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Understanding Consent

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Consent occurs when both people agree to have sex.  It is KNOWING that both of the partners want to engage in a certain sexual behavior, whether that be kissing, fondling, manual or oral stimulation of the genitals, or sexual intercourse. 

Consent is:

  • Voluntary
    Both partners must be willing to engage in the sexual activity, without any sort of pressure, force, or coercion. Sex will be better if both partners are willing and ready to do it.
  • Sober
    Consent cannot be given unless both partners are of sober and sound mind. Sex that occurs while a partner is intoxicated or high is not consensual, informed sexual behavior - it is sexual assault.
  • Enthusiastic
    Both partners need to be excited about the sexual activity, not reluctant. If you engage in a sexual behavior with a partner who is reluctant or unsure, it is sexual assault.
  • Verbal
    While it is true that body language can communicate consent, it is too often misinterpreted and can set a dangerous precedent. It is better to get consent in a verbal "Yes." Or even, "Yes, Yes, Oh! Yes!"
  • Non-Coerced
    All sexual behavior should be done voluntarily and without facing any sort of coercion or guilt from your partner.
  • Continual
    For each new sexual act or behavior, consent needs to be gained. When you begin with kissing, you need to gain consent before you begin touching your partner's genitals, and then gain consent again before engaging in sexual intercourse.
  • Active
    Respect your partner and actively seek their consent. And your partner, in return, needs to actively give their consent. If you know your partner is excited and as into the moment as you are, you will have a better sexual experience.
  • Honest
    If you or your partner is uncomfortable with a particular sexual behavior, then be honest about that discomfort and find another behavior that will make both of you feel comfortable. For example, if you don't like oral sex, tell your partner and find another way to experience or give pleasure to your partner.

Anything less than voluntary, sober, enthusiastic, verbal, non-coerced, continual, active, and honest consent is Sexual Assault.

Don't Kill the Mood

consentOftentimes, people complain that stopping to ask for consent can "kill the mood."  This is FALSE.  Asking for consent not only shows that you respect and care for your partner, but it also shows your creativity and can even make the sexual interaction more intimate. 

Make Consent Sexy

Do you like when I do this?
What would you like me to do for you?
It makes me so hot when you (kiss/touch/suck/...) me there.  What makes you hot?
Do you want me to (kiss/touch/suck/...)?

Make Consent Fun

Baby, you want to make a bunk bed: me on top, you on bottom?
May I pleasure you with my tongue?
Would you like to try an Australian kiss?  It's like a French kiss, but "Down Under."
I've got the ship.  You've got the harbor.  Can I dock for the night?

Consent Contract

Consent is vitally important when engaging in a sexual relationship.

Not Ever

No one asks to be raped.

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