To Touch Or Not To Touch
Valentine’s Day is an important day for romantic partners to express their love for each other in many different ways. Physical intimacy is one of the many important pillars that builds a successful relationship, but both the partners must always make sure that they are comfortable with each other. When one person, forcefully tries to touch, hug or kiss their partner, it is no longer intimacy, it is sexual assault.
The idea of consent is simple- do not touch, hug, kiss, or have intercourse with your partner until that person clearly says ‘yes’. One can never ‘assume’ consent, it must always be stated. Taking permission before engaging in a physical relationship ensures that both the partners have respect for each other and their boundaries. Respect is an essential ingredient that helps in the growth of love and romance in a relationship.
How do you make sure you are doing it right?
In some cases, your partner might say yes, but still not be comfortable. You should always make sure to read your partner’s body language very carefully, and care to be aware whether the person is comfortable or not. Even if your partner verbally says yes, you must read their body language and facial expressions throughout the act to make sure you both are going in the right direction.
Saying ‘no’ to a partner can sometimes be hard. Most partners assume that being in a romantic relationship gives them the authority over one’s body, so they do not ask before touching, undressing or kissing their partner. If you are not ready, you must tell say no directly, or you can use the following phrases:
- I’m not ready yet
- I need some time
- I’m not comfortable
- Please stop
- Not today
If he pushes you to go on even after you politely decline, this clearly means that your partner does not wish to respect your boundaries. Pushing you to engage in sexual activities without your consent is sexual assault. If you feel like you are being forced to do something by your partner without your consent, you may talk about it to a friend you trust.
The reality we live in
We still live in a society which is baffled when they read news of a girl getting raped by her ‘boyfriend’. In these cases, society blames the victim for ‘allowing’ the boyfriend to commit rape. In an incident that took place at a hotel in the capital’s Banani area, two girls were raped when they were invited to attend their friend’s birthday party. The news was trending topic in the social media and group conversations, where many blamed the two girls for being out of their homes late at night. (Source: Dhaka Tribune)
We still live in a country where families could not fathom the possibility of rape within marriage. In most cases, men feel that the women are entitled to please their sexual desires, hence they do not even care to take consent. The Daily Star reported the incident of a girl whose husband raped her on her first wedding night. The next day, she could not walk properly at her wedding reception, and she could not share this incident with anyone. In fact, she cannot even make a legal complaint as the law itself does not recognise marital rape as a crime. (Source: The Daily Star)