The history of Consent Calling

The history of Consent Calling

The idea of founding a feminist sex shop in Munich came about in autumn 2020. Sandra was, due to the inspiration of a friend and her participation in a partly very problematic sex education training (pornophobic, (hetero/cis)-normative content), very quickly very fascinated by the idea of creating a place in Munich that negotiates sexuality differently from the way it has been done so far in the dominance society. Soon Sandra found the first interested people, and a first meeting, where big utopias were developed, took place. Since then, a hell of a lot has happened and we have grown on so many levels:

Lisa joined through a joint feminist reading circle, Daniela as a childhood friend and Miriam as a colleague from feminist girl*work. The first ideas just bubbled up and together first visions of what a feminist sex shop in Munich could look like were designed, as well as how to work in a collective structure. Shortly before New Year's Eve it was clear that the four of us wanted to take the first steps, and during many walks at a distance (see photo in the Hirschgarten) the ideas, wishes and demands grew.

Our first public appearance as the Feminist Sex Shop Collective Munich was in March 2021, with a speech at the rally against the so-called "March for Life", by anti-abortionists. After long processes, our name, Consent Calling, was finally decided in May. On the one hand, this is an allusion to and a counter-design to so-called cat calling (verbal sexual harassment) and on the other hand, the name emphasises the relevance of consensually lived sexuality. Consent Calling is meant to prompt people to critically question their own sexuality and to reflect on how consent is lived and how it is talked about.

We printed our first postcards and as part of the "Bündnis für sexuelle Selbstbestimmung ("Alliance for Sexual Self-Determination") we distributed them at the action day against §218/219a. Here we also met Jojo and she soon became part of the collective. In July we were happy about the increasing public, and also first media interest, and the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" published a big article about our project and our visions. The next demonstration where we were able to give a speech was the Slutwalk, and in summer 2021 we gave an interview in the podcast "Kesse Väter". Sarah then joined the circle of the core collective in autumn. On the occasion of the "1000 Crosses March", another speech was given at a protest and a position taken for the right to reproductive and sexual self-determination. A first workshop on the topic of consent at the LMU was conceived and held within the framework of the Critical Introductory Weeks. Our first event in the Glockenbachwerkstatt at the Gendersalon was a complete success. For the first time, and face to face, we were able to report to more than 70 people about our project and our feminist perspectives around sexuality, answer questions and get inspiration from many people on how Consent Calling could grow.

Over the next few weeks, we were able to implement more and more ideas, exchange views with many people and get advice. Especially the solidary exchange with other sex shop collectives in Germany was infinitely helpful and valuable. Our design concept by Felix and Noem was published, and from the beginning it was clear that the diversity and fluidity of sexuality should also be reflected here. At the end of 2021, our great George Michael Christmas stickers decorated our city and we made it clear: Munich needs this space.
München braucht diesen Raum!

In December, we were able to offer two workshops on the topic of "Thinking Feminist - Acting Feminist" at the invitation of the Freiräumen Action Alliance. For some time now, Chris has also been supporting us more and more with great IT support.

At the beginning of 2022, we finally founded Consent Calling as a company as well, making it clear that we are serious and that our dream is increasingly becoming reality. Consent Calling is meant to grow, to unite different levels of knowledge, experiences and skills, perspectives and attitudes, backgrounds and resources, and that is why a supporter structure was founded at the beginning of February - which is now under construction. After all, the six of us can never capture the multiple perspectives of sexuality! We are very grateful and overwhelmed by all the support we have experienced this year, and by the assistance and advice we have received from many people who are not even mentioned here. With the (hopefully successful) crowdfunding, we are now on the verge of the next big step and hope to be able to continue writing the story of Consent Calling.