Examples of sex consent in TV and film
July 16, 2010 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by this thread, I am looking for examples of verbal consent prior to sex in visual media such as film or television (country of origin is unimportant).

There's no secret agenda in my asking this question. I am honestly curious as to what examples of this there are.
posted by stinkycheese to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I don't quite recall all the specifics of the scene, but perhaps there's an example of interest at the end of Adventureland. According to imdb, the dialogue is

"Are we doing this?"

"Yeah, I think we are."
posted by dougmoon at 1:54 PM on July 16, 2010

Veronica: Take me to Pleasureland!
Ron: Oh, we're going there!
-Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:59 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think there are examples in some Woody Allen movies: Manhattan (Mariel Hemingway to Woody Allen: "let's do it some way you've never done it before"; also Woody Allen to Diane Keaton: "Turn out the lights, we'll trade fours" -- a jazz term that he jokingly uses to refer to sex); Annie Hall (the scene where Woody Allen turns on a red light and Diane Keaton has an out-of-body experience).

I don't remember Rosemary's Baby very well, but I remember being struck by a scene where (IIRC), a couple is sitting around in a room and the woman says to the man, very nonchalantly, "Let's make love," and they do. I was maybe 12-14 years old, so it seemed almost scandalously bold to me that people could make that decision like that! It may have been one of the first times I realized: hey, a couple can actually communicate directly about their sex life (unlike how things are usually depicted in movies, where everything flows effortlessly and wordlessly).

Another movie that made a similar impression on me at a young age was Housesitter, which is a fun romantic comedy. In an early scene, Steve Martin is in Goldie Hawn's apartment. He asks if he can use her phone, and she says she doesn't have a phone. But I asked if I could come up here and use your phone, and you said yes, says Steve Martin. Goldie Hawn says: no you didn't, you asked if you could come up here and sleep with me. Predictably, Steve Martin says: but you said yes, etc. (Again, this all seems pretty cliche in retrospect, but at the time -- it came out in 1992, so I would have been around 11 when I saw it in the theatre -- I remember being floored by the idea that people could actually, directly talk in terms of "OK, we were doing this nonsexual stuff, but now we can admit that it was just a pretext for getting into a situation where we can agree to have sex.")

Again, those are all from memory -- no time now to Google the exact dialogue.
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:02 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Mitch: Well, I just got back from helping Chris and there was a woman in my room.
(Jordan stops what she’s doing and turns to face him.)
Jordan: Pardon?
Mitch: A woman. She was an adult.
Jordan: Oh.
Mitch: She wanted…She wanted to…Oh god, how can I say this as not to offend you?
Jordan: Jump you?
Mitch: Yeah.
Jordan: You made it with her?
Mitch: No, no. That’s what was so unbelievable.
Jordan: Pardon?
Mitch: It’s true. I stopped her. I told her I didn’t want to.
Jordan: Why?
Mitch: Because I really did want to.
Jordan: Huh?
Mitch: I wanted to, but not with her.
(Jordan looks at him until she understands. She smiles.)
Jordan: Oh!
(They kiss.)

--Mitch and Jordan, Real Genius. Jordan later asks him if he's going to introduce her to his parents, which I think we can take as read.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:02 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

As always, Buffy.

(Xander's basement. Anya is still standing, naked. Xander is still in shock.)

ANYA: At point the matter is brought to a conclusion with both parties satisfied and able to move on with their separate lives and interests. To sum up, I think it's a workable plan.
XANDER: So, the crux of this plan is —
ANYA: Sexual intercourse. I've said it like a dozen times.
XANDER: Uh, huh. Just working through a little hysterical deafness here.
ANYA: I think it's the secret to getting you out of my mind. Putting you behind me. Behind me figuratively. I'm thinking face to face for the actual event itself.
XANDER: Ah, right. It's just we hardly know each other. I mean I like you. And you have a certain directness that I admire. But sexual interc— What you're talking about, well — and I'm actually turning into a woman as I say this — but it's about expressing something. And accepting consequences.
ANYA: Oh, I have condoms. Some are black.
XANDER: That's ... that's very considerate.
ANYA: I like you. You're funny, and you're nicely shaped. And frankly, it's ludicrous to have these interlocking bodies and not ... interlock. Please remove your clothing now.
XANDER: And the amazing thing ... still more romantic than Faith.

(Anya moves towards him and they kiss. The buzzer for the dryer goes off.)

ANYA: Fabric softener.
posted by adipocere at 2:02 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

In other physics-related sexual hijinks, Leslie Winkle on The Big Bang Theory has no problems coming out and obtaining consent for sexual acts. Episodes to watch are "The Hamburger Postulate" (season 1 ep 5) and "The Vegas Renormalization" (season 2 ep 21).

Leslie's sort of fascinating in that her sexual orientation is largely "mercenary," too; she's not really looking for relationships. A proposition from her is just that, nothing else.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:07 PM on July 16, 2010

In the first season of Mad Men when Don Draper and Rachel Mencken finally get together, I seem to remember that as they are kissing he stops and asks her if this is what she wants, or something along those lines, and she replies with a "yes."
posted by shesbookish at 2:13 PM on July 16, 2010

Kids has a couple of memorable and troubling examples.
posted by kprincehouse at 2:13 PM on July 16, 2010

From Miller's Crossing:

Verna: Maybe that's why I like you, Tom. I've never met anyone made being a sonofabitch such a point of pride ... though one day you'll pay a price for it.

Tom: Okay, Verna. But until then, let's get stinko.

Verna: Let's do something else first.

Tom: Yeah. Let's do plenty.

posted by komara at 2:16 PM on July 16, 2010

The first time Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf have sex on GOSSIP GIRL, he asks her, "Are you sure?" and she says, "Yes." Video link, 3:33.
posted by headspace at 2:38 PM on July 16, 2010

There is a joking example of this in American Pie 2. It's in the scene where John Cho pees on Stifler. Right before that, Stifler's out there with a girl and starts his "Do you consent to..." spiel.
posted by reenum at 2:59 PM on July 16, 2010

In Sex, Lies, and Videotape Cynthia enters the bedroom. John is naked, lying on the bed, with a strategically placed plant covering his naughty bits.

Cynthia: "Well ain't you a picture?"

She strolls over to him, sits down on the bed, looks at the plant. "Is that for me?"

John smiles. "Uh-huh."

Cynthia slowly removes the plant. "Is that for me?"
posted by LuckySeven~ at 3:23 PM on July 16, 2010

The most famous line from the awful Gigli is Jennifer Lopez saying "It's turkey time", which is issued as a command, which is a pretty strong way to indicate consent.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 4:13 PM on July 16, 2010

The "Love Contract" skit from Chappelle's show. It's at the beginning of the famous "Rick James" episode.
posted by King Bee at 4:15 PM on July 16, 2010

In The Lover, before they have sex for the first time, there is repeated verbal consent.
posted by Forktine at 6:17 PM on July 16, 2010

Not sure if this exactly what you're looking for, but the love scene between Deckard and Rachael in Blade Runner is intriguing. It has that "grab the girl" feel of an old Film Noir, where it starts as "no" but changes to "yes", and borders on non-consensual. Of course, she's a replicant and he may or may not be, so things are a little complicated.

He's telling her what to say, in a sense controlling her consent. Definitely an odd scene:

Deckard: Say "Kiss me".
Rachael: I can't... rely on... my memories...
Deckard: Say "Kiss me".
Rachael: Kiss me.
Deckard: I want you
Rachael: I want you.
Deckard: Again
Rachael: I want you.
Rachael: Put your hands on me.
posted by Kafkaesque at 6:24 PM on July 16, 2010

In one of the first episodes of "The Tudors," king Henry is about to have sex with one of his wife's handmaidens, and he whispers in her ear, "Do you consent?" She says yes. I remember that that question struck me as very forward thinking for a woman-beheading bastard.
posted by lizarrd at 6:44 PM on July 16, 2010

Response by poster: I'm not sure these would all meet a legal standard of consent, but thanks for the examples.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:00 AM on July 17, 2010

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