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Make Muse

For the young woman who want to make a change.

BDSM Community is a Long-Standing Example of Affirmative Consent

 
 
 

Affirmative consent is a key term from consent educators and activists. It describes the act of enthusiastic, verbal consent and attempts to minimise the so-called ‘grey areas’ of consent. Many claim that consent can be hard to define or identify; affirmative consent is the catch-all to prevent misunderstandings and instances of assault. Yet the confusion from many people on what actually constitutes consent seems to indicate a lack of clear examples. The BDSM community has been revealed to have been practicing affirmative consent long before it reached mainstream conversation. BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) includes a variety of erotic practices involving powerplay, submission, and dominance. The power dynamics in such relationships or encounters requires a level of trust between the individuals, therefore also fostering a seemingly more defined sense of consent than exists in mainstream sexual practices, which often leaves women in a vulnerable position in a patriarchal society. Taking a leaf from this long-standing community could lead to healthier sex and relationships.

For Further Reading

Take a look at this website for further resources and information on consent.

 

Discussion Question

Does it surprise you that consent would come from the BDSM community? What other areas of society might offer valuable lessons to outsiders?

 

Action Item

Take a moment to educate yourself or a friend on affirmative consent, even if you think you already know the parameters. Making sure there is no confusion is essential for maintaining a healthy sex life for yourself and any partners.

 
 

Read more on Metro | Image: Liberty Antonia Sadler


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