The "Cone of Consent":
Clarifying Simultaneous Consent/Coercion by Considering Women's Unwanted (Consensual)Heterosex
Women's sexual experiences may be regarded as consensual under law, and yet still involve meaningful coercion. The possible coexistence of consent and coercion is especially clear for women's unwanted consensual heterosex, calling for theorising about consent in a context of coercion. I propose the Cone of Consent metaphor to illustrate simply how in diverse situations, coercion constricts consent: as coercion increases (moving upwards within a top-pointed cone), the space within the cone for people to make decisions becomes ever more restricted. The Cone of Consent's innovation lies in its ability to assemble and structure complex ideas of consent/coercion and agency/power in an easy-to understand way.