Yes means Yes! – The Ultimate Guide to Consent
CONSENT IS AN AGREEMENT TO ENGAGE IN ANY ACTIVITY
There are a lot of ways to give consent, but it's important to make sure that it is true consent, because sex or sexual activity without true consent is sexual assault or rape.
· Freely given: both people feel comfortable and safe to speak about what they want. Consent cannot be given if anyone is coerced or manipulated into giving it. It also cannot be given if someone is asleep, intoxicated, unconscious, or not of legal age.
· Clear: both people are clear on exactly what they're consenting to. Giving consent to holding hands is very different than giving consent for sex. Make sure you're getting clear consent every step of the way.
· Retractable: it’s possible to change your mind and withdraw consent. Even if something was consented to in the past, a person can decide it’s something they no longer wish to do. You have to give and get consent every time.
WE PROMISE, IT DOESN'T HAVE TO FEEL WEIRD
People think getting consent is awkward or a mood killer. In reality, getting consent can increase the intimacy and it demonstrates respect for each other’s boundaries.
Start off by sharing what you want or hope from the other person.
It can be as simple as, "I really want to do this with you, but I also want you to feel safe and comfortable. If you feel uneasy with anything, please let me know and I'll stop. OK?"
· Can I kiss you?
· Can I take your shirt off?
· I'd love to kiss you / give you a massage. Would you like that?
· I'd love a massage, would you like to give me one?
· Are you okay / comfortable with this?
· Can I try this?
· Can I post this picture of us?
· I'd really like to meet your family, can I come over for dinner?
· Is it okay if I use your phone to call ___?
Remember, only yes mean yes!
YES MEANS YES
We sometimes hear people use the phrase "No means no" when talking about consent, but there's some problems with this:
Not everyone is able to verbally say "No." If someone is intoxicated, on drugs, asleep, or just frozen with fear, they may not be able to say no.
Instead, think of the phrase, "Yes means Yes," which means you don't start any sexual activity without checking in and making sure your partner is okay with it.
Want to know more? Here’s some other resources with great info on consent.