Claire Ahearne as Becky and Daniel Murray as John in the Consent=OMFG interactive short film John and Becky.
Feb 12 2019 Posted: 14:44 GMT

Film addresses issues such as do we always need consent and are men always up for sex?

To celebrate Valentine’s Day and the launch of their new four-year programme earlier this month, the Active Consent research team at NUI Galway are premiering the third interactive short film in the Consent=OMFG series, John and Becky. The film shows a long-term couple who are having less sex than they used to in their relationship, and explores consent communication between established partners and the stereotype that men always desire physical connection. 

Like the other films in the Consent=OMFG series (Tom and Julie and Kieran and Jake), the viewer experience of John and Becky involves making active choices for the characters at three key decision points in their story. With four possible endings, viewers experience firsthand the multiple directions sexual communication can go for this couple. 

Active Consent researcher and film director Dr Charlotte McIvor said: “John and Becky portrays the complexity of negotiating consent even with long-term partners and the importance of ongoing and proactive dialogue around intimacy. We were interested in exploring how men may experience pressure to be intimate based on commonly-held stereotypes that they are always driven by sexual desire.”

The Consent=OMFG film series is one of the tools that will be highlighted in the Active Consent Programme’s toolkit for third-level institutions that will be released in spring 2019. It illustrates the breadth of the approach being taken and complements the SMART Consent workshops that have been running since 2015. A theatre performance on consent will also be launched later in the year. Intended to be used in conjunction with the new Active Consent programme toolkit, the performance will be available for touring on a limited basis to third-level institutions in late summer and autumn 2019.

Dr Pádraig MacNeela from the School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said: “Taken together, the training and resources available through the college toolkit will enable colleges to follow through on the commitment to support young people to make positive, active choices in what they do and do not want to consent to with their partners.”

One in five college students in a relationship reported in a SMART Consent survey that they would find it difficult to tell their partner that they do not want to have sex, and a similar percentage said they would find it difficult to say a certain sexual activity is not making them feel good.

The Consent=OMFG series can be viewed at www.nuigalway.ie/consent=omfg and on the YouTube channel, Consent is OMFG. John and Becky will be available from Thursday, 14 February.

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