‘Sex is like asking for tea’ A local counselor explains the importance of consent in an unusual way

By Letre Sweeting

Feb. 12, 2016

LS health
Shamus Dilts holds up a folder filled with helpful pamphlets and contact information Feb. 11 at Holland College in Charlottetown. Letre Sweeting photo

Shamus Dilts tried to find ways to explain the importance of consent in relationships to students at Holland College.

He searched online and eventually decided he wanted to use a video as a way to do it.

He soon found a video on YouTube that translated his message perfectly and decided he would use it.

On Feb. 10, Dilts showed students the video simplifying consent for sex. Instead of initiated sex, the video asks, would you like a cup of tea?

“If you can understand when someone wants tea and when someone doesn’t. You can understand it when it comes to sex,” the video said.

Dilts is a counselling intern working with Holland College’s Student Support Services and has a Master’s Degree in Family Counselling. He said in a healthy relationship, consent should be voiced clearly.

“If you walk on egg-shells it’s not a healthy relationship. When persons are clear, their relationship can become stable.”

If you have a situation where you don’t understand what the person is saying to you, speak up and ask, said Dilts.

“There’s a book called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and that’s wrong. Men and women speak the same language- it’s called misconception.”

Culinary Arts student Dakota Maclean disagrees. He said in his experience men and women aren’t made up the same way.

“I find that women perceive things in different ways than men do.”

He said he was in relationships that suffered because of the difference in the way he and his partners thought.

Dilts said often people perceive thing based on their personal experiences throughout life.

“If you’re in a relation where someone says ‘I love you’, yet you’ve been cheated on in past relationships, the words ‘I love you’ might not mean as much or love could mean something totally off.”

Relationships are not easy they require communication, boundaries, respect and full consent, said Dilts.