Why We Need to Talk More About Consent in Relationships

Why We Need to Talk More About Consent in Relationships

(Odyssey Article 25)

A label is not a green light.

All over social media, we’re bombarded with statuses, tweets, articles, videos, etc. about consent (or lack thereof), and yes, it is super important.

Yet, the type of consent addressed most often directs more towards the single people in our “hook-up” culture. We rarely ever hear or read about consent in regards to relationships.

It’s obvious to me the same rules would (and should) apply to a single man or woman that apply to a married man or woman, as well as every other man or woman in between.

Yes, relationships and marriages require compromise; however, everyone has limits, so why do we pretend like sexual assault and sexual abuse don’t exist between couples?

A label is not a green light.

A ring is not a green light.

A marriage license is not a green light.

You don’t get to have a handsy free-for-all as soon as you put a rock on her finger. Just because someone commits him/herself to you doesn’t mean you’re granted permission to disrespect that person’s body.

Your girlfriend’s curves might be “your’s”, but if she doesn’t want you touching her, leave her alone.

You might appreciate your man’s body, but that doesn’t give you permission to grab him whenever you feel like it.

You might think it’s funny to push, poke, or hit your partner playfully, but it doesn’t excuse you from respecting his/her boundaries.

Consent comes from one thing and one thing only… A non-hesitant, non-provoked, non-persuaded, enthusiastic YES!

If you guilt your spouse into having sex with you when he/she isn’t in the mood, THAT IS NOT CONSENT. (I’m not saying you rape your significant other, but if the other person isn’t 100% willing, it still isn’t consent.)

Consent is a situation where variables don’t apply. Unlike many things falling into the gray, consent is black and white. Stop means stop, and no means no, regardless of the person’s relationship status, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The things happening behind closed doors and “Welcome Home” mats still happen. We shouldn’t just sweep them under the rug after the wedding or after it becomes FBO. They are real, and we need to talk about them. Just open your ears and listen.

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