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At some universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, they’ll be compulsory.You’re an 18-year-old guy who’s been in a happy, lovely sexual relationship for two years already? You must still submit to being instructed in the right and wrong way to have intercourse.The new puritans of modern student officialdom may ‘♥ consent’ but not so much that they will give students a choice about whether to be lectured about sex. Worse, initiatives like these are likely to backfire, and bugger up rather than boost young people’s understanding of sex.The consent classes are part of the NUS’s war on ‘lad culture’ on campus.Given that unwanted sexual advances can include everything from a drunken bloke dancing dodgily around a girl he fancies to a leery guy trying out naff chat-up lines on a female student who isn’t interested, it’s nothing short of amazing that only 37 per cent of women at uni have experienced them.
To turn sex into a contractual engagement is to make it similar to prostitution, only without the exchange of money and not nearly as exciting.That is, you should seek audibly stated consent — ‘Yes, you may now engage in coitus with me’ — before the sex act occurs. At more than 20 universities, the NUS is hosting ‘I ♥ consent’ workshops to instruct new students on communicating consent or non-consent to a potential sexual partner — basically, lessons in how to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’.