Too much of people I know, once have an unwanted experience.
thaiconsent.org is a site to promote the concept of “consent sex” in Thailand.
There are 3 turning points that inspired me to take action on it.
1. It began with an exchange of first time sexual experience with friends. I found out that even though they knew about sex fairly well such as they must use a condom, some of them did not use it. It was because there were many unexpected factors in the real life situation.
2. When I was an exchange student in France. I learned from the host sister that there were a comic book that tells a story of female sexuality. It was a whole new world to me to see that sex could be communicated in different ways, not just a pornographic comic book. I understood that sex was not limited to those who has a dirty mind, it was part of the lifestyle.
3. My friends was sexually harassed. It made me want to do something. When talking to my friend, I saw that people normally used common sense to deal with the problem. It made my friend feel guilty to let the offender come in the room. I thought it was wrong. There must be someone who stand up for it and it was supposed to be me.
When I took my friend to the police, I found that the process was not as difficult as I had thought. After that, I heard the similar stories from people around me. I thought that the people out there, many of them may have experienced the same. (I heard such stories from 7 people, they were my friends from schools and university, not to mention about the acquittances. The number was too much for a 22-year-old woman at that time like me.) The more I talked to them, the more I knew that the thing that blocked the victim from getting help was the attitude of friends and their relatives.
If we make the people understand the fairness of sexual relationship and pass it on to the society, it will help reduce hardship for those who need help. That was why I opened up thaiconsent.org to promote sexual consent in 2015. However, the website was too academic and it was full of anger as I was emotionally attached to the story of my friends. It was not successful. But since then, my friends, who had been harassed sexually, always came to me and asked if I would continue it. In 2017, I had a stable job and some free time. I saw the infographics that I had made, so I put them on Facebook, with some few changes. The infographics were widely shared. I received good feedbacks from the audience. So, I came back to work on this project again and now it is a success.
The stance of the Facebook page in 2017 is to empower those who are in trouble to seek help. There are numerous NGOs in Thailand, who do a marvelous work on helping the victim. But for a teenager who has faced a trouble, it is an extremely sensitive thing for them to ask for help. Plus, I do not want the page to be too much of social advocacy. I want the content to be something related to people’s lifestyle. That is why I shared a sexual experience from other people anonymously and the page would do illustrations for each story. Since then, there have been over 200 stories coming in. It helps shape the website to thaicocnsent.org that you see today.
“When seeing stories from the others, people start to question about their own experience. They have sex but they may not think if those experiences have been good to them, they might come to realize when learning from different people. Those who always have a good sex will learn about what bad sexual experience is like. They will see that there are lots of people who feel insecure about it. Everybody has their own story. I hope that we can learn without judging each other.”
Curated and illustrated by nanaaa.