Elle published an awful article on the affirmative consent law in CA, the gist of which is your fairly standard "this makes everything rape except the least sexy of sex." It is, in general, a trainwreck of an article that Elle should be ashamed of publishing.

The author outlines two sexual scenarios, one in which she consented, and one in which she was raped - except, according to her, this law would consider the first scenario rape. She was in a foreign country where she didn't speak the language, and had been drinking the night before (though, given that they had sex in the morning, she'd have had time to sober up), and according to her, didn't "utter a word of assent." So obviously, it was rape.

Advertisement

Now, pretty much everyone this side of terfdom I've talked to is of the opinion that "yes, please" is just one way to affirm one's consent. Other ways include pressing parts of your body into the other person, moaning, groaning, taking the reigns even just the slightest bit and using your own hands and mouth to caress and pleasure the other person, etc.

BUT. Maybe the law doesn't recognize this? I dunno, hence this post. But lawmakers are generally not super well-informed about the nuances of feminist theory, and given the mind-bogglingly awful technology laws they try to pass, I don't find it inconceivable that a group of mostly-dude lawmakers would (however accidentally) write a law that did actually discount nonverbal communication and moans as a form of consent.

I know CA isn't the first state to pass an affirmative consent law, so I don't quite understand why it's creating so much buzz, and why we can't look to how other states with affirmative consent laws handle it.

Advertisement

Is there someone who's more knowledgeable about this law and how it will be implemented that can explain how solid the CA affirmative consent law is?

*Every time I read these sorts of "affirmative consent is taking all the fun out of sex" things, I end up thinking, "my god, you must suck at sex." Most of being a good lover is paying attention to your partner, and being able to tell when they're getting a little bit bored with this thing and you should move on, what they look like when playing with their nipples has changed from fun to painful, and when they've reached peak arousal and you should go in for the kill Big O. I think hearing the word "rape" must get people all flustered and then they start saying dumbass shit, because it's just not that hard to make sure you aren't raping someone. If you aim for making sure your partner is having a better time fooling around with you than they would be if they went and watched Netflix, you'll manage to be both a decent lover, and not a rapist.