Enthusiastically Yes

Enthusiastic Consent for Intimate Touching

Picture this – you’re out on a dinner date, and your date holds the door for you; they pull out your chair, they take your coat, and most importantly – they pay the bill (in this economy, yes!).  They drive you home, walk you to your front door, then they ask you if they can kiss you goodnight, and see you again soon.

Sounds like it’s out of a 1930s film, right?  What has happened to our consent culture?  Fast forward to 2023 – it’s “Hey. Sup. WYD”, then BAM, unsolicited dick pic.  And repeat and repeat until you are bored (or until you delete, then redownload Grindr).

With the rise in popularity of online dating, obtaining a conversation or images has never been easier.  If someone lives a thousand miles away, you can initiate a conversation and sext to your heart’s content until all of a sudden, one of you has disappeared into the night, never to be heard of again.

Consent culture has, at least from my perspective, been on a decline for some time. In the ten years that I have been out as a gay man, I have been constantly grabbed, touched, moved, pushed – you get the idea. And normally, I love attention — but on my time.

As a young twink in college, like many other young gay men, I was the target of an older-demographics desire.  While it is a lovely idea to be adored (I’m a Leo, after all), I do not ask to be touched and grabbed while out and about, enjoying my evening with friends.

The same can be said for online dating – if I think I am having a great conversation with a potential suitor online, before I can even get a word in edgewise, I am suddenly confronted with every angle of this person’s genitalia, that I simply did not ask for.

Simply put, as we celebrate the 2023 Pride Season, can we please add a level of consent that shares that yes, we might be hot and bothered, but let’s think before we click to ‘send’ on that nude, or before we grab someone’s ass.

A transplant from NYC, Aaron always had a passion for helping and supporting the community in any way that he can.  Aaron hopes to bring to Central Outreach a sense of fun and laughter, but also compassion and empathy for all that are in need.