What is Consent?

Sexual consent is an agreement between all parties involved to engage in sexual activity. It is a mutual and voluntary agreement that is clear and given without any form of coercion or manipulation. Consent means that all individuals actively and willingly participate in the sexual activity and have the right to set boundaries.

Consent is: 

Active: Just because a partner didn’t say “no” doesn’t mean they have given consent, we need to ask and get enthusiastic “yes”.

Based on Equal Power: If someone is underage, drunk, asleep or in another vulnerable position, they cannot consent.

Choice: we need to make sure our partners feel free to say “yes” or “no” without pressure. If we aren’t willing to take “no” for an answer, consent cannot happen.

Process: Consent means having ongoing conversations with lots of trust, just because someone says yes to one thing doesn’t mean they want anything else. You can change your mind at any time.  
(Adapted from www.haven-oakland.org resource)

Remember that consent is not assumed and should be sought for each new activity or progression in sexual intimacy. Silence or lack of resistance does not imply consent, and consent obtained through force, coercion, or when someone is incapacitated is not valid. Respecting boundaries and prioritizing clear communication are essential components of ensuring sexual interactions are consensual and respectful.

Check out this video for a different way of thinking about consent: "Consent it’s Simple as Tea"