The Swedish Sexual Consent Law – What Vanillas Can Learn From the World of BDSM

The Swedish Sexual Consent Law – What Vanillas Can Learn From the World of BDSM

Consent is one of the most vital pillars to a Sexual relationship, be it Vanilla or BDSM. It has a huge importance, especially in the day and age we live in where there are rape and sexual assault cases every minute. If you were to explain consent to a 5-year old and say that you should ask before you touch or intrude someone’s personal space, they would deem it as an obvious code of conduct. But for some reason, the concept seems too difficult for grown up and educated adults to understand. This could be because of the hyperactive libido but that is no justification. It is absolutely imperative for governments, in this case, to reinforce the importance of Consent during sex. For instance, the landmark Sweden Age of Consent and Sex Laws which ensure Consent Safety in a Sexual act.

The sexual behaviors of people, their preferences and kinks etc. are all a personal domain, they may do whatever they like. Consent, however, stands universal in all such sexual endeavours. Let’s take a look at the Sweden sex laws to understand what it states as the importance of Consent.

What is the Sweden Rape Law?

On 1st July 2018, the Parliament of Sweden brought into effect a new Rape Law, popular as the Sweden Rape Laws which identify non-consensual sexual activity as rape. It was hailed as a power move by the activists and population at large, as it was aimed at raising the number of convicts accused of Sexual abuse. The direct impact on the conviction rate is something everyone wants to see. But it is for sure a positive step in the right direction. Basing it in the obvious language the Swedish Parliament stated ‘Sex should be voluntary. If it is not, it’s illegal’. This is a straightforward way to explain consent to the layman, according to the new Sweden sex laws. With this, Sweden became the 10th European country to identify consent by law.

sweden age of consent

Prosecutors won’t have to prove any hints of violence or struggle between the victim and the accused, as was the case before the new law came in. Neither is there any need to establish vulnerability and helplessness in the case of the victim like the influence of alcohol etc. to prove a rape charge. Any individual at or above the Sweden age of consent is capable of giving consent to a sexual activity.  

Additionally, Negligent rape and Negligent Sexual Assault also come under the Criminal Code. It considers that if the accused went ahead with making a move in a situation by assuming the other person’s consent, it is a punishable offence.

What is the Sweden Age Of Consent?

As per law, the Sweden Age of Consent is 15 years. It is the minimum age at which an individual is mature enough to indulge in consensual sex. Anyone below this age is a minor. And a case with sexual activity against a minor is ground for conviction as Statutory Rape under the Sweden sex laws.

The Sweden Age of Consent is 18 years in case the victim is the offspring of the accused or in case there is a guardianship involved between the two parties. There is – Close-in-age exemption. It basically acquits people having consensual sexual relations in case they are both below the Sweden age of consent and have a minimal age gap. This is – ‘Romeo and Juliet law’. The sex laws exempt them from the Sweden age of consent if they prove that they were consensually involved and have little age gap in order to protect the minor couples.

Critique of the Sweden Rape laws

Critique of the Sweden Rape laws

Obviously there has been a fair share of critiques to the landmark Sweden sex laws. They target the motive of the law which is to convict more accused people for Sexual objectification and Abuse. Critics argue that the conviction rate will not rise by recognizing consent legally. This is because it introduces the challenge to prove intent now. The Prosecutors will have to prove the intent of the perpetrator especially in case there has been no violence or struggle, which anyone can twist. Proving an intangible intent to abuse the victim without consent will be the real challenge resulting in the same net convictions for Sexual abuse. 

Conclusion

On the whole, we do need our governments to recognize consent legally. This is because it is integral to the foundation of a healthy sexual relationship. Never compromise the personal boundaries of an individual and blur the lines along the way. Consent laws such as the Sweden Sex laws are very important. As sexual beings, we should also learn from these laws and implement the consent policies in our daily life.

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