What is consent?
Consent is an agreement that people must make if they want to have sexual contact. The issue of consent can be a complicated and ambiguous area that needs to be addressed with clear, open, and honest communication. Keep these points in mind if you are not sure consent has been established:
All partners need to be fully conscious and aware.
The use of alcohol or other substances can interfere with someone’s ability to make clear decisions about the level of intimacy they are comfortable with. The more intoxicated a person is, the less they are able to give conscious consent.
All partners are equally free to act.
The decision to be sexually intimate must be without coercion. Both partners must have the option to choose to be intimate or not. Both partners should be free to change “yes” to “no” at any time. Factors such as body size, previous victimization, threats to “out” someone, and other fears can prevent an individual from freely consenting.
All partners clearly communicate their willingness and permission.
Willingness and permission must be communicated clearly and unambiguously. Just because a person fails to resist sexual advances does not mean that they are willing. Consent is not the absence of the word “no.”
All partners are positive and sincere in their desires.
It is important to be honest in communicating feelings about consent. If one person states their desires, the other person can make informed decisions about the encounter.
Consent means YOU ARE NEVER ENTITLED.
Consent means communicating.
Consent means hitting on them before they’re drunk.
Consent means knowing your own boundaries and asserting them.
Consent means asking if they want to be touched, and if yes, asking how.
Consent means stopping in the middle of whatever you are doing if they say so.
Consent means asking “Is this ok?” or “Do you like this?” throughout the experience.
Consent means never assuming that just because they had sex (or a specific sex act) with you before, they want to do it with you again.
Consent means being responsible.
Consent means not punishing them because they won’t have sex with you.
Consent means paying attention, and stopping when you realize something is wrong.
Consent means many different things to different people.
Consent means enjoying yourself and your partner.
Consent means more than what can be defined on a blog post.