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Hey sex fans,

Today’s edition of Product Review Friday brings us back to The Wood Wang Workshop for our third and final review in this series. But wait, you didn’t miss the first two reviews we posted a couple of weeks ago, did you? Well not to worry if you did because all our reviews are archived on DrDickSexToyReviews.com.  All ya gotta do is use the search function in the header, type in The Wood Wang Workshop and PRESTO!

When you visit The Wood Wang Workshop be sure to take a look at their History Page. Here’s a little taste of what you will find:

…since time began, human beings have sought new and interesting ways to titillate themselves. It’s inherent of our species to take pleasure from sexual arousal. We are in fact one of the few mammalian species to use sex for recreation rather than just for reproduction.

It’s unknown who was responsible for the invention of the dildo as we know it today but historians believe it originated in Asia. Dildos have been discovered in China dating from 12,000 years ago!

It seems we’re not fussy about the materials use to make them either. Stone, bronze, jade, ivory, wood, leather and even dried camel dung have been used to fashion sex toys through the ages.

Ancient Arabians and Polynesians were known to use unripened bananas for the same purpose.

I love fun sex facts, don’t you?

Let’s check in with the Dr Dick Review Crew members — Joy & Dixie, to see what they think of today pleasure product.

Roxy — £35.00

Joy: “Ever since Dixie and I got our first wooden dildo to review way back in December of 2008 we have been wood fanatics. I said in that earlier review, and it bears repeating today, nothing compares to owing a wooden dildo and having it inside you.”

Dixie: “I couldn’t agree with you more, Joy. And ya know what is great about wood? You can diddle yourself crazy and know that all the time you are doing so you are being as GREEN as green can be. I can’t think of a single sex toy material that has a smaller environmental footprint than wood.
Joy: “So true! When I hold Roxy in my hand I know that besides holding a beautiful objet d’art I have something completely natural and organic that will be around long after I am gone. I don’t know why exactly, but knowing that adds to the pleasure.”
Dixie: Hey, maybe some archeologist, a couple thousand years from now, will find our Roxy and marvel at our sex life.”
Joy: “Roxy is simply beautiful. Ours is made of exotic Zebrano wood, which gives it its very distinctive striped appearance. It is a whopping 11.5” long and it’s a double header; you can use both ends of her.”
Dixie: “One end has a tulip shaped head, perfect for G-spot (or P-spot) stimulation. The other end features five exceptionally stimulating bulbs and ridges. You can enjoy deep penetration using either end.”
Joy: “Yeah, I love my dildos ridged! I love the rippling sensation. And regardless what end you use internally, the other end makes an excellent easy-grip handle, even with lubed up fingers. Speaking of which, you can use whatever kind of lube you prefer with Roxy, she’s that versatile.”
Dixie: “Roxy is, of course nonporous, so whatever lube you use, you’ll only need a few drops. And because it is nonporous, caring for her is blissfully simple. Wash with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. You can sanitize her by wiping her down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution too.”
Joy: “When you visit The Wood Wang Workshop website (try to say that 5 times fast) you will find all their amazing products arranged by kind — dildos, buttplugs, whips and paddles, etc. To find Roxy, you go to the dildo page and scroll down. While you are scrolling your eyes will pop and your mouth will water at the marvelous array of other insertables.”
Dixie: “That’s right; and not only do they have a stunning collection of designs, each one comes in your choice of 10 beautiful woods.
Joy: “Listen, you just can’t beat that with a stick. Pun intended!”
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

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Fa la la la la, La la la la

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Product Reviews!

REVIEW #27

Hey sex fans,

Holy mackerel!  It’s Week 3 of our Holiday Extravaganza.  Did you somehow miss Week 1 or 2 of this lollapalooza?  Shame on you!  Check out Reviews #25 and 26.  You’ll be so glad ya did.

The Dr Dick Review Crew has our review apparatus workin’ overtime.  We want to get as many reviews out there before the end of the year.  Because we certainly don’t want to leave you hanging…as it were.  This week, we have yet another hot juicy load of swell holiday gift giving ideas for you.  And guess what?  They are all GREEN.

This week’s Review Crew include:

  • Jack & Karen — Reviews #17, 18, 25
  • Joy & Dixie— Reviews #6, 12, 16, 17, 18, 23
  • Me, Dr Dick — Reviews #1 – 5, 7 – 10, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 25, 26
  • Glenn & Hank — Reviews #4, 16, 17, 18, 23. 24
  • Gina & Kevin — Reviews #4, 13, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24

First up we have two brilliant wooden insertables from my very good friends at Jildos; The Art You Love To Touch! Jildos are American made, hand-crafted works of art.  They are produced by a company called: WoodPeckers Roost.  Can you stand it?  They are made from the most durable, safe materials available and they are GREEN, oh so GREEN.

Hart $69.00

Joy & Dixie introduce us to Hart.h_020804.jpg

Joy:  “I’ve had a hankerin’ for a wooden dildo for ages.  I’ve admired them online and even held a few in my hands at our local sex emporium.  But nothing compares to owing one and having it inside you.”
Dixie:  “That is so true. Hart is simply beautiful. It’s made of exotic Bocote wood, which gives it a very distinctive striped appearance.  And besides it’s beauty it is as functional as all get-out. It has a long, smooth shaft that allows you to enjoy deep penetration using either end.”
Joy:  “Yeah, and it’s a ‘double header’ too. There is a ball at one end that is ideal for G-spot (or P-spot) stimulation.  But it also has a more traditional head on the other end, which is followed by 4 ridges.  I love my dildos ridged!”
Dixie:  “I agree, I love the rippling sensation too.  And I like that it’s size is not overwhelming.  It’s 10.5” long, but it’s only 1.25” in diameter at its widest point.”
Joy:  “We spent a lot of time trying it every which way.  And it is safe to use with all kinds of lubes.  We are partial to silicone-based lubes and because Hart is so naturally smooth, a very little bit of lube goes a long way.”

Read more of this review here

Whimsy $69.00

Glenn & Hank introduce us to Whimsy.wh_020820_0.jpg

Hank:  “We have a more manly sized Jildo Dildo. Then do the girls.”
Glenn:  “I just love that name!  ‘Honey, can you please pass the Jildo Dildo?’”
Hank:  “I know, and we don’t even have to christen this one, because it comes with its own name — Whimsy.”
Glenn:  “It’s a nice 1.5” wide and a bit shorter, at 10”, than Joy & Dixie’s Hart.”
Hank:  “I don’s suppose we have to repeat all the stuff that the girls said about lube, care and cleaning, do we?  Good!”
Glenn:  “Yeah, but we should describe it better.”
Hank:  “Oh, ok!  It’s made of American Cherry wood.”
Glenn:  “Think of it as cherry pie on a stick.”
Hank:  “You are such a dork!”
Glenn:  “You love it!”
Hank:  “Our Whimsy is also a ‘double header’. One end is rounded.  Think prostate stimulation…or G-spot stimulation. The other end is bullet shaped.  There’s a combination of swirls and ridges, which deliver a variety of sensations with the old in and out.”
Glenn:  “Mmmm, in and out!”
Hank:  “Have you ever met a hornier bastard?”
Glenn:  “I’m an unapologetic power bottom; what can I say?  And when Hank works my ass with Whimsy, I’m in pig heaven.  And this thing warms to my body very fast.  It’s like totally awesome.”

Read more of this review here

Keeping with today’s GREEN theme we’ve got a couple of delicious products from a little company in Vancouver, BC called Hathor Aphrodisia.

Lubricant Pure 4 oz $18.00 CAD

I, Dr Dick, have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to Lubricant Pure. I am so fond of this mighty-mite of a company from right here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  What a joy it is to bring their products to your attention.

aphrodisia-group-shot-sm.jpg

Ya’ll know my passion for GREEN adult products, right? Hathor Aphrodisia is a boutique company that brings us only a few choice products, but each one is a work of love.

Lubricant Pure is an exceptionally fine personal lube.  It contains pure botanical emollients including Horny Goat Weed, Jujube Zizyphus and Siberian Ginseng, which are supposed to have aphrodisiacal properties.  Can’t honestly say I noticed any difference in my sexual response cycle.  But as my granny used to say, ‘It couldn’t hurt!’”

Read more of this review here

Lubricant Lickeurs — Coconut Orange        4 oz $22.00 CAD

Lubricant Lickeurs — Coconut Orange 4 oz $22.00 CAD

Gina & Kevin introduce us to Lubricant Lickeurs from Hathor Aphrodisia.

Gina: “I’ve never been one for flavored lubes. The whole concept seems silly to me. But I also don’t like the taste of regular lubes. They taste funny. Basically, I just avoid, as much as possible, coming in oral contact with any lube. So when we were asked to review Lubricant Lickeurs I said to myself, ‘Oh ick!”3-lubricant-lickeurs-sm.jpg
Kevin: “I was of the same mind as Gina. I mean, how juvenile? By the way, I love the natural taste of Gina’s pussy, like fresh out of her panties. I suppose it helps that she vegan. Her juices are naturally sweet and I can eat her all day long.”
Gina: “He sure is talented in the department, I must say. There was a time that I was uncomfortable with him doing oral on me, but now I love it. It helps that it isn’t a chore for him. It’s taken me probably as long to warm to the idea of giving oral to Kevin too. But now I’m such a bad girl that I don’t even give it a second thought.”
Kevin: “Actually, she’s a natural-born cocksucker. She just needed to liberate herself from all the Catholic school repression.”
Gina: “But enough about us; back to the Lubricant Lickeurs. Neither one of us wanted to disappoint the good Dr, so we agreed to try it.”
Kevin: “And damn if we both don’t absolutely love this stuff.”
Gina: “Yeah, so much for our natural prejudices, huh? But I must say, Lubricant Lickeurs is a grown-ups version of flavored lubes.”
Kevin: “It’s like Hathor Aphrodisia didn’t simply make a lube and then try to flavor it as an afterthought with some artificial flavoring.”

Read more of this review here

To continue this week’s GREEN, and I might add YUMMY, theme we veer toward the food end of the spectrum. Jack & Karen introduce us to the delicious, yet oh so helpful, teas from the good people at Intimate Teas.

My Maple Cookie 12 bags — $32.00

Karen: “This is so cool. I’m a big tea drinker. Never been one for coffee, but I do know my teas. And since I’m a naturally hyper kinda gal, I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible. These teas are delicious and they are herbal.”maple-cookie-full-product-page2.jpg
Jack: “I, on the other hand, am not a big tea drinker, but I agree; these teas are good. There’s an earthiness to them that I really liked.
Karen: “First up today is My Maple Cookie. I love it; what a name. This tea is a unique blend of premium herbs specially formulated to change the female genitalia and male semen to smell and taste like maple cookies. How fun is that?”
Jack: “Who would have guessed something like this was even possible. I have to admit, it’s the damnedest thing. Karen and I shared the tin of 12 tea bags over a 10 day period. We both noticed a difference in the way we smelled and tasted. Don’t get me wrong; I love the natural taste of she and me, but this is way fun.”

Read more of this review here

Jack: “Next up we have Screaming O tea. The Intimate Teas people get high marks for the clever names and the packaging.”
Karen: “They sure enough do! This tea is a premium blend of unique herbs made to increase sexual passion in both women and men. It is supposed to be an aphrodisiac, sexual stimulant and it’s supposed to intensify orgasms.”screaming-o-full-product-page3.jpg
Jack: “That’s what it says on the website. I was dubious…at first. I figured, I already have intense orgasms, do I really need to improve on that…even if it’s possible?”
Karen: “Things are much different for us gals, but I think you know that already. I felt like the tea really did stimulate me. And maybe it was only wishful thinking, but I felt my orgasms intensified too.”
Jack: “Again, I defer to my lovely wife. One thing for sure; this tea is a stimulant. The first time I had this tea was near bedtime. I thought, a nice cup of warm tea will make me sleep like a baby. NOT! I tossed and turned all night long. But I did have a raging boner in the morning. I don’t know if those two thing are connected, but they did follow one after the other.”

Read more of this review here

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Debunking Common College Sex Myths

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by and

Sex is among the most talked-about subjects on college campuses. Yet myths and misconceptions pervade almost every discussion of sexual activity and sexuality, subtly infiltrating the beliefs of even the best-informed people. Sexually inexperienced young people are likely to become confused by the dizzying array of information and opinions that assails them in conversations about sex.

Only by evaluating common sexual myths and the harmful effects they can have are we able to move past ignorance into a healthier understanding of our bodies and ourselves.

Myth 1: The withdrawal method is safe.

The withdrawal method, which is when the penis is pulled out of the vagina before ejaculation, is among the most dangerous and least effective birth control techniques. According to Planned Parenthood, this method is 78 percent effective. Pre-ejaculatory fluid can sometimes contain sperm, which can put a partner at risk of pregnancy. In addition, physical contact and the exchange of fluids can put both partners at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Just because the man has not ejaculated does not mean that the sex is safe.

Moreover, this technique requires very good timing and self-control to be successful.

“It’s just not very reliable to rely on that in the heat of the moment,” said Talia Parker (COL ’20), director of tabling for H*yas for Choice. If the man accidentally ejaculates before pulling out, the woman will be at an even greater risk of pregnancy, have to deal with a sticky cleanup and sex will end without satisfaction. Plan B, emergency birth control, costs more than $50, too. Getting a condom might seem inconvenient or less fun, but it’s worth it to prevent the consequences possible with the pull-out method.

Myth 2: Men just want sex all the time.

One of the most pernicious sex myths is the notion that men only think about sex all the time. This myth would have us believe that the primary motive behind male behavior is lust. But men have many motivations and drives apart from their sexuality. Relationships between men and women do not always have to be about sex, nor should we callously assume that a man’s actions are motivated by the desire to have sex.

The next time we attribute a man’s actions to his desire for sex, we should take a step back and evaluate why we believe that. More often than not, we will find that we have been making gendered assumptions. Moreover, if a person who identifies as a man does want consensual sex, we should accept this and not try to shame him.

Furthermore, we must remember that not all students in college are having sex. Some students may be choosing to abstain for personal or religious reasons, and others, including asexual students, may not be interested.

“Just having a positive attitude about sex is important and not judging other people for their choices as well,” Parker said.

Myth 3: The only way to experience pleasure is through penetration.

In most of our imaginations, sex means one thing: intercourse between a man and a woman with vaginal penetration. But this image is deeply flawed. It neither incorporates the experiences of gay, queer or intersex people nor accurately conveys the whole array of sexual possibilities available to people regardless of preference or gender.

“The arousal period for a woman is almost twice than [that of] a man,” Lovely Olivier (COL ’18), executive co-chair for United Feminists, a student group dedicated to combating influences of sexism and heteronormativity, said. “Oral sex, erotic massage, hand jobs, mutual masturbation, petting and tribbing, to name a few, are all non-penetrative options for you and your partner to consider. Furthermore, non-penetrative foreplay can increase satisfaction in intimacy altogether. Talk with your partner, share what you want and be open to new experiences.”

Myth 4: Protection doesn’t exist on a Jesuit campus.

Throughout the week, H*yas For Choice tables in the middle of Red Square from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving out lube, latex condoms, internal condoms and dental dams for free. For some, long-term birth control, like the pill, may be a better solution. Although intrauterine devices do not prevent STI transmission, the Student Health Center hopes to start giving the devices out next month.

Myth 5: Women do not masturbate.

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior published by the Indiana University School of Public Health found that 24.5 percent of women aged 18 to 24 said they masturbated a few times per month to weekly, compared to 25 percent of men in this range who masturbate a few times per month to weekly. Masturbation can help people achieve pleasure and help individuals in relationships by “finding what is best for you,” Parker said.

Trying sex toys can also allow women to embrace their sexuality and experience their first orgasms.

Complete Article HERE!

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9 Reasons You Might Not Be Orgasming

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By Sophie Saint Thomas

While orgasms don’t define good sex, they are pretty damn nice. However, our bodies, minds, and relationships are complicated, meaning orgasms aren’t always easy to come by (pun intended). From dating anxiety to medication to too little masturbation, here are nine possible culprits if you’re having a hard time orgasming — plus advice on how to deal.

1. You expect vaginal sex alone to do it for you.

One more time, for the cheap seats in the back: Only about 25 percent of people with vaginas come from penetration alone. If you’re not one of them, that doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you or your body. As licensed psychotherapist Amanda Luterman has told Allure, ability to come from vaginal sex has to do with the distance between the vaginal opening and the clitoris: The closer your clit is to this opening, the more vaginal sex will stimulate your clit.

The sensation of a penis or a dildo sliding into your vagina can be undeniably delightful. But most need people need that sensation paired with more direct clitoral stimulation in order to come. Try holding a vibrator against your clit as your partner penetrates you, or put your or your partner’s hands to good use.

2. Your partner is pressuring you.

Interest in your partner’s pleasure should be non-optional. But when you’re having sex with someone and they keep asking if you’ve come yet or if you’re close, it can throw your orgasm off track. As somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist Holly Richmond points out, “Being asked to perform is not sexy.” If your partner is a little too invested in your orgasm, it’s time to talk. Tell them you appreciate how much they care, but that you’re feeling pressure and it’s killing the mood for you.

It’s possible that they’re judging themselves as a partner based on whether or not you climax, and they may be seeking a little reassurance that they’re making you feel good. If they are, say so; if you’re looking to switch it up, this is your opportunity to tell them it would be so hot if they tried this or that thing next time you hop in bed.

3. Your antidepressants are messing with your sex drive.

As someone who continues to struggle with depression, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to seek treatment and take medication if you and your care provider decide that’s what’s right for you. Antidepressants can be lifesavers, and I mean that literally.

However, certain medications do indeed affect your ability to come. SSRIs such as Zoloft, Lexapro, and Prozac can raise the threshold of how much stimulation you need to orgasm. According to New York City sex therapist Stephen Snyder, author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long Lasting Relationship. “For some women, that just means you’re going to need a good vibrator,” says New York City sex therapist Stephen Snyder, author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long Lasting Relationship. “For others, it might mean your threshold is so high that no matter what you do, you’re just not going to be able to get there.”

If your current medication is putting a dramatic damper on your sex life, you have options, so talk to your doctor. Non-SSRI antidepressants such as Wellbutrin are available, while newer medications like Viibryd or Trintellix may come with fewer sexual side effects than other drugs, Snyder says. I’m currently having excellent luck with Fetzima. I don’t feel complete and utter hopelessness yet can also come my face off (a wonderful way to live).

4. Your birth control is curbing your libido.

Hormonal birth control can also do a number on your ability to climax, according to Los Angeles-based OB/GYN Yvonne Bohn. That’s because it can decrease testosterone levels, which in turn can mean a lower libido and fewer orgasms. If you’re on the pill and the sexual side effect are giving you grief, ask your OB/GYN about switching to a pill with a lower dose of estrogen or changing methods altogether.

5. You’re living with anxiety or depression.

“Depression and anxiety are based on imbalances between neurotransmitters,” OB/GYN Jessica Shepherd tells Allure. “When your dopamine is too high or too low, that can interfere with the sexual response, and also your levels of libido and ability to have sexual intimacy.” If you feel you may have depression or an anxiety disorder, please go see a doctor. Your life is allowed to be fun.

6. You’re not having sex for long enough.

A good quickie can be exciting (and sometimes necessary: If you’re getting it on in public, for example, it’s not exactly the time for prolonged foreplay.) That said, a few thrusts of a penis inside of a vagina is not a reliable recipe for mutual orgasm. Shepherd stresses the importance of foreplay, which can include oral, deep kissing, genital stimulation, sex toys, and more. Foreplay provides both stimulation and anticipation, making the main event, however you define that, even more explosive.

7. You’re recovering from sexual trauma.

Someone non-consensually went down on me as part of a sexual assault four years ago, and I’ve only been able to come from oral sex one time since then. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common among survivors of sexual trauma; so are anxiety and orgasm-killing flashbacks, whether or not the survivor in question develops clinical PTSD. Shepherd says sexual trauma can also cause hypertonicity, or increased and uncomfortable muscle tension that can interfere with orgasm. If you’re recovering from sexual trauma, I encourage you to find a therapist to work with, because life — including your sex life — can get better.

8. You’re experiencing body insecurity.

Here’s the thing about humans: They want to have sex with people they’re attracted to. Richmond says it’s important to remember your partner chooses to have sex with you because they’re turned on by your body. (I feel confident your partner loves your personality, as well.) One way to tackle insecurity is to focus on what your body can do — for example, the enormous pleasure it can give and receive — rather than what it looks like.

9. You’re shying away from masturbation.

Our partners don’t always know what sort of stimulation gets us off, and it’s especially hard for them to know when we don’t know ourselves. If you’re not sure what type of touch you enjoy most, set aside some time and use your hands, a sex toy, or even your bathtub faucet to explore your body at a leisurely pace. Once you start to discover how to make yourself feel good, you can demonstrate your techniques to your partner.

Complete Article HERE!

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Rape Culture and the Concept of Affirmative Consent

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March against rape culture

March against rape culture

Throughout most of our history, rape was a property crime.

Today we do not, in the modern United States at least, think of a woman’s sexuality as a financial asset. But that is a recent phenomenon. For most of our history, rape was not treated the same way as other violent assaults because it wasn’t just a violent assault, it was also a crime against property.

You can see this view–of a woman’s sexuality belonging to her father and later her husband–in laws concerning rape and sexual assault. It was even possible for a father to sue a man who had consensual sex with his daughter because he had lost the value of his daughter. Based on this view, value is lost in terms of her work if she became pregnant and was no longer able to earn wages, or in terms of a future wife for someone else because of this stain on her character. Men could not be held accountable for raping their wives because a wife was a man’s property and consent to sex–at any time of his choosing–was part of the arrangement.

Lest you think that these laws are ancient examples of a culture that no longer bears relation to our current policies on rape, spousal rape was not made illegal in all fifty states until 1993, where it still may carry a less severe sentence than other rape offenses. The tort of seduction was technically on the books in North Carolina in 2003.

This context is important given our current cultural attitudes toward sexual assault. To understand this culture and how it can be amended, we need to look more deeply at the historical understandings of rape and consent.


Force Means No

The framework for defining rape underpins our understanding of who is required to prove consent or non-consent. The Hebrew Scriptures, which established longstanding cultural norms that helped form a basis for what was morally and legally acceptable in early America, make a distinction between a woman who was raped within a city and one who was raped outside of the city limits. The first woman was stoned to death and the second considered blameless (assuming she was a virgin). This distinction is based on the idea that it was the woman’s responsibility to cry out for help and show that she was non-consenting. A woman who was raped in the city obviously had not screamed because if she had someone would have come to her rescue and stopped the rape. The woman outside the city had no one to rescue her so she could not be blamed for being victimized.

This brutal logic, which is completely inconsistent with how we know some victims of rape react to an attack, was continued in the American legal system when our laws on rape were formulated. Rape was defined as a having a male perpetrator and a female victim and involving sexual penetration and a lack of consent. But it was again the woman’s responsibility to prove that she had not consented and the way that this was demonstrated was through her resistance. She was only actually raped if she had attempted to fight off her attacker. Different jurisdictions required different levels of force to show a true lack of consent. For example, fighting off an assailant to your utmost ability or even up to the point where the choice was either to submit to being raped or to being killed. Indeed, the cultural significance of chastity as a virtue that the female was expected to guard was so profound that many female Christian saints are saints at least in part because they chose to die rather than be raped or be a bride to anyone but Christ.

Potential canonization aside, it was consistently the responsibility of the woman alleging that she was the victim of a rape to prove that she had fought off her attacker in order to show that she had not consented. If she could not show that she had sufficiently resisted, she was deemed to not have been raped. Her chastity was someone else’s property, either her father’s or her husband’s/future husband’s, so it was always understood that someone, other than her, had the right to her sexuality. The assailant had assumed that he had the right to use her sexually and was only a rapist if she acted in such a way that a reasonable man would have known that she did not belong to him. Her failure to communicate that fact, that she was the property of some other man, was a sign that she had in fact consented. Therefore the rape was not his moral failing in stealing another man’s property but her moral failing in not protecting that property from being stolen.


Culture Wars

We can see the effects of this ideology in how we treat rape victims today. Although we don’t necessarily require evidence of forceful resistance, it is considered helpful in prosecuting a rape case. Rape shield laws may have eliminated the most egregious examples of slut-shaming victims, but an innocent or even virginal victim is certainly what the prosecution could hope for if they were trying to design their most favorable case. One of the first questions that will be asked of the victim is “did you say no?” In other words “what did YOU do to prevent this from happening to you?” The burden is still often legally and almost always culturally on the victim to show that they did not consent.

There is an alternative approach that has been gaining traction on college campuses and elsewhere known as the concept of “affirmative consent.” Take a look at the video below, which elucidates the differences between the “no versus no” approach compared to affirmative consent, which is often described as “yes means yes.”

In this video, Susan Patton and Rush Limbaugh both represent examples of rape culture. The contrast between the views of Savannah Badlich, the advocate of affirmative consent, and Patton, who is against the idea, could not be starker. To Badlich, consent is an integral part of what makes sex, sex. If there isn’t consent then whatever happened to you, whether most people would have enjoyed it or indeed whether or not you orgasmed, was rape. It is your consent that is the foundation of a healthy sexual experience, not the types of physical actions involved. In contrast, Patton expressed the view that good sex is good sex and consent seems to not play a role in whether it was good sex, or even whether it should be defined as sex at all. The only thing that could indicate if something is an assault versus a sexual encounter is whatever physical evidence exists, because otherwise, the distinction is based only on the assertions of each individual. Again we are back to evidence of force.


What is “Rape Culture”?

Rape culture refers to a culture in which sexuality and violence are linked together and normalized. It perpetuates the idea that male sexuality is based on the use of violence against women to subdue them to take a sexual experience, as well as the idea that female sexuality is the effort to resist or invite male sexuality under certain circumstances. It overgeneralizes gender roles in sexuality, demeans men by promoting their only healthy sexuality as predatory, and also demeans women by considering them objects without any positive sexuality at all.

According to this school of thought, the “no means no” paradigm fits in perfectly with rape culture because it paints men as being predators who are constantly looking for a weak member of the herd to take advantage of sexually, while also teaching women that they need to be better than the rest of the herd at fending off attacks, by clearly saying no, to survive. If they can’t do that, because they were drinking or not wearing proper clothing, then the attack was their fault.


“Yes Means Yes”

Affirmative consent works differently. Instead of assuming that you can touch someone until they prove otherwise, an affirmative consent culture assumes that you may not touch someone until you are invited to do so. This would be a shocking idea to some who assume that gamesmanship and predation are the cornerstones of male sexuality and the perks of power, but it works out better for the majority of men and women, who would prefer and who should demand equality in sex.

This video gives a brief highlight of some of the issues that are brought up when affirmative consent is discussed and the difficulties that can still arise even with affirmative consent as a model.


Evaluating Criticism of Affirmative Consent

The arguments are important so let’s unpack some of the key ones in more detail. The first objection, expressed in both videos, is how exactly do you show consent? Whenever the affirmative consent approach comes up, one of the first arguments is that it is unenforceable because no one is going to stop sexual activity to get written consent, which is the only way to really prove that a person consented. We still end up in a “he said, she said” situation, which is exactly where we are now, or a world where the government is printing out sex contracts.

The idea that affirmative consent will by necessity lead to written contracts for sex is a logical fallacy that opponents to affirmative consent use to make the proposition seem ridiculous. Currently, we require the victim to prove non-consent. Often the victim is asked if they gave a verbal no or if they said they did not want the contact. The victim is never asked: did you put the fact that you didn’t want to be touched in writing and have your assailant read it? The idea that a written explanation of non-consent would be the only way we would take it seriously is absurd, so it would be equally absurd to assume that requiring proof of consent would necessitate written documentation. Advocates for affirmative consent don’t want sex contracts.

In addition, even under our current framework we accept a variety of pieces of evidence from the prosecution to show that the victim did not consent. A clear “no” is obviously the strongest kind of evidence, just as under an affirmative consent framework an enthusiastic verbal “yes” would be the best evidence, but that is just what the best evidence is. That is certainly not the only kind of evidence available. Courts already look at the entire context surrounding the incident to try to determine consent. The process would be virtually the same under an affirmative consent model. The only difference would be that the burden would be on the defendant to show that they believed they had obtained consent based on the context of the encounter instead of placing the burden on the victim to show that, although they didn’t say “no,” they had expressed non-verbally that they were unwilling to participate.

The shift in the burden of proof is sometimes cited as a reason not to adopt an affirmative consent model. Critics argue that this affects the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Which is, rightly, a cornerstone of our judicial system. If this model did, in fact, change that presumption then it wouldn’t be an appropriate answer to this problem. But it does not.

Take another crime as an example. A woman’s car is stolen. The police issue a BOLO on the car, find it, and bring the suspect in and sit him down. They ask him “did you have permission to take that car?” and he replies “Yes, officer, she gave me the keys!”

He is still presumed innocent and, as far as this brief hypothetical tells us, hasn’t had his rights violated. It looks as though he is going to get a fair trial at this point. That trial may still devolve into another he said, she said situation. She may allege that she didn’t give him the keys but merely left them on the kitchen table. At that point, it will be up to the jury to decide who they believe, but that would have been the case in any event. He is presenting her giving the keys to him as one of the facts to show his innocence.

If a woman’s car is stolen we don’t question her about how many miles are on the odometer. We don’t ask if she wore a seatbelt the last time she drove it. We don’t care if she had been drinking because her alcohol consumption doesn’t negate the fact that she was a victim of a crime. We certainly wouldn’t force her to prove that she didn’t give the thief the keys. That burden would rightly be on him and we would be able to both place that burden on him and at the same time presume him to be innocent until he failed to meet that burden.

Adopting an affirmative consent model changes how consent is perceived. It is primarily a cultural change in understanding who is responsible for consent. Rather than making the non-initiating party responsible for communicating a lack of consent, affirmative consent requires that the initiating party obtains obvious consent.

That is how affirmative consent works. It wouldn’t require a written contract or even necessarily a verbal assertion. Context would always matter and the cases would still often become two competing stories about what the context meant. And it doesn’t mean that we are assuming that person is guilty before they have the chance to show that they did, in fact, get that consent. It just means that we are placing the burden of proving that consent was obtained on the party claiming that consent had been obtained.


Conclusion

There is no other category of crime where we ask the victim to show that they didn’t want to be the victim of that crime. A man who is stabbed in a bar fight, regardless of whether he was drunk or belligerent, isn’t asked to prove that he didn’t want a knife wound.

We need to change our cultural framework of rape and consent. When we are working under an affirmative consent framework what we are doing is changing the first question. Currently, our first question is for the victim: did you say no? Under an affirmative consent model our first question is for the suspect: did you get a yes?

Complete Article HERE!

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