A video on consent received hundreds of comments and went viral in Cyprus, with many social media users saying it was funny and useful while others finding it distasteful.
The Cyprus Family Planning Association (Cyprus FPA) posted a video last week on social media titled “Sex Is Just Like Souvlaki,” in which a narrator describes the do’s and don’ts about consent between two animated characters, using grilled food as a metaphor for sex.
'The video aims to stimulate discussion and encourage people to think about the ways they carry themselves in their relations, communicate, express or assert themselves'
“Sex is just like souvlaki. It’s nice to share, but first you got to ask,” Cyprus FPA wrote on Facebook last Thursday, saying that the symbolic style of the video managed to send positive messages on consent, respect, and interpersonal relations.
The video, which is narrated by a friendly yet strict-sounding male voice in a Greek Cypriot dialect, calls on viewers to respect each other in their interpersonal relations, always seek consent prior to any sexual interactions, and refrain from revenge porn, among others.
Many social media users who commented on the video praised the effort, which was inspired by a “Tea Consent” video produced several years ago by Blue Seat Studios.
Positive comments on Facebook included praise for using humour and metaphors in the video as well as finding a clever way to connect to local Greek Cypriots.
Some social media users, who found the cartoon funny, wrote that there were many ways for serving souvlaki, including "mix-grill" and other options.
At one point, the narrator in the video says even if one offers souvlaki and the other person accepts, it is possible the second individual only wants to eat halloumi cheese and not the whole meal.
But others said they failed to get the joke, arguing that the cartoon failed to communicate the seriousness of the subject at hand, with many FB users pointing out there was nothing funny about issues involving rape culture.
Cyprus FPA said the association picked a group of men and women aged between 20 and 25, asking them to relate their views on sex and consent by adapting the “Tea Consent” video to the local culture.
“The video aims to stimulate discussion and encourage people, not only the youths, to think about the way they carry themselves in their relations, the way the communicate, express themselves or assert themselves,” Cyprus FPA said.
The original cartoon was promoted in 2015 as a straightforward campaign by agencies in the UK, with the “tea consent” concept resting on the idea that someone wouldn’t force another person to drink a cup of tea he or she didn’t want just because one made it for them.
The original video had also been the subject of criticism, after it started debate over the limits of consent where other campaigns had failed.
According to local media, the souvlaki video was not translated in any other languages.