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Sleep and Negotiating Consent

December 20, 2010

In the prior post I discussed Wolf’s incoherent defense of Assange, and I wanted to add something.  She first tried to deny that one woman alleges that Assange stuck his penis in her while she was sleeping.  Then she conceded that, and bizarrely argued that it wasn’t rape.  She says she views the allegations as a proper negotiation. 

The BDSM community deals with negotiating consent to do all kinds of things.  Negotiation is something where we’re pioneers.  So here’s one experienced kinkster’s view on negotiating consent with a sleeping person.  Since we’re talking about Wolf, who is either experiencing or feigning difficulties in basic reasoning and reading comprehension around this discourse, I’ll go ahead and add that the negotiation itself has to happen with all participants awake, and must take place before the unconscious fucking, not after. 

For example, for regular partners who often sleep in the same bed, it might go something like this:

“Honey, would it be hot for you if I started fucking you while you were sleeping?”

“That could be hot!”

“Do you want to try that?” 

“Yeah.”

“Okay.  I’d like to try that sometime soon, maybe in the next few days.  Do you want me to stop if you say stop?”

“No, I’ll be half asleep, who knows what I’ll say.  If I want you to stop, I’ll use my safeword.”

(If you can’t tell the sexes or genders or sexual orientations of the people having that conversation, then you’re reading it correctly.) 

As a matter of best practices, I’ll add that in my experience, a lot of these conversations work better in two parts: raise the idea while making out, or better yet giving a handjob, fucking, etc., and then confirm that everyone is serious about doing it when they’re not right about to come.  While I probably shouldn’t agree to do something I don’t really want to do just because I’m really turned on, I’m human and I know that it can affect my judgment.

I’ll tell you what damned sure is not consent.  “She said she didn’t want to do that but I started while she was sleeping so she couldn’t tell me not to”  is damned sure not consent.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. FeministBastard permalink
    December 20, 2010 6:11 pm

    I’m not into BDSM at all, but I had similar conversations with my girlfriend. Like waking each other up via various kinds of oral-genital activity. Hot as hell. But guess what, we actually talked about it, like “would you like me to? could you try that?”
    But that was some time ago, so none of us would do it now – without asking (which is no big deal, like ”could you make me a a cup of coffee in the morning?’), and that’s because we care about each other, and that means making sure the other person doesn’t feel violated and not leaving it to chance.

    If you believe these kind of people to be 100% sincere about really believing “it’s not rape if she forgives me”, than at the very best they’re telling you they don’t give a fsck if they’re raping someone or not.

  2. Stephanie permalink
    December 21, 2010 8:31 pm

    “If you can’t tell the sexes or genders or sexual orientations of the people having that conversation, then you’re reading it correctly.”

    Loved that, you made my day!! Seems like just a sidenote, but it made me really happy:-) I thought about the exact same thing when starting to read your example. Thanks a lot.

  3. CoronerCountess permalink
    December 22, 2010 1:16 am

    Holly over at The Pervocracy (great blog btw, please visit some time) has a few posts pertaining to what she calls “the (imaginary) romance of silence”. This romance of silence refers to the disturbingly widespread notion that attraction and consent have to be telegraphed damn near telepathically. It is considered gauche and not at all romantic to be vocal and clear about what you will and won’t do sexually. This is part of what makes rape culture so insidious, I think: It’s considered “normal” (whatever the fuck that means) to lock eyes and somehow “just know” that the person you’re with is down for whatever.

    Posts like that and this one here are proof that its mostly been left up to “us” (sex bloggers, BDSMers, feminists/post-genderists, etc) to speak out against this prevalent lunacy. I wish more people would stop and think. If they did, maybe they’d realize just how fucking wrong this is.

  4. mutterhals permalink
    December 23, 2010 9:15 am

    Seriously, though, is this how I’m supposed to go through life? With safe words and negotiations and what not? Shit, draw up a contract, that way it’s legally binding. I think constantly redefining rape and characterizing unpleasant sexual experiences as such is far worse.

    • December 23, 2010 9:38 am

      Seriously, though, if you don’t want to fuck a woman while she’s sleeping you don’t need to worry about how to negotiate it, and if you’re not doing BDSM where you want to be able to ignore “no” and “stop” then you don’t need to worry about safewords.

      All you really need to know is yes means yes. If you’re not hearing yes (Yes! Fuck me! Like that! Faster!), then you’re going to need to find out what’s wrong.

    • Susannah permalink
      January 6, 2011 9:51 am

      You don’t have to sit down with your lawyers. In my experience, talking about sex is hot, and makes sex about eight thousand times better. When I know my partner’s boundaries, and know that he knows mine, I feel utterly safe doing all my dirty pervy things. I’ve tried it both ways(one time, my husband wound up making up safewords to get me to stop- I laugh, but I still feel terrible about it) and I’m here to tell you that hearing your partner SAY that they want you to do this that and the other thing to them- even if it’s just vanilla sex- is the biggest turn on.

      (Whereas the biggest turn off is someone who won’t talk about what’s going on with them and just goes along, totally unengaged. Sexually or otherwise.)

  5. Sam permalink
    December 25, 2010 3:38 pm

    Hmm,

    this whole Assange thing is a pretty big nightmare on the consent front. I’ve just watched the video of Naomi Wolf and Jaclyn Friedman and I think it would be great to have an actual discussion about some of the matters involved disregarding the Assange thing. I believe that the only possible case of rape, according to the Guardian article citing the Swedish documents, is the entering while sleeping charge.

    I think we can safely assume from the documents that Assange is an asshole. But that doesn’t necessarily make him a rapist. And with respect to that, we have two problems problems in this case.

    One, the question of implied consent and how far that goes. I mean, not even the most radical of man hating feminists would have accused Assange for caressing Miss W. breasts while lying in the same bed naked after having had sex. So, there is something like implied consent, and the question is really more where does it end than does it exist at all. This is the big story in Nancy Schwartzman’s project “where is the line” – where she is explicitly wondering about where implied consent (in her case for PIV) ends.

    This is not an easy question, since it does involve two people’s perceptions of reality, and Naomi Wolf does make a point that is often overlooked in feminist commentary: It is not possible to (subjectively) rape someone while assuming consent, and that may result in sad situations in which one participant felt/was raped because he/she did not consent yet that lack of consent was not clear to the other participant who subjectively had consensual sex. In such situations whichever third party has to deal with the mess will have to apply some standards of reasonability in order to construct a third, official version of reality, that will likely side with one of the alternative accounts presented. In this process, the range of implied consent will be important, as will be the second problem in the assange case.

    Is ex-post consent possible? And could it be withdrawn again?

    Assuming Miss W. statement that “she could not be bothered again to tell him to wear a condom” when he had sex with her while she was (half?) asleep, implies ex-post consent to him having sex with her, does that make his entering while being uncertain, but possibly believing to be in the implied range of consent, ok?

    Interestingly, I think you yourself have proposed a structure in which ex-post consent is the standard form of consent – you once proposed a system in which all sex was to be consideren unconsensual (and thus rape) unless a woman decided not to call it rape. This would be similar here, in my opinion. And there’s also the question about the admissibility of later changes in opinion. Which one should be taken as the valid account of reality? According to the Guardian article, Miss W. never called what happened rape, and according to their own accounts both women only wanted Mr. Assange to get an STD test.

    The Swedish prosecution calls it rape (implicitly, by investigating such charges) and much of the feminist community calls it rape – the women who reported the issue, interestingly, do not seem to call it that.

    This is all very complex, and I don’t think feminist in-fighting will be particularly productive.

  6. nudeasthenews permalink
    December 25, 2010 7:57 pm

    Sam,

    It makes no difference whether the victim or the perpetrator “calls it rape”. Not calling something rape, whether it is the victim who is not calling it rape or not, in no way proves that rape did or did not occur. Rape is an actual real thing, not a subjective thing- not a feeling. Why are men so confused on that point?

    Rape is coerced or forced penetration (with anything of any orifice). Sexual assault is coerced or forced sexual contact that does not neccessarily include any penetration. These are the legal definitions as far as I know and real life working definitions.

    Mutterhals, Men could easily avoid ever being charged with rape. If gaining full consent is such a burden there is an easy answer, and you can still have sex. Simply, never penetrate anyone with anything. As everyone here aknowleges, sex means many different things not just penetration of vagina by dick. Full sex lives can be had without ever putting your penis in a vagina. Men could choose, in this rape culture, to give women the benefit of the fucking doubt and just pursue other shit, and yet they continue to favor and pursue the ONE sexual act that is SUPER CLOSE to rape. And having been brought up in a rape culture, the very definition of ‘normal’ man, the socialization of a ‘normal’ male sexuality makes is hard for a regular ‘good’ guy to distinguish rape from sex. its just fact. Why are men so stuck on intercourse and on NOT HAVING to use safe words and negotiation? WHy do they demand both? Because they feel fucking entitled to rape and enjoy skating super close to rape. Yes we NEED fucking negotiation and we don’t NEED penis in vagina. we might like it but we don’t need it.
    fuck rapists and rape apologists.

    • Susannah permalink
      January 6, 2011 10:04 am

      I agree totally about the need for consent, but I disagree completely with your characterization of PIV as “super close” to rape. The act doesn’t matter- the consent does. If someone goes down on me without my consent, it is still sexual assault. And I think it’s unfair to chastise people who want penetration, or even need it to get off. There is a whole big wide world of different ways to have sex out there, it’s true, but crossing off all of penetration is not a reasonable answer. It’s unnecessarily punitive.

      I’d argue that it is in fact ridiculously easy not to rape anyone at all, by asking questions, listening to what they say, and watching their body language. The tougher thing is that you’re right, men and women both have a hard time with the line of consent because we live in a rape culture.

  7. Alex permalink
    December 25, 2010 8:13 pm

    Exactly! If the idea is to wake your partner up with sexual activity after having agreed to it prior, then that’s fine, but starting sexuality on someone when ze’s asleep without having made an agreement prior is definitely assault.

  8. Sam permalink
    December 28, 2010 12:49 pm

    nudeasthenews,

    “Rape is an actual real thing, not a subjective thing- not a feeling. Why are men so confused on that point?”

    Well, yes and no, as I tried to explain above. As reality is always individually perceived there may be conflicting accounts of reality that need to be reconciled by constructing “an actual thing”, or an agreed upon version of what happened. This may or may not reflect the subjective reality of one, or both of the participants.

    “Not calling something rape, whether it is the victim who is not calling it rape or not, in no way proves that rape did or did not occur”

    Neither is calling something rape proof that rape indeed happened. I once briefly suggested to a close female friend who had told me about a less than satisfying encounter that what she had told me sounds like rape. She almost violently objected. Who am I to tell her what her subjective state of consent was at the point? What his subjective state of reasonable assumption about her state of consent was? I wasn’t there. The subjective reality of both alleged victim and alleged perpetrator most certainly matter.

  9. humbition permalink
    December 29, 2010 4:32 am

    Sam, usually I think you are making points that I am glad are being brought up, in contexts where they should be considered. I am glad you are out there, stirring the pot. I understand, I think, where and why you are trying to widen the discourse.

    But I really think you are misguided in focusing so strongly on the figure of “miscommunication rape.” Then again, I have always had a worldview in which I find the possibility of “miscommunication rape” to be very hard to understand. I have always wanted it to be an urban legend, and, according to the research summarized here and in Feministe under the categories “predator theory,” indeed it increasingly seems to be one.

    There are all sorts of implications there. If people, most of the time, are not misunderstanding and violating each other during sexual encounters, then we can feel a kind of freedom.

    Now “predator” does seem a strong word for Assange, and what he is alleged to have done. But have you read the Guardian’s account? There are a few points which go beyond what normal considerate sexual partners, with or without “feminist” sexual protocol, would generally do. Here is what I am thinking about. With respect to the first woman, he (allegedly) took off clothing which she then put back on — this is a clear nonverbal red light, but he then took them off again. This is a “no means no” issue. Someone in one of these threads mentioned Twisty Faster’s idea that all sexual encounters could be considered rape at the woman’s say-so, and I disagree with this, but, you know — if there has been a no AND there is a rape trial, I am kind of with Twisty in that one restricted context. Push past a no at your own risk.

    Secondly the issue of condoms is not a trivial one. As a sometimes anxious person I myself went a little crazy once after engaging in nonprotected intercourse, in a situation where the woman initiated things relying rather strongly on the “the man is always up for it” standard, and then weeks later she honorably mentioned that I should be tested for an STD. In this case there was clear verbal consent and so on, but it did mess with my mental stability, and this was evidently the case regarding the second woman accusing Assange. She had prided herself always on being protected during sex and had never had unprotected sex, except for this one Assange instance of sleep/ sleepy initiation (allegedly, again). I very much feel for her position because I am obsessive on the exact same point, having lived through the AIDS period.

    The Guardian also mentions the first woman not feeling really safe after the first night; of course, now there are other conflicting stories. There is mention of his holding one woman down with his body — which detail to me usually argues against the “innocent miscommunication” interpretation. But Assange’s specific guilt or innocence is not really my point — nor what penalty, if guilty, he should have.

    So what is my point? That it is still possible to affirm spontaneous, nonverbal, sexual mutuality, and still see what is wrong with what Assange is alleged to have done. That it isn’t some sort of stark choice between allowing the sorts of things Assange is alleged to have done, versus everyone having to reconfigure and re-educate their sexual practice. That he, if he did these things, ought to have known that they crossed a line, and that it’s not a line that has been invented by feminist philosophers in the 1990s, but a line of basic consideration that was already there. That his own feeling of innocence in the face of all this does not mean that you would or could do the same in his place, don’t sell yourself that short. That the fascinating figure of the “miscommunication rapist” has less relevance than you think to this case — and that’s a good thing, because the less we make that figure into our key symbol (on either “side” of certain issues), the better for all of us, in my own humble opinion.

    • Sam permalink
      December 29, 2010 1:05 pm

      humbition,

      I don’t think we basically disagree.

      “But have you read the Guardian’s account? There are a few points which go beyond what normal considerate sexual partners, with or without “feminist” sexual protocol, would generally do.”

      I have and, yes, I agree (assuming the account is fair – which I am not entirely sure about (and which doesn’t mean the women are lying, the Guardian is referring to the Swedish prosecution’s documents and that may well not exactly be what the women were saying originally, particularly given the charges were dropped at first and later picked up again by another, more senior, prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who is allegedly (according to some news sources) a bit of a crusader (and is apparently on record for saying that “there’s ways to have a sexual assault case under Swedish law if the woman ex-post decides to not feel. There’s a chance that she sees this as a high profile opportunity to engage in the kind of discussion we’re having here, even if the charges should eventually be dropped again).

      I agree that the charges aren’t trivial, but after reading the Guardian article my impression was that the most important questions here are those that I focused on in my reply to Thomas: the extent of implied ex-ante consent and whether ex-post consent is at all possible. Again, ex-post consent is the basic structure of the Thomas/Twisty-Faster model, and in the Sleep-case/Ms W. casse that seems to be what happened.

      “Secondly the issue of condoms is not a trivial one.”

      No, it isn’t, but if I’m not mistaken, in one case the prosecution claims, based on Ms A’s statement, that “he did something to the condom”, so it broke, and in the other case, Ms W. seemed to implicitly ex-post agree to him having sex without a condom (“you better don’t have an STD”). So at this point the question seems to be – is her ex-post consent making his acting without ex-ante consent (but possibly acting within the realm of assumed consent) ok?

      As for this –

      “he (allegedly) took off clothing which she then put back on — this is a clear nonverbal red light, but he then took them off again. This is a “no means no” issue.”

      well, yeah, but here, again, it’s about what you want to read from it. His pushing further was not met by an even more explicit “no” but with giving in. Which may or may not have given him the feeling that she was playing a chase-me-game, but which can definitely also interpreted as *not* being a clear-cut no. Because it wasn’t. As it turned out, it was a “not yet”. It may not have been enthusiastic consent, but as I read the Guardian’s account, he was pushing her, and she gave in implicitly, and expicitly, gave in – which is asshole behaviour, but not rape even by the apparently applicable standard.

      “There is mention of his holding one woman down with his body — which detail to me usually argues against the “innocent miscommunication” interpretation.”

      It does, in a way. But it sounds weird, doesn’t it? I mean, usually people use their *hands* to hold someone down, not their body. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, it’s just that it sounds weird.

      “But Assange’s specific guilt or innocence is not really my point — nor what penalty, if guilty, he should have. ”

      You’re right. That’s why I said in the beginning it would be great to have the discussion between Naomi Wolf and Jaclyn Friedman in the abstract, not with respect to the specific case. I do believe that the most important questions are

      a) “no means no” vs “no means not yet”
      [aa) meta: seeming disinterest of most women in decidedly explicit consent prior to initiation.]
      b) implicit vs explicit consent
      c) standards for reasonable assumption of (implicit) consent
      d) extent of consent (“where is the line”)
      e) is ex-post consent possible?

      Remember the discussion about the antioch rules and the research about it I posted in Clarisse’s “manliness-followup” thread over the Summer? Those are the exact same questions that weren’t answered in that case.

      “That his own feeling of innocence in the face of all this does not mean that you would or could do the same in his place, don’t sell yourself that short.”

      No, I for one would certainly love to have a signed and sealed contract before taking off any clothes, problem is, that’s not how it works.

      “That the fascinating figure of the “miscommunication rapist” has less relevance than you think to this case — and that’s a good thing, because the less we make that figure into our key symbol (on either “side” of certain issues), the better for all of us, in my own humble opinion.”

      I just don’t think that the issue of making honest mistakes (ie reasonably assuming consent *subjectively* is given sufficient thought in the debate). That may be because – as you say, it actually isn’t that relevant, a problem only imagined by people whose fear of making mistakes is/was sexually debilitating, and hence ignored because most people both male and female consider it to be self-explanatory. If so, I really wouldn’t know how to proceed, because I really don’t want to make this mainly about explaining to those guys that they can probably trust their instincts, but my emotional reaction is usually the opposite of feeling the freedom you describe while reading such accounts.

  10. humbition permalink
    December 29, 2010 1:56 pm

    I’ve given a lot of thought to what causes debilitating fears, and I’m not making light of them. I suppose I am looking at this case very much as one in which one party went to the police, even in Sweden — as opposed to, e.g. venting to friends. Going to the police is an “expensive” communicational act and to me indicates that something went seriously wrong, whereas, a thousand people might come under the technical description of dealing with the kinds of consent and communication issues that you mention, and none of them feel violated.

    It is true that neither of the women telegraphed to Assange that they were later going to the police, and he probably felt he was home free until he heard that they had.

    And I do believe that false accusations happen — but oddly, the ones that have always seemed most plausible to me don’t involve parsing a particular encounter. And the most successful scenario for a false accusation would seem to be inventing things wholesale. I ask myself, what would a sociopath do?

    Then again, I am somewhat biased on that score re Assange himself, I must admit. He does not seem to be one who frets over the downstream consequences of acts he feels are righteous or justified.

    As for the parsing of consent in general, I have difficulties because in general I don’t trust language. Two situations may share a linguistic description but be very different in terms of the real dynamics between people. This is why I don’t trust elaborate attempts to set rules for these things.

    • Sam permalink
      December 30, 2010 3:58 pm

      shitschtick,

      are you nudeeastnews from above?

      “I believe that women have no responsibility in making sure they are not raped.”

      No, but they have a responsibility to clearly communitcate. It is a *logical* requirement of any kind of initiation that it requires acting based on some sort of assumption (even explicitly asking is *that* kind of initiation, and people at antioch college complained about being feeling sexually harrassed by people who were asking the required explicit questions all the time) and it is a responsibility of the person addressed to clearly communicate their position on the offer, to the extent that they *are* able to do so. Sometimes, usually, I’d say, people’s preferences are a fluid thing and not at all stable and verbalizable ex-ante. So, there will always be misunderstandings, but whichever way to put it, you either have to prohibit people talking to each other, or the person confronted with an initiation is required to culturally appropriately react – for example by ignoring the offer, by saying no, or by saying yes, implicitly or explicitly.

      “Badgering someone of lesser power until they give in is rape.”

      Well. I think that depends on the level of force/threat involved. If a woman pretends to consent because of a violent threat, that’s a different matter, but if you accept that women do indeed have the agency to consent at all (ie do have free will) then that free will is not taken away by a man merely annoying/nagging them. In the latter case it’s not rape, it’s consensual, yet probably not enthusiastic, sex after having been granted consent to stop annoying her. Asshole behaviour, not rape.

      “So called miscommunication rape does not occur, however, because of “miscommunication”, it occurs because men do not take full responsibility for making sure not to be rapists. If there is a fucking doubt, just do not stick your dick or anything else into anyone.”

      Yeah, fine, but what about cases in which one person did not have any doubts? That’s the whole point of my argument. When you’re sure everything is ok, but you’re making a mistake there and the partner, for some reason, doesn’t correct that wrong perception by offering non-misunderstandable language of any kind?

      “a) do not penetrate anyone with anything, and still have sex and still enjoy your life”

      I don’t see how that would change any of the structural problems. It may not be rape without penetration, but the exact same type of problems exist with respect to any other kind of initiation, they’re just called differently.

      • December 30, 2010 5:33 pm

        I just do not see how such a vague scenario can occur. I have never had sexual contact with a woman where she was not clear in her desires for the sexual contact to happen.

        If a person is capable of saying no, that person will say no and the sexual advancements/activities/whatever should stop.

        If a person is not capable of saying no, then any sexual contact with that person is rape.

        It is really that simple.🙂

  11. shitschtick permalink
    December 29, 2010 8:06 pm

    Sam, it seems as if you think it is equally the responsibility of men and women to make sure rape does not occur.

    I think that is the problem with Naomi Wolf’s point of view. Essentially she believes that we ‘infantilize’ women if we point out that the power dynamics between men and women are not equal. That is complete crap. I believe that women have no responsibility in making sure they are not raped. Just as any victim of any crime has no responsibility for it. Communication is good, and needed, but is a separate issue. Men need to really internalize that it is men who rape, it is women who are harmed in that situation and that it is completely and fully men’s responsibility to make sure they don’t rape anyone. The absence of a clear cut yes is just not consent. plain and simple. Even in a sexual encounter with the least communicative woman you have ever met, it is not her responsibility to make sure you do not rape her. If you rape her, it is fully your fault. you said, “It may not have been enthusiastic consent, but as I read the Guardian’s account, he was pushing her, and she gave in implicitly, and expicitly, gave in – which is asshole behaviour, but not rape even by the apparently applicable standard.”
    That is rape. It was coerced penetrative sex. It is rape. Rape is not defined by feeling bad, by trauma, it is not defined by a woman saying it was, it is defined by the presence of penetration in which there was coercion or force. Badgering someone of lesser power until they give in is rape.

    As I said, I think this fear, that rape seems unclear and that it could accidentally happen is a valid fear because men in our culture are taught to have a sexuality that skates super close and often crosses the line of rape. This is the norm and “normal”. So called miscommunication rape does not occur, however, because of “miscommunication”, it occurs because men do not take full responsibility for making sure not to be rapists. If there is a fucking doubt, just do not stick your dick or anything else into anyone. Then there is NO possibility of rape. Still have sex, even. As a man in power and someone who senses that miscommunication could occur and that rape could actually happen just give the benefit of the doubt to the woman and don’t go there. Men always have a choice not to go there. And yet they insist that it is their right to go there, or that they cannot not go there, and then work after the fact to define rape in a way that will never implicate them. That is phallo-centric sex and rapist and rape culture behavior.

    You said, “I for one would certainly love to have a signed and sealed contract before taking off any clothes, problem is, that’s not how it works.” The way “it works” is defined by men and the rape culture. If you truly do not want to rape then you have two choices. a) do not penetrate anyone with anything, and still have sex and still enjoy your life b) do things differently and get affirmative clear consent everytime. If that did mean, for you, that you needed a contract in order to ensure that you didnt rape, is that such a BURDEN? Is it really a BURDEN for you not to rape? You think a contract is a burden, women think the constant threat of rape is a burden. Who should be accomodated here?

    • December 30, 2010 11:29 am

      @shitschtick : “I believe that women have no responsibility in making sure they are not raped. Just as any victim of any crime has no responsibility for it.”

      I am in 100% agreement. I personally do not care what a woman wears, who she slept with previously, who she intends on sleeping with in the future, or any other characteristic about her. I don’t even care if she initially says yes. A yes can always be changed to a no at any point in time. That is the right of any human being because human beings are not slaves/property/etc.

    • Sam permalink
      December 30, 2010 4:41 pm

      see above for a reply to your comment, I can’t seem to find the right reply button…

  12. Susannah permalink
    January 6, 2011 9:44 am

    Something that is surprising to me is that I haven’t seen any of my usual bloggers bring up the difference between waking someone up for sex and just sliding right in. I think every person who’s had a sleepover sex partner has experienced waking someone up for sex or being woken up. I can understand believing that someone who had willingly had multiple sessions of sex might welcome being woken up with more sex, although I think your characterization of the two-part consent chat is the way to go. (On a practical level, if only because some people react to being woken up in surprising ways with flailing and kicking.) But I think it comes more naturally to most folks to start out with petting and kissing and whispers, as opposed to penetration.

    This is all beside the point in the Assange case, of course. Because conditions matter, and nobody gives unconditional consent to sex.

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