Sexual Consent 101:
You are hanging out with someone you have feelings for. There is a definite spark between you. They ask, “Can I kiss you?”. Cue butterflies, smiles, giggling like a little girl. It’s sexy! But why? Because they asked permission! And guess what? Consent isn’t just sexy, it’s mandatory.
If you proceed with sexual contact without consent from your partner, it is considered sexual assault or rape. Perpetrators often coerce their victims through manipulation, black mail, drugs or alcohol, and physical force. Victims often know and trust their attacker. Sexual coercion is often portrayed in the media and is seen as okay. A teenage boy lusts after his high school crush and repeatedly attempts to win her love. In the movies, it’s portrayed as romantic, but in real life, it’s annoying and creepy.
How to Ask for Consent:
Good consent requires occasionally checking in with your partner. Pay attention to their body language. Keep the sexual communication flowing. This ensures both partners feel safe and comfortable.
Rapists often see sex as something that is owed to them. YOU. DO. NOT. OWE. ANYONE. SEX. It doesn’t matter what your previous relationship was. It doesn’t even matter if you had sex with this person before. It doesn’t matter if you had sex with them 12 minutes ago. Even if you are naked with someone in a bed, you don’t owe them sex and they don’t owe you sex.
Bothering someone until they say yes is not real consent. Real consent cannot be obtained if NO was never given as an option. Consent is a very clear, concise yes. You can hear it from their mouth and see it in their body language. It is enthusiastic. Your partner will visibly encourage what is happening. Not saying NO does not equal a YES. Silence does not equal a YES.
Situations where consent cannot be given:
1. When they are drunk:
Even if they say the word YES. If they are too drunk to drive, they are too drunk to knowingly consent to sex.
2. When they are underage:
The age of consent varies around the world. What doesn’t vary is the fact that sex with minor is considered rape.
3. When you hold authority over them:
You cannot get real consent from someone you have power over.
Ex) Teachers, coaches, doctors, priests.
Your influence prevents their ability to consent.
Watch the full video here: