Since the dawn of the #metoo movement, I have had conversations with men close to me who are reflecting on past sexual experiences.
One man told me that he wished he had asked before feeling up a girl in middle school. Someone else regretted kissing a date when her body language said no thanks.
Some of this is society evolving — a therapist I spoke to for guidance on this told me, "When I was young, it was called a panty raid; now it's felony theft with sexual motivation."
But it's also understanding the definition of consent. A friend said no one ever defined that for him until he was in his mid-20s. "I was raised in this hunter-conquerer society; no one had that conversation with me," he said. Consider the well-worn metaphor of making first base, second base, third base with the person you're with, he said.
My hope is to present your experiences as vignettes to further the discussion about consent, specifically how people have evolved in their understanding of what it means to them and others.
Join this conversation by sharing your experience in the form below. My question to you is this: Have you realized that a past sexual experience made the person you were with feel badly or uncomfortable? Please share that experience and tell us, if you can, what this means for you today.
We are asking for your name to verify your identity but I will not share your name in or outside of the station. In fact, this Google form is tied to my personal account to maximize that anonymity. My feeling is that identifying you could reveal the person you are referring to, and they may not be into that.
Thank you for bravely joining this conversation. If you have questions, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.