Sexual Consent. Day 11. (12/16).

Sexual consent means agreeing to a sexual activity voluntarily. In this instance, both parties are aware of what they want and make an informed choice to go forward with it. This tells you there's no sure thing as implied consent either by previous consent in the past or by outfits or the environment. We can't say "last week, she was excited to have sex with me so she definitely wants it tonight". It's also not okay to assume consent has been given. For consent to be authentic, it must be FREELY GIVEN, ENTHUSIASTIC, INFORMED, SPECIFIC, and REVERSIBLE. Anything short of the above is abuse.

If you're still confused, let me help you further with a list of persons who can't give consent.

1. A drunk person:
It's pretty obvious why, isn't it? Somehow, not everyone gets why. When a person is drunk or intoxicated, their senses are impaired at the moment and they can't make an informed decision. If you can't drink and drive, I don't understand how you can consent while drunk. Whatever " consent" you may get isn't voluntary, informed, enthusiastic, specific, and with the option of a reversal which makes it invalid.

2. An unconscious person:
This bears a resemblance with the first category. There's even a whole argument about how sex, while a person is sleeping, is a form of fetish. I want to say there are no blurred lines with consent. If a person is incapable of making an informed choice, they can't give consent. However you want to look at this, will take us back to the definition of consent and how an unconscious person fails the test of categories of person that can consent. When a person is unconscious or asleep, they're in a vulnerable state. They're helpless and can't decide what they want to be done to them or not. This is why a person must be awake throughout sexual activity.

3. Children:
Children can't give consent as they lack the mental capacity to even comprehend the impact of sex. It's something we have in our laws but something survivors of child sexual abuse don't hear enough. During and after the abuse, I genuinely thought I consented. In my mind, the devil has used me to seduce a man of God and I had sinned by fornicating. I begged God to forgive me not knowing I was the one that was harmed. An 8-year-old couldn't have consented. I didn't approach him for sex but even if I did, it'll still not count as consent because I was a child. I knew nothing of what was happening. There was nothing to be excited about. I was trapped in a dangerous relationship.

4. Persons in relationships where there's visible power imbalance:
Some relationships already decide whether there's consent or not. For example, a house help can't consent to sex with her employer. There's too much power gap for her to be able to give consent free of coercion. The popular belief that maids are out there to get husbands is flawed. It's irresponsible men who're targeting vulnerable women in their care. This should be the problem we're worried about.

Consent doesn't need to be a complicated subject. All we have to do is ASK always. If you're confused, ask. If you've done it before with the person, ask. If they agree to something else last time and you want something different, ask. Whatever you do, ask and wait for a clear response.

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"It is the Lord who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The Lord is his name!"

Amos 5:8 NLT

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