Have you ever had an experience that you did not consent to but that was enjoyable, transformational, or even pleasurable? This week Leigh and Ellie hang out with Avgi Saketopoulou, queer psychoanalyst and author of Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia, to discuss queering consent. As part of our discussion, Avgi shares stories of times when clients experienced events outside of their consent, including in sexual situations.
Consent is a very nuanced topic, but it tends not to be talked about that way. We do not live in a vacuum and as such consent can be messier than people tend to want to consider. For example, think about our favorite, Teenage Bounty Hunters. When Sterling gathers her courage and kisses April, she doesn’t ask for her consent first, and knowing April, it probably would not have gone over too well if she had. Even though April may not have consented to this kiss, she finds that she enjoys it. This is a transformational experience for the two of them, and it happens outside of the realm of consent.
As queer people, we have quite a good amount of experience of running opposite to societal norms. We step beyond our comfort zones just to exist in a heteronormative world. As such, we tend to better understand that many transformational experiences rely on our willingness to step beyond safety. Even so, we tend to still prize consent in a way that is more fantasy than reality. It is just not nearly as cut and dry when applied to real life situations.
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