When Jim (pseudonym), a 29 year-old, raped a 23 year-old girl at Toa Payoh North, he claimed in his defence that the woman seduced him when they were dancing on the dance floor. I was enraged when I read this because the way we women dress and behave on or off the dance floor is not indicative of our sexual desire.
Nobody wants to be a victim of rape; one should not assume any entitlement to another person’s body or sexuality. Verbal articulation can reduce any second-guessing, when and where non-verbal communication cues are not clear. This respect and honesty can reassure your partner, as well as build even more trust and intimacy in the relationship, which, in turn, leads to sex being a better and safer experience. It is normal and healthy for women to communicate their needs, wants and preferences as well as to feel protected by following safer sex practices such as using a condom when having sex.
What happens if you were drunk and sex happened with your date for the evening? What are your sexual rights in Singapore? What is sexual consent anyway?
According to Scarleteen, a popular sexuality resource website for young people, consent is:
• Voluntary: Not coerced.
• Sober: A person who is intoxicated cannot legally give consent.
• A process: Asked for at every step of the way.
• Verbal: If you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, just ask.
• Informed: Never implied and cannot be assumed.
• Mutual: Both people should be involved in the decision to have sex.
• Wanted: Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner, even if sexual activity has already occurred.
• Enthusiastic: The absence of a “no” doesn’t mean “yes”, and “maybe” is still a “no”.
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