Consent is an absolutely necessary part of a healthy relationship.
Consent in a dating relationship is when partners mutually agree to sexual activity. This can include hugging, kissing, touching or sex.
Both partners must be consenting. Consent is not simply granting permission for a particular activity. For consent to truly be given, it must be clear and enthusiastic! Also, just because someone consents to something one time, it does not mean that they will always consent. Consent must be given each time and a person can always change their mind.
- A clear yes
- Freely given
- Active and not assumed
It is not consent if…
- A person is simply “giving in” or has been pressured
- A person feels unsafe saying no
- A person is drunk or high
- One of the persons is underage.
- One person is in a position of authority over the other person (for example, a teacher, a coach, a supervisor…).
Take a couple of minutes to watch this fun video about consent.
How to ask for consent
Asking for consent can feel awkward or uncomfortable. This is especially true if you are new to relationships and sex.
Asking for consent sounds scarier than it actually is because it is really just about checking in to see how your partner is feeling. Asking for consent can even be fun or sexy once you get comfortable asking.
Some ways to ask for consent…
“Do you want to…?”
“Are you comfortable…?”
“Do you like…?”
“Is this ok?”
“Do you want to keep going?”
“Are you still into this?”
Take a look at these amazing posters about consent. They were created by the University of Alberta’s Student Union.
Why is consent important?
Asking for consent is not only a sign of respect, it is required by law.
Any sexual activity without consent is sexual assault.
Not checking in with your partner can mean that you might be hurting someone you care about without even knowing that you are doing so.
Be sure to get consent every time.
Check out Laci Green’s video about consent. She talks about what consent looks like, what it doesn’t look like and demonstrates some ways to ask for consent.