You may be asking yourself, ok, this “consent culture” thing sounds cool, but who is this person?
I’m Kitty Stryker, a freelance writer, antifascist activist, and queer sex educator who has been working specifically in the realm of consent for 6+ years. I’ve got bylines at Buzzfeed, Vice, Wear Your Voice, Ravishly, the Frisky, the Guardian, and much more, as well as being published in a variety of books ranging in themes from fat activism to the inauguration protests to my experiences as a sex worker. I’m also teaching anarchy to Juggalos this summer.
I lead an interesting life.
I’ve spoken at universities across the US and UK about feminism, social justice, and consent. I’ve been a member of the kink, poly, and queer communities since I was 18, and have had a variety of roles from event organizer to workshop speaker. In my years as a sex educator, I delved deeply into the discourse about consent, abuse, and accountability.
But the world is way behind.
I wanted to help create something better, something that didn’t offer THE solution, but did signal boost many potential solutions as a way of transforming us as a society into doers rather than just observers.
To that end, 6 years ago I created the original consentculture.com, a website that hosted content about consent, abuse, and alternative sexual communities. The goal was to explore issues of boundary violation within alternative communities, and I was horrified to receive, on average, hundreds of emails a month from people who had been assaulted and didn’t know what to do. Many discussions of rape culture seeks to blame sexuality for the world’s ills, rather than power dynamics (particularly white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy).
I found myself disheartened reading about toxic masculinity and the entitlement of privilege, which brings up a lot of really important issues but so often doesn’t offer any solutions to what to do about it.
So I began to help people figure out community action plans that focused on transformative justice models instead of police intervention. I toured with “Safe/Ward”, a workshop on combatting abuse within BDSM and polyamorous communities. I consulted with Burning Man camps and gay male orgies on how to center consent in hedonism.
And now, I want to go a step further, exploring consent culture outside of the bedroom as well as inside of it. I want to ask a lot of questions and sit with the discomfort of there being no easy answers. I want to get people to think critically about what they believe about consent, boundaries, relationships, and power.
I believe in something better than rape culture, and I hope you do too.