You’ve probably heard of this word consent many times. And if you haven’t you probably should. Consent is defined as the agreement to partake in something, in this case sex. And I’ve come to learn a lot of people dont understand what exactly that means. And I’m still learning myself so I’ll share what I know.
Okay firstly consent isn’t just saying yes. The absence of no doesn’t mean yes. Getting hard or wet doesn’t mean yes. Being married or dating or merely having had sex before doesn’t mean yes to sex all the other times. Kissing doesn’t mean you consent to anything more than that. Agreeing to go to someone’s place doesn’t mean yes either. Only YES means YES.
And that Yes has to be enthusiastic, sober and legal. Enthusiastic meaning they are excited and it shows. People can feel pressured to say yes so a “Yeah I guess” is so different to a “Yes!” If you are an observant person and care about the person you are planning on sleeping with then you would want to pay attention to their behaviour, reactions and energy. And when someone is not into something you can tell and that should mean something. It should mean No, it should mean Stop, it shouldn’t mean go ahead regardless.
Consent should also be sober. A drunk person is not in their right mind to give consent. A passed out person cannot give consent. Someone who is high on drugs cannot give consent. It is usually advised against drinking alcohol and having sex. Also a minor or underage child cannot give consent. That is illegal and is considered rape so that can never be your defense.
Another important thing to consent is that some times people take No as a way that mean “Convince me”. It isn’t. When someone says no they mean no. They dont mean touch me here and do this instead and my body will react as it does naturally and then that means I want to have sex. Just because your body reacts in ways that suggest you want sex doesn’t mean you want sex and it should never be taken as a sign of consent. No doesn’t mean play with my boobs or kiss my neck. It means stop what you are doing. I dont want to.
In this day and age it is the responsibility of both parties to clearly communicate consent and what they are consenting to. If you aren’t sure whether consent was given ask. If you weren’t asked for your consent communicate that. The lines can be so easily crossed and it is so important to ensure you are having consensual sex ALL THE TIME. Even if the last time was consensual doesn’t mean this time is consensual.
Everyday is a fight to stop rape culture. Everyday we need to learn about consent and apply it to our lives. Sometimes it might seem tedious to always ask your girlfriend if she wants to have sex but if that person matters to you and you really want to have great enjoyable sex then you should ask. We need to unlearn so much about what we’ve always known. And with those words NO will ALWAYS mean NO. And YES should be freely given.