The ink was barely dry on California's groundbreaking “yes means yes” sexual consent law when we heard about Good2Go, an app that lets adults put their lovemaking affirmation on the record.
The bill by state Sen. Kevin De León requires state colleges to establish a standard of “affirmative consent” for students who want to engage in sex. Verbal or even written consent must be given by sexually active college-goers under the law signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown. Nonverbal communication won't cut it under this legislation.
The app by Southern California-based Sandton Technologies means that prospective mates can whip out their phones and record their affirmative consent for piece of mind.
But it also takes it one step further by administering a light sobriety test as well. It asks if users are inebriated, and if they say, “I'm wasted,” it won't allow consent to be recorded.
However, Standton Technologies president Lee Ann Allman was quick to say that the technology does not amount to legal documentation. While the California law says that students accused of rape have to show administrators that verbal or written consent was active at all times, the app isn't intended to be used as legal evidence.
“We go to great lengths to say it's not a legal document,” the technology executive told us. “It's a point of data.”
Allman said that she and her husband came up with the app because they have a 21-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter in college and were concerned about their well-being.
Good2Go includes ongoing dialogue during which a participant can change her mind—on the record. “There's a reminder screen that says consent can be withdrawn at anytime,” Allman said.
It might seem strange or even bizarre to imagine a world in which one of the most human of activities, sex, is accompanied by your smartphone. But remember that the newest generation of college kids treat their devices almost as an appendage. It might not be so strange for them.
“They seem to be very comfortable with it,” Allman said. “It's like online dating—now it's natural and obvious. I can see the evolution of this app in some young persons' hand, helping them to learn the language of consent.”