Ideas

Consent to Harm, Part 2

"Yes means yes. No means no." Giving consent seems straightforward. But what we're allowed to consent to is actually deeply fraught territory. And it gets especially fraught when the question of sex enters the equation. The general rule of thumb under the eyes of the law is that a person cannot consent to harm.
(Farhang Ghajar, CBC)
Listen to the full episode53:59

"Yes means yes. No means no."  Giving consent seems straightforward. But what we're allowed to consent to is actually deeply fraught territory. And it gets especially fraught when the question of sex enters the equation. The general rule of thumb under the eyes of the law is that a person cannot consent to harm. IDEAS producer Nicola Luksic zeroes in on consent in BDSM and sex work to examine when and why the law intervenes. ** This episode originally aired February 26, 2015.


"I want to draw a big fat red line between consent and non-consent, and that if the intimate activity is consensual, I want the criminal law out." -- Brenda Cossman, law professor and director of the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto



Participants in the program (in order of appearance):

  • Andrea Zanin -- BDSM educator, practitioner and PhD student
     
  • Sarah Pie* -- BDSM practitioner * denotes pseudonym
     
  • Brenda Cossman -- Law professor and Director of the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto
     
  • Brazen Lee*  -- Sex worker and blogger

  • Joanne Wright  -- Political Science professor and acting Associate Dean of Arts at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton

Further reading:


Video:

Watch Andrea Zanin and Sarah Pie* walk through the basics of consent and BDSM

BDSM practitioner and educator Andrea Zanin shows you how consensual BDSM works, with a little help from her friend Sarah. 2:34

 

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