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Science
12 Jan 2018

This app lets users enter legal contracts for consensual sex

App creates legal contracts for sexual consent

Dutch company LegalThings has created a new app called LegalFling that formulates legally binding contracts for consensual sex.

According to company's co-founder Arnold Daniels, the app helps users "navigate the ambiguous nuances of sexual consent" and aims to ensure that the latter is guaranteed before users engage in sexual behavior.

Here's all about it.

In context

App creates legal contracts for sexual consent
Users can also send their sexual preferences through the app

Details

Users can also send their sexual preferences through the app

Through the app, users can request anyone in their contact list to agree to a sexual consent contract.

They can also send along their sexual preferences through the app which can include approval for videotaping, their stand on condom use, explicit language, and BDSM and guaranteeing an STD-free experience.

This helps lay some ground rules before indulging in sex, the company said.

Legal Side

In the case of a breach of contract

If a user no longer wants to participate in a sexual relationship, he or she can withdraw their consent from the app, forcing the other person to legally refrain from sexual activities.

In case of a breach of contract, users can "cease and desist letters and enforce penalty payments."

This will also make it easier to prove the issue in court, the company claims.

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Criticism

Is the app oversimplifying sexual consent?

However, the app, slated to release in a few months, has already garnered widespread criticism.

Melanie Ehrenkranz, a reporter and a staunch critic of LegalFling, said, "A blanketed contract ahead of engaging in sexual contact signals that consent is simply a one-time checklist. Consent, however, is something that occurs continually throughout a sexual encounter."

Response

No means no at any time: LegalFling

In response, the company agrees that it is possible for someone to change their mind during the act as well.

Its website states that "'No' means 'no' at any time. Being passed out means 'no' at any time. This is explicitly described in the agreement. Additionally you can withdraw consent going forward through the LegalFling app with a single click."

The app uses blockchain technology to safeguard contracts

Tech Side

The app uses blockchain technology to safeguard contracts

The app has been created using the blockchain technology, which is a digital ledger frequently used when dealing with cryptocurrency. It permanently saves transaction records at multiple places.

This means that all the contracts from LegalFling are time-stamped, anchored, and then logged in the blockchain.

They cannot be altered by anyone since the blockchain is decentralized technology.

Background

LegalFling was created in the wake of the #MeToo movement

Notably, the app was created after the famous #MeToo movement blew up social media, in which women from all over the world made their stories of sexual harassment public.

The company claims that with LegalFling, users can communicate their sexual preferences clearly and protect all types of sexual relationships, be it flings or long-term.

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