People are going to start to think I'm a freaking masochist.
I'm going to put this at the top, too. I'm probably not going to be invested in this enough to beat the same horse to death. While I consider consent to be a very important topic, I just don't have the energy (or time) to keep putting keystrokes into 'but what about this or that hair to split'.
“Yes, means yes and no, no”, this along with consent have been offered as the solution to serious problems between men and women.
In a couple of threads I started, the platitude “Yes, means yes and no, no” quickly came up and the way it was used got me to wondering if this simple platitude was everything they thought it was.
As I began to question it, I realized that some felt that questioning it was not to be allowed and that my questioning it meant that I had some evil intent in doing so.
It seems some have set “Yes, means yes and no, no”, along with consent, up as a “Golden Idol” and if you don’t immediately kneel and do obeisance it, then you are a heretic and infidel and no attempt to reason with you should be made and you be cursed and insulted until you submit to this “Golden Idol”.
Well, before the cursing and insults begin let me tell you about this “Golden Idol”.
First, like all platitudes this one does have a nugget of truth but is of limited use and even then, needs to be used with intelligence.
Both ends of “Yes, means yes and no, no”, without serious qualifications, is all but useless.
In the case of “Yes means yes”, those under the influence of drugs and alcohol or those who are mentally incapable of making such decisions, yes just does not mean yes.
At some point, I expect the average person to have something that I'm going with as reasonable, common knowledge. By this, I mean the vast majority of the adults living in the United States are aware of the fact that there are certain categories of people who can not legally consent, so any 'yes' obtained is invalid. Following this, it isn't plausible to equate 'yes means yes' as you would the same as someone who can legally consent because what you're really dealing with would be more 'yes without the legal basis to say yes'.
Coercion is another example. (Basic example of coercion being "agree to do X or I will <insert horrible thing here.>) Attempting to use a person's "yes" that was obtained under threat or duress isn't a legally obtained yes.
Should we be using extreme examples like this to attempt to invalidate theories such as enthusiastic or informed consent between adults who are capable of consent? Probably not.
As a personal note, I'm probably not going to feel bad for anybody who tries to start screaming that they shouldn't be held responsible for specifically targeting those who can't legally consent by trying the 'but the person said yes' bit. Trying to twist 'yes means yes' while ignoring 'can't legally consent' is somewhat repugnant.
As for the “no means no” part, there are subs and slaves who do not want anything to do with “no means no” and in fact want all decisions to be taken away from them and in fact there are those who want to be raped not play acted but just taken and raped, that’s how they get off. Are we to tell them that they can’t have what they really want? They want no taken away from them.
I don't think that those interested in alternative lifestyles/sexuality should attempt to see society in general through kink colored glasses. I view it the same way as I do regarding S/m. Yep. There are definitely people on this planet that enjoy the heck out of me hitting them with a crop. I don't walk out my front door and start whacking people on the street because there is a small fraction of other people that like it.
Maybe not the best math, but I was interested, so here are some numbers. As of 2016, there were 7.4~ billion people on the planet. Not even 1% of that number have a Fetlife account. Of that one percent, there honestly isn't any way without some serious flipping research, to figure out just how many of those people want to do a 'forced' anything scenario. From that smaller number, we always know there are some people who just fantasize about it compared to those who actually want to do it. Does this mean that we should invalidate that a person's "no" should be accepted? I don't think so.
You can rationalize that these things should be “understood” but if you're going to make this a “Golden Idol” shouldn’t you giving some guidelines on how it should be understood and used?
Should I? No. We have a criminal justice system that does that just fine, and while it's not perfect, it does a dang better job at the matter than I ever could.
But those are just minor problems with this “Golden Idol” you’ve set up.
One of the major problems is that it just doesn’t do what you feel it does. Somehow you feel like behind this “Golden Idol”, that you are safe as gold in Fort Knox but this “Golden Idol” doesn’t provide you with thick walls and a moat.
“Yes, means yes and no, no”, along with consent are nothing more than a “Gentleman’s Agreement” and as long as both have agreed to it and both are “Gentleman”, then great you’re safe but all it takes is one broken “promise” and you are no longer safe.
Hey, congrats! You did finally find something I agree with.
This is pretty much true about the nature of humans. There are no guarantees in life that anybody will do what they say and say what they do. There is no way on this planet for anybody to know as fact that any other person they encounter will not screw them over. It's a sad and disappointing truth, but it's reality, nonetheless.
Now for the biggest flaw in “Yes, means yes and no, no”, what if they agree with you? That “Yes, means yes and no, no” and then shows you what “Yes, means yes and no, no” really means and points out that you didn’t really specify who’s “Yes, means yes and no, no” and so it is their “Yes, means yes and no, no” and not yours.
As much as I talk, do you really think I'm difficult to understand? [/sarcasm]
There's some stuff I could say about this that I'm going to refrain on for now. It's a pretty dark path and I'm not sure I'm up to it toady. I'll try something else, instead.
My personal theory is whoever between the people engaging has the higher standard of consent wins. If you (general you) are not the person with the higher standard of consent, it might be wise to adhere to the other person's. Lacking that, it might be prudent to start researching what would apply in law.
So, what is the moral to the story, what is the point? If you’re putting all your eggs in one basket and hiding behind “Yes, means yes and no, no”, along with consent and expecting to be saved from the monsters out there in the real world, might I suggest you find something a little more substantial.
Again, I'm going with researching law or investigating what agencies can help you. If something criminal has happened to you (again, general you) at least look at your options.
Something else I'm going to say. I'm not particularly sure we can have reasonable discussions about consent in kink if we keep dragging the section of the population who couldn't care a flying fig less about consent into the discussion. I'm not going to sit here and try to say that 'no meaning no' is going to stop anybody that is hellbent on sexually assaulting someone.
Not discussing the (actual) criminal element and going back to people participating in consensual kink, I really can't lead people by the nose and get them to ask themselves "do I have consent" or even "do I really have consent" when they are engaging with others. Personally, I think it would be awesome if I had the ability to do that, but I don't. While I'd encourage people to figure out how they determine whether they have consent or not, there's no way for me to make them do it.
The crowned Diva of Destruction. ~ ExT
Beach Ball Sized Lady Nuts. ~ TWD
Happily dating a new submissive. It's official. I've named him engie.
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