have sex. I asked many of my friends who attended high schools in various states — including California, Hawaii, Idaho, Washington and Maryland — if they were explicitly taught that sex requires mutual consent. All of them answered no. The only person who told me he was taught about consent and sexual assault attended high school in San Francisco.

There are no federal sexual education policies that specifically outline consent as a requirement in classes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sex education in American schools revolves around abstinence, contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. There is also a strong emphasis on the prevention of the transmission of HIV and AIDS. Only 20 states and the District of Columbia “require that sex education include information about skills for avoiding coerced sex,” according to a 2012 study on Sex and HIV Education by the Guttmacher Institute. The beauty is that consent can be taught alongside abstinence if that is the only policy schools are willing to carry.

The problem is that because we most often are not directly taught about consent in so many words, we also aren’t taught how to communicate consent and nonconsent. This leads to the lack of understanding that consent in sex is necessary — even in marriage.

Verbalize your intentions and check in along the way during sex. Vocally ask your partner “Can I kiss you?” to “Can I sit on your face?” to “Do you want to have sex?” Verbal communication can resolve confusion about what different individuals expect from sex. Understand that you have the right to stop at any time. If you become uncomfortable during a sexual encounter, you should say so and walk away. Physical consent is possible but less reliable because body language can be misconstrued.

If you’re too drunk to ask for consent, you’re too drunk to have sex. If you are intoxicated, you are legally considered incapable of giving consent. Having sex with a person whose mental capacity to give consent is diminished due to intoxication is seen as sexual assault under the law. Be sure all partners are able to communicate clearly when there is alcohol or substances involved.

Exchanging consent and negotiating boundaries can prevent people from feeling regret or from feeling used and violated after unfavorable sexual encounters. It is important to give someone the opportunity to consider what he or she wants to do and to say no before proceeding. Discussing what you are willing to do or not to do can also lead to sexual experimentation if the desire is mutual.

Talking about consent is a necessary step, especially before doing anything with a new partner. Sometimes it only takes 30 seconds to have the talk. “Do you want to have sex?” If the answer is “Yes,” just do it. You’ll feel better about having sex with someone knowing that your partner genuinely wants to.

Contact Nadia Cho at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter: @nadiiacho.

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  • MakeAPorno88

    Bullshit. Any woman can lie after having sex that consent was not given and the man would be fuckin screwd.

  • peepsqueek

    You could eliminate most of these problems by getting to know your partner, going through a kissing and hand holding phase, meeting the family, instead of just hooking up and doing the deed with a zero in your heart.

  • Nadio Cho

    I’m going to admit this article is a troll.

  • “Special” Ed Jones

    “If you’re too drunk to ask for consent, you’re too drunk to have sex.”

    Not that you would ever take your own advice.

  • nadiaderpdederp

    Very disappointing article. Consent beore drunk fucking nailed it…

    Pun intended.

  • Current Student

    I liked SOT better when it was actually about sex, and not all this political bs

    • Obliging You

      DICK PUSSY FUCK SPERM

  • Guest

    I’m gonna give Nadia the benefit of the doubt. She wanted to write something juicy, couldn’t get laid, and had to churn out SOMETHING for publication 2 hours before the deadline.

    • Calipenguin

      She’s probably becoming radicalized by Berkeley’s militant feminists and had an opportunity to rant against white Christian political candidates.

      • Bill J

        She’s killing time waiting to get calls on her Backpage ad. I bet a trip to her place would find a mattress on the floor, some cheap massage oil, and a fridge full of cold bottled water from Costco.

    • Guest
  • Parker

    BOLD STATEMENT: YOU ARE THE WORST SOT COLUMNIST EVER

  • Nadia’ hoo ha

    I wish I had a right to consent. Nadia’s mouth is always saying yes, but I feel I have been raped countless times.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      No grown adult refers to a vagina as a “hoo-ha”.

    • DTR

      You’re so bored with your life that you actually got a fake user name to comment and talk trash?? Seriously? Get a life and climb out of your parent’s basement… probably too hard to do for you.

      • Guestie

        LOL! You use that parent’s basement comment on about half your posts. You really need to work on trash talking.

        • DTR

          Why are you stalking me? Go get a life, or buy one for two cents from your mom who is in my bedroom

          • Guestie

            It isn’t stalking when I can remember that your comments are always the same. You have so little variety that is stands out from the other posters, and most of it is cliched trash talk that has been used by people for decades. Actual Cal students are capable of thinking of new puns, and they are actually able to comment on other posts instead of just posting put-downs.

          • DTR

            Man you spend a lot of time on dailycal comment pages to recognize me… I actually own 5 different companies. I’m assuming you’re some poor cal student who has mommy pay for tuition.

  • I_h8_disqus

    I think everyone else is covering the other issues with this opinion piece, so I will deal with the one that I haven’t seen addressed yet. Nadia says, “And by the way, when a woman gets pregnant from rape, God probably did not intend for that rape or pregnancy to happen.” I am sure that everyone born from rape is very happy to hear that Nadia doesn’t think their lives were intended. Rape isn’t intended, but everyone’s life matters no matter how they were conceived. If you are a child of any of Nadia’s interpretations of rape, you are just as important as anyone else.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      If a being called “God” is not sovereign, then he is not God.

  • jasmine

    LOL.
    Firstly, this sounds like a paid advertisement from the violence prevention workshop.
    Secondly… Don’t be ridiculous, Nadia.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    Asking for consent in the manner you describe is a step in the right direction, but if there are later misunderstandings there is no paper trail, and it can easily become a case of “he said, she said”. For this reason I have all my prospective sexual partners sign a contract, witnessed by a notary public. I keep a copy in my files at home, and a copy is also kept in my lawyer’s safe. This way there is absolutely no doubt that my partner has consented to every sexual act and sub-act that I perform upon her.

    Oh, and I also always have sex in front of several witnesses, just so that there is no question later about whether a specific act (or sub-act) was performed. Can’t be too careful!

    • I_h8_disqus

      You should get it on video too, because witness testimony can be unreliable.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        Good call!

  • Consent before drunk fucking

    http://www.dailycal.org/2012/09/11/the-second-first-time/

    Your first article: “I was nervous, drunk and extremely self-conscious. For a minute we just
    stared at each other, and I couldn’t believe adorable skater girl was
    actually in my room. And then we collided and started making out and
    shoving and stripping. She knew exactly what to do and exactly what I
    wanted. After years of having sex with men and questioning, realizing
    and attempting to embrace my bisexuality, this first sexual encounter
    with a woman finally fulfilled my lifelong suspicions of being a
    vagina-tarian.”

    This article:

    “If you’re too drunk to ask for consent, you’re too drunk to have sex. If
    you are intoxicated, you are legally considered incapable of giving
    consent.
    Having sex with a person whose mental capacity to give consent
    is diminished due to intoxication is seen as sexual assault under the
    law.

    In your first article, you didn’t write that you and the adorable skater girl gave consent to each other before making out and
    shoving and stripping. Didn’t you perpetuate the thought that consent before drunk sex is unnecessary?

    Thank you for making it clear in this article that you believe consent is needed before drunk fucking.

    • Calipenguin

      Do as I say, not as I do.

    • I_h8_disqus

      And that first article didn’t mention anything about asking permission. Nadia and the skater girl raped each other according to this new opinion piece of Nadia’s.

  • WTF

    “If you were to ask a random high school student about what consent in
    sex means, he or she is more likely to think it has to do with asking a
    parent for permission to have sex.”

    Wrong. Most high school students are NOT idiots like you characterize them as.

    • I_h8_disqus

      This is true. I know that all my friends knew about issues related to consent and sexual harassment back in junior high. I was at my sister’s soccer game Saturday, and I listened to a bunch of 12 year olds talk about consent and sexual harassment as they were watching the game. One guy said something to a girl, and they all just started up the conversation.

  • WTF

    “I wish all sex scenes in movies and TV shows included the conspicuous exchange of consent before showing the nitty-gritty.”

    Seriously? Are you fucking kidding?

  • :(

    Where is the BDSM update? :(

    • Calipenguin

      “Slave, get on your knees! Look at me! Now, may I have your permission to apply a synthetic non-toxic strap with approximately one tenth of a Newton of force on your right gluteus maximus?”