2020 Consent Survey Report

The 2020 Consent Survey Report by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and UNC Charlotte’s Drs. Jessamyn Bowling and Rob Cramer focuses on nonconsensual experiences within the alt-sex communities. Encompassing kink, polyamory, leather, fetish, and swinger communities, these individuals often face marginalization and stigma.

Based on a survey of nearly 3,000 participants in the US and abroad, the report identifies rates of sexual assault both within the alt-sex community spaces (25%) and outside of them (34%). Participants described the consequences of their consent violations and assaults as psychological (e.g. anger, confusion, fear/anxiety/depression, trauma), behavioral (changes in consent, alt-sex practices, employment, housing/work), and social (isolation, loss of relationship, trust issues, vigilance). Participants’ recommendations on how society and the alt-sex communities could address sexual violence included changing gender myths/norms, education and policy changes, improved legal and service processes, and advocating for survivors.

This report points to a need for continued dialogues regarding consent, sex education, and improving police and legal protocols. More specific recommendations are included in the report and resources are available on the NCSF website.