Get to know your body through a better understanding of your anatomy and find the answers to some of your most common questions.
Consent is about communication, and it should happen every time. Saying yes to one activity, one time, does not mean consent has been given for any other activity, any other time.
Let’s explore what sexual consent is and what it’s not.
Informed: Genuine sexual consent means that both of you are fully aware of what is being agreed to. E.g. having penetrative sex, engaging in oral sex, a makeout session, etc.
Freely given: A fundamental aspect of sexual consent is the absence of pressure, threats, or manipulation. It is a decision made without fear of consequences or retaliation. Both of you should be able to share your desires without coercion.
Revocable: It's essential to recognize that sexual consent is always subject to change. You can withdraw your consent at any point, and your choice must be respected without attempts at persuasion or argument.
Mutual: Both of you need to agree and consent to the activity. It can’t be assumed or implied; it requires explicit affirmation from both of you.
Specific: Consent is context-specific, applying to a particular situation or action. Just because you said yes one time, it does not extend to all interactions in the future.
Assumed: This may be the most important one yet — you can’t infer someone’s consent from silence, past actions, or their clothing choices.
Conditional: True sexual consent should not be given under stress or pressure or come with conditions.
Permanent: Sexual consent is not an overarching agreement for all future interactions. Each engagement requires its own explicit and affirmative consent.
Passive: Consent must be an active and affirmative choice, not a lack of refusal.
Giving consent involves clearly and willingly expressing your agreement to participate in a specific activity. It's crucial to communicate your boundaries and preferences honestly. Here's what it could sound like.
You can show your consent verbally:
Or you could give it non-verbally:
You can give consent to specific activities:
Or you can cleary state what you're not comfortable with:
If your feelings change, communicate that too:
In a healthy relationship built on trust and safety, there is no space for guilt, threats, or being manipulated into doing anything you don’t want to do, even if it’s with your lifelong partner.