Consensual Isolation

Ten Safety Techniques for Consensual Isolation

Consensual isolation happens when a couple moves to a location that is secluded or isolated in order to talk, become intimate, or simply travel. Other times it may be the result of circumstances such as being at a social event and others depart, or the need for assistance.

Dangers of Consensual Isolation

Dangers of consensual isolation involve robbery, kidnapping, and especially rape. If you just met someone or are getting to know someone, but you do not want to be sexually intimate, be wary of going to isolated locations. The judicial process is less likely to support you if you both mutually agreed to move into a secluded location and you were assaulted.

Dating communication is critical, but often difficult. Even when honest with your date or partner about your limitations does not mean he shares or will honor your boundaries. He may appease you so you so you will consensually go to an isolated location. Insist that you remain in public venues when dating or getting to know someone.

Perceptions of Consensual Isolation

Accepting a social invitation and moving to a place of isolation may be interpreted as your desire to engage in sexual activities. The following examples share the common denominator of “consensual isolation”. Simultaneously, these examples might imply cues and innuendos about a desire for sexual relations.

  • “How about dinner at my place?”
  • “Want to come up and listen to music?”
  • “Since your roommate is out for the evening, let’s study at your place.”
  • “This party’s a bust. Let’s leave.”
  • “How about if we go to ‘Lake Romance’ for the weekend?”

Going to a secluded location carries different meanings and expectations for each person. There are a myriad of reasons why women voluntarily go to their date’s residence. A woman seeking to learn more about a man may think that by going to his place, or inviting him to her residence, she will learn more about his tastes, style and their compatibly. Other times it may be the need for or to provide assistance.

Though you might be sexually attracted and desire intimacy, but prefer to delay sexual relations, he on the other hand may have a different perception. He may think that by agreeing to go to his place, she wants sexual relations. Sex offenders and abusive personalities have distorted thought processes centered on satisfying their needs over those of others. His expectation may be that you want to have sex, and thus expects you will say, “No” first. In most cases, acquaintance sex offenders and group rapists seek to isolate their victims and are likely to discount her “No” or physical resistance. Consensual isolation becomes an excuse for an abusive personality and rapist to sexually assault their current victim.

If dating and your intention is to be social, but not sexual, express your boundaries to your new companion. When you like someone, it is natural to want to be unaccompanied, and to get to know him or her without environmental distractions or judgments. Your decision when to have healthy sex or other intimacies may coincide with following Wendy Maltz’s CERTS model to safer and healthier intimacy.

Ten Safety Tips for Consensual Isolation

In addition to dating safety tips, below are some things to note when visiting his place for the first time, especially if the situation goes sideways towards physical assault.

  1. While en route either walking or driving, observe and remember the street names and the location’s address in case you need to call for help. This also assists police investigation in the event a crime is committed. Many survivors of violence, who consented to isolation, could not remember the location of where the crime occurred. If you have a GPS feature on your cell phone, you can use that to help identify your location, but never count on having reception. The phone may also be taken away from you, dropped or otherwise separated from it.
  2. In the event you need help, keep your cell phone with you. If you feel the situation change, you may be able to go to the bathroom when inside a residence, or flee, and use your phone to call for assistance.
  3. While enroute, also identify open businesses or potential residences you might need to flee. Evaluate the distance and type of terrain you must overcome to get there.
  4. When walking pay attention to the interior and exterior layout of a building, parking structure or lot, especially exits from apartments and multiplex buildings in the event you must flee. Pay attention to the paths when walking through recreation paths or parks.
  5. Observe the doors, gates, stairwells, and other exit locations you enter. Assess which way the doors or gates open and how they lock, again, if you must rapidly flee. It can be easy to become directionally disoriented in large apartment buildings and recreational areas.
  6. Identify where fire alarms are located in corridors and blue emergency phones while on campuses in case you could activate one for immediate help.
  7. Assess with whom your date may live or associate. Do you feel uncomfortable around his friends or roommate? How do you feel when they look at you? What and how do they speak with you? How does your date’s demeanor change when around them? Is it a set up for a group assault?
  8. Does his demeanor change, especially his eyes change to predatory lust that may appear angry or determination? Actions of dominance and anticipatory excitement may be demonstrated such as sudden aggression, rapidly close proximity, posture his size by standing taller and encroach aggressively into your personal space. Does he aggressively fondle your buttocks, breasts or trying to kiss you without implied or implicit consent? Does he cause you pain when grabbing or fondling you, especially your wrists, arms, or breasts? Does he lock doors or position his body in order to block your pathways to escape?
  9. The soundest safety technique regarding consensual isolation is not to move into a location of isolation if you do not yet want to be sexually involved with your date. Get to know the person first. Study the behavioral traits listed in the abusive personality and acquaintance rapist behavior and allow your sub-conscious. Arming yourself with this information will better allow your intuition to guide you to recognize a dangerous individual.

At first, the above ten safety techniques for consensual isolation may seem to be a list promoting paranoia, however, these techniques are a part of awareness and general safety for better crime prevention. Instead of paranoia and anxiety, awareness skills will build confidence and ground you in more effective assertiveness should a consensual isolated situation become dangerous.

Preparing before a date may also assist in confidence and better decision making related to safety related to consensual isolation.

Developing physical skills for greater options through the Model Mugging Basic self-defense course will provide you with better intuition and the confidence to identify situations that may be dangerous, and then the courage to avoid them in the first place.


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