From Consent to Sexual Agency

Home » From Consent to Sexual Agency

Queer Insights on Negotiating Sex

At the end of 2021 I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the John Barry Graduate Symposium day at the University of Melbourne. This was alongside my colleagues Kasja Lundberg and William Arpke-Wales. This was an opportunity for third year PhD candidates to present their work in progress so far.

For this symposium I presented on the way my thinking around the concept of ‘sexual consent’ has changed based on the insights from the wonderful people who participated in the focus groups and interviews I ran in 2020 with queer/bi+ people around Australia. In these interviews and focus groups I asked participants how their relationship to sexual consent had changed over time and how this was impacted by their gender and sexuality journey. It became clear to me when analysing their narratives that when participants were describing more ethical sexual communication practices, it was about so much more than just sexual consent being intergrated into negotiations of sex. What participants were describing was a whole process of unpacking heteronormative ideas around sex, gender, sexuality and relationships as well as learning skills to resist and renegotiate gendered norms and normative sexual practices.

From these insights I have begun to develop what I am at the moment calling a queering of sexual agency – and I think this is a framework that might be useful for thinking about ethical sexual communication practices beyond consent. This presentation explores these ideas more in depth, including a case study from one participant.

Enjoy! as always I am always open to comments and feedback. (p.s this is a re-recorded version of the talk I gave at the Barry Symposium).

Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Share on Reddit
Share on WhatsApp
Email a Friend
Scroll to Top