By Fabia Morger
In light of the media hype surrounding the new Swedish consent law, confusion seems to have arisen about how to have consensual sex. I mean, how on earth can anybody find out if their partner actually wants to have sex? It’s one of the greatest world mysteries right next to the Collatz conjecture. But, worry not, Fabia’s got your back. Since I’m obviously a genius, I’ve managed to have consensual sex in Sweden more times than I can count (sorry for the overshare but now you know – I am having sex!), and I’m going to share my wisdom with all of you. Are you ready to have your mind blown?
OK. Since I believe in practice-oriented learning, I’ll demonstrate how consent can work with several examples closely resembling real-life situations. Maybe you find a common denominator in all of them:
Layla and Bert have been a couple for five years. Every Friday, they cosy up on the sofa eating chips and watching a movie. This Friday, Layla, feeling horny, casually takes off her top as they cuddle on the sofa. Bert, reciprocating her feelings, takes off his T-shirt in turn. Layla takes of her bra. Bert pulls down his pants. Long story short, a few seconds later both of them are stark naked, kissing passionately. After the kissing has gone on for a while, they start humping like rabid rabbits, while their favourite Netflix series runs in the background.
Coming home from work, Leo is elated. He finally managed to ask out the cute guy from the IT department and he said yes! Could life get any better? Wearing his best suit, Leo meets Juan (the guy) at a restaurant. While nibbling on their pre-dinner snacks, Juan puts his cards on the table: he’s recently come out of a long-term relationship and isn’t ready for something serious. He would, however, be interested in casual sex with Leo. That’s a bummer. Leo had been crushing on Juan and had hoped for something more. Well, at least he’s honest. He’s also quite sexy. After a few minutes of consideration, Leo agrees to the casual sex offer. They return to Leo’s place and get right to it. Juan may not want a relationship but at least he’s got some talent with his tongue.
Angela and Amir are training the 7-year olds’ football club every Tuesday. After all the kids went home one Tuesday evening, Angela knocks on Amir’s changing room door to ask him a question about their next match. When he lets her in he hasn’t yet put his shirt on, presenting his gorgeous abs. Flushed, Angela cannot stop staring at them, a fact Amir notices and is clearly flattered by. Angela asks what his plans are for the evening. Amir says he doesn’t have anything planned. Angela’s gaze is still glued to his abs. Shyly, she asks him whether he had ever thought about doing something naughty in the changing room. Amir replies that he had indeed thought of that with her in mind. Oh really? Angela can hardly breathe. Her eyes shift from his abs to his jogging pants and she notices that his abs aren’t the only hard thing on his body… After a few seconds of passionate silence they promptly decide to make their fantasies come true. The floor is colder and harder than in their imagination but nothing they can’t compensate for with their hot and steamy bodies.
Joel is sitting in a bar, meeting his old classmate Nicole. They haven’t seen each other for a while and have a lot to talk about. During their talks Nicole reveals that her marriage has turned sour. Her husband’s always away for work and when he’s around he doesn’t really care about her needs. She has thought about divorce but, then again, she doesn’t want to go through the whole legal procedure. Maybe, she ponders loudly, it would be sufficient if she just had a fling on the side. Joel is somewhat surprised at her willingness to be unfaithful. He’s usually a believer in monogamy and finds affairs immoral. However, he’s always been attracted to Nicole and it’s true that her husband is kind of a jerk… His lust wins over his moral conscience and he suggests himself as potential affair partner. Nicole immediately agrees and they disappear back to the hotel room she’s staying in. Back home, Joel feels somewhat guilty about their encounter but the thought that he won’t be seeing Nicole again for a long time calms his conscience considerably.
Helen is having friends over for her birthday party. After some hours of dance and fun, seven of them decide to have a spaghetti orgy at Claus’ the next night. The day after, everybody is coming to the arranged meeting, where Claus is cooking large amounts of spaghetti and tomato sauce wearing nothing but a pink mankini. Everybody else is also in a state of undress. Sara, who came last, is somewhat shocked and rejects her participation. She had thought the “orgy” was merely metaphorical. They apologize for the misunderstanding and send her on her way with a Tupperware of Spaghetti. Everyone else indulges in steamy group sex that involves eating spaghetti Napoli off each other’s bodies.
Alright, I now give you two minutes to think about what the common denominator in all those scenarios might be. If you don’t get it, don’t worry! We’re all here to learn.
Ok, have you taken your two minutes? The common denominator is that, in all these scenarios, people were okay with having sex with each other. They weren’t pressured or blackmailed into it and there certainly wasn’t any violence involved. True, some of them may really not be your cup of tea but nobody can deny that all the participants involved did all of the sex acts voluntarily. And that’s all that consent means. In Sweden and anywhere else in the world.