Not much has been talked about consent, except for the phrase ‘no means no’. So it’s pretty much clear that you don’t know what it is or what it’s not
Typically consent is considered in the context of some kind of physical activity with a partner. Both the partners should be able to comfortably and openly talk and agree about what kind of activity they want to engage in. It could be mere touching, holding, kissing, intercourse or anything else, it’s essential that both the partners should feel comfortable with whatever is happening.
Consent DOES NOT ONLY mean that only one person has the responsibility to accept or resist an activity. It is also about what someone does NOT want to do, rather than being about telling what they want to do. If consent isn’t given by both the partners, then it is considered as sexual assault.
How does it works
People, especially teens, feel that talking about getting a consent will be either awkward or ruin the moment, however, that’s not so. Note that when both the partners feel safe and can freely talk to each other about what they want, they’d both be more positive. You can consider having these talks when you’re not being physically intimate.
However, if you are caught in the heat if the moment, here are some suggestive things to say:
- Are you comfortable?
- Is this okay?
- Do you want to slow down?
- Do you want to go any further?
What consent looks like
- Communicating in every step of the way.
- Know that when they don’t say “no,” it doesn’t mean “yes.” Consent should be clear and enthusiastic. If your partner stays silent and doesn’t respond or says “May be”, then that’s not a “yes”.
- Break away from gender rules. Girls are not the only ones who might want to take it slow. Also, it’s not a guy’s job to initiate the action.
These should NOT be considered as signs of consent
- Presuming that dressing sexy, flirting, accepting a drink etc. is a way of giving consent to anything more.
- Saying yes or nothing under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Saying yes because you feel too pressured or afraid to say no.
Is Consent necessary every time?
Yes! In a healthy relationship, it is vital that you discuss and respect each other’s limits on a regular basis. If your partner has given consent once for any activity it does not mean they are also consenting for the same forever. No matter if it’ the first time or the hundredth, whether you’re committed or not, consent is necessary every time. After all, everyone has a right to their body and to feel comfortable with how they use it.