A while back, another awesome member of the TAP808 team posted a video called “Tea Consent” (watch it here!), which related consent for sex to accepting a cup of tea — super simple right?! I personally LOVE this video. I think it’s very easy to understand and I’m so stoked on how many Middle/High School classes we’ve been able to share this video with.
Of course it’s impossible for one video to talk about every part of a complex topic like consent, so I wanted to highlight one thing that wasn’t covered in the video:
Consent for ONE thing is not consent for EVERYTHING
I don’t know many people in the US who drink tea, so let’s switch gears for a minute and think about ordering food at McDonalds:
If you want fries, you say, “Sure,” and you get your burger and fries. If you don’t want fries, you say, “No thanks,” and you just have a burger.
Let’s say you do want fries, so you order them. And then they ask, “Would you like a drink with that?” Then you decide if you want a drink or if the burger and fries are enough.
If you want a drink, you say, “Sure,” and you get your burger, fries, and drink. If you don’t want a drink, you say, “No thanks,” and you just get your burger and fries.
But what would happen if you ordered a burger, and then they forced you to order the fries and drink too?
You’d be pretty mad, right? Of course! Because you didn’t want any of that other stuff! The same goes for being affectionate or intimate with your dating partner.
If you consent to a hug, it doesn’t mean you consent to a kiss. If you consent to a hug and a kiss, it doesn’t mean you consent to sex. And if you consent to sex once, it doesn’t mean you consent to it all the time!
Consent for one thing is only consent for that one thing — and not for anything else, because consent must be given every step of the way.
I know that’s A LOT to think about. But it’s important! So if you’re still not sure, just remember to talk to your partner before engaging in sexual activity — get their consent! That way you can both feel safe and enjoy whatever happens next!