We need to look beyond consent in discussions of sex and sexual violence

As a sexual violence researcher, one of the most important things I’ve learned about sexual violence, mostly from the feminist movement, is the importance of voluntary consent in all sexual interactions. This “second education” highlighted just how inadequate sex education in schools is. In my experiences of formal sex education, sexual pleasure was never discussed and I was never equipped with the language of consent. In society at large, it is only in recent years that consent and the right to sexual pleasure – especially for women– have become topics of conversation in the mainstream. This shift would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of activists such as Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng and Tiffany Kagure Mugo of HOLAAfrica who have facilitated online discussions about sexual pleasure and made these less of a taboo. WRITES GORATA CHENGETA