The Sex Talk : Consent

Today’s post is part of a larger series called “The Sex Talk”. Often we think of The Sex Talk as an awkward conversation we have with our parents where the phrase “when a Mommy and Daddy love each other very much…” because that’s what’s been normalized.

There’s something wrong with that sex talk.

It (normally) only mentions the idea of sex for reproductive purposes and doesn’t mention topics that fall under the sex and gender category. We often don’t talk about how some people are LGBTQ+ with kids, while others identify as cisgendered straight folk. Or that sex happens between consenting parties.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I get it’s hard to explain this all to a kid (I barely understand all of it), but sex talks shouldn’t happen just once. The Sex Talk should be a dialogue that everyone participates in at every stage of life and it should surround more than just how babies are made.

Today’s topic is consent. Below the photo, I’ll be talking about what consent is and how to get consent. While a lot of what I say might seem like it’s obvious, for a lot of people it isn’t.


DISCLAIMER: While I don’t have any explicit content, topics such as this can be triggering. Please check in with yourself and make sure you make the best decision for you to feel safe at the moment.

I’m not claiming to know everything here. I’m just a student who is interested in furthering her own understanding of the crazy world she lives in. If you need further explanation on any claims I make, or think I’m wrong about something, please let me know in a polite way. I’m happy to edit this post until it’s perfect.


the sex talk : consent

So, what is consent? It seems to be a tricky question, but really the answer is simple.

Consent is an enthusiastic, voluntary yes.

Consent is also mandatory.

I know, this seems simple but for many people it clearly isn’t. For people to engage in any sort of sexual encounter (kissing, fondling, vaginal penetration, ect.) there has to be consent. Which means someone has to ask “Is this okay?” and someone else has to respond with “yes”.

What’s important to note is that this doesn’t mean your partner just doesn’t say no. Staying silent does not mean the person is consenting. There are so many less direct ways of saying no.

“A person doesn’t need to scream or run away to make it apparent that they are not consenting.  When we focus on the person instead of the situation, regardless of the way they communicate no, the difference between consent and non-consent is very obvious.” – ConsentEd

Basically, if someone isn’t verbally saying “yes”, they aren’t consenting.

 

This video is one of my favourites for explaining how absurd some people’s views on consent are. When you’re looking at consent in terms of things, in this case a cup of tea, it’s easy to see that asking someone first and accepting their decision is a no brainer.

How come it’s not that way with sex?

Some people don’t want to ask, and would rather feel out the situation. After all, you can read body language and your partner can always so no. Except, it shouldn’t be on your partner to stop you. There should be a conversation around what’s happening.

The people who don’t want to ask, often worry about ruining the mood and making it awkward. Which is so weird. We’d rather try it out and see what happens than actually talk about what’s going on.

If you’re mature enough to have sex, you’re mature enough to have dialogue before, during, and after to make sure everyone is comfortable with what’s happening.

Talking about sex and what someone’s comfortable with is so sexy. Just like Laci Green says in her video Consent 101, isn’t it sexy when someone asks if they can kiss you?

Consent isn’t a one time thing. Just because someone consented to sex (or other sexual activities) once, does not mean they want to do it again. Even if they just gave you an enthusiastic yes two minutes ago, they’re allowed to change their mind.

Giving consent for one activity, one time, does not mean giving consent for increased or recurring sexual contact.”  – RAINN

Now that we know a little bit about what consent is, let’s talk about how to get it.

When talking to a partner, make sure you’re continuing to ask them questions such as:

– Are you comfortable?

– Is this okay?

– Do you want to slow down?

– Do you want to go any further?

That’s really it. These are totally simple ways of checking in with your partner from loveisrespect.org to make sure both parties are enjoying the experience.

If you want to go the extra step to make it a super sexy experience, you can describe what you want to do with your partner and ask if that’s okay before making any moves.

Wow! Talk about sexy!

signoff

Consent is really that simple! If you have any questions about what consent is, or how to get consent, leave them in the comments below or send me an email! I’d be happy to help you find the resources you need!

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2 Comments

  1. Last semester I took a whole class about consent and it was so interesting! I love how you said that if you’re mature enough to have sex then you’re mature enough to talk about it! Preach girl!

    1. That sounds like such a cool course! We’ve been talking a lot about consent in O-Week leader training and gave all our first years a consent talk, and it sort of blew my mind how many misconceptions there are about what consent is. A course on it would be so helpful!

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