Communication that occurs during any type of interaction shouldn't be difficult and, more specifically, it makes intimacy so much more satisfying if everyone is on the same page. In this article we're going to look at why consent is not only sexy, but mandatory also.
WHAT IS CONSENT?
Consent occurs when all parties involved in an activity explicitly agree to the said activity - it's a mutually agreed upon and understood idea of what is going to occur.
Touching someone (particularly on their erogenous zones) without consent can be classified assault and the same goes for making someone else touch you. Having sex with someone without consent is rape.
Consent should always be willingly given and involve no coercion or intimidation - nor should consent be assumed. Even if you're in a relationship, communication is always key. All efforts should be made to communicate as clearly as possible what is to occur and consent should be communicated at all levels of intimacy.
The absence of a response does not and will not ever imply consent. A lack of physical resistance is also not indicative of consent. Persons who are intoxicated in any manner or who are underage can not give consent.
WHAT IS SEXY?
Communicating each others interests and desires is a great way to build a relationship, romantic or otherwise. Listening to each other`s needs and wants and acknowledging that they may not be the same as yours is a way to practice consent. Being honest is crucial here, as well as being informed and responsible for your own actions.
Practising consent (giving or receiving) is a way of not only respecting your partner and those around you, but also yourself. Practising consent shows that you respect your partner and hence care about them.
Sex and play are way more gratifying when both partners want it. Being communicative about these things is nothing to be ashamed of.
It's always OK to say no and consent can be withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn all activities must cease.
Saying no may occur for a myriad of reasons and they are all valid. No one should ever feel like they have to give consent. Because they don`t have to.
Circumstances might change during an activity, and previously granted consent may be withdrawn. This is 100% fine, not something to be ashamed of and should be wholly respected.
It's always OK to say No. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you always have consent. Ask first, make it sexy. Sex with consent is sexy. Sex without consent is rape.
No always means no. Nothing else.
ASKING FOR CONSENT
Asking for consent can be as simple as asking 'is this okay?' Again, open communication is key and finding out what people do and do not like can be actually very interesting. Talk about what everyone involved would like to experience, together and individually. It can greatly enhance the outcome of an intimate moment if everyone is on the same playing field.
Also don't be afraid to talk about safer sex methods and contraception. They are important to the consent conversation on a sexual level and taking responsibility on both sides of consent is important too.
Talking about consent, or bringing it up, might feel awkward - but it shouldn't. The more you practice communicating consent clearly the easier it becomes.
Not asking for consent to touch on an intimate level is the same as not asking to steal someone's wallet: it takes the individual's autonomy away from what belongs to them. Not asking for consent can lead to the perpetrator facing criminal charges - and that's not very sexy.