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Japanese model Ryuchell speaks on sexual consent at Tinder-hosted event for students

Ryuchell, center, speaks during an event in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Nov. 27, 2022. (Mainichi/Ai Kunimoto)

TOKYO -- Celebrity Ryuchell and others spoke about the importance of sexual consent at an event held here on Nov. 27, amid rising numbers of people meeting their dates through online apps and trouble arising from the trend.

    The session was hosted by the operator of dating app Tinder, which is popular among young people, and was attended by some 100 college students.

    A survey conducted by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. earlier this month found that one in five people who married this year met their partners through apps. It is said that the users of such apps are more vulnerable to trouble as they can meet strangers casually.

    During the event, the audience fired a barrage of questions at Ryuchell and Kana Mitarashi, a clinical psychotherapist, regarding sexual consent. Mitarashi has been sending out messages about sexual violence and sexual consent.

    One student said, "I had sex with someone when the mood arose while drinking at home, but they told me the next day that they 'didn't consent to it.'" Another student commented, "When I'm asked, 'Is it OK?' I allow sexual acts without being able to decline, even if I'm reluctant."

    To the second comment, Ryuchell responded, "I can understand the feeling that you don't want the other person to dislike you. I'm not the type of person who can say no, either, but you are the only one who can protect your own body and mind. Please consider whether you can be happy if you keep on conforming to the other person, and keep your own core tight."

    Mitarashi told the audience, "Giving consent (to sexual advances) is something you can't do well unless you know yourself. It's also important to learn about yourself, such as where your limit line is and how you can get your denial across."

    At the closing of the event, Ryuchell remarked, "Love without consent, after all, won't remain in your heart. I think romance based on consent acquired through mutual trust is genuine."

    (Japanese original by Ai Kunimoto, Tokyo City News Department)

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