The “Consent is Sexy” campaign is a sexual rights awareness campaign that targets high schools, colleges, and universities. It promotes not only the awareness of consent, but safe sex, responsibility, and gender equality in relationships. It tries to counter relationship abuse, sexual assault, rape, gender discrimination, and homophobia. There is more than one focus of this campaign—while it does have to do with getting consent; it also has to do with granting consent. It also has to do with sexual abuse, domestic abuse, rape, and protection. This campaign is so open to everyone and one of the ways that it does combat homophobia is by including them and their needs into this campaign.
While this campaign can be seen as geared more towards straight men on college campuses, this campaign is geared toward gay and straight men as well as gay and straight women. The sex education that we receive is horrid, but the fact that a lot of these campaigns fail to include the LGBT+ community does not help matters. This campaign is sex-positive and doesn’t encourage anyone not to have sex; rather it encourages those who want to have sex to make sure that that they have their partner’s consent. Rather than placing blame, this campaign contributes to sexual health and positive emotional wellbeing of everyone involved and offers focus on benefits and risks of sex. This campaign strives for equality and recognizes the right to respect and consent for both sexes. On the other hand, because straight are such a large demographic for this campaign, this campaign doesn’t demonize men either. It avoids focus on men as the only gender capable of sexual abuse and instead, it demonstrates that men can also be abused and women can also be capable of sexual abuse.
Though this campaign is so important in what they promote and what they believe, there have been complaints and problems with the eroticization of consent. So why eroticize it? It’s important to remember the demographic of this campaign and to remember that that is not all they are promoting. The “Consent is Sexy” hook, I think, is to grab attention and pull people in to see what it is all about. This campaign is geared to those in high school and college. I think that, yes, consent is a basic human right and not something should have to be eroticized to be followed, sometimes that’s a step that has to be taken to get the point across. This campaign helps people to realize that not only should people be asking for consent, but people do not have to consent if they are not ready.
One of the things that they also focus on is being safe after consent has been given. They stress that consent is just one step to having safe sex. Condoms and other forms of safe sex are important, but more than that, respect for your partner is important as well. One of the examples that they use is HIV, and though this is not something super typical for straight couples, it is a big thing in the gay community and the inclusion of that is important. Overall, this entire campaign, though perceived as set for straight couples, believes in equality for both sexes and for people in the LGBT+ community. Consent can be sexy, yes, but it consent is and always will be MANDATORY.