Consent involves the ways we ask for sex, and the ways we don’t. It requires clear communication. Verbal consent is the clearest way to communicate our desires. “Yes,” “touch my ___,” “I want you to___” are examples of verbal consent. Silence, passivity, and a “no” response is not consent. When someone agrees to intimate contact because they feel pressured or fear how their partner may react to a “no” response, it is not consent.
Consent is also about the kind of sex you and your partner want to have, not just about whether or not you each want to have sex. You cannot assume to know what your partner is thinking, and consenting to one act does not mean consenting to any act.
Often we presume that our sexual encounters are supposed to occur “in the heat of the moment”: naturally, spontaneously, or without a pause for communication between partners. Though you may feel comfortable, check in with your partner and be sure he or she is also comfortable “in the heat of the moment.”
Ask for consent before you act. Ask for consent before you kiss your partner, intimately touch your partner, and as you progress from foreplay to intercourse. Remember: consenting to one intimate act does not mean consenting to all acts.
Absolutely not. Asking for and giving consent can be arousing, but the mood is always ruined if you or your partner is made to feel uncomfortable.
Try some of these hot ways to ask for consent:
We rarely see media or other societal examples of sexual encounters that highlight explicit communication about sexual curiosities, desires, or fantasies. You may free vulnerable or embarrassed to reveal what turns you on, but don’t let that stop you from asking your partner to try new things with you and respect your partner’s decision to consent or not to those acts.
Last Updated: 1/6/11