“The BDSM community has always put itself forward as at the forefront of consent education. “Safe Sane and Consensual”, we say. “Ask first!”
But the reality is that abuse and consent violations happen within this community, as it does with every community. Rape culture is a problem literally everywhere. In the 6 years I’ve been doing consent activist work, I’ve found that change is coming in addressing these issues… but it’s slow work.
Still, you don’t have to wait for community leaders to guide you — community members can take on that labor too!”
Karen Pollock from The Queerness interviewed me about “Ask: Building Consent Culture”, quizzed me on what a consent culture would look like, and gave me the opportunity to explain why a sex worker is the perfect person to teach people about consent.
Koti Dory from the radio show “Sex, Drugs, and How We Roll” and I reconnect after a few years to talk about the book, how it came together, the voices that came together to make it and the ideas it brings forth. We chat a bunch about actively working to create culture and the sort of world that we want to live in. Then, get into the tough work of people living in community and learning to be good to each other – even when they’re juggalos. Not kidding.
“Every time I go to a Pride event, at least one of the following 5 things happens:
Someone (usually a gay man or a straight girl) grabs my breasts or costume without asking
Someone takes a sneaky photo without my consent or knowledge
Someone tries to offer me something dosed without letting me know upfront
Someone loudly interrupts a conversation I’m having (almost always with another queer femme) to center themselves in a desperate bid for attention
Someone will attempt to use their inebriation as an excuse for crossing my boundaries
I want to acknowledge that it is not just heterosexual allies who do these pushy, entitled things, but fellow queer folks. From talking to my friends, it seems it’s sunk into the common consciousness as just something one has to tolerate to be in those spaces. I think that’s absurd, and I wanted to offer a quick and easy guide on how to perpetuate consent culture in these spaces so everyone can celebrate and feel safe.”
I went onto “Speaking of Sex”, a podcast hosted by Pleasure Mechanics, and spoke to them about some working definitions of consent culture, how systems of power complicate what we can say yes and no to, and how practicing consent in the bedroom can empower you in other parts of your life.
Dr. Martha Lee invited me onto her show Eros Evolution to discuss what consent culture is, why it’s important, and how it can challenge rape culture. Within this show, we explore the ways in which alternative sexualities embrace constructs of consent, and the ways in which we are still learning.
“Consent shouldn’t be such a hard thing to talk about. There are videos of studies that show toddlers understand the concept of consent, yet when we talk to young, sexually active men and women, everything gets muddled for some reason. It shouldn’t be so difficult to figure out for adults. If you want to fight back against rape culture, learning the lingo of consent culture with a book like this is not a bad start.”
I got to have a lovely chat with Tristan Taormino, one of my favourite sex educators, on her show Sex Out Loud – we cover porn, body image, activism, and why it’s so important to build a consent culture.