We launched our 2018 Sexual Health Week campaign Consent: Yes, yes, yes! with a special panel discussion on consent at WeWork Mansion House.
The evening began with drinks, snacks, our Sexual Health Quiz and demonstrations of the fantastic sex toys in our goodie bags, donated by Tenga.
The evening was in full swing by the time our panel discussion began.
Our moderator for the evening was the amazing Alix Fox - host of Radio 1’s Unexpected Fluids podcast, the Guardian’s Close Encounters podcast, journalist, activist, and all-round wonder woman. She introduced the evening with a condemnation of rape culture, and a shout out to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp which are playing such a key role in the shift in public consciousness.
Panel members for the evening were:
- Nathaniel Cole, co-founder of Swim Dem Crew, mental health advocate and affiliate of the Great Man initiative, which delivers workshops to young boys in schools on masculinity and healthy relationships.
- Master Dominic, who runs adult sex education classes and works as a professional dominator.
- Chidera Eggerue, aka The Slumflower, author and influencer.
Nathaniel discussed how one of the traditional tropes of manhood is that sex is something that men are entitled to from women. “Consent and communication go hand in hand,” he said, explaining that all Great Man workshops teach boys that a healthy relationship is one that includes communication.
Master Dominic shone a light on LGBT+ issues that are often overlooked by mainstream messaging. Discussing consent in LGBT+ relationships, he posed the question: “how can any queer person be expected to have healthy conversations about sex when our very existence is denied?” Expanding on experience from his work, he explained that ongoing consent and communication is absolutely key in kink, as consent must be sought for each new act. But outside of kink, consent is often only asked for once – leaving room for uncomfortable experiences. He highlighted the importance of asking for consent every time: “saying yes once doesn’t mean a lifetime pass.”
Chidera talked about how draining she finds it that the world always appears to feel so entitled to women and that the onus should not be on women to prove that they deserve to be treated like people. Speaking about persistance and coercion, she highlighted how important it is not to pester a partner for sex if they have already said no, and that persisting until a partner gives in and say yes is not consent.
After the panel drew to a close, guests from across the sexual health sector were presented with fantastic goodies from ONE condoms, including Tattoo Touch rubbers, ribbed with ink-inspired designs, HANX vegan condoms, and luxury Tenga and Iroha sex toys including the original vacuum cup, the tori vibrator and original variety six packs of eggs.
A huge thank you from FPA to everyone that appeared, attended as a guest, or contributed to our goodie bags.