The 3 Types of Consent and How to Explain Them to Guys
Consent isn’t complicated, but some people (namely: men) make it out to be.
Even to this day, men continue to make women feel like sexual assault is their fault, whether it’s because of what we wear or how drunk we are.
But thankfully, people are finally getting woke about what consent is all about, even if there are still monsters like Brock Turner roaming free. We talked to Amber Amour, sexual educator and activist, about the three types of consent so that you can be woke and man-splain this to dumbasses.
1. Enthusiastic Consent
Enthusiastic consent is the only type of consent that is a-okay, but it consists of many factors, which Amber explained.
For a sexual encounter to be considered enthusiastic consent, both partners must be sober adults and consent has to be freely given and ongoing.
This is not a one-time thing. All these factors can combine, but if one partner changes their mind and says they want to stop, that enthusiastic consent goes bye-bye. There are no “exceptions,” like if a chick is 17 and a half instead of eighteen, sorry.
2. Apprehensive Consent
After enthusiastic consent, things start to get shady.
Apprehensive consent hones in on the “freely given” yes.
“Apprehensive consent is a yes that is given when someone feels threatened, coerced, or manipulated, or even if they just aren’t in an environment where they don’t feel comfortable enough or safe enough to say no,” explains Amber.
Amber also brings up the freeze response, which is a natural defense mechanism similar to the fight-or-flight response. She says that many people (herself included) have experienced the freeze response when being sexually assaulted, which basically makes the body shut down rather than fighting back.
“For survivors, it makes us feel offensive guilt and shame, because we didn’t fight back or we couldn’t scream or we couldn’t say what we really wanted to,” explains Amber.
Another defense mechanism that many victims have is disassociation, a sort of out of body experience, explains Amber.
“People imagine that consent or sexual assault is some big, huge attack that’s going to take place or that it’s always violent, but it happens in these really subtle ways,” says Amber.
Amber goes on to say that consent doesn’t stop after sexual relations begin, specifically with apprehensive consent type of situations.
“It’s important to pay attention to your partner, and their body language, and their eye contact, their breath, all of it,” says Amber. “Just pay attention to them very intensely and ask them questions and check in with them, just to make sure that they’re safe and feeling comfortable with everything that’s happening.”
3. The Inability To Consent
Here’s where we get to the majority of college rape cases, because if you’re under the influence of any sort, you can’t really give consent. This also includes minors and people with certain disabilities, mental handicaps, or even memory loss.
Obviously, when it comes to being drunk and hooking up, it can get tricky. I mean, let’s be real, more than half of us are almost only hooking up when we’ve had something to drink prior.
Amber suggests that if you’re not sober enough to drive, you shouldn’t be having sex and are probably too drunk to consent. But overall, she recommends letting the booze wear off and going for morning sex, that way you’ll both be sober – plus you can nurse the hangover together!
And as for the dude who claims he couldn’t have assaulted you because he was drunk too? That’s not your fault, either.
“Yeah, you’re right, we both could’ve been sober, but at the same time there are tons of people who use alcohol to prey upon people as well…it can be a cop out,” says Amber. “It’s not consensual on either end, but who was taking action? Who was preying upon? Things like that are still important factors to pay attention to.”
If none of this shit gets through your local moron’s head, there’s always the tea approach. Here it is in video format, because reading is hard!