Anaín Bjorkquist

beyond consensual sex

I have always been a person that values honesty and respect so to me informed consent is a beautiful concept that at it’s core is all about honesty and respect. Informed consent can be applied to just about any aspect of life from making a purchase and entering into business contracts to surgery and having sex. When I worked in surgery, we always made sure that our patients had signed the proper consent forms before we performed any procedures on them. Patients had to not only sign informed consent forms but they also had to verify verbally to nurses and anesthesia that they understood the informed consent forms they had signed. To everyone working in the operating room informed consent is a must before proceeding! I think that informed consent should also be a must before entering into a sexual relationship with anyone whether casual or long-term because with sex just like surgery there are often consequences. Are you wondering what exactly informed consent is?

Well, here’s the definition of informed consent according to Wikipedia:

Informed consent is a phrase often used in law to indicate that the consent a person gives meets certain minimum standards. As a literal matter, in the absence of fraud, it is redundant. An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given.

I’d love to assume that by now we all know what consensual sex is but I know that assuming makes an as…

…For sex to be consensual BOTH partners have to clearly and willingly communicate that yes, they agree to sexual activity. Just because someone didn’t say no doesn’t imply that they agree to sex. No means no…to include if a person has agreed to having intercourse but then changes their mind about continuing or performing a specific sexual act. Anyone that is intoxicated cannot legally give consent. I would like to think that we all know all of those things to be a part of consensual sex and I hope that’s what we all are practicing. Consent is a responsibility that BOTH partners share. Yet…

…Everybody is having sex but I know not everybody has a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of their sexual actions…

…Well, not everybody is fucking but not all of those that are have a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications and future consequences of their sexual actions. What are the facts? One of the facts is that many people have STDs/STIs and do not even know it. The implication of that is that many people are unwillingly passing on these infections to their sexual partners through both unprotected and protected sex. What are the future consequences of their sexual actions? That more people will become infected and that the cycle won’t be broken unless we respect ourselves and our partners enough to…

…Make sure we get tested and are in possession of ALL the relevant facts at the time sexual consent is given.

Before doing a lot of things we have to get trained on everything from safety procedures and the how-to’s plus we have to sign consent forms. Why is that when it comes to sex so many of us aren’t as responsible? Getting off isn’t more important than staying healthy. It is about time that we hold ourselves and our sexual partners to higher standards. We should always know our own status and we should demand that before we become sexually involved with someone else that they also know and declare their status to us. These times require more than consensual sex they require that we all are INFORMED before we give sexual consent! If we aren’t honest to ourselves and our lovers about our status then there is no respect.

So, here are some questions for you:

Are you in the habit of knowing your own status and that of your sexual partner(s) before engaging in sexual activity?

I’ve outlined that getting tested for STDs/STIs and sharing that information is one of the relevant facts to being able to provide informed consent. What are some others you consider to be necessary? Marital/relationship status? Birth control use? Past/Present sexual orientation? IV drug use? What all should we know about our sexual partners before we have sex with them? How much honesty should we demand?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

© Anaín Bjorkquist April 7, 2011 ~ All Rights Reserved.

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