Consider this … there is more than one way to lie. You can lie by making a statement that is simply not true. You can lie by withholding relevant information. You can lie by making a statement which is technically true, but will be interpreted as something that is false.
We all lie.
And, actually, that’s ok. Sometimes. Sometimes lying is a kindness. When I was pregnant with my daughter, crazy on hormones, sleep deprived and not myself in any sense of the word… my husband told me I was beautiful anyway. We both knew it was a lie, but my crazy brain melted every time he said it.
But… when one is asking for another’s consent, we may not lie.
If a person asks another for sex, and the other has concerns… about safety, about that person’s true feelings, about exclusivity, about anything… and the first person lies about addressing any of those concerns, then consent cannot be given. The second person might think they’re giving consent. The person asking for consent might hear the right words that consent was given… but it is all based on smoke and mirrors. The consent does not exist in reality.
When the person who “gave” consent later finds out the truth and withdraws their previous consent, in actuality, the consent never existed.
In open relationships, honesty becomes more important than ever before. Entire networks of relationships are based on consent. If one person lies in order to save or keep one relationship, that lie ripples through the entire network, destroying everyone’s consent.
Those in the network might not even know for awhile. Everyone operates under presumed consent.
Until the truth comes out, and everyone realizes that the tops of the trees look green, but underneath everything has been destroyed by wildfire.
And the truth will come out.
It always does.
So don’t. Don’t let us ever fool ourselves into thinking we have anyone else’s consent, if we had to lie, or half lie, or withhold information to get consent.
Consent can only exist in the light of truth and honesty. Period.