Skip to content

About Yes Means Yes

Yes Means Yes is a groundbreaking new look at rape, edited by writer and activist Jaclyn Friedman and founder Jessica Valenti. Through the anthology — and now this blog — we’re trying to move beyond “no means no” to connect the dots between the shaming and co-option of female sexuality in our culture(s) and some of the ways rape is allowed and encouraged to function.

FOREWORD by Margaret Cho!


Toni Amato
Hanne Blank
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Heather Corinna
Jill Filipovic
Stacey May Fowles
Coco Fusco
Kate Harding
Javacia N. Harris
Anastasia Higginbotham
Tiloma Jayasignhe
Lisa Jervis
Cara Kulwicki
Susan Lopez
Thomas Macaulay Millar
Samhita Mukhopadhyay
Mariko Passion
Miriam Zoila Perez
Brad Perry
Latoya Peterson
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Lee Jacobs Riggs
Julia Serano
Kimberly Springer
Hazel/Cedar Troost
Cristina Meztli Tzintzun

59 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren Guicheteau permalink
    January 29, 2009 2:38 pm

    I am interested in having a Yes means Yes event at my college. Is that possible? Who should I contact to book it?

    • Marliz permalink
      August 3, 2012 8:06 pm

      As am I! I am currently doing the groundwork for starting up a Women’s Group on my College Campus. We are beginning meetings at the end of this month. I would love to be able to have someone talk about “Yes means Yes” and the restructuring of Women’s relationship and role, with and in sex. An event on campus would be beneficial to a lot of women on campus who share the same sentiment that has sparked my interest in organizing a student-led Women’s Group. Please let me know if this is at all possible.

  2. jaclynfriedman permalink*
    February 4, 2009 10:44 am


    I sent you an email about this – definitely get in touch!

  3. maria permalink
    March 30, 2009 11:51 am

    I am also interested in having an event at my university, located in Chicago. Who can I contact ?

  4. Crystal Laabs permalink
    September 13, 2009 8:36 am

    Hey- I was interested in having an event at my university, who can I get in touch with to make this happen?

  5. jaclynfriedman permalink*
    September 17, 2009 1:26 pm

    Crystal, email me at I love traveling to schools!

  6. December 5, 2009 2:34 pm

    I saw this on TED Talks…I kinda goes with some of the rape posts you were talking about, but I didn’t feel that was the place to post this link;

  7. January 19, 2010 6:29 am

    Sorry if this comment is misplaced, I didn’t see a contact form. I subscribe to the RSS feed on my phone, and title bar has so many links to various bookmarking shortcuts that I can’t scroll past to the actual content. Realizing the RSS feed reader on my phone is part of the problem, if you could move those to the body of the post, I would be much obliged.


  8. April 19, 2010 9:42 am

    Hi, I wasn’t sure whether to direct this comment, sorry if this isn’t an appropriate place. I love this blog and love going back and reading old entries and comments. But the white text on black background really, really hurts my eyes. I’ve been thinking of commenting something like this for months but didn’t want to post something off-topic in any of the actual entries. Today I was trying to read the “Against Nature” post. It’s amazing so far, but I’ve had to take a break because my eyes literally burn. Have any other readers mentioned this? Is this something that might be changed in the future?

  9. September 19, 2010 10:02 am

    I apologize if this is not the right spot for this, but I couldn’t find a contact form on the site.

    I am a student at Johns Hopkins University, and recently, my school newspaper decided to publish two particularly charming articles: a sex column entitled “Banging Under the Influence: The Ups and Downs,” a piece that more or less reads like an excuse for date rape, and an Opinion article entitled “Local Bison Bear All at Phi Kappa Psi’s Annual Lingerave,” an article about how awful “bison,” or “fat chicks,” really are. (That second one? Was written by one of the Managing Editors.)

    Here are some choice quotes:

    -Local Bison Bear All at Phi Kappa Psi’s Annual Lingerave:

    “When buffalo – especially those who frequent frat parties – consume alcohol, they undergo an extreme and sudden inflation of self-image.”

    “To be fair, there certainly were plenty of good-looking ladies in attendance. The problem, though, was that these girls were, by and large, the ones who remained clothed.”

    “So – and here is where the hippo is at her most wily – the fat chick will systematically befriend hot chicks.”

    And most delightful of all:
    “She – though ‘it’ may be more appropriate – will flaunt it like she’s got it, when in fact she never had it and probably never will.”

    -Banging Under the Influence: The Ups and Downs:

    “…as many a study has shown, girls become more submissive when intoxicated while men conversely become more emboldened. So score one for the men.”

    “Better yet, it can also sometimes double as an amnesiac so you don’t even remember just how stupid you acted, but even if you do you can always blame it on the alcohol, just like that stupid Jamie Foxx song.”

    “For those few hours though, when we’re crammed into various seedy basements bathing in the sweat of the people next to us, we can feel like lions in a field of sheep.”

    I’m both embarrassed and infuriated that Johns Hopkins would run this kind of garbage, and so are many of those on campus. That said, I’m not surprised—last year, our parody newspaper ran an article about the humorous side of gang rape, and Tucker Max paid our institution a visit at the students’ expense.

    The Feminist Alliance, which I am president of, is currently trying to work with the Newsletter and the administration. We would really appreciate it if you showed this article to the wider community online. A little media pressure might help with our efforts with the newsletter and with the administration to stop things like this from happening. As of now, the newspaper sees nothing wrong with the article, and even goes so far as to endorse the content.

    Also, I have saved copies of both articles and can send them to you, just in case the Newsletter takes the articles down. They have said that they stand by their content, so I doubt this will be in issue, but just in case, feel free to contact us.

    Thank you very much for your time and for your help.

    • Eve Woods permalink
      March 30, 2011 2:41 am

      I read this post and although I am very offended by what was written in the articles. I also feel that freedom of speech is important. Debate is good. Speaking your mind is also good. If those who are offended speak up then maybe those who said these awful things will stop and see that they are hurting others.
      It is good when ignorant people open their mouths. Then other people and show them directions of where to insert their foot.
      Unfortunately, I see many people sit back and take this kind of abuse. If we play victims we will be victims. It is a dog eat dog world.
      I am a fat chick that people make fun of. I weight 400lbs. Yes that sucks and yes I think that heavy set people receive unfair stereotypes and discrimination. However, I still don’t want to take away anyones rights to tell me their opinions. They just better be prepared to hear mine too. I have been fat a long time and I have heard all of the lines. This tough skinned chick is not about to take any abuse from anyone. My husband sometimes feels emasculated because I don’t need him to defend me. He is also proud to have such strong chick by his side. Then he can just be himself.

      I do want to point out the part about fat girls hanging out with thin pretty girls… All of my girlfriends are thin and pretty. I hang out with them because I see myself just like them. I know that if I continue to hang out with healthy people I too will mirror their behaviors. Healthy people hang out with healthy people. I am happy that they enjoy my company and encourage me to be healthy too.

      For those people that make fun of heavy people at the gym…. You know that they are doing what they are suppose to be doing. They are working out to be healthy. Why do you make fun of them? I would be more likely to make fun of the people that go to the gym wearing makeup. It is only going to melt down your face when you sweat.

      I just want to give a shout out to all of my brothers and sisters out there. Big, tall, short, small, I love you all. Be you be proud.
      I know that social expectations and cultural values have you all confused as to who you should be and they don’t support you for appreciating people they way they are. We all are being told to fit a mold. No one was born “Barbie or Ken” and no one dies that way. We all change every day. We can gain or lose weight. We can gain knowledge. We have to power to say “No” and we have the ability to hear it. Each of us needs to do a personal check in. Are the actions that we are doing everyday who we want to be and are we the change that we want to see?

      Cheers to Positive Change!!

  10. Beverly permalink
    September 22, 2010 9:27 am

    Why does they Catholic Church get away with all they do? Talk about enableing..

    All of these public allegations fell on deaf ears. Neither Rome nor the world cared to demand justice for the nuns also sexually victimized by Catholic clergy. Like news stories of wives in burqas being stoned to death in Islamic strongholds, tales of nuns raped by priests and bishops did not even merit a sound bite on the evening news and were soon forgotten.

  11. zara permalink
    October 19, 2010 2:13 pm

    hey, this book is amazing. any chance you have plans to translate it into spanish?!!! i live in spain and wanna recommend it to my rad feminist group to read.

    and my god, the level of sexist thought by men in the US is horrifying. or maybe its just having the details of how they think spelt out to me that shocks me so much. and i thought i couldnt be shocked any more!

    fantastic book

  12. chelsea permalink
    December 15, 2010 4:28 pm

    Hello, my name is Chelsea. I am a Content Manager for We have some great writers who love to write on the topic of lesbian dating and relationships. Our writers don’t write promotional articles, instead we feel informative writing is something users are most interested in reading. I was wondering if you would be interested in a guest blog from one of our writers. Of course, the article would be free and we ask for a link back to our site either in the content or in the byline.
    Also, our site is one of the first to pop up when using the google search engine and the keywords “lesbian dating.” Adding us to your blogroll will not only help us, but you as well!
    You are doing a great job with your blog and I’d love to hear back from you.

  13. January 12, 2011 12:06 pm

    January 12, 2011

    The non-profit NOT-ME! has created an information blog designed to provide women with a safe and effective verbal response to visual and verbal street harassment.

    The response of “Not interested!” (a/k/a “Talk to the Hand”) is suggested as a practical response that is both assertive and non-confrontational. The response is designed as method for women to directly communicate their feelings. It brings power and control to the woman while simultaneously removing it from the harasser.

    For more in depth commentary, please view the blog at

  14. tielserrath permalink
    February 4, 2011 12:10 am

    I went to buy the book for my kindle, but obviously I’m one of those dreaded ‘furriners’ in a nonexistent country of 25 million english speaking people, and the book is not available to me.

    I love the site, love the writing, but if in the 21st century I can’t buy an ebook due to licensing issues, then I have no qualms about buying it secondhand. (usually I don’t do this as I believe writers should be fairly compensated for their efforts). Half my friends now have kindles, and we use them a. because it’s ecologically sounder than shipping books 11 000km and b. because we expected it to be something that small presses would jump at, thus making our reading lives more interesting.

    Will you talk to your publisher and get this sorted out? I have already emailed them, but I’m not holding my breath.

  15. Kristina permalink
    February 18, 2011 6:14 pm

    Hi, I’m interested in having a Yes Means Yes event at my university. Recently, there was a campus security information session at my school, and one of the police officers told the crowd that women can prevent sexual assault by “not dressing like a slut.” You can imagine the backlash. If you could email me with more information about how to get a Yes Means Yes event at my school, I would really appreciate it.

  16. Carla permalink
    March 4, 2011 4:29 pm

    I’m enjoying your site for the first time. Thank you! I am starting my own blog soon and wonder if I might ask Thomas a question about his favorite topic, BDSM and some things I found on your contributor site, Feministing. I also like much of what they are doing but was aghast to run across a discussion on there started by Miriam wherein women interested in BDSM (Christian spankos, in this case) were condemned quite brutally as brainwashed ninnies. I am confused about the alliance between Yes Means Yes and Feministing. I was led to believe that Jessica Valenti et al were alternative sexual community positive. Was that essay just one bad egg, or is it representative of their views? I’m asking you because you’re friendly — now I’m afraid of the feministers, lol. I am also asking because I wanted to list you and them as kink friendly, if that is the case!

    • March 4, 2011 4:47 pm

      I didn’t see the post from Miriam that you’re talking about, but I’m friends or acquaintances with several of the Feministing editors and contributors (there’s no formal alliance — our blog here is independent of Feministing, the only connections being that the bloggers here know some of the bloggers there and the original Yes Means Yes book was edited by our Jaclyn Friedman and Feministing’s founder Jessica Valenti — in fact, since I’ve guest posted over the years at Feministe and Jill has contributed here, one could say we have closer ties to Feministe) and they’re not anti-BDSM. The feministing commentariat has often been viewed as having problematic elements on a lot of topics, but I view it as a generally more kink-friendly space than not. Jessica is emeritus from Feministing and working on other projects now, btw. Samhita is the current executive editor.

  17. Luisa permalink
    March 10, 2011 11:39 pm

    Hi, I would love to have an event at my uni as well. Though I live in Sydney – as in Sydney Australia >.>

  18. March 21, 2011 1:01 pm

    Hi there, I’m just trying to get this circulated (and am now realizing that a Yes means Yes event at my University would be really great). Basically in my off campus dorm there were rape jokes made, and then on campus there’s this rumored tradition of a rape rock in a dorm. I made a blog post detailing what happened and what’s been done about it so far here ( ). If you have any suggestions, comments, or information about events as well I’d appreciate it.

  19. Allison Gamble permalink
    August 18, 2011 11:34 am

    HI, sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn’t find any contact info for you. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail. Thanks!

  20. radicalrabbit permalink
    January 13, 2012 10:53 am


    First of all let me say I am a big fan of your blog, keep up the good work! I am a feminist from the UK and have recently been involved in creating a new website I thought might be of interest to you. It’s called Liberate Youself and it serves as an introduction to liberation campaigns and the issues faced by women, lgbt people, disabled people and black people. It contains lots records of people’s experiences of being in marginalised groups and lets people ask anonymous questions. This is a link to a page that I thought might be especially of interest to you which talks about the experiences of a survivor.

    We are trying to build up links to other blogs and resources and it would be great if you would like us to put a link down for your blog. Also if you like the website maybe you could consider promoting it through your blog?

    Greta x

  21. finmagik permalink
    January 27, 2012 4:40 am

    I found this through Feminism 101. I’ve been a very sex-positive woman. And for a while I had NSA sex buddy. We had rules. One night I invited him over and he broke those rules, he stuck where I didn’t want him to. I screamed yelled at him and kicked him out. He took a while to leave, I think he looked at porn on his phone while I was reading him the riot act, thinking I’d change my mind. I didn’t sleep that night. I don’t think I can have a causal sexual thing like that. I feel like it was a rape. Everything came crashing down. And the worst part is he said he was ‘sorry’ while walking out the door. damn him. I can’t report it.

    • August 2, 2014 8:33 pm

      My name is Allison. I know i’m leaving this reply a year after your post and don’t know if you will see it, but just in case if you still need help you can contact me at I know you don’t know me but i would love to help you.

  22. Gen permalink
    March 19, 2012 12:26 pm

    I am writing to ask for your help. One of my dear friends is a rape victim. She had been drinking. He was a friend of a friend. She blacked out. He brutally assaulted her. She ran out of a house naked, bleeding, and screaming for help. The trial just ended and he was found guilty of rape and aggravated sexual assault. Hopefully he will be in jail for a long time. However, thanks to a local blog, she has had to endure even further abuse by being labeled a drunken slut. After referring to her as the “victim” in quotes the entire time the trial was going on, she stated in one post, “Okay, I feel a description is in demand…blond headed wholesomeness who never would do anything bad..cause, “like,” “ya know,” “like” she’s not like that.” She constantly refers to her as “Barbie” and once the verdict was out stated, “This jury is not the only judge in Barbie’s life…there will be more…and there will be one final judge.” In her latest comment to readers, she has stated, “I wondered what was going through her mind as she sat whimpering in the front row…was it that she had sent an innocent man to jail to protect her ‘virtue?” Naw, she doesn’t have that much of a conscience.” If this is how rape victims are treated, it is no wonder that more don’t want to get involved in a trial. Would you consider asking your readers to visit her blog,, and let her know that her treatment of a rape victim will not be tolerated? Please help.

  23. Erin permalink
    October 5, 2012 3:07 pm

    This is a link to a study done on the effects of providing free birthcontrol. (Obviously in layman’s terms. Not the actual results.). It shows that providing free birthcontrol reduces the # of abortions which occur. Just in case anyone wants the empirical evidence handy when discussing how Rightist politics is about hating women.

  24. Marlos Hermes permalink
    May 20, 2013 6:55 pm

    Hello! My name is Marlos and i’m from Brazil, sometime ago my wife tell me about your book and the new look that you propose abou sex violence, someone tell her on a feminist reunion, so we buy it and i’m translating it to portuguese for her, and while i was translate i really enjoy the concepts and ideas behind the book and feel like it was writted by thinking of what happens in Brasil, so i really enjoy the job and, even i don’t have so much free time, i’m going ahead on translation every day, but i don’t know what to do after this, cause i really don’t want to lose all job done, and by lose i mean that i want to more and more people here can read it, so i want to know if anyone was translating the book to portuguese? and what we can do about it at all.
    I’ll really apreciate if you can contact me.
    Thank you and take care, good job by the book!

  25. November 1, 2013 11:01 pm

    Hi! I am not sure if I am allowed to post this on here or not, but I have finally decided it’s time to break the silence on my own rape. Marital rape is so under discussed, most people don’t even know it exists. I would love to be able to share my story, or at least my blog with you and your readers if possible. Its time for me to break my silence.

  26. Anon permalink
    April 7, 2014 11:24 pm

    After days of being on sites online about No More Page 3, Everyday Sexism and the like I decided I needed a break from all the abuse stories. I decided to google “positive sex experiences with men” nothing but HIV came up. “Non negative experiences with men” nothing..then I remembered I have the book Yes Means Yes and thought “I bet there’s a blog”. So here I am and so I scroll through to see despite the description of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape everything I see here isn’t showing female power at all but more rape stuff (not that this site isn’t great but I’m looking for a break from constant horror stories). Can anyone recommend a site with writings by women about healing and moving on to having good sex experiences?. I’m starting to think there is no such thing and I will never get heal because it looks like no women does from all I’ve read. There has to be at least one damn straight woman on the planet with a happy story about men and sex for crying out loud! Thank you.

  27. August 2, 2014 7:55 pm

    I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. About a week ago I was sitting in the car with my friend when he begins to tell me about this transition week he has to attend at his college in the fall. What he told me hasn’t left my mind since. He said during transition week there’s a lot of parties that he refuses to attend because of all the date rape. He says he knows this because of what some of the upper class men have told him and because hes seen similar things happen on retreats he attended with the school over the summer.

    He then goes on to describe seeing several girls doing what he refers to as a walk of shame from the frat houses because they were either date raped or too drunk to give consent. When I asked why didn’t he do anything he looked at me like i was dumb for even asking and said it was their fault for going to a party in the first place…

    Bottom line I know I have to do something about this because no one else will. I would like to start something with my college that speaks out for these woman, and that holds the males accountable, but I don’t know where to start. Please point me to any resources you can. you can email me at

  28. September 12, 2014 5:58 pm

    Hi. I am interested in having you come to my school. I recently created a club called G.R.I.T (Girls Respecting and Inspiring Themselves). It is a club about empowering women and raising awareness of sexual assault and women’s education. It would be amazing if you could come to my school and speak at my club meeting. I leave in Houston, Texas. Please email me!! or

  29. Steve Richardson permalink
    September 15, 2014 10:00 am

    POTUS radio is discussing this topic.
    I have a 20 year old daughter who just moved out on her own so this caught my attention.
    I can’t imagine NOT teaching our young women to give a clear NO when they don’t want something to happen.
    My wife and daughter are both pretty assertive, but I suppose some are not.
    The assertions that the police are choosing to ignore these claims is alarming at best.
    We have become docile sheep trained to depend on these people for our protection and safety, and only when they let us down do we make a scene.
    I would encourage education for both the young and the police as much as truly punishing these violators.
    These up and coming young men with so much potential often get away with much through intimidation and avoid indictment and prosecution because of one “little mistake”.
    I have no problem “ruining some young man’s life” if he commits these acts.
    Bravo to you. Carry on the fight.

  30. Mary-Ellen permalink
    October 3, 2014 2:52 am

    I know having a catchy phrase helps but I’m not sure that “Yes means yes” is the answer. There may be an intitial “yes” but that doesn’t mean that the person is ok with anything after that. I can just imagine a scenario where someone says yes to kissing but then is held down and raped. I think it is time to go back to the drawing board on this one.

  31. November 7, 2015 1:16 pm

    I find I often hear a homogenous voice when I read this blog – and I hope that isn’t insulting; you feel like a friend and an ally, and someone who ‘gets it’. Even knowing you are not one voice – I nominated you for a fun blog award. If you choose to accept… I’ve no idea how you’d handle it. I’m very curious. 🙂

  32. zara permalink
    November 10, 2015 5:11 am

    Is this book published with translation into spanish?


    • jaclynfriedman permalink*
      January 3, 2016 4:45 pm

      Unfortunately, we’ve never had the opportunity to publish a Spanish translation.


  1. I’m taking my vag off the market « Sexual Healing
  2. My Bookshelves OR The Erasing of Invisible Lines | Dangerous Women
  3. It Can’t Be Rape, Right? « Neamhspleachas
  4. Full Frontal Politics » Rape, Assange, and Consent
  5. Moving Beyond “No Means No” to “Yes Means Yes” | My Sex Professor: Sexuality Education
  6. Weekly WAM! member profiles « wam!vancity
  7. דברים שלא אמרתי לכם | OMG
  8. Values, part 1 | myownashram
  9. Boys will be Boys | Radfem Hub
  10. Yes Means Yes « My Orange Chair
  11. Valentine’s Day: don’t just complain, subvert and reclaim! « @esooze in Cape Breton
  12. Male Consent, or Can Women Rape? |
  13. The Ethical Prude: Imagining An Authentic Sex-Negative Feminism | A Radical TransFeminist
  14. Only Yes Means Yes | Every day is a new beginning.
  15. The performance model of sex, now in video form!
  16. Yes Means Yes: Blog « In Draft Form
  17. Modern Government Suppression of Progressive Social Change - Organizing Change
  18. Values
  19. Dear Cee Lo | The Crunk Feminist Collective
  20. Rush Limbaugh Isn’t Alone In Thinking ‘No’ Means ‘Yes’ When Women Say It | Lovely News
  21. Rush Limbaugh Isn’t Alone In Thinking ‘No’ Means ‘Yes’ When Women Say It

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: