From sex work to church youth groups, the question of consent is at the heart of nearly every human connection. So why do we only seem to ask about it when it’s too late?
There are times when I'm teaching my boys about consent that I think, “But he’s only six!” And then I remind myself, if not now, when?
It never felt like sexual assault, him taking the sex I didn’t offer. It felt more like a silent agreement. I surrendered to sex; he didn’t complain.
I have a choice here: either I tell him to stop, or I can avert his hands elsewhere. This is my life as a sex worker. Consent is complicated!
Sometimes I wouldn’t want anyone to touch me, but I had to put up with it or I would be seen as rude and cold. My family's culture demands touching.
We must continue to acknowledge and condemn all forms of sexual harassment, regardless of how society may compartmentalize them, in order for a true cultural shift to occur.
The sad thing is, it took someone almost destroying me to make me open my eyes to the extent of what happens when we talk not about a culture of consent, but about temptation and defense instead.