consent

‘If you start to feel like you don’t like it, you can tell me to stop,’ I said. ‘I don’t like that,’ he practiced.’: Mom turns playful tickling with son into consent lesson, ‘We all deserve to enjoy living in our own bodies’

“My 3-year-old asked me to tickle him. Tickling is one of those activities that can move quickly from fun into boundary transgression. I wanted to connect with him playfully in the way he was asking and model safe physical experiences at the same time. It’s not one serious, awkward conversation. It’s not The Sex Talk you’ve known and dreaded. It’s a foundation built over years.”

‘I’m feeling upset. I need to hide my face so people won’t see,’ my 4-year old cried. ‘I just want to be by myself for a minute.’: Mom stresses importance of ‘honoring needs’ to build trust, love

“She laid her head down in the booth to hide her face and I ate my chips and salsa. I didn’t yell. I didn’t whisper threats. I didn’t demand she pull it together when the other restaurant patrons looked our way. She was clear about what she needed. I let her have it. She needed a minute, you guys. Sometimes, we all need a minute.”

‘How are babies made?’ I’m the mom to a sex-positive family. My kids know the correct terms for their ‘privates parts.’: Mom raises kids in pro-sex ed household

“I was horrified recently to find out many fully-grown women in my life didn’t know all the names for their own anatomy! As ADULTS, they had never learned. My children are 5, 7, and 8. They know all about consent, menstruation, sex, pedophiles, puberty, and more. In our family, we view these conversations as a ladder to safety. I’d rather them know the facts than to ‘learn’ from the playground or internet.”

‘Give me a high five!’ She didn’t want to. He leaned in close to my daughter. ‘Are you looking forward to Christmas?’ Uncomfortable, she refused to acknowledge him.’: Mom stresses importance of children’s comfort, ‘I want her to know no means NO’ 

“A man sat next to my daughter on the bus. It wasn’t busy, yet he chose the seat next to her. She stood up, moved over to me. ‘Aw, you don’t need to be scared. Cat got your tongue?’ He leaned in close. I felt her press into me. ‘She doesn’t want to talk,’ I explained firmly. ‘You should teach her some manners!’ he admonished me. He spluttered something along the lines of ‘back in my day.’ Everything about her body language screamed STOP, but he wasn’t listening.”

‘Michelle, we haven’t had sex in a year.’ My husband rolled over in bed with a blank look on his face.’: Couple stress importance of ‘boundaries’ in marriage, ‘you don’t owe your partner anything’

“My doctor’s cold hands pressed against my breasts. ‘No lumps, but let me process the urine sample.’ 5 minutes later, she retuned with a beaming look on her face. ‘You’re pregnant! Congrats!’ I’m…what? Who? How? ‘Infertile’ and on birth control, I was in utter disbelief! We went from a quiet little house in Suburbia to catapulted into parenthood. I had no energy or desire for intimacy. We hit the one-year mark completely sexlesss.”

‘Oh my god, did you see Elena’s ears?! I mean, it’s basically child abuse.’ I left the party uncomfortable.’: Woman defends cultural parenting differences, ‘a mother knows what is best for her child’

“When Elena was 5 months old, my friend Nia brought her to a baby shower. My eyes fell on her cute little ears, pierced with diamond studs! As soon as the door closed behind her, all the girls dived right in. ‘Who does that to a little baby?’ ‘What’s next, a tattoo or something?’ ‘Shouldn’t that be Elena’s decision when she’s older?’ Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. Nia was the only person of color at the party.”

‘Never say ‘NO’ to a guy who had the courage to ask you to dance. It’s 3 minutes. It’s not THAT bad.’: Mom ‘shocked, disgusted’ by church flyer she claims ‘perpetuates rape culture’

“The flyer tells girls, ‘Wear a little lip gloss. And don’t forget the approved dress standards. You don’t want the guy dancing with you to feel uncomfortable because of the questionable outfit you justified.’ No. NOPE. NOOO! My church taught me I needed men to tell me how to behave sexually. I lived my whole life with shame, guilt. This is not happening with my daughter.”

‘Don’t be a prude!’ He grabs my waist. I say ‘no’ 12 times. He wipes my tears. They’re ‘not sexy.’ I give in. ‘Fine.’: Woman finally calls sexual abuse ‘what it is,’ says consent must be ‘enthusiastic, genuine’

“My phone glows. ‘Hey, can we talk?’ My friend’s eyes are red, puffy. Suddenly, I feel like crying, too. I think she’s going to tell me she’s pregnant. It’s much worse. ‘I’ve been raped.’ Inside, I’m screaming, ‘Tell her you’re a victim, too!’ But I don’t. I mean, am I REALLY one ? Sure, I said ‘no’ and lay there, emotionless. I didn’t want to. He knew that. But technically, I said ‘fine.’ So, am I victim? The answer is yes.”

‘Stop touching my kids, stranger. You don’t know us and it’s creepy.’: Mom stresses importance of respecting children’s consent

“I was in the grocery store, minding my own business. I was anxious, hoping to get in and out before my daughter woke up. Everything was going great until a stranger approached my cart, undid my car seat canopy, and started rubbing my daughter’s cheeks. I felt so uncomfortable. I appreciate how adorable you think my daughter is, but please don’t caress her.”

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