Sex and consent
Sex and consent
Great sex should be about connection, intimacy, affirmation, and fun, as much as it is about being safer. However, some of the choices we make during sex and chemsex can have serious consequences, and can cause lasting harm. Sexual consent is about having the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity. This is something that must be clearly established between two people before any kind of sexual act or behaviour, and you can change your mind at any time.
Words we may not fully understand
Words like ‘consent’, ‘sexual assault’ and ‘rape’ may be new in that it has only been recently that they are being talked about more openly particularly in relation to gay men. Holding a mirror up to our sex lives can be difficult for many reasons; and for many gay men, it’s hard to believe that we may be a victim of sexual assault or rape.
Sex without consent
Sex without consent is a crime. Talking about this stuff is not easy, particularly when we’re high and horny. If something has happened to you, you may not even have found the words yet. Whether it’s a feeling … sense … or hazy memory: talk to a friend, go to a sexual health clinic, or phone a helpline.
Tea and Consent | Thames Valley Police | 27 Oct 2015 2m 46
MEN R US is not averse to writing new stuff, but the content, help and support we've found kinda nails it, consensually of course. So listen up and click on...
Consent and chemsex information for gay and bi men in London | GALOP/ Survivors UK/ London Friend
Consent and the gay community | GMFA | FS 2017, FS 162
Consent: Why is it still such a big issue in gay clubs? | Gaydar Insider | 1 March 2018
The buts of butts: why we need to talk about the complexity of consent as gay men | Huff Post | 10 Nov 2017
LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline | GALOP | 0800 999 5428 | 0300 999 5428
London LGBT+ Advice Line | GALOP | 020 7704 2040
Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline | Switchboard | 0300 330 0630
Survivors UK | Survivors | Web chat/ text chat
Men's Advice Line | Men's Advice Line | 0808 801 0327
Support Line | Victim Support | 0808 168 9111
The Havens (London)
While MEN R US maintains that The Havens is an invaluable service, user intel indicates it could - and perhaps should - be more friendly and accessible towards gay men, bisexual men and men who have sex with men. However, should you be in need of The Havens this is not a reason not to go.
The Havens | 020 3299 6900
The Havens can help you if you have been sexually assaulted or had non-consensual sex in the past 12 months. You can call them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for an initial assessment. When they need to see you urgently, such as for a forensic medical examination (FME), they aim to see you within 90 minutes. They also offer follow-up care, including counselling, tests and treatments. Its medical and emotional support services are confidential. That means it will not tell anyone you have contacted or come to see them unless you want them to. And you can use any of their services without involving the police. The Havens has 3 centres in London:
Camberwell Haven, near to King’s College Hospital (South)
Whitechapel Haven, near to Royal London Hospital (East)
Paddington Haven, near to St Mary’s Hospital (West)
More support and information
Do What You Both Want | GALOP
What consent looks like | USA | RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network)
How gay men normalize sexual assault by Phillip Henry | 17 Nov 2017
In the bonfire that has been sexual assault allegations over the past few weeks, a lot of chatter has kept the fire burning and, as gay men, what we don’t talk about is that Kevin Spacey and George Takei are part of a much larger issue: The gay community has made sexual assault an appealing and casual art form. Gay culture doesn’t just tolerate sexual assaults, it encourages them, particularly in gay bars; it’s a pervasive problem that we need to take responsibility for. Many of us have been there. We’re all too familiar with the caressing touch of a strange hand on our butts in the club and, personally, I’ve become accustomed to the unwanted crotch grabs from men I barely know, if at all.
Sexual assault affects every community, but the gay community has had particular difficulty confronting it because its victims can also be perpetrators. Sexuality and sexual expression are huge parts of gay culture and many of the spaces gay men create for themselves are hypersexualized. Advertisements for gay nightlife or events frequently feature hot dudes in states of undress and, in the clubs, muscle-clad gogo boys dance on the bar for our entertainment. If there isn’t a chance we might get laid, you can almost guarantee many of us won’t be going. However, these spaces do and should represent more than just lust and sex. They are sanctuaries of our culture. In the heterosexual-dominated spaces of the outside world, we might be subjected to bigotry for expressing our sexuality. Gay bars and gay venues offer a safe environment to celebrate our sexuality, free of judgment. Yet as we’ve built fences to protect us from the hatred of the outside world, we’ve forgotten the need to protect the people inside of it as well.
To read the rest of the article at them.us click here.
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