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Consent is Sexy
December 11, 2012 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Victoria's Secret has a new line of feminist-friendly underwear: PINK ♥s Consent. Except not really -- it's a hoax site created by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. The internet's response has been tremendous.
posted by Gordafarin (78 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
Reminds me of The Yes Men.
posted by phrontist at 12:45 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is a message that Victoria's Secret should be getting here that I don't think they're getting. Perhaps her secret is that she's doesn't listen especially well.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:50 PM on December 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Baltimore based, apparently. I like that.
posted by josher71 at 12:52 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Victoria's Secret is not pleased at all, which makes it work for me.

ShutterBun, you are kind of missing the point.
posted by emjaybee at 12:52 PM on December 11, 2012


Chubby ladies, too! **sigh** one day this will be real.
posted by SassHat at 12:55 PM on December 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


Stupid hoaxes making me have hope for multinational brands.
posted by klangklangston at 1:00 PM on December 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


More of this, please.
posted by daq at 1:05 PM on December 11, 2012


Yes these models are really quite cute. Great message, too. Just great all around.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:06 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love this sort of prank, culture-jamming, whatever. It reminds me of the activities of the Barbie Liberation Organization.

From the fourth link: In fact, their current designs seem to lean more toward rape culture than consent. Their PINK brand, marketed at high school and college-aged women, sports thongs with the slogan “SURE THING” printed right over the crotch. ... We can think of one circumstance where a vagina is treated like a “SURE THING”: rape.

This calls for a matching It's Cold Outside winter coat.
posted by exogenous at 1:08 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Would that it were true. . .

I've done a lot of thinking about the VS PINK line and the impact it has on girls across America being the parent of a daughter. For many years, it seems, a central way American girls have processed puberty and the transition to adulthood has been through buying their first lingerie, and for the girls in my daughter's social circle, that meant getting their first VS underwear--specifically, a thong. When she was in the 6th grade, all the girls in her class swore a secret pact to get a thong, wear it to school on a particular day, and go to the bathroom in groups to show them off to one another. A thong from Walmart would do, but the agreed-upon ideal was to acquire a VS PINK thong.

Then parents found out about the girls' plot. Some forbade their daughters to participate, instituted underwear checks to ensure a No Thong rule, and complained that there were proto-"sluts" in the class who had initiated the scheme. A few mothers gleefully took their daughters to VS and bought them thongs with misty eyes. And the rest of us parents avoided joining the pro and anti sexy girl camps, neither facilitating nor prohibiting our daughers' thong-purchasing.

What I did was to have a long sit-down critique of the VS PINK line with my kid--how it works to teach girls that what matters most about them is their bodies, specifically making them attractive to men. How it hypersexualized girls. How the models are all photoshopped out of all human realism, instilling body dysphoria. How ridiculously overpriced the items are. How there is something really creepy about the fact that VS sold thongs in sizes *too small for my average-weight 6th grade daughter* and appeared about the right size for a 7 year old. And most of all, how sad it was that the way the girls in class wanted to prove they were now "adult" was by buying things, not by doing something creative or charitable.

My kid took the conversation seriously, then went and spent her own money on a thong from a local clothing outlet store she could walk to. She wanted to belong. I accepted that, and was pleased to hear her report on the day: a good number of girls had found a way to get a thong, and showed them off to one another in the bathroom. But then when some of the girls took to slapping their own butts and miming grinding in the schoolyard, she told them why she thought it was a bad idea. Their sexuality was their own--they weren't sex toys for public consumption.

Go kid. Anyway, I think the moral of the story is that we can teach our daughters to do themselves what FORCE did, and we should.
posted by DrMew at 1:13 PM on December 11, 2012 [356 favorites]


I favor the project, and think it's rad. I did however, for one second, think they were advertising my favorite band of all time.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:22 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I find the idea of celebrating consent really, unbelievably, squicky and creepy, actually. It's like celebrating not getting murdered for another year; it's not a thing you should feel like you have to celebrate.
posted by byanyothername at 1:23 PM on December 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


The irony being that they didn't ask Victoria's Secret's consent before hijacking their name.

That was irony, right?
posted by Egg Shen at 1:28 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some forbade their daughters to participate, instituted underwear checks to ensure a No Thong rule, and complained that there were proto-"sluts" in the class who had initiated the scheme.

Yeahhhhh, if you're forcing your pubescent daughter to show you what's in her pants and telling her all her peers are sluts, you're way more fucking dangerous and smarmy than some lingerie fad.
posted by clarknova at 1:28 PM on December 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


Damn, I would totally buy these.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:29 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was irony, right?

Or parody.

Well, satire, but that wouldn't rhyme.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:31 PM on December 11, 2012


*deep breath* *TMI*

My mother has never worn underwear. Except for the couple she owned for periods back when you looped it into a belt, or for white pants.

This is/was very oldfashioned and traditional, because for most of my growing up, she wore 6 yards of sari draped around her when she got dressed up. At home she wore dustercoats over the sari petticoats and blouse.

Our wearing panties was a *big* thing back when we (my sister and I) hit puberty/adolescence. She brought home these bloomers with elastic around the ends,which reached almost to the knees. I think we wore it once and ROFL'd - of course it was too long for the formal school uniform. I think that's what they used to wear when she was young enough to wear dresses. She would have stopped that once she reached her late teens and went to college in a sari.

Since her late fifties/early sixties she's given up wearing all the complicated traditional clothes and wears mom jeans or formal salwars. I don't know tbh and haven't asked but haven't noticed any in the wash.

Reading this is kinda like reverse rebellions - she let her nose piercing heal as a young girl to rebel, I wear regular, normal underwear.
posted by infini at 1:34 PM on December 11, 2012 [35 favorites]


The irony being that they didn't ask Victoria's Secret's consent before hijacking their name.
That was irony, right?


I think you mean "the awesomeness".
posted by jammy at 1:40 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've done a lot of thinking about the VS PINK line and the impact it has on girls across America being the parent of a daughter. For many years, it seems, a central way American girls have processed puberty and the transition to adulthood has been through buying their first lingerie, and for the girls in my daughter's social circle, that meant getting their first VS underwear--specifically, a thong.

I definitely remember reading a depressing marketing case study of the PINK line when it first debuted. Apparently, even though the technical "target" for the flagship VS stuff is professional women, it is mostly purchased by college women- it's aspirational lingerie. So the idea behind PINK was to technically market it to college-aged women, knowing that high-school girls would purchase it to feel more grown-up and adult. It...seems to have been dishearteningly successful.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:42 PM on December 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


As a dad and old dude, I have to admit being more than a little rattled by young teenage girls running around with "Love Pink" (or, just "Pink") emblazoned across their backsides. There's a special level of hell for the marketing team that came up with this.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:54 PM on December 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


she let her nose piercing heal as a young girl to rebel
Hah! I wondered about that when I was in India.
posted by shothotbot at 1:55 PM on December 11, 2012


I find the idea of celebrating consent really, unbelievably, squicky and creepy, actually.

Yeah, it strikes me as, well, maybe not creepy, but kinda weird. I wasn't all that aware of the Victoria Secret thing, so absent the heads up on this stunt, I wouldn't have been surprised.

Some of the phrases amuse me, though. The thought of coming across a woman with "TALK TO ME" screaming from her behind sounds like a comic sketch.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:55 PM on December 11, 2012


The thought of coming across a woman with "TALK TO ME" screaming from her behind sounds like a comic sketch.

And how about a pre-teen with "Juicy" on her behind?
posted by shothotbot at 1:57 PM on December 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Another porn culture jam some might be interested in - it's not all perfect but I like the site overall, even if it does have its problems.
posted by susanpoose at 2:06 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This calls for a matching It's Cold Outside winter coat.

Not to derail but "Baby, it's cold outside" is not a song about rape. It's a song about a woman and man flirting, and a woman fighting with herself about going against social norms and what's expected of her. I laymen's terms, "If I stay here and sleep with him, people will think I'm a slut. I want to stay, and he wants me to stay, but I really, really shouldn't."

A man trying to convince a woman to stay is not the same as rape on any level. The entire rage against that song is just silly at best.

posted by Malice at 2:10 PM on December 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


not to derail, but imma derail this
posted by blue t-shirt at 2:13 PM on December 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


And how about a pre-teen with "Juicy" on her behind?

I actually find that laughable in its own way.

I do think the idea that the "Sure Thing" and "Yes, No, Maybe" and "NO peeking" stuff somehow endorses rape to be overstated, though. Sure, rape culture is complicated. When you see it, you don't always recognize it. You may also see it where it doesn't really exist.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:17 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


2N2222, as a matter of fact, the only type of man I'm willing to have sex with is the type of man who would, in fact, be turned on by the phrase TALK TO ME.
posted by BlueJae at 2:17 PM on December 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I find the idea of celebrating consent really, unbelievably, squicky and creepy, actually.

Yeah, it strikes me as, well, maybe not creepy, but kinda weird.


As opposed to celebrating coercion?

If you read the main link, you'll see that some of the slogans were also "No" and "maybe", to get the point across that consent has to be present for sex to happen. I don't have any idea why anyone would find that squicky.

The underlying premise is: move sex from something coerced or imposed or pleaded for or rewarded to something that includes the enthusiastic consent of all parties.
posted by emjaybee at 2:17 PM on December 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is there something wrong with Victoria's Secret? They have fairly boring designs and are overpriced, but I'm not getting the hate here...
posted by KokuRyu at 2:18 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I understand that sexual assault is a serious issue, but is there a specific reason to target Victoria's Secret?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:20 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


KokuRyu: in spite of their tacky, overpriced and very low-quality products (bras which are sized such that they do not actually fit 'true to size' but much, much smaller, and don't come in many sizes above 36C), problematic and rather disgusting slogans (PINK-emblazoned pre-teen butts are all kinds of problematic--PINK-emblazoned adult butts are just gross), I believe this has something to do with it.
posted by nonmerci at 2:21 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I understand that sexual assault is a serious issue, but is there a specific reason to target Victoria's Secret?

The linked site goes into detail about the issues with VS's "PINK" line (which I didn't even realize was their brand until this started).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:22 PM on December 11, 2012


I thought the linked site was a hoax site. I'm sorry, but I can't see an immediate connection between something VS does and "rape culture", and I guess my real issue is that I don't agree with culture jamming at all. On the other hand, my comments here are probably adding nothing to a discussion (and are probably a bit of a derail!) that is obviously important to a lot of people, so I will shut up now. Thanks for all of your patience!
posted by KokuRyu at 2:39 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The linked site is a hoax site in that it (superficially) pretends VS cares about the issues in question. The characterization of the "PINK" line, though opinionated, is based on actual facts.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:41 PM on December 11, 2012


they do not actually fit 'true to size' but much, much smaller, and don't come in many sizes above 36C

Um, double-A here, and they don't have my size either. They do three very middle of the road cup sizes. And their underwear crawl right up your ass and stay there. I have no idea how they've stayed in business this long.

Love the hoax site, love the underwear, love the movement. Would buy. Would join if I lived in Baltimore.
posted by thelastcamel at 2:45 PM on December 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


2N2222, as a matter of fact, the only type of man I'm willing to have sex with is the type of man who would, in fact, be turned on by the phrase TALK TO ME.

No doubt. Though maybe not by your ass saying, "TALK TO ME".

As opposed to celebrating coercion?

As opposed to assuming coercion is normal.

The underlying premise is: move sex from something coerced or imposed or pleaded for or rewarded to something that includes the enthusiastic consent of all parties.

That's fine. It's just not obvious to me that all those phrases are pointing in that direction. Without context, a butt that says, "TALK TO ME" is just as cryptic as one that says "PINK".
posted by 2N2222 at 2:47 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


How about something on my ass that says:

Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Such characters in colour dim I mark'd
Over a portal's lofty arch inscrib'd:
Whereat I thus: Master, these words import.


I have a big ass
posted by poe at 2:56 PM on December 11, 2012 [74 favorites]


The brilliance and success of FORCE's project cheered me up a lot. It gave me hope that it might be possible for our culture to evolve to a point where this is so obvious that it never needs to be stated or explained:

"Sex" necessarily includes consent. If clear and continuous consent is not present, then what is happening is not "sex," it's rape, which is a different thing.
posted by Corvid at 3:01 PM on December 11, 2012


CONSENT is a verbal agreement (say it out loud—no "body language") about how and when people are comfortable having sex

Consent can be mutually expressed without a verbal agreement. If you are near the point of having sex with another person and not having good enough non-verbal communication to establish whether the sex would be consensual - you're doing it wrong.

Whether it's discussed or not, and even if the person expresses verbal consent, I think the ongoing non-verbal communication between partners is far more important, and stressing verbal consent is a dangerous mistake.
posted by crayz at 3:46 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find the idea of celebrating consent really, unbelievably, squicky and creepy, actually. It's like celebrating not getting murdered for another year; it's not a thing you should feel like you have to celebrate.

That's funny. I'm a big (well, relative to my income) supporter of San Francisco Women Against Rape, and I have a sticker on my cane that says "I ♥ Consent"

When my sister-in-law saw it she laughed and said it was ridiculous. "Who doesn't like consent?"

I thought maybe she was in denial about the prevalence of rape, but then again, maybe the notion of celebrating consent was creepy to her too?

I still don't get it.

It's like celebrating not getting murdered for another year

... or celebrating non-violence. ??
posted by mrgrimm at 3:53 PM on December 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


And how about a pre-teen with "Juicy" on her behind?

What I don't get is why people think that's sexy. Branding and objectification aside, the message those pants deliver is, "This ass is so full of 'juice' that it needs a warning label."

Maybe it's my history of gastric problems, but that is pretty much the last thing in the world that I'd want to advertise to everyone behind me on an escalator.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:11 PM on December 11, 2012 [20 favorites]


"If you are near the point of having sex with another person and not having good enough non-verbal communication to establish whether the sex would be consensual - you're doing it wrong."

Lots of people do it wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 4:39 PM on December 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


stressing verbal consent is a dangerous mistake.

Dangerous to who? Rapists?

What Big Bad Thing is going to happen if more people take the time to make sure their partner is consenting before getting it on? We're not talking about notarizing a contract (unless you're into that!*) just a brief "Do you really want to tonight?" and then waiting for either a "Yes" or an enthusiastic tackle.

*I don't judge what consenting notaries do in their bedrooms.
posted by emjaybee at 4:47 PM on December 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think what I love the most about this is that the message is so unequivocally explicit. That's hot.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:54 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The thought of coming across a woman with "TALK TO ME" screaming from her behind sounds like a comic sketch.

Talk to the butt because the hand ain't listenin'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


What Big Bad Thing is going to happen if more people take the time to make sure their partner is consenting before getting it on?

The problem is that verbal consent can be present in situations which are not really consensual, and I'm not just talking about inebriation. It's a lot easier for someone to lie with words than lie with non-verbal/physical communication. I have been in situations in which verbal consent was proffered, and made me feel less comfortable about going forward, based on the totality of the person's tone of voice/choice of words/body language/etc. The verbal message was eager consent, the between-the-lines message was, I'm terrified and I'm saying this because I think it's what guys want to hear.

I think it's very, very important to stress really, truly *communicating* with a partner, not getting a "yes" before you "tap that ass", which is frankly how this campaign comes across to me.
posted by crayz at 5:07 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I see your point, crayz, but I think it may be a case of perfect being the enemy of good.
posted by gilrain at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


so...where does everyone buy underwear? Ever since I moved here 4 years ago VS appeared to be the only underwear shop in the US. I would love to not have to go there anymore.
posted by Tarumba at 6:13 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


To rear me was the task of power divine,

What I love about Metafilter is that someone will make a comment about asses, alluding to Dante.

See also A Second Look at Dulcinea's Ass (JSTOR).
posted by ersatz at 6:16 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm a pretty ordinary size and fit, so basically, I get my undies at the Gap or the pretty stuff at department stores like Nordstrom. If I'm feeling extra full of cash, I go the La Perla on Michigan Avenue.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:22 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Victoria's Secret had any sense they'd jump on this, produce the line of panties, and donate the proceeds to rape crisis centers and domestic violence hotlines. I'm not holding my breath, though.
posted by alms at 6:25 PM on December 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sigh, it's sad to see Twitter coming out as a corporate tool. (From the linked Baltimore Fishbowl article.)
During the fashion show the main Twitter handle for the consent campaign @loveconsent was suspended. The account is still blocked and its tweets have disappeared from the Twitter feeds including #loveconsent and #victoriassecret.
posted by alms at 6:34 PM on December 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is so clever. The underwear looks awesome, and it shows what backwards douchebags VS is for getting all pissy and butt-hurt about it. If they had a single working brain cell they'd join forces with FORCE (pardon the pun) and do as alms suggested.

I doubt they would do that though, since it seems they're just a bunch of corporate fuckwits.

For the record, I buy my underwear at Target. VS underwear sucks.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 7:25 PM on December 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


they do not actually fit 'true to size' but much, much smaller, and don't come in many sizes above 36C
Um, double-A here, and they don't have my size either. They do three very middle of the road cup sizes.


Add to the list of sizes they don't do: anything combining small band/big cup or small cup/big band - sigh. Also, I really don't know how anyone manages to wear VS underwear without extreme discomfort - most of it is made out of the nastiest, cheapest, itchiest fabric. Blergh.

But anyway...I like this very much.
posted by naoko at 7:31 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


And how about a pre-teen with "Juicy" on her behind?

That says "I am the eighth dwarf" to me.
posted by XMLicious at 7:36 PM on December 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Ever since I moved here 4 years ago VS appeared to be the only underwear shop in the US. I would love to not have to go there anymore.

The only people I ever knew who got stuff at VS were college girls...There are plenty of places online if you want really posh stuff, otherwise why not pop into a random department store (Macy's, Nordstrom, what have you) and find something you like?
posted by emjaybee at 7:44 PM on December 11, 2012


I like some of these designs, and would totally buy them for my partner if they were real.

PINK-emblazoned adult butts are just gross

Meh. They are cheap, come in fun colors, last decently, and fit her well, so my partner buys them. Every so often she accidentally ends up with one that has a particularly odd slogan on the ass, which makes us laugh. At some point VS will change their materials or their designs, and then she'll have to spend ages finding a replacement brand that is both flattering and cheap, but until then Pink it is, despite the super problematic marketing.
posted by Forktine at 8:20 PM on December 11, 2012


Also, Victoria's Secret put Hail To The Victors on a Michigan State t-shirt. Why they were mangling collegiate logowear I have no idea, but it sounds like they don't have a whole lot going on upstairs.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:07 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tarumba - my wife swears by Change. They do fittings, almost all combinations of band and cup sizes from very small to very large, and are well made and run from plain to stylish to sexy. They are expensive compared to Target or similar, but what price boob comfort?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:58 PM on December 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


VS all cotton underpants are about the only ones I will wear; I'm surprised people hate them. And yes, VS should totally have taken this campaign and run with it. They are idiots to make this stink about it.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:28 PM on December 11, 2012


Tarumba: so...where does everyone buy underwear? Ever since I moved here 4 years ago VS appeared to be the only underwear shop in the US. I would love to not have to go there anymore.

I'm a huge Target fan for undies. I tried some of their "boy shorts" a while ago, and not only were they fun vibrant colors, but also hella comfortable. Soft fabric, no riding up, etc... Put them on and forget them!

Just this weekend I also picked up a bunch of bras. Target started releasing DD bras in a wide variety of patterns and styles, and I found some T-shirt ones which were only 20$, very comfortable, no underwire. I'm seriously considering going back and getting more.

Any department store will carry undies, though.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:29 PM on December 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"If you are near the point of having sex with another person and not having good enough non-verbal communication to establish whether the sex would be consensual - you're doing it wrong."

Lots of people do it wrong.
posted by klangklangston at 12:39 AM on December 12


I think both of these statements are true.
posted by Decani at 12:47 AM on December 12, 2012


The heart consent underwear is great, and in contrast to other counter-cultural marketing, this feels fun and communicative and useful and human. I think it's a great addition to the ongoing conversation society is having about consent.

There's a tendency for people (and to my shame, I've fallen for this line) to take the "you must verbally consent to sex" message in a negative way. Cue hysterical parodies about filling in forms and signing form 12.b (Application for consensual sex) in order to get it on. This tendency ignores the fact that there isn't enough consent in the world and people are being hurt.

I think if boys were taught to try and start from the position of asking for consent, then we'd be in a better place societally. It's hard for me to put this in the context of the 17 year old boy I was. I could barely speak to girls, never mind actually asking if it was OK to do something sexual. Hard as that conversation is, it should be tried.

One way towards this is to demystify consent and to make it part of the natural conversation of adulthood. Underwear emblazoned with cutesy consent phrases may be the way to go with this. Hell - I think even I may have found it easy to ask if we were good to go if I'd been reading it off a girls crotch.

Consent should be a no-brainer. Everyone should ♥ consent. But it'll be easier for everyone to get to that place if we throw in some good old fun marketing.

And this underwear should definitely be made. If you're reading this and you're associated with Victoria's Secret, make this happen.
posted by zoo at 3:05 AM on December 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Victoria's Secret will never ever do something like this, as much as I'd love them to. From a business perspective, there's no point in being smart and opinionated when you're selling just fine with shallow and fluffy.

(Tarumba: I really like Aerie for undies, as well as Gap Body. Gilly Hicks is also good - they're an obnoxious A&F brand and I hate their physical stores, but the undies are cute and comfortable and high-quality. And the cheapo Hanes ComfortSoft undies you find at drugstores - the kind with the covered waistband - are pretty good for the price. I don't really have anything against VS, but their Pink line feels cheap and scratchy and their regular cotton undies are cut weird, so it's very rare I buy underwear there. And while they carry my bra size, most of the bras they sell are Sexiest Very Sexy Bodyfit Ultimate Pushup BioLift and I just want something I can wear under a t-shirt.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:46 AM on December 12, 2012


As a student, I bought a pair of pants with a retro-y design on the front without really looking at them properly (they were cheap, I needed new underwear, and they were yellow). I later realised they had printed on the front 'LAST CHANCE SALOON'. I'm not sure what message was happening there, but I decided it wasn;t a good one and bought some different knickers.
posted by mippy at 5:01 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I think if boys were taught to try and start from the position of asking for consent, then we'd be in a better place societally. It's hard for me to put this in the context of the 17 year old boy I was. I could barely speak to girls, never mind actually asking if it was OK to do something sexual. Hard as that conversation is, it should be tried."

A sex-positive sex ed class would be fucking phenomenal and do so much to help unfuck the culture, but would give cultural conservatives the screaming mimis about how we were making high schools into sex farms.
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 AM on December 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


High schools, whether cultural conservatives like it or not, are already sex farms. Giving a sex-positive sex ed class would, at least, make it less like what it is now -- a factory farm where chickens are jammed in there so tight and pecking each other to death.

(Sorry, that metaphor got away from me.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


would give cultural conservatives the screaming mimis about how we were making high schools into sex farms.

Instead of the rape farms they already are.
posted by odinsdream at 9:27 AM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


How can you tell the guys took over this thread.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:50 PM on December 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I See London, I See France: Victoria's Secret Parody Campaign Fights Takedowns
posted by homunculus at 9:19 AM on December 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"If you are near the point of having sex with another person and not having good enough non-verbal communication to establish whether the sex would be consensual - you're doing it wrong."

This perspective is incorrect*, and makes casual fooling around more difficult. (Most typically, as Dan Savage notes, it makes casual quasi-sex trickier for many het women, and therefore less frequent for het men.) Here's why:

Imagine A & B are in a quasi-sexual situation. I dunno your personal criterion for 'having sex' vs. 'near the point of having sex' (orgasm-potential vs. arousal-only? penetration vs. handjob?), but imagine the latter. Imagine that A is really, really into the activity, comfortable, turned on, etc., but for reasons of her own (maybe she doesn't know B well enough, doesn't approve B's moral character, has PTSD, didn't consider her last fortune cookie auspicious, or WHATEVER) does not wish to upgrade from category 2 to category 1. What are the consequences of A allowing her body language to show her enjoyment of the current activity?

If switching to category 1 requires words or other explicit signals, then A doesn't need to worry: her body language channel can be used for purely expressive purposes. If B wants to switch to category 1, B will negotiate this switch through words, and at that point A can decline. But if B is reading A's body language to ascertain consent to switch (rather than to ascertain current pleasure), then B will initiate the switch physically rather than verbally, requiring A to disrupt a process that has already been set in motion, rather than merely decline an invitation.

And that's a drag: even if B has good intentions, B's physically initiating sex places a higher burden on A than an explicit invitation would have done. A non-verbal consent standard therefore increases the risk that:
(i) A winds up having sex she didn't particularly decide to have.
(ii) A inhibits her expression of bodily pleasure during Category 2 (and thereby interrupts the feedback loops that would naturally heighten this pleasure).
(iii) A avoids Category 2 unless she is reasonably certain she is also in the mood for Category 1.
(iv) B gets less action/enthusiasm.

*But you're totally right that we need to pay attention to non-verbal communication also, rather than relying exclusively on words.
posted by feral_goldfish at 9:42 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't ♥ consent. Negotiating consent is a requirement, and when it's abused, I am usually disgusted and stop having a relationship with the person in question. The lack of consent destroys connection and trust and chemistry and saying that I love consent is just a strange thing to do because I don't, I just expect it to be the baseline measure for continuing sex, and feel disappointed when it's not. I've always communicated a lot during sex, though, so I don't know. (And not like, "is it okay when I caress your elbow," but you know, normal, intimate stuff.)

I would like to hear from people who have actually been affected by these kinds of slogans, because I have no perspective on the issue-- I did not come to issues of sexual consent through any kind of attractive sloganing and it would be interesting to hear how that comes to be. My kneejerk reaction is to just go "bleghh" because I don't want to cheerlead from a position of "I'm vulnerable! Please don't rape me! Consent is sexy!" I also think it's unusual how the slogan alone does nothing to offer helpful, natural models of sexual communication, and I think that, the lack of knowing how to do it naturally, is the problem for people who are actually going to care.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:53 PM on January 1, 2013


I do ♥ consent. Much the same way that I ♥ oxygen.

stoneandstar, I wouldn't be surprised if there are people who have been affected by slogans like these, but don't realise it. Which is fine, of course.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:01 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I also think it's unusual how the slogan alone does nothing to offer helpful, natural models of sexual communication

I'm curious to hear your "natural" suggestions.

I would like to hear from people who have actually been affected by these kinds of slogans, because I have no perspective on the issue

It's an awareness campaign, marketed to people who have likely never considered the notion of "consent" or (more meta) how commercial advertising affects our desires. It's not a how-to.

That is, the people most affected by these campaigns aren't likely commenting about them on message boards.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:32 PM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this was linked yet, but an interview with the artists.
posted by josher71 at 10:02 AM on January 7, 2013


Not to get all nitpicky about it, and I like their project, but this:

We came up with this three-pack of underwear with a set of “No” underwear, “Yes” underwear and “Maybe” underwear, which we thought was a cute way of wearing what you were in the mood for. About a month later, Victoria’s Secret came out with this underwear that said “Yes, No, Maybe,” but it was all on the same underwear.

Doesn't having "maybe" underwear run completely counter to what they're trying to do - eg, foster clear, unambiguous consent? I don't see how underwear with just "maybe" on it is any different from underwear with "yes, no, maybe" on it.
posted by whir at 8:25 PM on January 10, 2013


I don't see how underwear with just "maybe" on it is any different from underwear with "yes, no, maybe" on it.

To me, "maybe" connotes "I haven't decided yet."

"Yes, no, maybe" connotes it doesn't matter what I decide.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:01 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


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