Consent is ongoing, active, and must be sought every time you engage in a sexual activity with others.
- can be withdrawn at any time
- is specific to context and time—just because someone has consented to one sexual activity does not mean they are willing to go further or that they will consent to the same act at another time
- cannot be given by someone who is unable to understand the facts or nature of the sexual acts occurring, even if they are asked. This could include someone who is under the legal age of consent, unconscious, sleeping, affected by drugs or alcohol, or who has a physical or mental impairment which impacts that means they cannot consent.
- cannot be assumed. Silence, or the absence of “no”, does not mean “yes”—nor does a previous romantic or sexual relationship with that person.
- is freely given—it cannot be obtained by threat or given under pressure (this can include psychological and emotional manipulation)
- if you are not sure if someone is consenting, or if you are not sure about their ability to consent, stop. You do not have consent.
Consent should be enthusiastic, with both partners giving permission for specific sexual activity that is expressed through positive and voluntary words or actions.
Have a conversation with your sexual partner(s) about consent—this can be fun, sexy, and shows them respect!