Going out and casual hangouts with guys have always been a little hard for me. I grew up having my consent violated at every point in my life until it wasn’t and that’s when I understood the difference. It came as a surprise when I said no, and my partner stopped. I guess I had set the bar for the men in my life a bit too low.
Men who know consent never forget it, even if they are drunk or high, no matter the situation, they never forget it. They respect consent, no matter how short your dress is. From personal experience here are the 10 times my short dress didn’t keep men from understanding and practicing consent.
A guy friend just sat there at the edge of the bed, not moving, telling me to get some sleep while I was high AF and losing my mind. He just sat there, babysitting me, while I was wearing an almost see-through, oversized T-shirt and nothing else.
In the middle of having sex, I panicked and asked him to stop touching me and he did, no questions asked. I asked him to just hold me, and he did and was just there, comforting me, being there, and giving me what I needed; comfort and support.
We shared a moment and it was the most beautiful thing ever. We were naked yet he stopped and didn’t make a move until I was okay and kissed him and explicitly told him it was okay.
Making out in a car, wearing a dress. He asked me if he could kiss me, we did (and it was probably one of the best kisses ever), he started to slip his hand up my leg, I started to become uncomfortable and he noticed and asked if I wanted to stop.
He stopped when I nodded my head. We were in a car, all alone, in the dark, almost midnight. He didn’t make another move. He just dropped me back.
My friend’s car died when she was on her way to pick me up from a party. I was tipsy, not entirely drunk. It was cold and dark outside. A guy came over and asked me if I wanted him to stay till my friend was here to pick me up.
He was nice and randomly talked about stuff, never making an inappropriate remark or making me even slightly uncomfortable and this is exactly how it should be.
Men should learn basic human decency, and honestly, it is not hard to learn either. Practicing and respecting consent doesn't make them superhumans, it just makes them decent humans.
It’s time men stop making unwanted advances and making women uncomfortable. It is time they learn to respect consent and understand how it works. Here are some basics of consent.
If somebody is drunk, they cannot give consent. Leave everybody alone who is too drunk to verbally give consent. Just leave them alone, even when they say they want to do it. Chances are they would regret it the next day.
A person can withdraw consent at any point. Even if they have explicitly said they want it. If they ask you to stop, you stop and you do not make a move.
You leave them alone and you respect their choices. By at any point means at any point; in the middle of a make-out session, in the middle of having sex, in the beginning, or at the end.
No means no. Silence doesn’t mean yes. Being uncomfortable means no. Only yes means yes and if somebody says no after they have said yes, it is also a no.
Understanding consent is important and you don’t have to teach men that. It is their responsibility to learn consent and it is important that they do learn that and women also need to realize that it goes both ways.
When your man tells you to stop, you stop. You don’t ask questions you just stop. Treat people as people and not as toys. It is okay to not wanting sex, it is totally okay to have boundaries. It is okay to say no.
Never hesitate to say no. Never hesitate to set boundaries. Don’t be afraid. I have been in the past and it cost me so much. Know your rights and never let anybody else take them away from you. Never bow down to anybody.
Understand what you are uncomfortable with. It is okay to tell them you are uncomfortable, no matter what relationship you have. It applies to everybody.
Even if you are friends with somebody, and if they are making you uncomfortable you should tell them and they should be respecting your boundaries and making it easy for you.
Consent is always black and white and there is always a life, it is our responsibility to interpret that and nothing could take that power of interpretation away from us even when we are drunk, or taken over by the desires or high; nothing.
Don't give anybody that kind of power over you. You deserve to have your consent respected, and you also need to give it back to people.