I think this campaign is very interesting and thought-provoking, and for that I commend it, but I have one major reservation that I just can’t seem to get over. I don’t like the title. Yes, it’s short and to the point, and it catches one’s eye, but I can’t get over the implications it has. Okay, having consensual sex is sexy! Having respect for other people and their boundaries is unquestionably good and important! I still have reservations, however.
I’m sure the creators of this campaign didn’t mean it this way, but when I read the signs, the go boards, and this blog, I am left with the feeling that ONLY consent is sexy, that you can only be sexy if you consent. Yes, the signs are saying that SEEKING consent is important. But what’s also important is that NOT consenting is also fine. Being asked for consent and then saying NO, being comfortable and confident enough to say no, is good, important, valid, and even sexy. You can say no to sex and still be a worthwhile person. You can say no to sex and still be sexy! This campaign has been mostly about raising awareness of consent and asking for it, which is definitely something that needs to happen. One thing that’s lacking, though, is the message that when someone asks you for sex, you can say no. Just because they’re asking doesn’t mean that you have to say yes. Just because YOU ask doesn’t mean THEY have to say yes.
In short — saying yes to sex is good. But saying no to sex is also good.