The idea of consent culture arose out of feminist and LGBTQ approaches to sexual ethics. Although it applies to personal freedom in all areas of life, it is particularly concerned with issues around sexuality and touch. Consent culture emphasizes that everyone has the right to enjoyable sex that they have enthusiastically consented to with full knowledge of the risks. It is sex-positive, sets boundaries, and promotes clear and shame-free communication about sex.
In a consent culture, everyone values enthusiastic consent. Initiators of contact have the primary responsibility for respectfully seeking consent, rather than it being the recipients’ responsibility to fend off predators and others who try to violate boundaries. Consent culture embraces the freedom to say yes and no, and the empathy to honor others’ desires and boundaries.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a sex worker. Sex work is work. Sex is sacred, as long as it is fully consensual. Therefore fully consensual sex work is sacred.
Consent can be non-verbal, but when we are on the beginner slopes of consent culture, it’s great to practice getting verbal consent. Below are some helpful resources for understanding consent culture and building it in your community.
Recommended Pagan articlesCreating consent culture
- Erotic Ethics and Pagan Consent Culture – Christine Hoff Kraemer
- Creating a Consent Culture – Yvonne Aburrow
- Sex! Witches!!! Nudity!!!!! And yes, ethics…. – Kim Dent-Brown
- Approaching Groups – Phil Hine
- Wicca and Sex – Melissa Harrington
- Allegations Emerge After Pagan Author Charged With Possessing Child Pornography | The Wild Hunt – Jason Pitzl-Waters
- Addressing Safety at Pagan Conventions and Festivals – Cara Schulz (2014)
- Silence equals complicity: making Pagan groups safe for everyone – Yvonne Aburrow
- Predators in Paganism – T Thorn Coyle
- The Fish Rots from the Head Down: Squid Eye and Sexual Exploitation – Lydia Crabtree
- The Frosts – Pedophiles in our Midst – Rob / Jo (2011)
- Finding a Group – Yvonne Aburrow
- The Frosts and Consent Culture – Shauna Aura Knight (2014)
- Compassion, Truth, and Bonesetting – Shauna Aura Knight (2016)
- Inclusive Wicca; Statement on the Frosts (2016)
- Gardnerian Wicca: Statement on the Frosts (2016)
- Consent in Paganism, by Vicky (2017)
Recommended general articles
- The Pervocracy: the Myth of the Boner Werewolf
- The Pervocracy: The Missing Stair
- Yes means yes: Meet the predators
- Ada Initiative: Conference anti-harassment campaigns do work: Three existence proofs from SF&F, atheism/skepticism, and open source
- rockstar dinosaur pirate princess: Consent – not actually that complicated (the famous tea and consent blogpost)
- The Healthy Sex Talk: Teaching Kids Consent, Ages 1-21
- More Than Two: The Relationship Bill of Rights (with sections for both monogamous and polyamorous relationships)
- Why Kids Need Touch, and How Consent Culture Helps Them Get It
- Aziz Ansari Aftermath Syllabus [PDF] - an excellent resource created by a group of South Asian women in response to the Grace / Ansari incident, and the response to it.
- An Essay on Consent, from a Woman Who Hosts Huge Sex Parties
Tools, resources, organisations
- Project Callisto - Callisto is a safe and supportive platform for sexual assault survivors to process what happened and make decisions without pressure or judgment.
- The reporting system that sexual assault survivors want - by Jessica Ladd