I’ve got a new column today in the RedEye about how the porn guys really need to get on board with this whole consent thing. If you want to be a rebel and a revolutionary it’s time to change the way we talk about sex. Cum shots and threesomes are easy but what’s hard is talking about what makes good sex good. And the first step to that is consent. Nothing effin sexier than consent!
When we don’t make talking about sex a requirement before actually having sex, we create a world filled with unnecessary and dangerous rapey confusion. The fear of talking about consent also takes the joy out of knowing your partner is having a bumping and grinding good time, which is one of the best parts of sex.
Time to Talk about Consent, Baby
I was super stoked when I read that this year Playboy was forgoing its traditional top 10 party school list, instead promoting its Top 10 Party Commandments: an ultimate guide to a consensual good time. It seemed so incredibly relevant, desperately needed and yes insanely SEXY of Playboy to take on the topic of consent and sex in colleges.
Some of my favorite commandments included goodies like “Thou shalt use thy mouth: consent is verbal” and “Thou shalt not take advantage of sloshed people.” The list even included an interview with Hef who stated, “The anti-rape and consent movement bubbling up in America is important and I support it. It’s good for women. It’s good for men. It’s good for sex.”
I was actually pretty shocked and disappointed when I found out last week that the commandment list and the interview was actually a brilliantly executed hoax by a college feminist group and not a product of Playboy. Honestly I was surprised because it didn’t seem that crazy that Playboy, a brand that has been trying to revamp itself as current, classy and even female-friendly, would dedicate an entire edition to having fun consensual sex.
In fact it seemed like just the kind of thing the brand would need to do to win the next generation of young adults. We are a generation who can get any nudey pic we want for free with a quick 3-seconds Google search. We are in no need of more pixilated sex. What we don’t have and what I think we are desperately craving is some honest conversations about sex and what sex means in our lives.
I’ve recently had some seriously sad conversations with some young men who are so confused about what consent means that they are afraid they might “accidentally rape” someone. They were unsure about how drunk was too drunk and how to gain consent without it being “awkward.”
We are living in a society where we have so blurred the lines between sex and rape that young men are afraid of accidently raping a woman. When we don’t make talking about sex a requirement to actually having sex, we create a world filled with unnecessary and dangerous rapey confusion. The fear of talking about consent also takes the joy out of knowing your partner is having a bumping and grinding good time, which, let’s be honest, is one of the best parts of sex.
A medium like Playboy would have been the perfect place to start this important conversation about how sexy consent can be. Unfortunately, Playboy missed this opportunity to be part of a new sexual revolution, a sexual revolution of hott hott consent and sexy honest dirty talk. The magazine published their annual party school list, which was pretty basic and boring.
But what this hoax does make clear that the young people of America are ready and desperate to talk about consensual sex. We’ve been raised with porn at our fingertips. There is very little that is visually shocking, new or revolutionary to us. We’ve seen more close-ups, bleached butt holes and cum shots than any healthy 20-something should ever be expected to see. What is going to be the revolution for our generation is not explicit sex, not the nitty gritty T and A, not reversed cow girl, but a conversation about sex, about how to make sex better and about how to have sex with consent and without fear.