Yes? No? Maybe? A Young Man’s Pass To Consensual Sex

Given the complexities of male/female relationships in today's highly sexualized society, what's a young man to do? A Modest Proposal: "The Card"
consent yes no maybe

It’s fall and college campuses buzz with intellectual activity. Like it or not, the sexual buzz is ever present as well, just as it is almost everywhere. The good news is that it is part of our genetic makeup to get busy and make others. The species depends on it. The bad news is that this is not the society of the Neanderthals. Things are a bit more complex. We’ve evolved into more sophisticated beings who, more often than not, are more interested in pleasure than procreation.

Additionally, in most modern societies women have a choice whether or not to engage in sexual intimacy. No young man wants to go through what others like Owen Labrie of St. Paul’s School, Corey Mock from the University of Tennessee, or Cory Bates and Branden Vandenburg from Yale–and their victims– have gone through. Likewise, no institution of higher learning wants its reputation to be smeared with the implication that it has a sexual culture that views women as sexual conquests to be collected. Granted a few clubs, teams, or organizations within a college/university community might because they’re made up of late adolescent males whose brains are not fully formed and whose motivation to P.A.R.T.Y. is notches above their motivation to work on their grade point averages.

Given the complexities of male/female relationships in today’s highly sexualized society, what’s a young man to do? Clearly he has not had as much experience navigating relationships as most of his male elders, plus he has a hell of a lot of maturing to do.  He’s heard a lot, read a lot, and seen a lot, but that only feeds a false assumption that he can safely and legally do a lot.

No doubt, for some, accurately reading the female signs of “Let’s hook up” can be somewhat awkward if not baffling, and then when recreational substances like booze, pot, and more dangerous goodies get mixed in, things can get murky…or downright stupid. Granted, there are young women today who are bold, assertive, eager, and full of sexual prowess. They have no problem giving the go signal. And if it’s no go, they can take you down with one flip of an arm, pop open a switchblade and have it snuggling your jugular before you can blink, or just plain whip out a cute little Ruger and have it aimed perfectly at you know where.

Rather than having to deal with various sexual communication ambiguities, I have a modest proposal: “The Card:” a consensual sex card. Call it a pass to the fun place for your little (or big) Mr. Happy, if you will, but if I were a healthy young man venturing out to explore life, I would pack a couple cards in my wallet before I headed out the door “to get lucky.”

Nope, I do not jest. “The Card” has all kinds of potential.

First and foremost, “The Card” is written proof that one person agreed to sexual intimacy with another. There’s no more he said/she said, she said/she said, or he said/he said.

Second, “The Card” will become something people look forward to receiving because it will be a clear indication that the giver is a fairly caring and decent person and that the receiver is desired by the giver. How convenient! No word games, no trying to read potentially promising nonverbals. Think of it as a love note for the modern age…a sort of “I’m-having-such-a-great-time-with-you-and-I-find-you-very-attractive-and-I’m-feeling-so-comfortable-with-you-so-I’m-inviting-you-to-cuddle-with-me-and-we’ll see-where-it-goes.” Sort of cute, huh? Believe me, lots of folks love the word “cuddle.”

Third, “The Card” can be a shared commodity. Give each other a card. The intent will be double fist bump salute that two people are on the same page, plus both will have a little memento of their time together. People collect their movie ticket stubs, baseball cards, theater playbills, concert tickets… why not their “Cards?” I know. I know. Maybe some folks’ competitive nature will get in the way and they’ll start competing for how many cards they’ll get each week or month. Maybe some will even showcase their “Cards” in scrapbooks or simply collect them in empty coffee cans. There’s no telling. In general, though, I believe “The Card” will be a welcomed token of respect…like being prepared with condoms or, for the over 50 set, making sure a good lube is within reach.

Fourth, “The Card” has terrific product potential. Sure, one can create a homemade version, but think of what designers at Vistaprint can do with it. The cute kitty motif…the sexy wink motif…the holding hands motif…the possibilities are endless. Templates from Microsoft…greeting card possibilities from Hallmark… who knows?

Fifth, “The Card” even has upscale product potential for the one percent. Think Gucci…Tiffany…little gems embedded in gold or platinum custom made cards. What a memento that would be!

So let’s get practical. What should a simple, thoughtful invite to cuddle-and-maybe-more look like? Think business card. What should it say?

Sample #1: Simple and Direct

I __________________ consent to sexual intimacy
with ________________ on _____________, 2015.

Sample #2: Sobriety Check

I __________________ verify that I am sober and
drug free, and I consent to sexual intimacy with
____________________ on ______________ 2015

Sample #3: Romantic

I ________________ am delighted to accept this thoughtful
gesture to share sexual intimacy with
____________________ on __________ 2015

You get the idea, but be sure your special person signs his/her name. You want a legal signature, not a printed name. You could even have the word “signature” printed under the line as a reminder. That may sound picky, but we’re trying to save a few people from a lot of regret, grief, and potential jail time here.

You want to make a pass? Don’t be crass. Give a pass.

Start “The Card” movement and be safe out there.

J.J. Mummert lives and writes in Columbia, Missouri. Her background includes teaching and managerial experience in higher education. Her blogs include commentary about life and society at and she blogs for therapy at
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