We all talk about consent in this sort of abstract sense. We know it’s a necessary thing to obtain, and we know it’s crucial for smooth sexual interactions. However, we’re not willing to do the things required to gain consent for fear of looking “foolish” or “too forward.” Why is this?
It is absolutely necessary to be able to have the kind of discussion where you can outright ask for consent. Why is there shame in this? What can we learn from a person who says it outright and still looks good? How can we incorporate this crucial act of establishing of consent into our own sexual practices?
I believe that becoming more comfortable with our own sexual interactions and being able to ask for and give consent is a major step in changing the tide of grey-area sexual encounters on campus. It might seem like an unwinnable fight, but we have seen small-scale efforts affect big-time change.
So, in order to walk the walk in addition to talking the talk, I propose that the next time each of us engages in any sort of sexual behavior, we stop and establish consent with our partner no matter how awkward it might make us feel. I know I will.