People use iPhone apps to find sexual partners. Could they also use an app to signal their intention to actually do the deed with said partners? A California-based developer thought so, but the intriguing concept has several kinks to work out.
The idea was conceived by California businesswoman Lee Ann Allman. Allman's college-aged kids knew people who were worried about running into trouble navigating intimate relationships on campus, given the increased national focus on sexual assault and affirmative consent. California recently approved a first-of-its-kind law defining consent as "affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious." The law also mandates procedures for dealing with accused rapists that fall short of robust due process.
Allman thought an iPhone app that facilitated consent could improve on the law's requirements by clearing up some of the confusion that occurs when intoxicated students hit the sheets. Her team debuted that app, Good2Go, in September.
Things then quickly went downhill. Negative reviews and concerns about privacy (the app stores information about sexual encounters) surfaced in the press. Apple yanked Good2Go from its app store a mere two weeks after it debuted, and the company released a statement saying that it "was given no further information about why Good2Go was pulled by Apple other than that it violated clause 16.1 of the developer's guidelines and was deemed 'excessively objectionable or crude.'â€Š"
Allman says she plans to keep working on the project and re-release it next year as an educational tool without data storage. For now, students who want to put their intentions on record should keep in mind: There is definitely not an app for that.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Yes means yes".