Consent is when someone clearly and excitedly agrees to something before they do it and while it’s happening. Part of consent is checking in when you’re doing something. That lets you make sure everyone’s comfortable! When someone is drunk or high, being pressured, or they’re not sure, they can’t give consent. A big part of consent is talking about what you’re comfortable with and excited about! If someone asks if they can kiss you, and you feel excited to kiss them, you can consent by saying ‘yes!’
Consent is all about talking to each other. Someone can change their mind in the middle of something, so it helps to check in and keep talking! It’s also important to know that consenting to one thing doesn’t mean you consent to other things. So if someone agrees to kiss you, that doesn’t mean they agree to take their clothes off.
Having good consent practices can be a great way of getting to know your partners! You learn more about them and what they like by talking about it!
What consent means
For a person to consent to something, they have to be able to say yes or no. That means they aren’t being pressured to say yes. If someone says yes because they’re afraid of what would happen if they said no, that’s not consent. It’s never okay to push or force someone to say yes to something they don’t really want to do.
Consent also means the person saying yes has to be sober. If you or your partners plan on using drugs or alcohol, it helps to talk about what you’re comfortable with before you use. If someone is passed out or they’re so drunk or high that they’re not not acting like themselves, they can’t consent to anything sexual.
It’s important to know that consent is ongoing. That means that someone can always change their mind in the middle of something. It’s completely okay to say you don’t like something or you want to stop, even if you said yes before! To make sure your partner is still into something, you can ask things like “do you like it when I do this” or “does this feel good?”
What does consent look or sound like?
Consent should be as clear as possible. This means someone should say yes or ask for something out loud and excitedly.
Anything that isn’t a clear, excited yes is not consent. That means people aren’t consenting when they’re…
- Shaking their head
- Pulling away
- Saying I’m “not sure,” “not now,” or “maybe”
- Saying “okay” or “yes” unexcitedly
If you’re not sure how your partner feels, it can help to ask! You can also ask what they’d like in a situation, like going slow or being in a certain place. It never hurts to check in with your partners and ask again. This makes sure you both like what you’re doing!
There’s nothing wrong with saying yes or no to anything a partner asks. It’s not ok for someone to make you feel ashamed or guilty for saying what you want or don’t want.
What if someone can’t speak?
Not everyone can verbally say yes or no all the time. Some people may have disabilities that affect their speech. Someone might use a gag that stops them from talking.
As long as everyone can understand each other, you can have consent in situations like these. Some people use hand signs like a thumbs up. People can also express themselves with very clear body language like nodding their head.
If one or both of you doesn’t know sign language, it helps to choose signals for certain words before you start. Some important words could be: stop, keep going, and slow down. Signals make sure everyone can say how they feel!
Talking about consent with your partners
Some people have trouble talking about consent with their partners. They might worry about ruining the mood or making things complicated. But consent is really important and it can make sex better and more fun for everyone!
Talking about what you like and don’t like with your partners can also be a great way to find new things to try that you’re both excited about! It can help you feel closer to each other and make sure everyone feels respected.