Episode 19: Sex and Consent


Sex Talk- Episode 19 - Consent

Voice Over: You're listening to sex talk, a podcast all about sex. In this episode expect to hear some colourful language and conversations of a sexual nature. You may want to pop on a pair of headphones for some privacy during this podcast. Sex talk. -

Alex: Hi, my name's Alex. Five years ago I found myself in a situation in which I wasn't able to give consent due to the fact that I was under the influence of alcohol, and unfortunately that was when I contracted HIV. I was put in a really bad position because when I was infected with HIV I was sexually assaulted, and at the time because I was under the influence of alcohol and I was a guy, I didn't think of it as sexual assault until about two years ago. I turned around and went 'oh wait actually, what happened was sexual assault' and I suppose since then I've been on quite a journey around taking power back over my own body and developing self respect and trying to help others develop the same respect for themselves.

Voice Over: Sex talk, with your hosts Adele and Hilary.

Adele : Welcome to Sex Talk with me Adele

Hilary: And me Hilary

Adele :Welcome along to our podcast. On this episode of Sex Talk we're going to be focusing the conversation around Consent. Starting the conversation just now was a familiar voice, Alex who we spoke to in episode 6. Wow, so much to deal with there.

Hilary: Indeed so much to unwrap from this very broad subject and of course it's something that's been in the news quite a bit the past year, and something that Alex said in the opener was that being a guy and having been sexually assaulted it's not something that stuck with him right away, he didn't think of it as assault.

Adele : He didn't realise that he'd been assaulted and do you think that's a big problem for men? Do you think that's something men don't think could happen to them? Because as a woman I think it's something that we have at the back of our minds unfortunately.

Hilary: I agree and I can say from Alex's experience, I myself have a similar experience whereby as a young person I was also assaulted, and not until later on in my adult life did I come to realise that, hold on that wasn't right, and as a young person that shouldn't have happened to me but nevertheless you just sweep it under the carpet I suppose as a guy, because there's that thing about vulnerability that men have an issue of talking about or dealing with or seeking help for.

Adele : Thanks for sharing that Hilary, that will mean a lot to a lot of people and hopefully will help them realise if something's happened to them.

Hilary: It's good to talk.

Adele: We'll be hearing more from Alex later in the episode, and lots of other incredible guests who are going to be talking to us about consent.

Hilary: If you listen to Sex Talk regularly, you'll be familiar with our sex dictionary, but today we're swapping it for the Oxford English Dictionary. Adele, could you read out the definition for consent?

Adele: Consent- Noun- Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Okay. So many people need to go to a dictionary, read that word, and understand what it means. I think even with me I'm not quite sure around consent. I think I know, I try to be a good person, but it would upset me so much if I've ever coerced or made somebody do something that they weren't comfortable with. A lot of things I think we see on TV and in movies is not consensual but it's presented as normal and I think that's part of the problem.

Hilary: I was reading something about James Bond not too long ago and they were saying James Bond is this macho character that is depicted as the quintessential British man, but ultimately some of the things that he does in the James Bond films, are they consensual? And does that perpetuate an attitude within people that watch it to perhaps think that that is what it means to be a quintessential British gentleman?

Adele : Yeah and it works both ways as well because as women we potentially go the wrong side of the line in terms of consent and it's just a conversation and talking about it and understanding boundaries.

Hilary: So you should say 'are you okay with this?'

Adele : And hear it as well, listen to what they say. Take it on board.

Hilary: God gave you two ears and one mouth! In the last year there have been several high-profile cases of sexual assault, which has got us all talking about consent, and how it's communicated.

Adele: There's a podcast that we love here on Sex Talk, it's called Death, Sex and Money and it's produced by WNYC studio's in America. This summer they have been focusing on dating, and they released a series called Hot Dates. Throughout the series, 8 single listeners regularly reported back to the host, Anna Sale, on their dating experiences, and for one of the daters, Dan, consent was on the agenda…


Anna Sale: On those dates do you notice that things felt different than they did 6 years ago when he met his wife, for example he started seeing a woman, they had fun together…

Dan: And she was looking for a grand passionate romance where a strong man would come in, sweep her off her feet, pursue her, chase her, and with Me Too I can't do that anymore.

Anna Sale: Tell me more about that with Me Too what would you have done before and what do you do now?

Dan: Well what I would have done before is I would have initiated physical contact and I would have kept going and if she said wow what this I simply would have switched tactics. I don't know how to say it but that's standard operating practice, that is what being a strong man is, you pursue and you pursue and you are pursuing and pushing under the assumption that the woman is teasing to lead you on until she can finally capitulate and I have to tell her no that doesn't work like that anymore now, I can't do that because that puts me at risk.

Anna Sale: So you felt like she was asking you to still be maybe the more dominant in an intimate encounter and you were like I don't know how to do that and feel like I might not be breaking rules right now?

Dan: Correct. I have to read every single cue exactly right. And not just the verbal cues, the non verbal cues. If I don't get it right and hopefully the woman says wow stop everything stops. Everything has to stop. Otherwise you get into this grey area where I am suddenly at risk of doing something awful even if that's not my intention.

Anna: And why can't you… have you tried integrating little consent questions in to be sexy – is it okay if I do this? Do you like this?

Dan: I do do that and it gets limited success. Some women that works really well with. Others get annoyed by the question because the question yanks them out of the moment.


Adele : Okay so when you're getting intimate with somebody is there a danger then that you're going to start asking too many questions and being too functional because you might be worried about consent? And he's saying that takes him and his partner out of the moment.

Hilary: That element of being spontaneous in a relationship like you used to see in the black and white movies, you mentioned something when women started speaking up in Hollywood with the Me Too campaign.

Adele : If anything good can come from this podcast it's hopefully making a couple of people think and maybe reassess the way they've acted in the past and correct that behaviour going forward.

Hilary: That's something for us to think about because in terms of what Dan said he's now having to unlearn everything.

Adele : And I can understand that he feels nervous, but me if I was Dan I would be thinking I'd rather have to worry about that than worry about having hurt somebody without realising, so I think this is a good conversation that we're having.

Voice Over: Sex talk, real stories real issues.

Adele : Dan's comments created quite a lot of noise on social media. Anna Sale, host of the podcast talked about this with our producer, Perri.

Anna : So my show was Death Sex and Money and we say it's the show about the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more and sex is a big part of that. Sex and relationships, because it's something I personally, when I was developing the show I felt like I was fumbling through trying to figure out what I wanted out of a relationship, what compromises I was willing to make, what compromises I wasn't willing to make, and so our show tries to get at the stuff that maybe feels uncomfortable because it's private but maybe also something that's so ordinary, like the details of when you're on a first date and what cues you look for to figure out if you should touch someone or not. It's those little details I find fascinating as a journalist because they're things we all have figured out or are figuring out but don't swap stories about enough. At the beginning of the summer we thought dating is always weird and it seems like it's only gotten weirder because of dating apps and also the feeling like we're in the midst of a very important but layered and complicated conversation about what kind of behaviour is appropriate in our love lives, and how power is expressed in our love lives and how we communicate about that and so we've been following 8 different listeners as they have dated this summer. Dan hit a lot of people in a tender place and a lot of people were really pissed to hear the way he talked about the way he approached getting physical in previous relationships. What I thought was interesting about Dan is he was saying 'I'm trying to learn a new way'. He was previously married, his wife died, he's now in his early 40s and is dating again, and having taken in some of the recent pop culture stories about men behaving badly he's really trying to learn how to behave differently, and so I wanted first to say Dan you upset a lot of our listeners and to have him respond to that upset so we did a follow up with him and I also wanted to understand why he felt like asking for verbal permission was so awkward and that he didn't know how to do it because to me it's pretty straight forward, you just say do you like this? So I thought that was interesting to really dive in and to hear someone who came of age with sex when there were different standards. They were problematic standards back then as well but to hear someone learning in real time as they're dating about how to be a good man I wanted to have that conversation and not to just reject Dan as someone who doesn't know what he's doing. I wanted to hear what it's like for a man to revaluate how he is supposed to treat women. It's important because a lot of these interactions can be incredibly – they're high stakes. People can get hurt but they also happen in private and if we don't talk about them we don't learn from each other about how to treat people well and how to update the way we interact when we're trying to be intimate for the first time so I really thought Dan was brave to say 'I know what I used to do is not what I want to do now and I don't know exactly what I'm doing now but I want to talk about it'.

Voice Over: Sex talk. –

Adele : That's good. I like what she said about Death Sex and Money,'things we think about but should talk about more'.

Hilary: I like that, it's a good caption.

Adele : So Dan's been thinking about it and now he's talking about it which is great.

Hilary: Another point that she also made which struck a chord with me was how important it is to take into consideration the fact that Dan grew up in a completely different generation where their attitudes and standards were different and that he's having to unlearn and relearn, and perhaps society just doesn't give you that opportunity to relearn these things and you're going to obviously make mistakes along the way but society does come down on you really hard when you do get it wrong.

Adele : Yeah because the law's one thing and so we can't give him a pass for that but in terms of etiquette and how to go about things I think we can be a bit more understanding and let him get on board with the way society is now, it's great that he's trying to change. To hear the follow up conversation Anna had with Dan go to DeathSexMoney.org and look for the episode called 'Hot Dates- I'm supposed to be certain'.

Voice Over: You're listening to sex talk. Find out more by going to sextalk.radio and share your thoughts across social media using #SexTalkPod -

Adele: So in this episode of Sex Talk we're focusing on sexual consent. According to the Crime Survey across England and Wales, 1 in 5 women aged 16-59 have experienced some kind of sexual violence since the age of 16. I don't think for me personally there's any grew area with this, this is black and white, somebody knows that they're in the wrong.

Hilary: I agree with you.

Adele : Stats like this really scare me because in my family there's six children and four of us are girls so if you think of a family of six at least one of us will have expreicned sexual violence. That frightens me to death. Joining us in the studio now is George WX Barker, National Director of SexpressionUK. Welcome to Sex Talk George!

George : Hi thank you very much it's a pleasure to be here.

Hilary: So George, you're the National Director of SexpressionUK. What is Sexpression?

George : Okay so SexpressionUK is a student led charity based all across the UK and we have branches at universities and through this allow students to go out into schools to work with young people and they then teach comprehensive and inclusive sex and relationship education. When I went to school I didn't have the sex education that I needed to be able to navigate the world.

Adele : Me too.

George : And I think this is a common theme so what we try and do is make sure that when we go into schools we give the facts. We're not telling people what to do, we're just going to give them the facts so they can make their own decisions. We're about empowering young people.

Hilary : George, in the last 12 months the conversation around consent has really blown up. Can you explain to us what consent is in the context of at least having sex?

George : Yeah of course, so I think it's right this conversation is coming to the forefront and it's one that hasn't been there in the past and that can be really damaging. So consent in the sphere of sex is just about making sure that everybody is involved in the decision making that's going on with whatever you're getting up to, so that can be from something simple as just some close intimacy but obviously it can incorporate a wide variety of things as well, and it's about making sure both people are comfortable, both people like what's happening, both people want what's happening.

Hilary: It's interesting you say that. So consent can actually change during the intercourse itself, is that what you're saying?

George : Yeah definitely and I think this is something some people don't quite understand and that actually consent in all senses is time and context dependent. Consent can change. People might change their mind about what they want to experience and that's fine and we need to make sure that people understand that so that people know how to interpret these decisions and actually consent goes both ways and it's about what both people want to happen.

Hilary: George, a lot of conversations about consent focus on women, and women are 5 times more likely to have experienced sexual assault than men. But men are also victims of sexual violence. Is this something which you talk about at Sexpression?

George : Yes definitely and I think one of the important things to recognise is that men are also less likely to report instances where they've been sexually assaulted and I think this comes down to what people think of themselves, they've got to be this impervious figure and this doesn't happen to men, and actually that's really damaging because it's completely false, it can happen to anybody and they then put themselves into a situation where they're not able to talk about it, they're not able to get the advice and support that they need.

Hilary: In my case it took me till probably my late 20s to even realise and play back those events that happened in my early years. It was easy for me to deal with it now because I've come to terms with it and it hasn't affected me, but there are some people that that does actually damage them as a person.

George : Yeah definitely particularly when maybe they haven't recognised it either and it may be a long time because maybe they weren't expecting it to happen to them and they didn't recognise that it was happening and actually then only when they look back and then they reflect they can realise that's actually had such a big impact and it's impacted them going forwards as well but it can be damaging to anyone again not just men it can have huge ramifications on how you view the world, how you view relationships.

Adele : Have you found it easier to do your sessions in the last year because that's really when this momentum with #MeToo has really picked up over the last year so have you found it easier to talk to young people?

George : I think in terms of conversations we've been having we're able to use more examples and talk about what's going on right now and the young people can relate to that much easier, that conversation is there and they're a little bit more prepared to talk about it as well because they've been talking about it themselves between peers.

Adele: In episode 6 of Sex Talk we spoke to a lovely guy called Alex, who talked about how alcohol played a part in him contracting HIV. He also talked to us about being young and nervous, and not feeling that he could navigate safe sex. Here's a clip from that episode

Alex : If I look back to the night or back then when it was going on I was a very nervous guy, very little self confidence, so there was no navigation of safe sex, there was no 'by the way are you HIV positive or are you not?' Just 'oh my god this is happening' because back then I was going out a lot, the nervous guy who had very little self respect and allowed other people to pressure me into situations I wouldn't necessarily put myself in is totally different to the person I am now and I have control of my body and I have control of who I let access my body.

Adele: According to a survey by the gay men's health charity, the GMFA, 62% of British gay men have been touched or groped in a bar without consent, and 30% of gay men have been a victim of sexual violence. Let's hear more from Alex about consent in the gay community, and his own experiences.

Alex : So when I first moved to London I was 22/23. London for me was this wonderful place of magical dream times. I was a very shy guy and very surprised when attractive guys were hitting on me and so at that point I was just in shock that these guys were into me so yes I let them do whatever they wanted, whether or not I wanted to do it or not, and that's why I ended up in a lot of situations that looking back I didn't want to be in, and I would say that it's a very different kettle of fish when it comes to navigating safe sex and consent on the gay scene because of the level of drugs and alcohol that are involved in it, and also this idea that I'm a man you're a man and it's… it's difficult to turn around and go this is what happened and actually I was sexually assaulted and it's like 'well you're a 6 foot 1 guy, how did that happen?' And it's like well actually I was put in a really uncomfortable position because when I was infected with HIV I was sexually assaulted but at the time because I was under the influence of alcohol and I was a guy I didn't think of it as sexual assault and it wasn't until about 2 years ago that I turned around and went 'oh actually what happened was sexual assault'. I think I talk about what happened to me but I would say a lot of people don't. A lot of people keep it to themselves, a lot of people don't want to seem like they're complaining about it or anything like that because all of a sudden when you say something serious like that it's not fun anymore and so I have spoken to friends about it. A lot of people have been quite surprised, a lot of people quite awkward. I think people also… some more extreme people say you put yourself in that position that's what happens and I suppose that makes me really angry, because I look back and I see the 22 year old me and think god how could someone do that to someone so young?And I suppose then looking back it was more difficult to navigate, as a mid 20s guy it was still quite hard for me to explain what I was feeling and what I wanted, so yeah I think still, spending time in the gay scene and still spending time around gay men the idea of consent is still somewhat debated. It's a very odd way to put it and there's an understanding that consent is almost assumed in certain situations which is wrong on so many levels. One of the things I've seen a lot and I've found almost heart breaking a little bit was this idea that because I was drunk, well I put myself in that position and that's something I've always felt very aware of when I talk about my own diagnosis was I was under the influence when I was infected with HIV and I felt that maybe I put myself in that position and therefore it was my fault. But at the end of the day my personal description of consent is someone who is able to freely and willingly give their consent to have sex with someone else and be that through 'yes I wish to have sex with you' or 'I don't want to do this anymore', being able to vocalise that is the most important thing. That is it in a very cut and dry way but when it comes to the situation you're in there are so many different factors involved and so many different things that you need to navigate and is consent just yes or no to having sex, is consent yes or no to using condoms, is consent knowing to do certain things, especially certain niche things that certain people might be into that they don't necessarily explain to you until you're in the bedroom and all of a sudden you're naked in a bed with someone and they want to do something you've never done before or don't necessarily want to do, and therefore you have to give consent to that as well. There's so many different parts to sex and it can be a wonderful and brilliant thing if you're both into it and you're both doing exactly what you want to do, but the moment it becomes something that you're not enjoying anymore, being able to vocalise 'I'm not happy with this please can we stop' is so important.

Adele : That was such a powerful story there from Alex. I was watching you as you were listening to that and I hope you don't mind me saying this but it feels like you've heard that before unfortunately.

George : Yeah. There's so much to unpack there. I'm a gay man myself and I am somebody who came down to London when they were a young person as well. I wouldn't say it's not something I necessarily experienced myself but things like being touched in bars that you don't want and unwanted sexual advances are common place. It's such a powerful recording.

Hilary : George would you say there ought to be a check list perhaps of practical steps that people ought to take that people can ensure they're always on the right side of consent?

George : So I think at the end of the day it all boils down to communication and just being able to talk to the other person and say do you like this? does this feel good? Do you want to do this?And the problem is, a lot of people don't feel confident enough to say that, or they think it's going to ruin the moment, or they think it's not sexy. Actually it's really really important and I think it is sexy and it should be sexy because you're making both of you, you're having this connection, you're making a decision, and in such an intimate moment making sure that it's both what you want and I think that is really important and it should be crucial.

Adele : It should be in entertainment as well, you never see this in TV or film, somebody asking those questions ever.

Hilary: Exactly. Going back to the James Bond example.

George : It seems to be this bit of music in the background, this passionate scene, nothing said and again this alpha male figure that is so unrealistic.

Adele : Another thing that struck me with the recording is, and it breaks my heart, him using the word 'complaining' like how could he be accused of complaining by reporting the abuse that's happened to him?He's not complaining.

George : Yeah and it's so important people feel that they are empowered to speak up and it's so difficult. Firstly coming to terms with it yourself and actually realising that in the first place, that can be really difficult. But then taking a step to talking about it is so important and trying to degrade and say it's not important, it's trivialising a situation that should never be downplayed. I think communication should be at the corner stone of every conversation around sex and relationships in the LGBTQ+ community, as it should be in every other community.

Adele : There was just one more element of what Alex said there and it was alcohol. Can you give consent if you're under the influence of alcohol?

George : So if you're under the influence of alcohol and that affects your decision making ability then you're not able to give consent no, and that's a different amount for everybody, but if you're unable to come to your own decision so you can't weigh up the advantages and disadvantages, you can't understand it all and then you can't communicate it back, if you're not able to do any of that then you can't give consent, and the other thing that's important there is if you're pressurised. If you're being pressurised or being coerced then that is never consent.

Hilary: One more thing about Alex is he said he didn't feel he had the power to tell somebody that this is my body and take control of the fact that I want to be used in this particular way, so for everyone listening I just want to be able to say to you that listen, it's your body and you always have a right to tell people what to do with it or do what you want with it.

George : Definitely.

Adele : Love that Hilary.

Hilary: You may remember Leasuwanna, she spoke about living with HIV in episode 8 of Sex Talk. She works as a peer mentor for women living with HIV for the charity Positively UK. You may remember her talking about condom negotiation and women feeling empowered to demand the sex they want. Here's a refresh of that conversation.

Leasuwanna : Tell them what you want, show them what pleasures you, have toys and gels and lubes and anything that you want in the bedroom, as long as it makes you happy, and you don't have to always allow the man to be in control and I think this is where the women are actually getting HIV and sexually transmitted infections, because they don't know how to negotiate in the bedroom and it's condom negotiation. You wouldn't be able to go into a country without a passport, so why are you allowing someone to enter your body without any good checks?

Adele : I love how much I said yes in that clip.

Hilary: We remember that check list very well don't we Adele.

Adele : Totally I loved her.

Hilary: And that analogy as well you wouldn't be allowed to go into somebody else's country without a passport, so why would you allow someone to go into your body without a condom?

Adele : And how have I got to this age without hearing that before? I wish I had George… all these people that we've met on Sex Talk, thank god we've met them. I hope these podcasts get shared far and wide because people need to hear this.

Hilary: Indeed and Leasuwanna mentions that it's your body, you set the scene, you set the barriers, and take control.

Adele: We went back to Leasuwanna to find out more about the mentoring work she does, and she told us about how consent often comes up in conversation with the women she supports…

Leasuwanna : A common thing is, is that they have sex, because their husbands or partners want to have sex, not because they want to. It's not consensual, not negotiated, not even romantic, the most basic thing of having sex. They also don't get the choice of whether to use condoms and if their partner is cheating they end up constantly getting the same diseases over and over again because the partner refuses the go to the clinic, and it's not even to say that they're having the kind of sex that they want, sometimes the men will force them to have anal and that's not the kind of thing that they want to do, so you might think to yourself 'no I wasn't in a bad situation' but you were, and if you don't choose to do something then it's not your will. One of the stories that I have is that my friend she'd just had an operation and I literally picked her up from the hospital, dropped her home, and her partner decided just because she couldn't have sex he was going to take sex and it sent her through a spiral which ended with her being sectioned. So things like that can happen, and if you hold it in it makes it worse on yourself, so these are the kinds of things that I try to instil in my daughter, you can say no, you don't have to go along with what everybody else is doing. You can be who you want to be. There's things like the CCard so you can go to any chemists that has a certain sign and collect condoms, there's femidoms, so you don't have to make the man wear the condom, you can take control and you can wear the condom which I love, I used to use them all the time. You don't have to have intercourse, you can play, do other things, it's not always about just doing it for the fact of doing it, it should be for your pleasure. That is the one time you have to make sure you're enjoying it or don't do it at all.

Adele : So many good ideas in there.

Hilary: She always gives practical tips. George I'm just wondering from your perspective does consent change if you're in a relationship?

George : I mean consent should always be discussed before anything. It shouldn't be assumed that because two people are together that they want to have sex all the time or they're expected to have sex and in this case here where they're in a situation where they've undergone an operation where they're obviously weak and they've said that they don't want that, and then that's been done to them it's abhorrent that somebody would take advantage of somebody like that. It's awful.

Adele : Also talking about being in relationships that's a really good point and hopefully if people are listening to this and they're in a relationship it's little things that spoke to me like first of all the fact you're in a relationship still respect your partner. My partner, I love her I would be mortified if I've ever made her do something she didn't want to do, but it's just reminding me as well in this loving relationship to make sure she's always okay.

George : Yeah and I think often when we talk about sex one thing that's left out is a conversation about pleasure and actually that is really important.

Hilary: George, we've heard lots of different stories around consent so far in today's episode of Sex Talk. What advice would you give our listeners on how to navigate consent?

George : Conversation and communication are really, really key here. Make sure you have that conversation about what's going on, about what you want to do and what you don't want to do as well, what things you find pleasurable, what things you don't find pleasurable, does that feel good? And then picking up on cues as well, making sure both people are enjoying the moment and by making sure that those people are enjoying the moment then we know that there's consent and it's good.

Hilary : Setting boundaries.

George : Definitely yeah, so setting boundaries and just having an idea of what they both want and I guess this makes it sound like it's a formal document that you've got to lay out, it's just being an honest and decent person and making sure both people are having a nice time at the end of the day.

Hilary : If you care you'd ask.

George : Yeah and I think actually that shows so much in terms of what that person means to you as well.

Hilary : What are the differences between verbal and non-verbal cues and how much does body language come into consent? Can somebody say yes and still mean no?

George : Yeah so body language definitely comes into consent and somebody can say one thing and they might actually mean something else and this can come down to confidence as well. They might not be confident in this situation which means they don't feel they have the ability to speak up and actually vocalise what they're actually feeling.

Hilary : If you're not trained to pick up on those cues yourself, how do you gauge whether that other person is willing to go through with this?

George : In those cases it's just really important to check again. Maybe you've picked up on something that isn't quite right, so double check. Maybe just stop for a moment and say is everything okay? Don't try and put this blame onto them or say 'why are you like this? You said yes before.' It's not about that, it's about they're not comfortable so they want to stop.

Adele : Is it you more need to educate the potential perpetrators and that's not linked to sex, that's not linked to gender, it's making people understand how they could possibly hurt someone without the other person knowing because like Hilary was saying before there's a lot of victim shaming and so maybe if we get ahead of the curve and make sure people don't end up making other victims, it's being proactive rather than reactive.

George : There's a brilliant video, it's called a tea analogy, it's like well you might offer somebody a cup of tea and they say yes, but then you make the cup of tea, you boil the kettle, put in the milk put in the sugar and then they don't want tea and that's fine. Then you don't give them tea anyway. You then don't go round the next day to give them a cup of tea because they didn't want it the first time. You don't give them a cup of tea if they're drunk because drunk people do not need tea. And it closes brilliantly, just if you can understand this then you should be able to understand how consent works in sex. It's certainly not to downplay or to simplify the whole navigation of sex and relationships because it is complex and we're not trying to trivialise that at all but it's displaying that consent is fundamental level basic yes/no decision making.

Adele : Do you have any advice for somebody who is maybe in a situation where they feel really uncomfortable, what can they do?

George : So it can be difficult sometimes to say no because it might be that you've got to stand up for yourself and some people find that difficult so it might mean a few different things. Do you now want to do certain things? Just say 'could we try this?Or maybe you don't want to do anything at all in which case can we take a break and even if you just say take a break you don't have to then carry on, it's just a time to take a pause take a breath, have a little think and actually by doing that you're not having to say no outright, which may be a little bit easier. But you mean no and actually the way in which the situation will play out will say no. It just makes it that little bit easier.

Hilary : I think I've learnt a new thing today, as always on sex talk.

Adele : I got some proper schooling off you then, you taught me more than my actual teacher when I was at school, this should be in school!

George : Yeah and the good news is actually that's going to happen, so from 2020 it's going to be compulsory for all schools to teach sex and relationship education and health education and it's going to happen in primary school as well.

Adele : Thank you George.

George : It's a pleasure to be here thank you for having me.

Voice Over: Sex talk.

Adele : Unfortunately that's all we've got time for on this edition of Sex Talk. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this episode of Sex Talk, visit nhs.uk and search for 'sexual assault', on this site you can look for your nearest sexual assault referral centre, where theyoffer medical, practical and emotional support. We've put the link to this site on our website, sextalk.radio

Hilary : And you can contact your GP. They should provide out of hours contact details for emergency calls.

Adele : And if you're concerned about HIV - Positively UK - can offer advice. Their national helpline is open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm on 020 7713 0444 and you can visit their website positivelyuk.org

Hilary : Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast to keep up to date with the latest episodes, and follow us on Twitter, we're @sextalkradiouk

Adele : You can join in the conversation using #SexTalkPod. Don't forget to check out the podcast Death, Sex and Money. You can find it by going to deathsexmoney.org

Hilary : In the next episode of Sex Talk we're talking all about kink, so make sure you subscribe to be the first to hear it.

Hilary : Until next time stay safe

Adele : And keep talking

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