We need to talk – A discussion with Kylives

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Hello poppets,

I hope you’re all well!

On Thursday 16th February up popped a message in my inbox. “Hey id really appreciate if you could check out my video” It read. “I think you might be interested as i saw a recent post you did on sexual abuse.” I knew a little of Ky as we had various brief conversations talking about each others work. I knew he was an advocate for mental health difficulties but the message i was faced with wasn’t what i expected.

I typed into youtube Kylives and clicked on the video ‘Where do you draw the line’ i was completely overwhelmed with the words i was hearing. It was raw, it was clear and it was straight to the point. My head instantly said

‘Yes,this is how its suppose to be done!’

The subject? consent.

Consent
noun
Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
verb
verb: Give permission for something to happen.

Consent. One of the hardest subjects i feel to talk about. Its that horrible subject that nobody wants to even mention and when someone does there faced with that much controversy they wish they had never bothered. Somehow,with my sexual abuse its one of those things thats just classed as wrong. I was under age and even mentioning it to anyone leaves me faced with the words of ‘disgusting’ and ’sick’. Once of age,instead were faced with all these questions “Did He/She ask for it?” “What was He/She doing to provoke it” and nobody wants to get into other peoples relationships to start deciding on whats right and wrong in that either.

Somehow we are finally at a point of noting this as a huge problem. Were questioning the questions that are brought to us and noticing the damaging effect that ignoring the subject of consent is having all together. Its just, we seem quite stuck at this point now.

To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a passionate soul. I love when you can bring up a matter and see someone instantly light up and share their views on the subject. Instead of discussions however, we are only seeing arguments. Anger, shouting and even to the point of violence. Naming, shaming and blaming. Blaming the victim,blaming the perpetrator, blaming the system and after all that, nothing.

We need to be teaching people that its okay to say no and also teach people to listen to it.

We need to teach people that no means no.

Ky – Exactly,I feel like it is time for men to begin to take responsibility for the social change that needs to happen. This doesn’t need to be a touchy subject. People don’t need to feel threatened by this discussion. I know men feel threatened when we start talking about social change when it comes to sex because they don’t want to find themselves on the wrong side of these changes and face consequences.

I know these fears are magnified by the anger and hate we’re seeing in society towards men. This hate and fear just divides us further and it feels so silly because sex is supposed to be this magical experience that brings people together in a way that no other human experience can.

Imagine a world where everyone was really on the same page, feeling safe and comfortable when it comes to sex and nobody was afraid of it.

I guess thats where all the nastiness comes from, right? Feeling threatened. Its that ‘Oh hang on a minute i don’t like this subject battle stations quick!’ Sort of a reaction. We as a society don’t know how to deal with this so we get defensive.

It doesn’t have to be an attack from either side. From anywhere. Especially when were not actually benefiting from the way were going about things now. I guess its scaring people into not wanting to cause harm to another but still were not getting across the message of why and how to avoid that situation all together.

Theres people that are purposely ignoring when someone says no but theres also the minority of people that just don’t understand its wrong to ignore that ‘No’ and how much damage it causing.

Ky- Unfortunately, I think that there would be an alarming number of guys who would feel like they’ve definitely crossed the line in one way or another at some stage. I’m not just talking about textbook rape where she says no and he keeps going. I think it’s very rarely a black and white scenario.

In the first sex and consent video what I’m talking about are those times when you are receiving signals that what you’re doing is uncomfortable but you just push through it because you don’t get that textbook “no.” It’s all too easy to just go for it and tell yourself that she would tell you to stop if she didn’t want you to keep going and in a matter of minutes you can psychologically scar someone for life.

There’s a million ways you could justify these situations to yourself and then just shut out all of the noise of society telling you what you did was wrong and pretend that you’re not a part of the problem. The spectrum of sexual assault is massive and complex. The reasons people do it are equally expansive and complex. Sexual assault and domestic violence are huge issues but they stem from little issues like respect and emotional intelligence. We don’t need to get so overwhelmed by the big issues. We can just work on these little things and the rest will take care of itself.

I guess its really important to note how far we have come already. Were now realising it as a problem and calling it out which is huge. Its just about moving to that next stage. But where on earth do we start teaching people not to rape?

Its like you said, starting with the small issues and going back to basics. Lets go through these headings and try and lay down what were trying to say.

So what actually is sexual consent?
Sexual consent is when someone gives permission or says ‘yes’ to a sexual activity. Someone in a sexual situation must feel they can freely say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at any point.

Why is sexual consent important?
I guess this is what we really need to get to. Why it is so important.

Sexual consent is important as without it is actually against the law and that includes kissing and touching (Yep!)
Not only is it against the law but it has a mass impact on the victim of the crime. It can leave people with Post traumatic stress disorder, depression, flashbacks and complete feelings of powerlessness and guilt.

The aftermath of sexual contact without consent can leave a person with a considerable amount of emotional damage. It also may be hard for a person to seek treatment meaning things can go untreated for a considerable amount of time.

So many people will think ‘Oh come off it, sex that’s not 100% agreed to surely cant cause all this?!’ but this is the thing, it does!

How do you know if the person you are with has given their consent?
The only way to know for sure is to ask or to listen if they have told you. Sometimes a person may seem to be going along with things but if they look a little uncomfortable something may be wrong. One of the best ways to know if something is wrong is to just simply ask.

Some good ways to ask are:

– “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
– “Are you alright?”
– “Would you like to..”
– “How far do you want to go?”
– “Do you want me to keep going/Do you want me to stop?”

Ky – Guys, ask the questions. Don’t make excuses. Don’t wait until it feels all wrong. You’ll thank yourself later. Practice reading the body language and other signals a woman may give you. If you can learn how to make women comfortable your sex life will improve dramatically. If every man could learn to make women comfortable society’s sex life would improve!

How body language shows that someone hasn’t given their consent.
When someone doesn’t want to go through with a sexual act the persons face and body language can tell a lot. If someone is not responding to touch, pushing you away or turning away it can be a big tell.

If you are with someone that is doing any of these things it is important to stop what you’re doing and talk. Dont take it as an insult or personally it may just be they’re not ready yet.

Ky – I think it’s pretty obvious if they’re not encouraging you, then they’re not that into it. But sometimes you think maybe I’ll try something else and that may be fair enough but not if everything you’re doing is just making her uncomfortable. Even if you’re simply not doing anything she likes you could try asking “what do you want me to do?” Open up that dialogue. It’s healthy.

I think it’s also important to think about these situations ahead of time. They are going to happen. Things are going to get messy. You may be getting into it and realise that you’ve crossed the line way too late. Even if she hasn’t told you to stop, you realise her body language has and she’s afraid. Maybe she even did tell you to stop but it wasn’t assertive enough and you’ve spent the next ten minutes trying to coax her into it, which is really, really not ok. All too often this initial realisation causes fear. Both parties just want to run from the situation but the best thing to do is probably talk about it. Start with an apology. Don’t just try to disappear in a cloud of smoke and leave yourself wondering if this experience was severe enough to warrant reporting to the police. Don’t leave them feeling used, alone and confused wondering if they should report it. Just treat each other like human beings. I wish they taught this in schools.

When substance is involved
Drugs and alcohol are a big No No when it comes to sexual activity. They can both affect peoples ability to make decisions which also means, they cannot give consent.

Ky – This is another area that is never going to be black and white because obviously people like to indulge in substances and sex at the same time. But if you just met the girl, and she’s wasted, just get her number for now or take her to get a 3am breakfast and just hang out and look after her. Get her home safe. I’m sure she’ll appreciate that experience a lot more than a blurry, confusing sexual encounter.

So what are we saying here?
The main points here are knowing that if the one (or more) parties are not consenting it goes past just ‘sex’ to a crime. If you’re not sure and feel too uncomfortable to ask, don’t keep going. Just stop.

Ky – If it feels wrong, stop and just ask any of the simple questions. Seriously, opening up that dialogue is the best thing you can do. In many cases the cause of discomfort could just be your technique. Try “show me what to do.” It won’t make you feel like any less of a man to appear inexperienced. In fact, I guarantee if you start treating women with heaps of respect you’ll discover much better ways to have sex. Learn all the different ways she could be saying no and find out why. We want to live in a society where everyone feels safe and comfortable when it comes to sex.

Thats a huge point. We don’t want to be freaking people out about sex in general. We just need to be.. i dont know what the word is, sensible? humane? and really think about the consequences that can happen to a person when consent is not there.

I feel and i know you do Ky, that the most important thing we need to be doing right now is teaching people about consent and why its needed Education is key. We know whats happening is bad.Were all really peeved off that so much mass damage is happening but the anger really isn’t solving the problem. We need to educate people.

Ky – Absolutely! I know what we’re discussing here may seem trivial in comparison to some of the horror stories out there but I believe these discussions are important. I don’t believe in “evil” people. I think all of the issues with sex in society develop from the confusion that exists because we’re too scared to talk about it.

I know people exist who will break into a house and rape a woman while she is screaming for help. That kind of behavior doesn’t develop overnight. I know people exist who drug and date rape hundreds of women. I hope that the message is getting through to people that these cases need to be reported and action needs to be taken. I also hope that everyone can begin to understand that we can prevent people from developing into rapists by bringing these issues into the light.

Well exactly. I guess its leads into what I’m trying to do with my blog as a whole. Its starting with the small issues that lead to the big. Nipping it in the bud early!

I personally want to take some time out to thank Ky for this discussion. Its a huge thing to pipe up a conversation about this subject and something not a lot are brave enough to. Please head over and check out Ky’s Youtube channel Here and send him lots of love and support for what he’s trying to do.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and can take something from it.If you have any opinions or comments on the subject please leave them in the box below. We would love to know your thoughts.

xox

littlestlady

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