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Season 1

Long-play: Katherine Angel

ft. Katherine Angel

The idea of affirmative consent first attracted attention in the early 1990s. Since then, consent laws have been passed in a number of countries. Alongside legislation, women are often told to know what they want and know how to communicate this to their partners.


While women asserting their pleasure sounds positive, it assumes communication guarantees safety and that a satisfying experience will follow. But might the pressure to give a fully formed and enthusiastic ‘yes’, be at odds with the ability to take risks and explore sexually? 


If we look at the dominant culture around sex, in recent years, two requirements have emerged for good sex: consent and self-knowledge. This seems like progress. It takes women at their word and defuses the potential for sexual violence. But does conceit of absolute clarity place the burden of good sexual interaction on women’s behaviour?


In this episode, Caroline speaks with Katherine Angel to unpack the shortcomings of affirmative consent.


Katherine is a writer and academic. She directs the MA in Creative and Critical Writing at Birkbeck University of London. Katherine has a PhD in the history of psychiatry and sexuality from the University of Cambridge. She’s held multiple fellowships at academic institutions in Europe, the US and the UK, including Harvard and the University of London's Centre for the History of Emotions.


From ‘No means No’ to #MeToo, Katherine shares her thoughts on consent and the complexities of female desire. 



Check out Katherine’s work here.


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Creator & host: Caroline Moreau-Hammond

Editor & original music: Zoltan Fecso

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