The lines between love and consent

Veronica Vasquez

No. It is a complete sentence and does not require justification or an explanation.

That’s the message Justine Marie Shuey, a board certified sexuality educator from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, gave to Del Mar College students on Nov. 1.

Shuey’s visit focused on sexual harassment, assault and consent.

“People are so uncomfortable talking about sex; people even have a hard time talking to their own sexual partner about sex. As a sexologist I feel like if you can’t talk about sex with your own sexual partner you shouldn’t be having sex with them,” Shuey said.

With stories about rape and sexual harrassment coming out of Hollywood surrounding Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, this idea of communicating consent is a hot issue.

“You always need permission before you touch people — it’s called consent. Consent is the main thing you need. Remember, no means no. Don’t try to change someone’s mind,” Shuey said.

According to Shuey, there are four different stages of love that we deal with: love, lust, romantic attraction and attachment.

“Intimacy is all about the experience of emotional closeness to another human being and having that feeling returned. People often think about sexual activity when in reality it’s all about that communication and emotional closeness. The main key to have a healthy relationship is good communication,” Shuey said.

Talking about sex with someone is a sensitive and awkward subject, however, Shuey “provided a great platform to discuss a very serious topic. Her method of delivering the information allowed for everyone to be comfortable and not feel at all embarrased about any questions through text which allowed students to ask what they really wanted,”said John Beauford, Business Administration.

Shuey urged students to step out of their comfort zones. Student Danielle Garza said that while she and her husband are pretty normal, she doesn’t mind trying something new.

“His family never really had those type of discussions about sex,” Garza said.

Brittany Claramunt contributed to this report.

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