What movie taught you the most about consenting to sex?

… In the movies (that are not “Superbad”), sexual consent goes something like this: the lights dim, the mood swells, two people silently move toward each other at the same exact time, knowing what the other wants without speaking a word. Clothes come off seamlessly; lovemaking ensues. Consent is implied, not spoken.

But in real life — and, ever more frequently, on college campuses — what constitutes consent is wildly more complicated. Sometimes one person initiates; other times it’s both; still other times it’s hard to tell. Sometimes one party wants to engage in part of the sex act but not all of it; other times a person may consent to doing one thing at one moment, only to withdraw that consent as the thing actually begins to happen. …

From Jessica Bennett, Campus Sex … With a Syllabus


Out of likes!!! For the first time. I would give you 1,000 for this if I could. It’s one of my faves.


I should have never watched Father Ted


I should never have watched Animal House.

No movies! I have always found the concept and practice easy to understand.

One area I am very critical of, however, is the conflict I often encounter between consent and harassment laws and policies. Many of these are formulated in such a way that makes explicitly asking about sex possible grounds for disciplinary or even legal action. Meaning that if you ask a person and they are happy that you asked, it becomes a simple yes/no matter of consent. But unfortunately, if it turns out that they didn’t want you to even broach the topic of sex with them in the first place, then it is harassment. So, basically, you’re supposed to psychically guess ahead of time whether or not they wanted you to ask them. Perhaps one being thick and asking a second time if one has already received a firm “no” could be harassment, but not the first time.

I think that this common part of harassment definitions badly needs to go, because it runs counter to intention of eliminating the guesswork. Anything which potentially trivializes or punishes discussion of consent would seem more productive to avoid. Personally, I think that courteous people would know that it is better to risk verbal offense than rape! But it’s still important to not punish people for asking if we are trying to encourage dialog about these things.


I know what yer saying. And to make it even more confusing–as I suspect you are aware–throw in marriage. I swear it makes it even harder, because you are more intimate more of the time. But it still doesn’t give either partner carte Blanche or give you extra psychic capabilities. And being married doesn’t automatically make communication easier or clearer.

I can’t say that every time I have been intimate with someone I had real consent. And that really fucking bothers me.


Definitely Alien


Throw unknown triggers from childhood abuse into that mix, and it gets even more complicated… Being explicit about what you want before and during, then having debriefing sessions afterwards can be necessary.


Basically anything that isn’t Revenge of the Nerds.


Are you pretending to be Austin Powers?

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That fucking movie man… ugh.

Honestly the movie that taught me the most about consent; Uncle Buck.


Part of the issue is the context. Some social groups are experienced as less equal. Employees have less choice to turn down a request on the job.

Since consent depends at least on two subjective perspectives, sexual harassment policy in the workplace should tend to err on the safe side.


Well let’s see. That movie involving Jodie Foster and the pinball machine – The Accused. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Those are the first two that come to mind.


Yes, and hoping to move a little beyond “no means no” - I really hope everyone here believes that, because I was talking about something more in a particular context where verbal consent can be tricky. This isn’t one-upmanship, it’s basically echoing what common advice states: creating an environment where the other person is in control and feels that they can say no. Sometimes a partner wants to make you happy, so it’s important to be clear that nobody owes the other person their body and that there’s control at every point. Some women think that men can’t stop when they’ve started - that’s not true and it has to be clear. Sometimes there can be an impulse to remove yourself from the situation emotionally so as not to get hurt, and just go with whatever the other person wants. Even if verbal consent has been given, I don’t think it’s a healthy situation.

When I talk about enthusiasm, it’s not to say that there’s any coercion involved. It just isn’t the case that my wife can think abstractly about sex as a positive thing - it has to come within a particular context for it to be enjoyable. That’s why I won’t second guess her if she’s otherwise comfortable but doesn’t give the “right” responses every time. If she’s not into it, she can and does stop the situation, but I want to make sure that there’s no pressure to perform or justify her actions.

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The Accused is still a hard movie to watch. it’s great and brings the issue of consent in such situations to the fore, but it’s brutal.


Still going with this one.


On a college campus I regularly see a poster that says “Sex without consent is sexual assault”.

And while I agree completely and I’m glad the message is out there it also bothers me that college students need to be told this.


Sometimes, sex is hard to watch, even from a first person viewpoint.

Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.

This Guy