Critical Consent: The Tricky Task of Saying ‘Yes’

Adult performer Ava Mir-Ausziehen has written a timely and thought-provoking essay in a blog post exclusively for Ethical.porn, “Critical Consent: The Tricky Task of Saying ‘Yes’”.

The idea of sexual non-consent via a verbal “no” is familiar, and affirmative consent via express, voluntary agreement is steadily working its way into social consciousness. Porn performer Ava Mir-Ausziehen has advanced this profound discussion beyond “yes” and “no”.

“Consent is far more complex than we typically make it out to be,” Mir-Ausziehen writes. “It’s more than simply agreeing or disagreeing to do something. So alongside laying down best practices and accountability procedures, part of the work we need to do collectively is to rethink what exactly consent is.”

Mir-Ausziehen discusses how the already “murky nature” of occupational consent becomes even more tricky when occupational labor is sexual in nature.

“If, in our work, we consensually engage in a sexual activity that we don’t necessarily enjoy, it’s seen as more problematic than if we engage in other kinds of less desirable activities for the sake of work,” she writes. “Sexual activity is seen as somehow inherently personal and vulnerable and is believed to instantly demean and compromise the individual once it waivers from some fantasy of ‘authenticity.’”

Mir-Ausziehen concludes with several key points regarding strategic ways of critically analyzing consent that are rooted in BDSM cultural and practice.

“Ideas about consent are complex and multifaceted, which Ava explores quite well in her essay,” shared Ethical.porn founder and Sssh.com’s award-winning director and producer Angie Rowntree. “We are very pleased to share this thought-provoking piece.”

Submissions for Ethical.porn are ongoing. Members of the adult industry are encouraged to submit their statements, videos, and other forms of relating their thoughts on the issue to EthicalPorn@yahoo.com.

To learn more, please visit Ethical.porn and EthicalPorn.tv

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Ethical.Porn is a platform for complex, critical, ongoing discussion of ‘ethical’ as it pertains to adult content production — one that transcends notions of ‘correct’ sexual expression or genre, and emphasizes multifaceted standpoints, as well as consent.

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