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.