Consent, Sex, and Digital Technology
Why is This Important: Technology has brought things that used to happen behind closed doors out into the open. People do things and say things through their phones or computers that they would never do or say to another person if they were in front of them. That is why it is important to understand there are boundaries that must be respected when communicating with another.
How often to text: You don’t want to be considered a creeper by the other person. Fifty texts a day for some people is great, while for others it is overwhelming. Talking about how often to text in general terms may help you understand your partner’s preferences. This may also help you understand how often they prefer to respond to texts. This conversation may save the anxiety from thinking “am I texting too much” or “why haven’t they responded yet?”
What to Text-Sexting: Obviously not everyone is comfortable with “sexting.” Sexting means sending sexual photos, videos, or messages. Sexting can be extremely disturbing to the recipients if the recipient hasn’t given the sender express consent to send them. Imagine being at work when someone sends a nude person of themselves. Some people would be embarrassed or horrified upon receipt of this photograph. Others, may be fine with it. This is why is is critical to obtain another’s consent before sexting with another.
Consent Violations: If someone sends a nude photo, DO NOT share it with others. It is a breach of their trust, but you may get sued or prosecuted if you do. Also, remember that it is a crime to store or share sexual photos of someone under 18, even if you are also under 18. Parents need to ensure their kids understand this.
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Consent and Intoxication:
Consent and an Intoxicated or Impaired Person This is an area where people should simply steer clear of. Engaging in sexual activity with a person that is intoxicated, mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless will put you at risk or being arrested and prosecuted and being sued in civil court for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. You do not want to be the person claiming that you thought the other person was sober enough to consent, so you thought it was OK. This is a time when simply asking for consent is not enough, because the other person doesn’t have the mental capacity to give consent.
Talk to Your Kids About Consent: