Why Courage is Needed to Share Sex Consent Violations

Discussing when your consent has been violated and how you handled it is incredibly courageous – especially as a woman living within rape culture.
— Dr. Jeana Jorgensen

Folklorist, feminist, and sex educator, Dr. Jeana Jorgensen, reflected and blogged about my personal storytelling video about a sexual consent violation I experienced recently with a man. It means a lot to me to feel like the feminist community is behind me in my personal sharing and in my compassionate and reflective approach to this difficult topic! 

Dr. Jorgensen comments on a few components of the video story, including the dangers of masculinity socialization, how I held him accountable in the conversations after the consent violation, and the importance of apologizing. AND, she acknowledges something that was a tough decision for me -- to share a personal narrative about my sexual experiences that makes me vulnerable to assaults on my character, choices, and intelligence.

Have I had negative reactions to my video and story? Have I been blamed for what happened? Yes. Gratefully, though, only a few times, and the overwhelming responses (from women and men) have been appreciation, support, and personal reflection. But those "rape culture" kinds of comments just started rolling in the last week. For example:

How much more do we women have to see before we understand that men only care about sex? Lady, you are very intelligent, but you did a dumb thing when you gave a male the benefit of the doubt alone, semi clothed, in your private space.
— YouTube Commenter
Sure, he “violated” your rule of “no penetration yet.” But surely, you must be insane to think that you can do all that, lead him on, and think that he would not want to penetrate you. Are you completely divorced from the realities of human biology?
— YouTube commenter

As irritating as these are, they also offer a valuable insight into what pushes (in these cases) men's buttons around this topic, how they get defensive, and how they want to turn that around and blame me. The interpretations above seem based on the (faulty) belief that sex is an actual human "drive" versus what it really is, an "incentive motivation system." And based on their faulty beliefs, they comment on my lack of intelligence. I have curiosity (and trepidation) to see what other negative comments will surface.

Read Dr. Jeana Jorgensen's blog post here: The Courage to Discuss Consent Violations.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sexuality Speaker, Sociologist