Politics & Policy

College Program: Follow These Five Steps Before Kissing Someone or It’s Sexual Assault

The University of Southern California hosted a “Consent Carnival” where it taught students that there’s a five-step process they must follow before kissing someone in order for it to not be considered sexual assault 

In fact, the checklist also states that following these steps just once is not enough. No, you have to follow them every time you kiss someone, even if you’ve kissed them before.

The exhibit, called “Kissing Booth,” offered students Hershey’s kisses glued on to little white pieces of paper with the words “what exactly does it mean to . . . ‘consent’ to a kiss?” and the following five steps: 

Affirmative: We’re really excited to share this kiss with you and we’re letting you know!

Coherent: We’re present and able to recognize exactly what’s happening when we give this kiss to you. 

Willing: We made the decision to give you this kiss ourselves, without pressure or manipulation from you or anybody else.

Ongoing: Should you come back for another kiss, check in to see if we’d still like to give you one.

Mutual: Sure, we offered you a kiss, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Coming over to our table doesn’t forfeit your right to say no.

#share#So, in other words: If you are kissing someone, but stop for a half a millisecond to breathe, you have to step back and say “can I kiss you again?” before continuing.

How reasonable and normal and romantic

#related#Of course, it’s easy to laugh at something like this. It’s definitely ridiculous. But it’s actually more than that — it’s terrifying, too. 

After all, the lack of consent to a sexual encounter is, by definition, sexual assault. So, if this is how the school is defining consent, any student who does not follow it would be guilty of sexual assault — and subject to all of the very serious consequences that come along with that. 

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