Consent Isn't Sexy—Get Over It

I’ve noticed a lot of consent messaging trying to promote the concept as sexy—there are loads of webpages, hashtags and Facebook groups dedicated to this “movement.” While I understand the good intent, I don’t agree with the marketing angle.

When I first saw #consentissexy on my timeline:

are you serious come on GIF by Boo! A Madea Halloween

The whole point of pushing the importance of consent is to establish it as mandatory. That’s it. Period. Sometimes it’s not sexy to stop the momentum of an encounter and start a serious conversation. Does this mean consent can fall by the wayside? Absolutely not. My concern is that “Consent is sexy!” messaging does nothing to support situations in which consent is obviously not sexy.

How I feel about consent:

just do it GIF

If we think of consent as sexy, does that make rape equivalent to the bland label of unsexy? I think rape deserves a little more depth—an atrocious crime should be described as such. Rape as just unsexy seems excusable and can be chalked up to a waste of time, which is completely inappropriate. Rape is an illegal activity that can ruin lives. It makes me seriously uncomfortable to dismiss rape as anything less.

i mean celebrity family feud GIF by ABC Network

Furthermore, I can’t help but think about how many people are missing out on the overall message because they don’t identify with this slogan. Packaging consent to be something it’s not makes the concept seem trivial. If you’re like me and you think “Consent is sexy? Ehhhhhh…” you might agree that the movement loses some credibility. I don’t really care to hear whatever else it has to say because I don’t identify with the main slogan.

Consent comes in many forms—inconvenient, annoying, interruptive, awkward…and hell yeah, it can be sexy too. The point is it doesn’t matter what you think it is, as long as you understand you need it. In a plea to all the unsexy consent getters out there, I beg you, keep it up! Pun intended.

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