Why is it ok to assume consent during fantasies? I can no longer enjoy erotic fantasy unless consent is very clearly dealt with, but I worry that others' imaginations are not as ethical.

I admit that it sometimes affects my enjoyment of light-hearted pleasurable things and can cause people to use their *confused face* on me when I tell them. It started a few years ago, but now I can’t switch it off. My thing is… I just can’t enjoy fantasies unless consent is very clearly dealt with.

Does that seem odd? I’m not entirely sure how it happened either, as I wasn’t always like this. It started a while ago with my own fantasies. I’d be imagining something hot happening with my latest crush, and then the logical side of my brain would step in and say, “but that would never happen.” Or we’d get dirty and then my brain couldn’t continue the fantasy until we’d showered.

It’s like my brain has no editing facility. If I can suspend my disbelief for television shows and movies, why can’t I do that for my own imagination?

The “problem” soon started to spread and, before long, I realized that it wasn’t just my fantasies that my brain was correcting. No, it couldn’t deal with other people’s either. Any piece of erotica – movie sex scene, filthy book, etc — was now being criticized by my subconscious to the point where I couldn’t enjoy it.

Yes, it can be a little annoying. I don’t want to have to read erotica that comes with a disclaimer, stating that the reader should assume the consent of all characters in the following stories. I can also watch a television show and believe that no animals were harmed in its making without having a disclaimer at the end. So why does the issue of consent in fantasy sex bother me so much?

Maybe it’s the same as watching porn where the performers aren’t using condoms? I know that a great many precautions are taken by these people to ensure that their sex remains safe, but I sometimes worry if everyone who watches it knows this. How many teenagers just don’t know about the regular STI testing of porn stars and so assume that you don’t need a condom for penetrative sex?

How many young men assume that it’s OK to go straight for anal because they’ve watched lots of porn with it and the women always seem to love it without being asked?

Exactly. Unrestrained fantasy without education and awareness, where people can do whatever they want to anyone they want (even underaged) with no oversight, must necessarily also lead to IRL consequences.

And, I know it’s bad to assume the worst of people, but the mere thought that someone could get the wrong idea from something where consent is not explicit seems to be bugging me more than I realized.

It means that the movie Secretary is now not quite so enjoyable. I realize that Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character Lee is on a path of discovery. We all find ourselves doing things at that sort of time in our lives that our older selves look back on and think, “I can’t believe I was cool with that.” I understand that E Edward Grey apologizes for taking rather than asking. I know how wonderful the ending is… but now I worry that some people will see that behavior as acceptable between strangers.

Should I worry about other people’s misinterpretation of a fantasy with implied consent? I just can’t seem to get it out of my head. I don’t want a world where all movies with sexual content come with a big Jackass-style disclaimer that reminds people to ask their partner before attempting to recreate anything they see; I don’t want to be reminded that some people are ignorant enough to need that. It should be assumed, automatic.

What we need, is better sex education. The sort that covers relationships too, telling kids and young adults how important respect, consent and honesty are — even in fantasies. There are always a few people who just won’t get it, but some are just following the wrong example and need to be put right. Build a world where consent is sexy.

P.S. Protect yourself from the coming data-powered panopticon by getting a VPN.

Poking around what makes us and our lovers tick. Bi, polyam, she/her, 🏳️‍🌈🇪🇺.

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Sneed
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Sneed

I run a feed & seed store, previously owned by a guy named Chuck. If I sell feed & seed you can only imagine what Chuck use to sell

Ari Cohen
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Ari Cohen

Wow Lori, my wifes boyfriend and I just read this and we couldn’t be more pleased with such an articulate article. I’ve often pondered this myself but lacked the internal dialogue to verbalise my thoughts. You have done a wonderful job here with this piece, bravo! I’ll have to get my sister to post a link to this on her only fans.

I often use the analogy of thinking about enjoying a purchase before I’ve actually made the transaction to describe these ideas to simpletons on reddit. For example whenever I hop into my onesie and use my iPhone 11 pro max to buy solent online I often get excited about the thought of making the purchase before I’ve paid for the product. This is akin to stealing as I’m getting enjoyment out of the product before I’ve paid for it ( I buy ethically from black businesses as much as possible as well. I’m a white cis male (he/him) )

I would also like to debunk the incel in the comment section calling this a thought crime. It is premeditated rape and should be dealt with accordingly with a jail sentence. There are enough innocent black men like my daughter’s son’s estranged father who is serving a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit during a BLM protest. If this government is going to lock up civil rights protestors they should definantly be locking up these criminals as well

Us white people need to be held accountable for this type of crime and our unacceptable actions shant be ignored. Let’s face it, most poc will be infinantly more successful than us. We need to step aside as white people and look upon our actions in shame. I’m Jewish myself but in can wholeheartedly say I speak for all white people when I say that.

Please Read
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Please Read

Thank you so much for this thoughtful piece, Lori. It is dearly needed.

Unfortunately I must alert you to the fact that it has been posted to a neonazi terrorist site called 4chan, and most of the posters there are saying they are fantasizing about rapeing and murdering you. They also wish to fantasize this on little children.

https://i.imgur.com/Oa5BPDC.png

Stay safe, and don’t be ashamed to contact the cyber task force. I stand with you against these monstars.

Xi Jinping
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Xi Jinping

Great article. I also do believe that people should be sentenced for thought crimes and all free thinking should indeed be banned to protect people. People’s safety is always more important than their freedom.

Vladimir Putin
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Vladimir Putin

I concur, these feminists have the correct idea about how people should be controlled. The human ability to think is dangerous and it should be heavily regulated.

Sisi
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Sisi

I don’t know if it’s really the same thing, but I can’t enjoy erotic content if the participants (literary or cinematic) enjoy it. Like openly, enthusiastically enjoy it.

Truth must out
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Truth must out

All heterosexual sex is rape. When a woman gets sexually aroused, the arousal clouds her jusgement the way that alcohol does (even more so as arousal evolved for the specific purpose of getting people to have sex when they otherwise would not). This means a woman cannot consent as her jusgement is clouded by the arousal. Secondly, men and women have an innate power imbalance (physically and socially), and so a woman cannot actually “consent” in the same way that a minor cannot consent or an employee cannot consent due to the power imbalance which creates undue pressure. Only homosexual sex avoids these pitfalls and allows for real “consent”.

Misandtriste
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Paternity Fraud, you wifully-ignorant moron. That is rape that goes on for 18 years or so. It exists due to selfish female genes wanting to propagate themselves via the best male genes possible whilst profiting from the most nurturing (then potentially-cuckholded) male individuals resources and time. Female chimpanzees have been seen doing the same, so it’s hardly a social construct (not of humans, anyway).
Or, to quote Germaine Greer: If the penis is hard, it isn’t rape (she was referring to the penis of a 13 year old boy or something, note).
Equality along Greer’s lines would then be: If the pussy is wet, then it isn’t rape.
“Secondly, men and women have an innate power imbalance (physically and socially)”
Er, have you literally not noticed how women connive behind people’s backs in a way that men just don’t? That’s power, SOCIAL power, fool. Doesn’t your victimhood mentality allow you to count everything in the equation? Or is it innate to female biology to be dishonest (like the female chimps are)? Ask yourself, coward. Oh yeah, “coward” a term invented to shame men into serving women and children via self-sacrifice in physical defence of them (bear in mind that those children may not even be his).
Grow the fuck up and be honest.

bob
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bob

This is one of the funniest things I have read in a long while. Imagine being able to write this article and not thinking “Maybe it’s me that is mentally ill?”

rapelover
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rapelover

fuck off cunt ill rape the imaginary characters in my head if i want, suck my dick puritan

Anonymous
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Anonymous

You are exactly why Lori’s piece is vitally important right now. You despicable little microdick insect.

Misandtriste
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And your misandry is an improvement upon their rape-apology HOW? Desperately grasping to hurt the man with the worst ad-hominem insult possible rather than accurate criticism EVEN IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, my emotions-clouded ‘friend’… “microdick”, like the size matters to what you do with it, rape or not). Reminds me of an ex-GF of mine who, called me a “misogynist prick” – WITHOUT justification as far as I recall, too. It was always possible to be justified, but read on: This was after stonewalling me all night, when I turned-up to meet her at the other end of town, not vice-versa, and because I was late (work overran, or I had some health issues to deal with, I forget), decided to punish me for this perceived slight. When she was SITTING IN A BAR WITH HER FRIENDS ENJOYING HERSELF. How abusive of me, to make her wait in such an inconvenient environment, right? Goaded on by her idiot Feminst-inspired friends (one of whom had recently had a bad breakup with her BF and was too intellectually-feeble to keep it in context, whilst having the GALL to sit there and say “Huh, MEN!” like we’re all to blame for her being both ugly and not intelligent enough to compensate for it with a nice character and good physical workout ethic. NO excuses for hatred, but she and her idiot friends wanted one so badly, didn’t they, the entitled arseholes. No self-awareness or joining of the dots between their objectifying-males behaviour and male objectification of women for male self-protection, is there? BOTH matter and NEITHER existed before the other, AFAIK. Study evolutionary biology to answer that question, like literally NO Feminist appears to ever have done (note: I exaggerate that last one, naturally SOMEONE will have done so whilst maintaining a Feminist frame because Feminism is such a hazy, umbrella term). Incidentally, why is the word “prick” generally acceptable to refer to a bad man, reducing him to a sexual organ whilst misandrist-like implying that organ is a NEGATIVE thing (same as the MALE – cucked comes to mind as an applicable descriptor – utter morons who call it their “junk” when it’s something to be proud of or neutral about at least, an organ of the highly-evolved human body). Surely that is stupider, less accurate, less reasonable, and more childish than a man who refers to a woman who resorts to animal-level behaviour as a female dog metaphor, i.e. bitch? Dogs can’t know better, humans can. So it’s more an insult to innocent dogs than to women. Note also the word “wanker” to refer to a bad man – implying that GOOD MEN ARE REWARDED WITH SEX WHILST BAD MEN HAVE TO MASTURBATE ALONE. Which implies that women have FAR more clout and power in society through this method, than is admitted, doesn’t it? So let’s just not go there, lying narrative-promoters might lose out on some unjustified POWER they have gotten from omitting the truth about where power currently is held… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Actually agree. Lusting in your heart is the same as lusting in the flesh according to Christ. Entertainment of something (unconsensual or whatever) in your mind leads to justification of the real action. You are what you continuously think.

This
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This

Fantasizing about rape murder or pedophilia is only a step away from the action. You will condition yourself to thoughts feelings and images till the point you will be desensitized to your own thoughts. The real thing won’t seem like such a step up after that.

Vina Green
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Vina Green

Great piece, Lori. There’s a lot of popular culture surrounding women’s fantasies that implies a lack of consent – the classic ‘highwayman’, the woman who falls for the ‘baddie’, the idea that when women say no, they really mean yes. Even the term ‘bodice ripper’ describing steamy female oriented romance fiction implies overpowering and the use of force. Which logically, is okay, I suppose, in the same way that I don’t tend to get upset about fictional robbery or murder. Because it’s fiction. And I know what they mean, really, right? But the issue of consent is so blurry, and such a grey one, and crossing it in the wrong way has can have an enormous affect on not just the person crossed, but the crosser too. Try reading ‘the tenth circle’ by Jodi Picoult. That book brought a whole new light to my view of consent.

Misandtriste
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“But the issue of consent is so blurry, and such a grey one, and crossing it in the wrong way has can have an enormous affect on not just the person crossed, but the crosser too.”
1) Why is it so? Answer without prejudice or positivity-bias towards women, (or anyone) please. I know that’s a lot to ask!
2) Crossing it in the wrong way? What’s the RIGHT way? Wrong way? “Here’s my pro-forma standard consent form, please read it and sign it, I’ll wait” is not conducive to seduction, especially as women are the ones who want the rules around sex to remain UNwritten for their overall long-term advantage – plausible-deniability of their true nature, etc. In order to avoid men rejecting them or playing them at their own game, arguably (hence the need for all those ‘nasty’ Red Pill types and their pesky ‘evidence’-based philosophies shining a light on things – generally NOT the tactics of abusers, in my considered experience).

Note that this is STILL the closest anyone has come to empathising with what MEN have to deal with when it comes to consent when pursuing a woman, when the woman is so often sending mixed signals, and/or approaching the whole thing like the man is the enemy, an object to be used for sex or power, etc.
If that’s not what women want, then as a woman, let alone a potential/assumed Feminist/Egalitarian: how’s about some ire towards whoever promotes female confusion in the signalling?
Who justifies making life harder for men. Is it nature? Is it socialisation to not be a slut? Slut-shaming happens in CHIMPS (females have been observed sneaking off to get DNA from outside the group, thus avoiding paternity-fraud slut-shaming related dominant male policing)… so good luck with that, and calling it a social construct, as it obviously just isn’t. Biology is far harder to criticise when it’s had millions of years to, no more nor less than conclusively prove itself as right as anything EVER DID, though, eh?
Clue: men are simple creatures, we prefer clear signalling, so we can put the effort into other ‘fitness-test’ issues including the physical act of sex itself. It’s highly-unlikely to be us wanting to muddy these waters. Those who cannot empathise with men, not because it is in any way opaque what men go through, but out of simple-minded blinkeredness, will continue to forment problems between the sexes, face it.
(Note to article author, gender binary chosen for majority-statistical relevance and simplicity, please do not make assumptions as to one’s imagination and empathic capabilities based on such simplistic metrics, since so many do…).

Neeva
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Neeva

Great article. That’s something which makes me very picky about erotica. About two thirds I just throw away. But the remaining third is worth it.

For your own fantasies you can have a lot of fun thinking up steamy dialogues dealing with consent or safety. The thing with the shower has quite good potential there …
🙂