What is Consent?
- When someone gives consent, they’re giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something.
- This means they need to know specifically what they’re agreeing to-so make sure what you’re asking is clear.
- For example: “Do you want to mess around for a while? Like cuddling and making out but not having sex?”
When and How to Ask for Consent
- Always ask for consent before you begin any sexual activity , including kissing, cuddling, and any kind of sex-even if you partner consented in the past.
- Ask in a way that makes it clear it would be okay if they said “no” – otherwise you might be pressuring them to do something they don’t want to do.
- For example: “Do you want to go back to the bedroom or hang out here and watch movies?”
What is not Consent?
- Your partner may not tell you “no”, but that doesn’t mean they’re saying “yes”.
- If someone says nothing, “um….I guess”, or an unsure “yes,” they’re likely communicating that they don’t really want to do the thing you’re asking about.
- In these cases, you don’t have clear consent. Check in with your partner about how they’re feeling – or suggest another activity.
- For example: “You seem unsure, so why don’t we just watch TV tonight?”
- Pay attention to your partner’s body language.
- If they pull away, tense up, look uncomfortable, laugh nervously, or are quiet or not responding, you should check in.
- For example: “You don’t seem too into this. Do you want to stop or take a break?”
- Ask your partner how they feel about you sharing and tagging photos of them and posting about your relationship online.
- Find out if they’d like to see what you’re posting first, or maybe they’re okay with you sharing without asking every time.
- For example: “I love this picture from our last date. Is it OK if i post it to Instagram?”
- Sexting means sending sexual photos, videos, or messages from your phone or computer.
- Not everyone feels comfortable sexting, and that’s okay- there are good reasons to have concerns about sharing a private image.
- It’s never okay to send unwanted sexts- even to a long-term partner.
- If your partner is okay with sexting, ask them before you send anything.
- For example: “I’d love to show you exactly how I’m feeling – can I send you a pic?”
- Just like any other kind of sex, digital sexual interactions should feel exciting, comfortable and safe for everyone involved.
- If someone says “no” to sending a nude photo, respect their choice and move on.
- Never pressure, coerce, or guilt someone to send photos – especially nude photos.
- For example: “That’s cool – I can’t wait for our date on Saturday!”
- If someone shares a nude photo with you, don’t share it with anyone.
- Sharing intimate photos with someone they weren’t meant for is a violation of trust and could be illegal.
- It is also a crime to store or share sexual photos of someone under 18, even if you are also under 18.
Dealing with the “No”
- Sometimes your partner will say “no,” and that’s okay.
- Reassure them that you’re glad they can be honest with you.
- For example: “That’s okay; maybe we could do that some other time.”
Why Consent Matters
- Talking about what your partner wants to do ensures sex is consensual and makes it more enjoyable.
- You’ll feel more confident about what you’re doing, and your partner will feel comfortable getting close to you.
Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center
www.nsvrc.org/saam #SAAM #IASK