Consent is an important ingredient in every relationship. Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says "yes" to sexual activity with other persons.
Consent is always freely given and all people in a sexual situation must feel that they can say "yes" or "no" or stop the sexual activity at any point.
Consent can be withdrawn by either party at any point. Consent must be voluntarily given and may not be valid if a person is being subjected to actions or behaviors that elicit emotional, psychological, physical, reputational, financial pressure, threat, intimidation, or fear (coercion or force).
Consent to engage in one sexual activity, or past agreement to engage in a sexual activity, cannot be presumed to constitute consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage again in a sexual activity. Consent cannot be validly given by a person who is incapacitated.
It’s also important that partners in a relationship or people of opposite sex should never assume if the following occurs. If an individual is unsure, it’s important to make clarifications.
- Body language, Appearance, or Non-Verbal Communication: One should never assume by the way a person dresses, smiles, looks or acts, that they want to have sex with you.
- Dating relationships: just because one is in a relationship does not mean that they are consenting to have sex with you.
- Marriage: In marriage, partners should not assume they have consent for sexual activity always. Marital rape is as serious as any other sexual assault.
- Previous Activity: Consent to engage in one sexual activity at one time is not consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage in the same sexual activity on a later occasion.
- Silence: person’s silence should not be considered consent. A person who does not respond to attempts to engage in sexual activity, even if they do not verbally say no or resist physically, is not clearly agreeing to sexual activity.
- Incapacitation: Alcohol consumption or use of other drugs can render a person incapable of giving consent. Alcohol is often used as a weapon to target individuals and is used by perpetrators to excuse their own actions
WHY IS CONSENT IMPORTANT?
Whenever you have sex, you need to make sure that your partner is just as enthusiastic about having sex. In other words, that they give their full consent.
It's important that you are 100% sure that the person you're with is happy and willing because non-consensual sexual activity (even kissing and touching) is a crime.
How do you know if the person you're with has given their consent?
The only way to know for sure if someone has given consent is if they tell you. Sometimes the person you're with might look like they're happy doing something but on the inside, they're not.
One of the best ways to determine if someone is uncomfortable with any situation, especially with a sexual one, is to simply ask. Here are some examples of the questions you might ask:
- Are you happy with this?
- Do you want to stop?
- Do you want to go further?
NO MEANS NO
- Learn to say NO without explaining yourself.
- Real men don’t abuse anyone, they know NO means NO
- NO is a complete sentence it does not require justification or explanation