Technology

New App To Guarantee Individuals Consensual Sex

LegalThing

A new app has been created to record statements of consensual sex during one-night stands, to safeguard individuals should future disputes arise.

On Jan. 10, Dutch company LegalThings announced it's currently working on LegalFling, an app that requires consenting parties to agree to a legally-binding contract, which clearly states terms and conditions, such as whether a condom will be used and that neither individual has any sexually transmitted diseases.

According to the Mirror, the smartphone app uses blockchain technology, which is the same encrypted technology that forms the basis for bitcoin and other secure cryptocurrencies.

It's described as easy to use, with each person agreeing to the terms of the contract, with just a Tinder-like swipe.

LegalThings co-founder and LegalFling co-creator Arnold Daniels said the app is meant to be a "fun" solution to clarify the consensual act of a one-night stand.

"We want to start a dialogue and get input from those with more expertise on this subject," Daniels said in an email to Business Insider. "This is a delicate subject that we'd like to get right."

"This probably does not apply to 99.9% of the users. But please bear in mind this can happen to anyone. And you are totally helpless when it happens. The (social) life of the subject person is never the same afterwards. This app provides a helping hand for these situations," Schmitz said.

Once both individuals accept the agreement, the app automatically inserts penalty clauses into the contract. For example, if someone were to break any of the set conditions, the contract would be able to be used as proof in court.  

"This probably does not apply to 99.9% of the users. But please bear in mind this can happen to anyone. And you are totally helpless when it happens. The (social) life of the subject person is never the same afterwards. This app provides a helping hand for these situations," Rick Schmitz, the CEO of LegalThings and co-creator of LegalFling said.

However, despite LegalThings's best intentions, people have voiced their criticism over the new app.

While many individuals may find LegalFling's useful in the heat of the moment, others believe it will hinder the true definition of consent.

Gizmodo reporter Melanie Ehrenkranz wrote that the app a "deeply flawed" effort and not how consent should work.

"A blanketed [sic] contract ahead of engaging in sexual contact signals that consent is simply a one-time checklist," Ehrenkranz wrote. "Consent, however, is something that occurs continually throughout a sexual encounter."

Rachel Adamson, a criminal lawyer at Slater and Gordon said despite LegalThing's claims, the app's contract would not hold up in a court of law.

"Anyone has the right to change their mind and withdraw consent at any time and if the other person ignores that and carries on, they are guilty of a criminal offence," Adamson told the Mirror.

"It is horrendous to think that this app could be relied on as a defense in cases of sexual assault, but there is absolutely no way it would stand up in court or that a jury would reach their verdict on that evidence alone," Adamson added.

"They would also have to assess how that consent had been obtained and whether it was from the correct person, which would be extremely difficult,” she concluded.

Fellow lawyer Peter Coggins echoed Adamson's sentiments, and told news.com.au the app was grossly "offensive."

"This app is possibly one of the most offensive things I have come across," Coggins said. "This is a very bad attempt to regulate potential criminal matters with mechanisms of civil law," he added.

Would you use the LegalFling app?