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Lydia Ume: How to Get a Woman’s Consent Before Sex

Lydia Ume

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The aftermath of publicized rape cases on social media have become an orgy of cringe-worthy and often ignorant comments on consent. One of these are memes of documents on consent which a prospective sexual partner would have to sign before having sex, and people have gone as far as creating these documents and uploading them, making it available to anyone who wants them and patting themselves on the back for coming up with such an ingenious idea.

Well, documents of consent will not stop rape or false accusations of rape. This is because, first, it cannot magically grant you self-control. Also, a person can be made to sign one under duress. In short, we would be facing a new problem in rape cases of proving that a rape victim signed under duress.

The only way to be sure you have the consent of the woman you are about to have sex with is by asking her, “Are you comfortable with having sex with me now?”

Your partner’s positive response or acceptance is valid only if she is not mentally incapacitated or under the influence i.e drugged, drunk or high, not under pressure or in fear of physical harm.

If she says “No” under any circumstance, that’s a “No.” You will not die if you don’t have sex. Men should learn to take no as no. Person no want be say e no want.

Of course, some women change their minds in the middle of sex, you also have to stop at that point because her consent is hers to give and take. You are not entitled to anyone’s body.

There is another class of persons who argue that when a woman visits a man – at home or in a hotel, that it implies she is comfortable with having sex with him. This is wrong, but let’s assume it’s correct. It implies that

1. When a woman says, “I don’t want to come to your house because I don’t want to be raped,” her concerns are valid and if you go ahead to assure her in anyway that nothing of that sort will happen, this implied contract doesn’t stand anymore.

2. If a girl tells you before she comes to your house that she isn’t interested in having sex with you, it’s now left to you to tell her that having sex is the reason you need her presence and if she won’t supply, there’s no need to come. No, it’s not being harsh. That’s honesty.

3. All men should be regarded as potential rapists and with no care to being proven otherwise because if I step into your house to drink water, I might get raped.

4. When a woman asks you, “Are we going to have sex when I come over?” Don’t froth at the mouth and form sanctimonious. Answer her honestly to prevent nasty surprises.

5. If the purpose of buying her food and gifts is to have sex with her, make it clear so she can make her decision early.

Then, there is this other class who seem to be plagued by women who prefer to be persuaded into having sex. So they assume that all women are like that. There is a thin line between persuading (convincing someone through reason) and coercing (making someone do something by way of force or threat) a person into sex. And as a responsible man with self-control, you should be wary of that.

You can beg a person so much for sex that she would feel that there’s imminent danger if she says no. That is coercion, and if you have sex with her, you have raped her.

Men need to learn that women can crave sex and desire the opposite sex as much as men. Yes, they do. Because we live in a society where a woman’s worth is placed on the activities that go on in her vagina, it seems to be important to a percentage of the female gender to be or appear to be virginal, chaste, pure and stripped of desires. Consequently, this creates a myth that sex is something women give and men collect instead of the truth that it is to be mutually enjoyed.

A woman who desires you will not have to be persuaded to have sex with you. Which is why you should be with women who are not shy about saying yes, who are honest and assertive about their desires. Sex should happen between two responsible adults. Place an embargo on sex with women who can’t and won’t explicitly give consent.

I agree that there are women who do not know that giving consent doesn’t reduce them. At this point, an enlightened lover will teach them that it’s okay. Many women are unaware that the game has changed because of stories and shame passed across generations. This is an era where more women are acknowledging their sexuality, shooting their shots and initiating sex.

When you expressly ask a woman for consent, you are acknowledging her autonomy over her body and that is respect. When you make it clear that you are not going to persuade them to have sex, because they are not incapable of acknowledging their desires, you are encouraging them to desist from being enablers and exercise agency over their bodies.

This also means that you can’t be slut shaming women on one hand and crying foul when someone expects you to persuade them into sex.

Dear women, there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to sex. Be confident and assertive about your desires. If you choose to not have sex for religious reasons, it’s valid. The one who chooses to have sex also made a valid choice. You can have a healthy mindset towards sex without having sex, and don’t let anyone pressure you when you don’t want it.

The bedrock of consent is the acknowledgement of a person’s autonomy over their body and life. It is important we address the socio-cultural and religious factors that enable men’s feeling of entitlement to a woman’s body. As we experience a positive development around the discourse of sex, the culture of silence where rape and abuse thrive is being erased. This means that we are required to become more accountable for our actions.

 

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Lydia Ume is a reader who writes sometimes. Her writing is inspired by her observations of society. She writes on feminism, gender, sexuality and culture. When she's not curled up with a book she tries to blog frequently on http://badlybehavedlady.wordpress.com

3 Comments

  1. Akara Pancake

    February 4, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Ask, ask, ask, and ask again.

    Get her consent and buy-in (no pun intended, and by the way this article isnt about transaction sex), and while mid-penetration confirm her authorization. Even when you are about to bust a nut, please announce it to her, like thus “Adanwampi, I am about to CUM o!!!”

    It may seem crass to announce you are about to climax, but in some jurisdictions, ejaculating inside a woman’s private part without her allowance has been deemed rape. Let her tell you where you should deposit your watery spunk. Or if you should even cum at all, or if you should come and go. Or cum, and come and start going.

    I have had a girl tell me off saying “Akara P, why did you cum inside me? Are you well at all?”

    I had been wearing a Gold Circle, so technically I came inside the rubber which was inside of her, but she didn’t give 2 f–ks (no pun intended). She wanted me to come inside the Gold Circle, but outside her. I apologized duly. Luckily this was in Nigeria, or it would have been a police matter.

    Finally if a girl gives your all manners of “green light”, and it looks 100% likely that she is going to have sex with you when she comes over, please let a part of your mind be prepared for disappointment and how to deal with it. If she gets to your place, she is allowed to change her mind. It may because the spirit of Jezzebel has left her body midway to your house. It may be because you havent washed your bed sheets for years, and they reek like a gutter. It could be that you do not look like your Tinder photo, and she feels she has been cat-fished. No means no, and maybe means no. Yeah means no. Hian means let see. Let’s see means maybe. Refer to what maybe means in the preceding sentences. Yes means maybe. Yes proceed means yes.

    In my younger days, and when I was in the world, if a girl came over and made it clear that she was not going to smash, I “discharged” her immediately: “Oya, come and be wearing your shoe to go; I will drop you at my junction to get a cab/okada home” (there wasn’t uber back then). Cruel you might say, but least I wasn’t being a rapist.

    • Elle

      February 5, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      You are sooo funny Akara Pancake (even your name sef), chai I miss my bellanaija people. BN, please na, stop frustrating your readers away biko.

  2. Kelechi

    February 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Its important to talk about gray areas like these

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