Fantastic blog post definitively explains consent



It’s a good analogy, and I like some of the nuances it raises. Unfortunately, it may not be convincing to the target audience, because I don’t think those who complain against consent laws see sex as a selfless gift (like making tea). I’d guess they see it more as a two-way trade, or even as a gift being given to them, rather than a gift they are giving someone else.

I think the tea analogy can possibly stretch to those, though.

If I ask you to make me a cup of tea, and you say no, well, what am I gonna do? I can make one with my own hands. If you say yes, then don’t, well, I can remind you that you promised, but forcing you to the kettle isn’t something most sane people would do.

So the analogy works well whichever way the gift is flowing, if sex is seen as a gift.

If it’s seen as a trade or reciprocation, though, then I think the analogy breaks down. If they pay you for a tea, then they should either get their tea, or an apology and refund. If they work for tea, then they can’t have the time they’ve worked refunded, but they can at least get something of equal value in return.

“Nice date, thanks for paying for the drinks, great kissing, and you give good oral… bye now” does not fit this mental model of sex-as-trade (or sex-as-reciprocated-gifts).

So maybe it’s the mental model that needs changing?

One problem with the metaphor is that young men don’t have a horde of screaming hormones commanding them to serve tea.


This analogy has definitely made me see Mrs Doyle in a different light.


No one has hormones commanding them to do anything. That’s one of the nastier ideas about male sexuality, that we need to put down.

Arguably, a precondition for understanding the tea metaphor is accepting that men are responsible for their actions.


I know it’s not the point of the piece but I really want a cup of tea now. :tea:


I’m glad that someone finally published an article describing how they can avoid inadvertently raping a man.

Finally we can all understand that just because a man is erect( i.e. the tea-kettle is boiling ) does not imply that he consents( i.e. wants to make tea ).

Oh, I’d rather say that everyone is responsible for the commands they follow.

While I think I’m basically saying the same thing as you, I also really hate the idea that “I was just following orders” is a valid excuse in any situation.

So what if somebody feels like his hormones are commanding him to do something? People have been executed for following inhumane orders. We call them war criminals.

All is fair neither in love nor war.


Ya think?

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What about those events where the tea-drinker decides after drinking that they didn’t actually want the tea afterall?
You hear so many all kinds of spooky stories from both tea makers and drinkers that I’m surprised anyone goes near the stuff.

But all in all I’m just happy that I’ve never touched the stuff for religious reasons. God made my tea-instruments so hideously ugly that ain’t nobody gonna drink with those.

Oh man, but could you imagine what a world would be like if that were so? Wow.

FWIW, I am informed that, startling as it may seem, hormones compelling procreative activity aren’t just limited to those beings with Y chromosomes. Though they seem to have an overwhelming segment of society reporting on them and excusing behaviours on that basis.


Yeah, I hear that happens a lot. </eye-roll>

The tea-server should note that if the potential tea-drinker has imbibed of intoxicants or other mind-altering substances, then - like being asleep, in a coma, or otherwise mentally incapacitated - they are not in a proper state to agree to drinking tea, and the responsibility falls onto the tea-server.


Did they decide this while drinking, or did they really only decide this afterwards? Did you really get consent to serve them tea, and did you make it clear they could decline the tea at any point?

If, as best you can tell, consent was continuous, if you made an honest effort to prepare and serve tea so that the tea-drinker would enjoy the tea and made it clear that you would respect the tea-drinker’s wishes throughout – all of which are really the basic expectations for a good host – then you should be fine.

Sometimes we get what we wanted, and realize we didn’t want it as much as we thought we did. C’est la vie.

Not to put too fine a point on it, one side of this is true and the other is a lie. It is so rare for a women to falsely accuse someone, that you may as well treat it as something that never happens. There is extensive documentation of this.


To be perfectly honest, all my experiences (consensual or non-consensual) related to this tea-drinking is hear-say as the lawyers say. So somewhat untrustworthy.

I’m somewhat sure that just because something is extremely rare, doesn’t mean it is a lie. At best a “statistical anomaly” or something.
Also, given the part you are quoting, would mean that I lied about having heard or read stories from one party but not the other. Or that I find the whole stuff overly spooky.

Though in my extended social network (extended a bit and then extended a bit more), there was a couple where just under a year after an amicable separation, one party decided that there had been involuntary tea-drinking involved in their relationship. But again, that’s hear-say, luckily I don’t have to deal with either party so don’t have to form an opinion on the character of either.

Oh, and I got told I was an ass and should’ve said the aquaintances in question were a “he” and a “he”. Though I still don’t see how that makes any difference, but at least this way I won’t get sarcasted at.

It’s a lie to describe something that is very rare as very common. If you repeat a lie, that doesn’t mean you intended to lie. But you need to realize it’s a lie, and refrain from repeating it.


Ah, I see now where the wires got mixed up. when I wrote that one hears lots of all kinds of spooky stories, I didn’t mean the “lots” to just mean just the non-consensual tea drinking (Would probably involve a funnel of some sort, come to think of it.). I meant that to refer to all tea drinking shenanigans. Like “I picked up the tea pot and the handle broke off.”
So as such it wasn’t a lie.
As for what I think you were refering to, the number I found given is around 2% of reported incidents (max). Take into account all the ones that don’t get reported, we are probably looking at something closer to the promille numbers than percentage. Not something to take into account in every case, but something that still exists.

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