Sex education has always evoked two responses: yawns from bored students, or cringes when the conversation gets awkward. But sex ed is important, especially in a 21st century where people are still confused about what consent means. Blogger Emmaline May gave the world a collective “ah-hah” moment when she said it best: “Just imagine instead of initiating sex, you’re making them a cup of tea.”
What do sexual consent and tea have in common? At first thought nothing, until May’s blog went viral and showed everyone just how simple understanding consent could really be.
“You say ‘hey, would you like a cup of tea?’ and they go ‘omg fuck yes, I would fucking LOVE a cup of tea! Thank you!’ then you know they want a cup of tea,” May writes in her blog.
She goes on to say that if your guest wanted tea, but then fell unconscious, you shouldn’t be pouring tea down their throat while they’re passed out. That’s obvious, right? But somehow, this same level of clarity that can so easily be applied to tea, is muddled when it comes to sexual consent.
May collaborated with Blue Seat Studios to create a video inspired by her blog. For teachers who want to show the video in class, there’s also a clean version, without the swear words.
With universities in the US adopting an affirmative consent policy that emphasises yes means yes, and verbal consent must be given in sexual encounters on campus, the video couldn’t come at a better time, especially when sexual assault is rife (55 colleges in the US were investigated for their handling of sexual-harassment complaints in 2014).
In the words of May: “Whether it’s tea or sex, consent is everything.”