This week the Indy’s annual Love & Sex Issue focuses on Missoula’s consent campaign.

How do you define affirmative consent?

Have you ever intervened in a situation you thought looked sketchy or coercive?


Tara Walrus: If you’re not OK with something, you should express that. And respect it if it’s expressed to you. Personal experience: I’ve certainly had to remove myself from situations because I thought it could have turned more threatening. It’s about expressing how you feel and what you are and aren’t OK with. Most of the time, it works.


Jonathan Pierce: I think that affirmation is a little seductively easy to try and define, because it boils down to yes or no. But it’s not always that easy. That’s why I think it’s good we’re having the conversation. Only in the abstract: I luckily haven’t really been forced to. I’ve definitely heard of friends being in situations where I would have intervened if I’d been there.


Alisha Arnsparger: I define consent as an enthusiastic agreement between two people. Preparing others: Personally, no. But I have been able to participate in a lot of bystander training, whether consent is compromised or not.


Seth Sivinski: You have to bring it up, say, “Is this OK?” If any party makes their intentions known, the other party has to respond. It should be a discussion, not an assumption. Stepping in: Yeah, actually. Both times at bars. Once there was almost a fight. The other time the guy asked me if she was my girlfriend. As if that should have mattered.


Elizabeth Poole: I feel it has to be mutual, and that’s not just with words but with body language, anything that does give the message that you don’t want that to happen. A plus and a minus: I actually haven’t really run into that situation, which is maybe good and bad at the same time. It would definitely be a significant memory in my mind.

Asked Tuesday afternoon at Clyde Coffee.

Staff Reporter

Alex Sakariassen began working at the Indy in early 2009. He primarily reports on state politics, the environment and the craft beer industry. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Choteau Acantha and Britain’s Brewery History Journal.

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