Words by Juliette Capomolla Art by Cecile Robert
When they ask if you consent at every twist and turn — can sex be really oh so sexy anymore?
In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s momentous conviction of rape and sexual assault, the #MeToo era is far from over. But how do we get down if global perceptions of sex are up in the air?
Sex is messy and complicated and awkward enough already, let alone after you bring criminal convictions into it. But at the moment, people are scared of doing the wrong thing and that can kind of ruin the vibe. When the bedroom becomes more talking than touching, and more speaking than screwing, have we got it wrong?
We shouldn’t be holding back from having sex because we are worried about the repercussions. There are many real and burdensome potential outcomes of having sex — jail or a baby are two biggies, just to name a few. However, both are extremely avoidable if the appropriate precautions are taken. In the same way we avoid preg- nancy with contraceptives, we can just as easily avoid messy-law-suit-sex by having similar conversations about what we are both comfortable with.
Boys, are you worried you’ll take it one step too far? You want to pull her hair or slap her arse, but you are worried that tomorrow it will be you being slapped…
in the face… with a lawsuit. Not to worry, everyone just wants to have consensual sex! Kinks aren’t off limits now because of #MeToo — but they are if your partner says they are.
For us ladies, increasing media attention on sex going wrong casts a dark and chilling shadow on an otherwise pleasurable deed. But don’t worry boys — we still want sex! If you want to be a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets, it doesn’t mean you don’t want consent,
it doesn’t make you less of a feminist, and it certainly doesn’t make you a slut. But in order to avoid those awkward, vibe-killing halts mid-climax, what you want and what you need are discussions you must have before your clothes are on the floor.
All of us need to talk with our partner about what we like, what we don’t like, what we are comfortable with and what our boundaries are. To keep the vibe alive, this probably has to come before you do! Sit down with your sexual partner and have an open and honest conversation so that you can both be on the same page about what is acceptable and what is not. Does great sex not come from both partners committing completely, wilfully and wholeheartedly to the task at hand?
Instead of allowing #MeToo to disempower women and eradicate sex as an option, we must empower ourselves to take charge of our sexual relationships. We must not let the #MeToo movement reignite the archaic socialisation of sex as being only for men and only fearful for women. Sex in the #MeToo era and long afterwards should be about people saying YES when they want to, and only when they want to. What we know about negotiating sexual relationships is that our old stereotypes of men and women during sex are old-fashioned, incorrect and destructive. The #MeToo era is the renaissance of sex which we can grab by the balls or let slip away.