When Nathaniel Cole asks boys in schools around the UK where they’ve heard the word “consent”, they’re as likely to reference getting their parents’ permission to join a school trip as they are a romantic encounter. But as the #MeToo movement changes the landscape of sexual interactions, we need to start fully including boys in the conversation. Referencing the workshops he conducts with boys and young men, Nathaniel illustrates the complexity of giving and receiving consent in sex and relationships. He shows how a focus on verbal and non-verbal communication skills can help boys to shift their perspective on sex and to realise that consent is something they can give too. As a research, workshop facilitator and writer, Nathaniel’s work explores masculinity, mental health and sex education. Working with The Good Lad Initiative, he talks to boys and young men about masculinity and what they think “being a man” is. Empowering them to think more widely about masculinity and gender, Nathaniel offers guidance about the type of men they can actually be, and encouraging them to create and enjoy more gender equal relationships. Nathaniel also works with Sexplain UK to educate young people about their bodies, consent, gender and sexuality, healthy relationships and pornography. He is determined to help young people have an opportunity to talk about these topics with impartial adults – something to which many young people do not have access. Nathaniel also co-founded the inner city swimming club, Swim Dem Crew, which uses swimming as a medium to bring people together, cultivate a strong community and make the sport more inclusive. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Nathaniel Cole

Writer, facilitator and co-founder of Swim Dem Crew

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