The #MeToo movement was a serious wake up call for a lot of us. It not only helped millions of women and men worldwide unite under the common goal of addressing and identifying the flaws in our culture and norms regarding sexual harassment and assault, it also helped bring to light the very real issue of consent.
Consent has become this illusive and hard to explain concept, when really all it really means is this spoken or unspoken communication or understanding between two partners agreeing to engage in consensual and healthy sexual activity.
Why the concept has become so hard to grasp is beyond us, however with cases like Taylor Swift VS David Mueller and even the allegations against comedian Aziz Ansari show us is that this is a real issue and it can no longer be sidelined.
Conversations about consent need to be had and blockchain based app called LegalFling is looking to change the way we interact with our sexual partners via dating apps.
This is what the LegalFling website says about it’s core mantra, “Sex should be fun and safe, but nowadays a lot of things can go wrong. Think of unwanted videos, withholding information about STDs and offensive porn reenactment. While you’re protected by law, litigating any offenses through court is nearly impossible in reality. LegalFling creates a legally binding agreement, which means any offense is a breach of contract. By using the Live Contracts protocol, your private agreement is verifiable using the blockchain and enforceable with a single click.”
How do you get Live Contracts to control human behaviour?
On the surface, an application like this definitely trumps other dating apps and sites that guarantee next to nothing. LegalFling promises accountability and protection and enforces their law by citing penalties and even lets you select a partner based on similar sexual preferences. The site says that, “Talking about rules and boundaries before sex can be akward and uncomfortable for some…” which is why LegalFling does it for you instead.
And although it seems that the problem of consensual activity gets quite simplified due to easy steps and clear clauses, is this really the best way to ensure that two partners who sign up for sex will actually follow through on their claims?
The website claims that in case “things do go wrong”, the app connects you with the right legal or counselling experts without ever actually specifying what the wrong might be. What’s even worse is, the app completely misses the point about open communication and might be an easy way out for individuals who plan to do anything but remain respectful of the other partner’s wishes. Since the initial conversation becomes a legally binding contract of the do’s and dont’s of that particular encounter, anyone might easily claim that nothing illegal or wrong happened, even if it did.
Don’t get us wrong. We’d love for consent to be as simple as a blockchain app that records sexual consent like a contract that is accountable by law but whether this works just as well in the real world is yet to be seen.