The Blind Spot: What Our #MeToo Society is Overlooking About Consent

What would your reaction be if the CEO of a company told his female employees they needed to have sex with him in order to get a raise?  

How about if the casting director of a film told auditioning actresses that they must have sex with him to get the part?  

You’d likely be quick to condemn the actions of these individuals. As would most people in today’s society.  

Especially since the #MeToo movement, most people intuitively understand that money or employment opportunities should not be used to pressure people into accepting unwanted sex. We understand that sexual consent is a very serious, delicate thing, which must be given totally freely. If someone doesn’t want sex, it is wrong to use other means to persuade them into having sex.  

Yet despite this being broadly understood, there is one domain in which our #MeToo society forgets this truth: Prostitution.  

Often, the same people who would vehemently censure the CEO or the casting director in the aforementioned scenarios are also keen to approve of prostitution, painting it as “sex work,” “a regular job,” “empowering to women,” and the like.  

Do you see the contradiction?  

The very nature of prostitution is that sex buyers use money to persuade prostituted individuals into accepting unwanted sex. If the sex was wanted, no money would be required.

Why is prostitution the lone domain in which our society approves of pressuring people into unwanted sex in this manner?  

Now to be clear, the argument here is not that it is always wrong to obtain a person’s consent, in the generic sense, through money. People are paid all the time to do things they wouldn’t do for free; most of us wouldn’t go to work every day if we weren’t paid.  

So that isn’t what we’re saying. Rather, we’re saying that sexual consent is much more sensitive than other forms of consent and it must be handled with especial care. 

Again, society already recognizes this in all areas other than prostitution. It is only with respect to prostitution that the blinders come on, and sexual consent is suddenly viewed as unimportant.  

NCOSE is committed to changing this. We are committed to holding firm to the truth that sexual consent can’t be bought. 

Are you with us?  

Sexual consent can't be bought. Click To Tweet

ACTION: This Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Expose the Blind Spot! 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. A lot of people will be having conversations and posting on social media about the importance of sexual consent. Please consider leveraging this opportunity to expose this blind spot that our society has! Help people see that authentic sexual consent cannot exist within prostitution.  

Start a conversation with a friend, and/or share one of the below tweets:  

It's Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM). What are we missing in our conversations about CONSENT? Find out 👉 Click To Tweet Would you be against a CEO telling his female employees they need to have sex with him to get a raise? If so, you should be against prostitution. Money should never be used to pressure someone into accepting unwanted sex. #SAAM  Click To Tweet

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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