By: Alex Bloom
Taking consent seriously
Consent is more than someone seeming into it at the time. It should be explicit, and it can be taken back at any time. “Maybe” is not consent, only “yes” is consent, and an intoxicated or unconscious person cannot give consent even if they were into the idea at some point. It should go without saying that all parties involved in a sexual act should be having a good time throughout the entire act, and that their boundaries be respected, yet society demonstrates again and again that more education on consent is necessary. While there are some helpful videos that address the subject, such as the one that famously made the analogy that consent is like asking someone if they want a cup of tea, it needs to be taught in classrooms more widely — especially at the secondary and post-secondary levels. When it is taught in a deep and respectful way, everyone is made healthier and happier because of it.
We don’t like:
We all had that one friend in highschool who went into way too much detail about their sexual experiences (even though they were probably lying about them). It wasn’t cool then, and it isn’t cool now, and I’m sure some of you reading this now have a friend who still won’t shut up about how they totally made their partner climax “37 times,” or how they’ve been taking shady pills that “make their 21-inch rock hard” even though it makes them pee blood. Whatever the details, oversharing is not OK. If no one asked for details about your sexual experiences, then please, please respect everyone else’s boundaries and don’t go bringing it up. No one wants to hear it, even if you really do have a 21-inch dick.
Occasionally a straight friend will say something like “gay people have it so much better now” or “at least it is better here than x place.” While this may be interpreted as a statement intended to support the rights of people of all sexualities, it is problematic for a few reasons. It is dismissive of the challenges still faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community, it does not acknowledge intersectionality, it only takes into account the experiences of a limited group of people, and it ignores the fact that many people still face immense challenges because of perceptions of their sexuality all over the world. While it is important to celebrate steps in the right direction for what they are, just because same-sex marriage is legal in Canada doesn’t mean that discrimination just up and vanished.