SEPTEMBER IS CONSENT MONTH
Taking a positive approach to consent! Consent Month embraces the freedom of expression achieved when informed consent is present. Join us in holding your own event or workshop during the month of September that highlights the importance of consent.
IDEAS FOR CONSENT EVENTS
Watch and discuss these YouTube videos
If we treated people’s things like we treat their bodies by BussFeedYellow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhgT2JWwCC4
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- What does he do that is bothering her?
- Why isn’t he aware of her feelings?
- Did she really agree in the end or is she coerced into agreeing?
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- How did they start?
- How did they communicate interest? Verbal to physical closeness, looking into each other’s eyes, testing to see if it’s okay, checking in verbally again even during it.
- What happened afterwards? Still touching, eye contact
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- How are they communicating interest?
- What’s the difference in the feeling between the ones who talk and figure each other out, vs the ones who jump right in?
- What about the Director’s boyfriend – checking in with this girlfriend when he got a boner?
Write the following words on 3×5 cards:
- Kink with verbal consent
- Kink with implied consent
- Kink with some consent
- Pressure to do kink
- Coerced to do kink
- Sexual aggression
- Sexual harassment
- Consent violation
- Sexual Assault
Pass out the cards and ask each person to try to define the words on the card.
When words are exchanged that explain what will be happening to the other person. “I’m going to touch you here, is that cool?” “Yes.”
When someone, through eye contact, pleasing sounds, or body language approves of being touched in a certain way or a certain place.
When someone says “you take the lead” to their partner. There needs to be a clear way for this play to end – for example, a phrase or a safe word that means “stop and check in with me.”
Using emotional manipulation to try to convince someone to do something that they do not want to do. Example: “Why are you so afraid? Just let me do it.”
Verbally forcing someone to do something. Examples: “If you want to be with me, you’ll do this.” “If you’re a real submissive, you’d do this.” “You agreed to trust me and do what I say.” Also verbal threats to out you or get you shunned from the community.
There are some types of aggression that may not be defined as criminal assault but are still serious violations of personal boundaries. For example, when someone uses aggression to nonconsensually tease someone by pushing, grabbing your arm, pinching or slapping.
A pattern of aggression.
This can range from unwanted touch from a stranger in a community space to a violation of a pre-negotiated limit or safeword. Consent violations can be caused by: accident, misunderstanding, lack of skills, alcohol, coercion, manipulation or force. The violation can be criminal if it includes one of the following:
Assault is legally defined as a threat to do harm and battery. Any unwanted, nonconsensual physical touch can be considered criminal, whether or not it physically harms a person. With BDSM, if you inflict serious physical injury, you can be arrested for assault even if the person consented.
Sexual Assault is defined differently in each state but it usually involves some sort of nonconsensual touch on the breasts or genitals.
Rape is defined differently in each state but usually involves some sort of penetration – by a penis, by fingers, or by an object against the person’s will. If the person is unable to give consent because they are too drunk, asleep or unconscious, it is rape.
- What is the difference between the things labeled “Safer” and “Risky”?
- What is the difference between the things on this chart that are labeled “Abusive” and those labeled “Criminal”?
- How do you think we can help create a world where there is less “abusive” behavior?
- How can we create a world where there is less criminal behavior?
WHERE’S YOUR LINE?
“The Line.” Pass out index cards and invite each person to draw a line across the middle of an index card and label one for each type of sexual relationship they like to have: Partners, Lovers, Play partners, Boyfriend/Girlfriend, Friends with Benefits, etc.
Ask them to think about where their line is for each relationship. Ask them to write the things that they want and consent to above the line. Then ask them to think about what they are not interested in exploring right now, which body parts or activities might be off limits depending on that specific relationship.
Engage in a group discussion about where we each “draw the line,” how we make these decisions based on the circumstances, how we know when our feelings might change over time and how we can and should communicate this to our partners, our future partners or potential partners.
- Are there certain things that would move your line?
- How will you know if you are interested or ready to shift your line?
- How will you communicate to your partner that you’ve moved your line?
- How can you ask your partner where their line is?
More detailed explanation of this activity: http://whereisyourline.org/sparkit/
Hold a Consent Discussion.
Contact NCSF to get our Consent Discussion Guidelines and see if we have someone who can lead a discussion. Visit the Education Outreach Form or Email NCSFreedom@NCSFreedom.org
Throw a fundraiser for NCSF and make the theme Consent. Ideas for Fundraisers can be found here, or reach out and we would be happy to help you brainstorm!
Raise awareness by talking about Consent Month at your local community events.
Create a Consent Policy for your group or event. Guide for Groups