Consent is Like a Castle

Consent is like a castle.
In the castle, everyone is having enjoyable sexytimes.
However, the castle is surrounded by a moat.
And the moat is on fire.
The moat is embarrassment and awkwardness.
You have to cross the moat of awkwardness (by asking consent) to get into the fun castle where all the fun sexytimes are happening.
Suck it up and cross the moat.

(Adapted from Peter Strom’s metaphor for awkwardness and swing dancing)

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The People Who Sexually Assaulted Me Were Selfish and Didn’t Love Me

Sexual assault is selfish and if a person does it, they do not truly love and respect the person they’re with.

It’s selfish, because it’s putting one’s own “needs” above someone else’s safety and well-being. It’s selfish because the person would rather avoid a potentially awkward moment than make sure their “loved one” does not have their boundaries crossed.

Love is not selfish. Love is respectful. Love is putting someone else’s needs over one’s own. If they truly loved me, they never would’ve risked hurting me.

I Was Sexually Assaulted While Swing Dancing

Trigger warning: description of sexual assault

My passion for swing dancing began with the best first date ever. After dinner and a movie, my ex taught me swing dancing… or what I later would learn was very sloppy East Coast Swing (a sub-genre of swing dancing). The relationship didn’t last, but my love for swing dancing has.

I’ve been dancing for five years now and it’s always brought so much joy to me. It’s exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s a great stress reliever. The music is incredible. And the people I meet are even better.

I’ve always felt safe in the community. Even when other women occasionally pointed out the creepy, socially awkward guys who I shouldn’t dance with. Even when a celebrity within the worldwide swing dancing community (Steven Mitchell) was accused of sexual assault by many women just a couple years ago. Even when Facebook groups popped up in response to this scandal and people shared many stories of non-consensual experiences at dance events. These awful stories sparked a worldwide conversation about consent in swing dancing. Nowadays in blues dancing (another sub-genre of swing dancing), the instructors in my scene always mention consent in their classes. It’s been exciting, especially as the survivor of many sexual assaults, to see a consent culture bloom within our communities.

That being said, no scene is perfect or without its… bad apples. Continue reading I Was Sexually Assaulted While Swing Dancing