Consent isn’t about just avoiding negative situations, it’s not about getting permission to do something, it’s an active process and collaboration between two people who respect each other to create the best experience for everyone involved.’

BDSM may not be everyone’s bag, but most people would consider it sexy, edgy, provocative, and exciting even so. I’m going to guess that few people consider it sexually pathetic. The cornerstone of BDSM is consent. In real D/s relationships (dominant/submissive) both parties negotiate fully what is on and off the table for the scene — in detail, for each encounter. Just because a certain things was agreed to in the past doesn’t mean it’s OK again today, unless specified. We should be taking our dating/mating cues from that world, not from the patriarchal models we are bombarded with in the media (including 50 Shades of Grey).

Remember this famous James Bond scene where James is in a horse barn with Pussy Galore? He holds her down and kisses her against her will until she realizes that she actually likes it? Media is full of that crap. We’ve all been bombarded with the notion that a real man takes what he wants because he knows that secretly the woman actually desires him. Why wouldn’t she? He’s a big, strong, decisive man! This is rape culture — but also how we’ve all been socialized by patriarchy to think that intimate relationship should go. We have been told that men should be strong, decisive and in control. They should drive all sexual interactions. Men are hunters; women are prey.

The problems with that are self-evident and have been being played out on the national stage recently. Women uphold patriarchy too, by shaming men who are not going along with the prescribed script and role as hunter — even though they’ve all had bad experiences of being hunted by someone they wanted nothing to do with. As a society we need to deprogram ourselves from the James Bond model and get more in line with the world of kink when it comes to consent.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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