I have the secret to great sex. It’s not a special foreplay trick or a technique to help you last longer, it’s just two words — mutual consent. It may not sound sexy, but it’s the only way to have a worthwhile sexual experience, and one that won’t leave the other party emotionally scared for years to come.
Sadly, this scary college rape statistic still remains a reality — one in five college women report surviving rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime. According to a 2007 study, that comes to approximately 673,000 college females in the United States alone. That is the definition of an epidemic, but one that is totally preventable. Thankfully, Trojan condoms has decided to take action against it by advocating for mutual consent across college campuses nationwide.
Along with the not-for-profit organization Advocates for Youth, Trojan is setting up dozens of events at college and university campuses across the country to spread the consent message. One great way they’re involving students in this consent crusade is by having them sign a petition that aims to “support a culture of consent and to make sure consent is always given and received before and during sexual activity.” They want this fight for consent to be a student mission, not one enforced by a condom brand, so they’re giving students the tools to make a difference.
At each campus they visit, Trojan is handing out 100 kits filled with posters, postcards, laptop stickers and temporary tattoos to student advocates for distribution. That way, it becomes their movement, which is much more empowering than if brand employees just did it.
And so far, it seems to be working pretty well. Over 3,700 students have taken the consent pledge, and more are spreading the message by sharing photos of themselves holding up the posters and wearing the tattoos. The hope is the more the message is in college students’ faces every day, the harder it will be for sex without consent to take place.
It’s important to remember that those frightening statistics above are only from reported rapes and rape attempts. There’s a staggeringly larger (and relatively unknown) number of women and men who are sexually assaulted and don’t report it, because they’re either ashamed or scared, don’t think they were raped because it wasn’t violent or think no one will believe them because they were drunk. However, these posters do a great job of highlighting many examples of how rape can happen, even though the word “no” is never uttered, thereby empowering people to realize they were victimized. Not saying no does not mean you’ve said yes, and it’s important that everyone, victim or otherwise, knows the difference.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so consider joining the Pledge for Consent and pushing the movement forward. Remember, consensual sex is clear, coherent, willing and ongoing. Anything that doesn’t fall into all four of these categories is sexual assault, no matter how non-violent it may seem. So let’s do everyone a favor and stick to the sexiest kind of sex — the kind that requires two unmitigated affirmatives.