Consent means giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something and being comfortable with that decision. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, how you identify your sexuality or whether you’re in a long or short term relationship, if you’re planning to do anything sexual then all parties must give consent.

Consent and good communication are an essential pairing in a healthy relationship, as it’s crucial to hear and respect the other person’s wishes. You need to take responsibility for seeking consent from your partner every time you have a sexual encounter, as people can change their mind at any point, even during sex. Just because someone consented to something once, it still means you have to ask again as they could feel differently from last time; likewise consent to one sort of sexual activity does not mean consent to everything.


how to get it

If your sexual partner isn’t specifically saying ‘no’ they may still show you they’re non-consenting through their body language. If your partner seems tense, they may be nervous or frightened and are probably trying to hide how they feel. They may stop kissing you or not want to be touched or hugged.


These could be signs of non-consent, so don’t ignore them – check with the other person. If somebody agrees to sexual activity because they’ve been pestered, intimidated, or faced physical or emotional threats, they have not given consent. Consent needs to be given freely.

So if someone’s unconscious, drunk or asleep, they cannot freely give consent. Someone may have consented to sex whilst awake, but if they then pass out or fall asleep during, you have to stop. You can’t assume they want to carry on.

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