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Sex Consent Smart Contracts: Would You Issue the Coin?

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:52 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:52 PM

Imagine in a far off future where the more promiscuous crypto-currency users wanted to make sure the person with whom they were about to sleep didn’t have a suspicious sexual history. What if both parties wanted to put on the historical record that the sex was consensual? 

It seems exactly that might be possible with a blockchain. There has long been discussion about the ways in which bitcoin-inspired technology can revolutionize the industries and institutions. Less discussed is how it might affect the bedroom. As an Ethereum participant ruminates in a deep forum about the sexual consent smart contract:

“Before sex, the woman or the man will let the other party sign a consent by issuing a coin,” the anonymous thinker writes. “This coin is traceable so he or she can see the past sex experience of others. Of course, this only applies to casual sex (e.g. one night stands, Friends-With-Benifits) so no one can accuse the other party of rape.”

The poster postulates it is possible for individuals to have control over a coin and thus, when it’s moved, verify that control and put on display past coin movements. Conceivably, this could give a potential partner insight into the individual’s sexual history.

Both partners would do this, and the movement of coins themselves, at the same time via the encrypted private key of user wallets, could in and of itself create precedent for consent.

But, it’s totally unclear whether this would be admissible in court as there is simply no precedent.

There is discussion about consent coins over a blockchain for sexual encounters.

Universities and press outlets have weighed the idea of sex consent forms  at least on university campuses on multiple continents.

“Sexual consent contracts” are in response to sexual assaults on university campuses. Ivy League Universities have been investigated and disciplined  by Obama for not addressing sexual assault complaints. An Oxford graduate student tried to sue  the prestigious institutions for not investigating her rape allegations by another student during her Master’s degree coursework.

Oxford and Cambridge do hold sexual consent workshops , and the Affirmative Consent Project  distributes ‘sexual consent kits’ to universities across the United States.

Other technology circles have approached exactly this problem. One startup, SaSie , requires partners to sign and upload photos of themselves prior to sex.

The idea of the smart contract sex consent blockchain and SaSie seem to be intended to lower false rape claims. Realistically, no smart contract technology exists to guarantee the authenticity of any smart contract based sex-consent. Here’s why.

Right now, no blockchain technology could deploy the sort of evolutionary artificial intelligence and deep learning needed in order to create a binding smart contract fluid enough to cover all the bases of consent, a non-binary human action.

Like, what if the woman participant in this theoretical scenario wishes to revoke consent? She already consented by sending coins for the smart contract. Also, if the dude has a gun, and he points it at the woman, then she might do the transaction. These are paramount problems blockchain technologists just can’t solve.

Images from Shutterstock.