Most women I know have had lots of types of sex. They have had good sex and bad sex and the most common, yet least talked about, type of sex – mediocre sex. They have had sex in the backseats of cars and sex on the beach and sex in dingy rooms in east London flats, but no one I know has ever, not once, signed a contract before sex.
Enter: LegalFling, an app that is “redefining safe sex”.
From what I can gather, the basic gist is this: if you accept a request on LegalFling, the app claims that you have entered into a legally binding agreement. The contract can be tailored to your individual… preferences. As the Metro points out, the app offers the user a smorgasbord of options that people can consent to, including: photo and video, use condom, STD-free, explicit language and BDSM. You select which of these things you are comfortable with, send it to your sex friend to sign, they review it and if they’re comfortable with the things you’ve outlined, they agree, and well, er… you have sex.
But if one of the parties involved breaches the contract, say by sharing videos online or not using a condom, the app claims that there may be legal grounds to prosecute them. However, with the caveat, “To which extent the contract holds up in court, depends on your country of residence.”
For anyone worrying about privacy, LegalFling says each contract is secured using blockchain, which means nothing to me, but apparently means that the contracts created using the app are completely secure.
The app also allows you to withdraw consent at the touch of a button.
Of course, talking about consent in any sexual relationship is important – whether it’s with a one night stand or the person you’re married to. But there’s something about this app that makes me want to scream into the void.
Somehow, the process of consensual sex is too confusing, listening to women is too strenuous a task, respecting women as equal human beings is too complicated, and so, we have an app
Because wouldn’t it just be easier to listen to women when they speak? Wouldn’t it be simpler if when women said, “No, I don’t want you to film us having sex,” or, “No, I’m not into BDSM,” or even, “No, I do not want to have sex with you,” people just… listened? Why do we find it so hard to accept what women say, and to listen to what they want? Somehow, the process of consensual sex is too confusing, listening to women is too strenuous a task, respecting women as equal human beings is too complicated, and so, we have an app.
This app seems to align seamlessly with the general tone of hysteria that is surrounding sex in the wake of #MeToo. This week, The Hollywood Reporter ran a piece entitled, “How the #MeToo Movement Could Kill Some Sexy Hollywood Movies”, which seems to despair that a biopic of Hugh Hefner's life will never be made – the real travesty of the #MeToo movement – while “material that features empowered participants — like Maggie Gyllenhaal's prostitute turned entrepreneur Deuce protagonist” will fare well in the post-Weinstein world.
And this is the concept that really perplexes the #NotAllMen-ers, the people who are worried that 2018 marks the end of flirting, the Sarah Vine’s and the Catherine Deneuve’s of the world. This idea that women aren’t issuing a blanket refusal on sex and all the surrounding paraphernalia – they aren’t saying they hate sex, or they never want to look at a penis again, they are merely saying that they want to be listened to, they want to be respected, they want to be empowered.
And I can’t, for the life of me, understand why that is such a complicated idea for people to get their heads around – and yet, clearly, it is. Because now, we have to listen to people bemoaning political correctness gone mad.
Now, we have to endure a conversation about why fully grown men can’t tell the difference between flirting and sexual harassment, or respect one of the smallest words in the English language: no.
Now, we have an app.