Hiya everyone! I thought I’d do another blog post in my sex series (can I call it that haha?) and this one is going to be about a slightly serious topic – consent. There may be mentions of sexual assault/rape so if you don’t wanna read about that, here’s your warning! Also, disclaimer – I’m in no ways an expert with this sort of stuff so don’t expect everything to be 100% accurate. I have done a great deal of research in order to conduct these posts but I may not always be correct.
Consent is when someone has permission for something to happen or an agreement is given. In this context, sexual consent is when all members involved, have an agreement to engage in the sexual actions.
Sex without consent is rape. It’s as simple as that. Consent is super important when it comes to anything sexual because the two (or more) parties need to be readily consenting to what’s happening. I’m not saying that you always have to ask the person who you’re having sex, “Do you consent to having sex with me?” because that’s not always needed. I would definitely suggest doing it in different ways such as, “Do you wanna do this?” or “Are you okay with this?”. These are all ways to ask for consent without actually asking a long-winded question – although, if you aren’t sure about their answer, ask outright so you don’t get confused!
There are some ways that people cannot give consent. For example, if they are drunk or high, a head injury or any kind of condition that alters their ability to think correctly. If they say yes to sex whilst being under those conditions, they may not necessarily mean yes. They don’t have the mental capacity to think whether they want sex or not and may just say yes for the sake of it. This is not consent. If you are unsure whether they mean yes, then stop. It’s better to stop and wait until they are able to consent correctly.
If the person is asleep or unconscious, they cannot give consent. My favourite video about consent is the one involving a cup of tea.
Another way to check whether the person wants sex, is to check their body language. If they said yes to sex but their body language says otherwise, then double-check with them if they want to continue. They may feel uncomfortable and see that you’re enjoying it to not say anything. This isn’t okay. If you notice anything different with how the person is acting, question it. Sex is always better when all of the parties are enjoying it.
Silence or the absence of the word “no” does not mean yes either. It doesn’t guarantee the person is consenting and you should always double-check. The only answer that should initiate sex is a solid and firm “yes”.
Consent also does not come from the way the other people are dressed or how they are acting. Yes they may be wearing clothes “that leave nothing to the imagination” (I hate that phrase. It assumes that a body is something that the other party should receive and should be kept special) but those clothes do not automatically give you consent. Someone could have their tits out but still not be giving consent.
Even if the person you’re wanting to have sex with has had sex with loads of people before. It isn’t an automatic yes to you. Assuming that because that person has had sex loads, that they will not reject you is bad and you should still ask for consent. Kissing/flirting/intense stuff is not an open invitation for more. The person may be okay with kissing you or flirting with you but that doesn’t mean that they want to engage in sexual relations with you.
Moral of this post? Always ask for consent, even when you think you already have it – it’s better to ask and double-check than make the situation uncomfortable for the other person and maybe you as well. If you have been involved in anything that you did not give consent to (that can be sexual abuse or rape), there are so many ways that you can receive help.
- You can go to your local gp and ask for support that way. They can give you an insight into more helpful resources than I ever could. This is confidential so you don’t have to worry about your family or friends finding out.
- You can go to the hospital or the local A&E department. Kinda works the same as the gp so you can go to whichever one is more convenient for you.
- Find your nearest referral centre. This is a place where doctors and nurses are specialised in helping survivors of sexual abuse and rape. They offer many ranges of support, whichever is better for you.
- You can always look on the NHS website to find other suitable methods but I’m pretty sure these are the most common.
I hope you all have a lovely day and really do appreciate this blog post and think about it next time you’re in a situation that involves consent!