What would you do if your physiotherapist’s hands started wandering? Would you even know how to say ‘stop’? Could you be sure something sexual was actually taking place before it was too late? And what if it was sexual and you wished it hadn’t happened afterwards?
This happened to Jon not so long ago. He’s still not sure what to think about it. The physiotherapist in question has now been put on the sex-offenders’ register. So what the hell is Jon meant to make of this experience now?
That’s our starting point for this episode. How does consent work? Is there a place for confusion in sexual scenarios? And is society falling short in giving us the tools to understand and cope with unwanted sexual scenarios?
This is complex territory. Everything is about sex except sex. Because sex is about power. That’s Andrea’s argument and it leaves Jon feeling rather different about the experience. Does a greater awareness of the ‘therapist’s intention make Jon feel like a victim? Would that mean you become a victim through reflection rather than through the an experience itself?
These issues can affect anyone, but there’s also deeply-rooted cultural ideas at play. Many of us would assume that a man can always say ‘no’, that he can’t be manipulated and put into sexual situations he doesn’t know how to control or change. This episode, we challenge those assumptions head-on.
In doing so, we put forward some tools for how to cope with situations like this if they arise. Simply having a model to refer to in the midst of the panic and confusion can go a long way to ensuring a better (if not ideal) outcome.
We then move on to explore the fundamental aspects of another key source of confusion in our social (and sexual) lives: Narcissism. It’s a tough diagnosis to pin down, but we’ve come across the perfect summary:
The Narcissist’s Prayer
That didn’t happen.
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
And if it was, it’s not a big deal.
And if it is, that’s not my fault.
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
And if I did, you deserved it.
We unpack this ‘prayer’ and also challenge you (and ourselves) to reflect on the Trump in all of us.
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