A Sessions Court acquitted a 36-year-old man from the charges of rape under the pretext of marriage. The woman, who he was supposed to marry, levelled accusations against him for sending obscene messages before their wedding. However, the court denied the charges and said that sexting before marriage is not a crime. It is a pleasure-seeking activity done to spice up the relationship and put forward the expectations of sex.
While the court was right about what purpose “dirty talk” has in sex life, it faltered when he missed the part where consent comes in. Be it sex or sex talk, consent of both partners is imperative.
Dirty talk indeed plays a crucial role in spicing up the sex life of a couple; it is also considered a factor that helps build a good sex life. Especially in cases of distance relationships, sexting is the best way to remain connected emotionally and physically with your partner. Moreover, sex talks help in communicating their partners’ preferences while indulging in sexual activities. It helps partners to know each others’ expectations, and boundaries and helps them connect better.
While the act of sexting has its benefits, the importance of consent cannot be put on the back burner. Dirty talk is sexually arousing so it automatically comes under a sexual relationship between two people (something many people ignore). And, as we all know, if any sexual relationship is non-consensual, it should be stopped before it becomes rape or sexual assault against the non-consenting partner.
But in our society, the mentality is completely opposite. When a man and a woman are in a relationship, it is implied that the woman has consented to everything. Consent to every sexual relationship is assumed as granted if a woman commits to or has sex once with a man. Similarly, dirty talk too is taken casually and not as something that requires consent each time it is initiated.
When dirty talking or sexting is not mutual, it is as wrong as it is to sexually assault a woman. If a partner does not want to indulge in the activity but is forced to partake it is equally grievous because speaking of sexual activities without their consent is a form of sexual harassment.
Dear partners, please respect each other’s choices and consent. Before initiating anything that is sexual or physical, ask for your partner’s consent. Just because a person was involved sexually earlier doesn’t mean their consent is forever granted. Not in the mood, exhausted, maybe later are just expressions of their refusal. Consent should be assumed as granted only if there is a loud Yes.
Views expressed are the author’s own.