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Accept that you don’t get it! You don’t get it. You want an innocent heart, innocent faith you say? I was groped on the street when I was 12 for the first time, touched and mastrubated upon by several men on buses for a good part of my teenage years and young adulthood. Before I had any experience of a healthy sexual relationship, I learnt to clench my fist, grit my teeth and bear it, men forcing themselves on me. Before I learned to open up, relax and enjoy.

I am sorry if it seems unfair that all men are judged by these experiences. Its self-preservation. It helps me to expect it and be prepared. Of course I know all men are not going abuse their power over me, I certainly hope so. But so many have. So many, even the good ones, the kind ones. Because self-awareness, looking within, unraveling privilege is hard work, to be done every day, it is accepting that you have a shit reputation and a long history of entitlement and privilege and that you need to prove yourself each time and that’s just how it goes.

The fact that I still have faith in anything at all is a wonder. So don’t you dare call me angry! I am tired of spending energy every single day on protecting myself, in every space, every relationship, clothing myself, unclothing myself, building boundaries, not sending the ‘wrong’ message for your comfort.

Consent is hard. Consent means there will be frustrations, there will be times when you want to real bad and you can’t. That’s how it is, because it involves another human being. But if you prepare yourself for a possible ‘No’ from the beginning then the frustration will be more acceptable. But why don’t you expect that ‘No’ could be an answer? That’s entitlement, being used to always getting what you want. You think we don’t have enough times when we consent for reasons other than our own desire? Of course you don’t think, because have you ever done it? Had to do it?

Consent is enthusiasm, it is mutually shared pleasure. If you are not sure, ask again and be ready to really listen, respectfully. It is not you getting what you want and making yourself feel good by thinking you are giving her pleasure, so she has to fake an orgasm to soothe your ego. If she doesn’t have an orgasm, it’s probably because you need to learn a thing or two about female sexuality bro!

Before you get defensive, reflect. Before you say #NotALLMen think #YesAllWomen. Ask, listen, learn. Shut the judgement. If you make a mistake, apologise and start over again and again. Nobody expects you to get it all right away! Learn, question, challenge yourself. Ask women. Don’t assume your way is the only way. You don’t realize the level of entitlement it takes, to see vulnerability, care and tenderness and abuse it, accuse it, dismiss it.

I want to see men who are brutal with themselves, with their privilege, who look within and untangle the entitlement with tenacity. Transformation is painful, but it has to be done. I want men who question themselves incessantly like I see women around me doing every day, men who apologise with grace because they hurt you whether they thought it would hurt you or not is irrelevant. I want compassionate men, vulnerable men, men who cry when they see others in pain, men who care selflessly, men who love without assurance of love, or sex, or care or company.