LegalFling App: Would You Create A Contract For Consensual Sex?

LegalFling App: Would You Create A Contract For Consensual Sex?

It may sound like the premise of a Black Mirror episode, but an app claiming to “redefine safe sex” will soon hit the market. So is LegalFling really the solution to our society’s issue with consent?

With news Sweden is planning to implement a new law requiring explicit consent before sexual contact, as a response to the #MeToo movement, an app claiming to do exactly that is about to hit the market.

Created by Dutch company, LegalThings, the LegalFling app – set to be launched at the end of this month if it’s approved by Apple and Google – is the first of its kind; allowing people to request and verify explicit consent before they have sex with a single tap.

The app creates a legally binding digital agreement, which means any offense – from unwanted violence in the bedroom and withholding information about STDs, to leaking nude photos – is considered a breach of contract, permitting people to take legal action.

So how does it work?

Simply open the LegalFling app, scroll to your contacts and send a request. Your sexual preferences, including your dos and don'ts, will be automatically communicated to your potential partner (or group of partners, if that’s your thing), and they’ll be asked to verify their consent to these terms by signing a ‘Live Contract’ before you have sex.

What exactly is a Live Contract?

A Live Contract, or a Smart Contract, is a digital, legally-binding agreement only shared between the parties involved. They’re created using blockchain technology and secured using cryptography (the same type of security used by companies like Whatsapp to keep your data private).

Rather than being a 10-page physical document full of legal lingo (as most traditional contracts tend to be), these Live Contracts are written in plain, easy-to-understand language and are interactive – meaning you can state a clause has been breached and automatically take private legal action, like sending cease and desist letters and enforcing penalty payments.

However, to what extent the contract holds up in court depends on your country of residence.

Do the contracts just cover sex?

Live Contracts can cover absolutely anything – from simple agreements to complete laws – but on LegalFling they’re used to cover both sex and sexual images and/or videos. The app allows you to easily take someone to court should they leak any ‘revenge porn’ footage – which, currently, can be quite a long and difficult process despite it being illegal in the UK.

LegalFling also allows you to draw up a contract for withholding information about STDs. Cases of conviction for deliberately passing on STDs – namely herpes and HIV – have made headlines in recent years, but actually getting a case to court is rare. The app could make it a much easier process.

And what if you change your mind?

LegalFling are clear that "no" means "no" at any time. Even if you’ve signed a contract, you’re under no obligation to have sex and can revoke consent verbally at any time, and without giving a reason.
But whether the concept will actually work in real life is something we’ve yet to find out.
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