New app allows you to record consent before partnering up
We-Consent are trying to promote discussion before sex
You can now record your partner giving their consent before having sex with a new app.
We-Consent is part of the new wave of consent apps hitting America.
It records for just less than 20 seconds while using facial recognition, where users state their name and give verbal agreement, before turning the camera onto their partner for them to give or deny their consent.
The primary intention of the app is to promote discussion – it prompts users to ask for consent, saying: “Say the name of the person with whom you want to have sexual relations with”.
If a person denies, the users will talk about the miscommunication.
It is designed to ensure both parties know they are going to have sex, protecting those who do not give consent and stopping false rape allegations.
H Eloise Beverley, a member of RHUL FemSoc, said: “I think it’s positive to encourage dialogue about consent and I hope this app helps to do that, but the creator’s focus on keeping athletes away from sex scandals seems to encourage the idea that false accusations of rape and sexual assault are more common than they are really. It seems the creator is more concerned with the reputations of perpetrators than the wellbeing of survivors of sexual assault.
“However despite those concerns I think checking in to make sure everyone is sober and making informed consent is definitely a step in the right direction.”
The recordings are only available upon judicial order, for law enforcement purposes or for evidence at a sexual assault disciplinary within higher education.
The app is specifically aimed at athletes as the app designer, Michael Lissack, explained to The Chronical of Higher Education: “who seems to be mostly involved with scandals? Athletic teams and fraternities.”
However, Lissack admits that the app may not be effective immediately, as public attitudes toward sex and not helpful in promoting discussion, before adding that “societal changes do not happen overnight.”
Although the app has received credit for being innovative and for bringing important issues like consent into the digital world, critics fear that it creates a misconception about consent.
A spokesperson for the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre slammed the app, saying:
“This app seems to completely misunderstand sexual consent as an ongoing process rather than a one-off decision. It also appears to be based on the myth of sexual miscommunication, that rape is the result of a misunderstanding of consent rather than a decision made by a rapist.”
Similarly, there are worries surrounding the situation the recordings are made in – as there’s no way of knowing whether or not someone was forced to record their consent.