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‘She seemed to be having fun’: construing consent in the sex game gone wrong

‘She seemed to be having fun’: construing consent in the sex game gone wrong

Fanghanel, Alexandra ORCID: 0000-0002-4041-561X (2023) ‘She seemed to be having fun’: construing consent in the sex game gone wrong. In: James-Hawkins, Laurie and Ryan-Flood, Róisín, (eds.) Consent: gender, power and subjectivity. Transformations . Routledge - Taylor & Francis, London; Oxon and New York, pp. 1-14. ISBN 978-1032415741; 978-1032415758; 978-1003358756 (doi:

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This chapter interrogates the phenomenon of the sex game gone wrong to examine how it is figured in the court room. By analysing court transcripts of 3 recent criminal cases in which a woman has died as a result of a so-called sex game gone wrong, the chapter explores the role of consent, and how it is evidenced in the court room. Even though consent to sexual violence which is more than transient or trifling is impossible in law, as confirmed by R v Brown [1993] UKHL 19, [1994] 1 AC 212 and s. 71 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, cases where this defence is mobilized have proliferated over the past few decades (17 reported cases in England and Wales up to 2001, 40 between 2001-2021 (We Can’t Consent to this, 2021)). This indicates that consent to sexual violence continues to play a part in socio-legal praxis. Through thematic and discourse analysis of these cases, the chapter explores how consent is figured and how consent is evidenced. In doing so, it critically interrogates what consent is said to look or sound like in order to enhance contemporary understanding of the ways that knowledges about consent are constructed in the socio-legal imaginary.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: consent; rough sex; sadomasochism; sex games gone wrong
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
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Last Modified: 04 Dec 2023 15:05

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