February 1, 2018

Sexual App-iness

There’s an app for that.

An app for sexual consent.  I kid you not.  It’s called, not all that creatively, We Consent.  It doesn’t really matter who the “we” is, just as long as the consent is there.  That is, after all, the primary marker of the new sexular culture.  Sexual activity today is parametered only by consent. What could possibly go wrong in that sort of world?

Now time was when consent was called marriage.  But as well we know those days – ropey, often-blurry, often unsuccessful days – are long gone.  But let’s not paint the alternative as anything other than what it is – a new law that is increasingly hard to define and enforce.

So, as we all knew, but at least we’re being shown on an increasing basis, the sexual revolution lied to us.  It told us that there could be love without law.  Free love in other words.

But as The Streets said all the way back in 2004, ” a grand don’t come for free.”  Love without law has been a disaster, and we’re seeing the bitter fruit of that now.

So what’s the result?  A new law.  A new way of codifying consent.  And it’s just as sexy as it suggests.  Go to the site and have a look.

There’s a nice, white, happy looking couple on the front too.  Just look at the shine on their teeth, their hair and the glint in their eyes.

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And don’t they just look the drunken, fumbling couple that barely know each other, who after meeting down at the Stag for a few pints and a game of darts, decide to get it on.

This happy couple (and the other happy couples pictured throughout the website) are now smilingly liberated to enjoy all sorts of new laws and parameters; the kinds of laws and parameters that put the “ex” into sex.

Because the great tragedy of this “we consent” sexual culture freedom age is just how unsexy it is, especially if these screen shots are any indication.

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The website helpfully suggests what the smiling couple might be up for should they not have the App on their phone.    If either of them is drunk, and there’s no App on their phone, then trouble with capital T is coming their way in the form of a visit from the nice Mr Policeman.

But, fear not, We Consent doesn’t just leave you on first base.  No it goes all the way:

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“Hey honey was that legal for you?”

But as the website promises, this App is all about respect.

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An ever present prop?  That used to mean something altogether different right at the outset of the sexual revolution.  But here we are.

And all of this in a time when case after case of alleged rape, such as this one in the UK, is being overturned because of insufficient evidence, or because of police bungling.  That simply means that thousands of genuine cases of sexual assault, many of which should be brought to trial but are not, will fall by the wayside.  Justice will not be done where justice needs to be.

This is not to mock the bitter fruits of the sexual revolution and love without law.  It’s to scorn its promise and shove it’s rejection of any transcendent understand of sexuality back in its face.  Nearly sixty years on and it still lies to us.  Still puts its fingers in its ears and goes “La, la, la! I’m not listening!” when the obvious is pointed out to it.

Okay, so consent culture is at least about consent.  But, deeper than that, it is also deeply about law.  It’s about law that will increasingly become more and more difficult to manage, will become more and more defined by sub-clauses.  And of course all of it is incredibly, drearily, mortifyingly, libido-dampening unsexy!  And we know what happens when things get unsexy.

But don’t worry, there’s probably an App for that too.



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There is no guarantee that Jesus will return in our desired timeframe. Yet we have no reason to be anxious, because even if the timeframe is not guaranteed, the outcome is! We don’t have to waste energy being anxious; we can put it to better use.

Stephen McAlpine – futureproof

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