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Consent Laid Bare : Sex, Entitlement & the Distortion of Desire - Chanel Contos

Consent Laid Bare

Sex, Entitlement & the Distortion of Desire

By: Chanel Contos

Paperback | 12 September 2023

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The game-changing book about sex and consent that every woman – and man – should read

In 2021, Chanel Contos posted on Instagram asking people to share their stories of sexual assault during their schooling years. This post unexpectedly went viral and almost 7000 people sent in testimonies describing behaviour that constitutes rape. Virtually none of these instances were reported, and almost all of them were by people they knew.

How and why is this happening in an era of growing equality? Chanel Contos argues that when it comes to sex, we are still working with an outdated social contract that privileges men's pleasure at the expense of women's humanity.

Consent Laid Bare challenges the lingering inequality that reinforces this behaviour. It asks if consent is possible in a world where female sexuality has been hijacked by forces such as porn, patriarchy and male entitlement. It gives girls and women the encouragement to seek sex that is truly enjoyable and equips them with the information they need to properly consent. It asks boys and men to become advocates for sex centered around intimacy rather than fuelled by aggression.

It is a battle cry from a generation no longer prepared to stay silent.

About the Author

Chanel Contos founded Teach Us Consent, a campaign that mandated consent education in Australia. In order to achieve this, she worked closely with politicians from across the political spectrum, including prime ministers.

Alongside extensive Australian recognition, Chanel has been presented with the prestigious Diana Award, for her humanitarian work and in 2022 she was listed as one of BBC's 100 inspiring and influential women worldwide.

Chanel studied and taught at UNSW before attending University College London where she was granted a first in her Masters in Gender, Education, and International Development. She continues to run Teach Us Consent, and has been appointed by Julia Gillard to Chair the Global Institute for Women's Leadership's Youth Advisory Committee.

Chanel's work has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Vogue, BBC News, CNN and many more.
Industry Reviews
Praise for Consent Laid Bare

'Chanel's purpose is singular: to end rape culture. In this overdue and urgent book, Chanel (rightly! perfectly!) asserts that intimacy grounded in empathy and ethics is the answer. Essential reading for teens.' Zoë Foster Blake

'I am in awe of Chanel. This book has the power to change the world. An absolute must-read for every young man.' Hugh Van Cuylenburg, author of The Resilience Project and co-creator of The Imperfects podcast

'Chanel Contos is a voice for her generation - and she is sounding the alarm on a rape culture that has become more entrenched and severe in her lifetime.' Jess Hill, author of See What You Made Me Do

'This is a message about rape culture that the world needs to hear. Contos is one of the most powerful voices of Australia's younger generation - this book shows why.' Yasmin Poole, youth advocate and public speaker

'Sexual violence is preventable, and Consent Laid Bare shows us how. Cultural change will come from education and the conversations this book will inspire. A must-read.' Senator Larissa Waters, The Greens

'Raw and incisive, Chanel Contos tells it like it is. This is the story of thousands of young people, victims, survivors and perpetrators, told with empathy, intelligence and courage.' Dr Melissa Kang, co-author of Welcome to Sex and Welcome to Consent

'While I would hate anything awful to happen to my granddaughter, my greatest fear is that my open-hearted grandsons will grow up in a society that does everything it can to make them the worst versions of themselves. That's why this clear and concise book about consent is so important. Not just for your daughter's future, but for your son's.' Jane Caro, author, columnist and social commentator