Ooh, these steamy lines are getting us going! And you know what makes them even better? They’re all based in consent! #YESPLEASE
The word consent can have different meanings, so we’re going to break it down for you in a way that’s easy to understand to give you the tools to live out your best sex life!
In the simplest terms, consent is giving permission for something to happen. When you’re having sex, consent is the permission to perform a sexual act or an agreement to have a sexual experience. Consent’s not only a must-have, it can make sex more pleasurable for everyone involved.
Want to learn more? We give you permission to read below 😉
It’s not always easy to know what you want or how you feel about having sex with someone, especially if they’re a new partner, or if you’re new to having sexual experiences. If you’re feeling even slightly off about something, trust your gut. Your intuition is a powerful thing and there to protect you.
Everyone has the right to have sex that feels safe and enjoyable for each person. Anything involving sexual acts should always be mutually agreed upon, every step of the way. You never owe anyone sex, regardless of the circumstance – whether it’s your long-term partner, a one-night stand, or anyone in between.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself that’ll hopefully give you some clarity on what you want from having sex:
Building a culture of consent means we need to get everyone on board!
If you can’t tell if someone likes or dislikes you touching them, ask them! If you don’t know if someone 100% wants to have sex with you, ask them! If you’re ever feeling unsure if someone is comfortable with what’s going on during sex, ask them! The only way to know for sure is to just ASK!
Asking lets the other person tell us how they’re really feeling instead of having us guess or make assumptions.
You may have heard of the golden rule: “Treat others how you want to be treated.” But the problem with this is that what we want may not always be the same as other people, and that’s okay! In a consent culture, we recognize that everyone has their own unique needs that might be different from others.
The golden rule we go by is:
✨ “Treat others how they want be treated.” ✨
And the only way to know, is to ask them.
Verbal consent is so important because we may not always read the vibe right, and making assumptions about what other people want or feel can get us into sticky situations. The only way to know if someone is feeling uncomfortable about something during sex is for you to ask them. Similarly, the only way for someone else to know if you’re feeling uncomfortable or hesitant about something during sex is for you to tell them.
*However, if you appeared visibly distressed, froze during sex, and/or verbally withdrew your consent at any point, but the other person(s) continued, what they did was wrong and violating.
If this situation happened to you, NEVER feel like you are overreacting. Sex without consent is sexual assault. We talk about this in more detail below.
We know that things can get more complicated when we start talking about self-advocacy in the bedroom. Maybe it’s nerve-racking to say “no” out of fear of seeming rude, hurting someone’s feelings, or getting rejected by that person? Or there’s the possibility that based on your upbringing and culture, you’re concerned that enthusiastically saying “yes” to something sexual makes you seem promiscuous?
Whatever the case may be, remember this mantra:
Still, we know that there are situations where self-advocacy is NOT respected or listened to, regardless of a person’s efforts to say NO. Victims and survivors of sexual violence are never to blame. We discuss this in more detail below.