Consent can be hard. Actually, it shouldn’t be, but as you have probably heard in recent news or are reminded by shocking and upsetting tales of sexual assault and rape now and again, some people are really having problems understanding that no means no.
We learn consent from our earliest years onward, from sharing things like toys and stuffed animals to understanding personal space, social norms, and appropriate touching. Really, by the time we’re teenagers or college students, we should be consent masters. Yet for some reason, the transition from consent on smaller issues to consent in sexual matters is a bridge that some people, largely men, just can’t seem to cross.
But here’s the thing: consent is consent, and there’s absolutely nothing different between saying yes to sex and, for example, saying yes to a cup of tea.
In fact, to drive home the point that yes means yes and no means no in all aspects of life, artists at the Blue Seat Studios created an amazing consent tutorial that was quickly picked up by police to share with the world in order to simplify the crucial lesson that is asking for and granting consent. To make it understandable for the masses, especially the British audience that the Thames Valley Police first shared it with, the video summarizes consent with one simple, analogical question.
Would you like a spot of tea?
As Simple as Tea
In the video, which you can watch below, consent is shown for the simple concept that it should be instead of the twisted and contorted issue that many offenders make it out to be. The artists behind the video cleverly did this by creating an analogy between consent and tea.
Think of it this way: whenever you’re confused about whether the sex or sex act you’re about to have or perform is consensual or not, pretend you’re asking your partner the following question: would you like a cup of tea?
If the answer is yes, then it’s okay, but if the answer is no, or if there was no answer in the first place, then it’s non-consensual. Luckily for those who still don’t get it, the video tackles all of the situations where consent might meet those “blurred lines.”
Tea for Two
Consent could change at any given moment, likely from a yes to a no, but the tea analogy still applies. After all, just as people are allowed to change their appetite or mood, so are they allowed to change their feelings on sex.
Imagine you ask somebody if they would like tea, and they say yes. You go ahead and make the tea, and then you come to serve it to them only to find they no longer want the tea. You might be perturbed, but hey, they don’t want the tea anymore. So might somebody agree to have sex, but if they change their mind at any given moment, the sex is no longer okay.
Make sense? Here’s the video to clarify!