5 Common myths about consent debunked
Whether you’re in a committed, casual, or any type of relationship, consent is key for any sexual activity you engage in. It is very important to understand consent and practice it every time you engage in any sexual activity.
There are several myths about the notion of consent, and we address the most common ones in this article.
Here are 5 common myths you should not believe:
Myth 1: Keep persuading them until they change their mind
If they say no, respect their wish.
Just because you’re in a good mood and the other person isn’t does not mean you should keep pestering or begging them to change their minds. Even if they don’t say ‘no,’ that doesn’t imply they don’t want to. A nervous chuckle or quiet may not indicate ‘yes.’
Myth 2: No only applies when someone says the word ‘no’
People misinterpret consent or ‘yes’ as someone laughing, smiling, or not ‘appearing’ uncomfortable. Someone could say no without arguing or being angry at you, and that no would still be a no. When they say no, they might be laughing, but it still means no. If you are unsure if someone is saying no or yes, simply ask them. Before you do anything with them, ask them, ‘Can I do x?’ or ‘Would you mind if I did x?’ It is only if they say yes that you may proceed.
Myth 3: There’s no need for consent in a relationship
Consent is also required in relationships. Just because you’re in a relationship with someone doesn’t imply they control your body and are entitled to sex or sexual favors whenever they want it. A person is always in charge of their own bodies and you should always ask them whether they are comfortable with something before doing it.
It’s easy for a person in a relationship to sexually violate another because there’s this assumption that being in a relationship means your spouse has access to you whenever they want, even when you don’t want it. This is not true. Each person in the relationship has the right to say no, and their partner must always respect that right.
Myth 4: How one is dressed can tell if they consent or not
Many women get harassed on the street because of what they wear but believe me when I tell that what someone wears has nothing to do with seeking sex or being touched without their consent. Even if someone is nude, they do not automatically consent to anything sexual. No one has the right to violate somebody because of how they appear or what they wear.
Myth 5: They only have to say yes once
Anybody at any moment can withdraw their consent. This means that even if they agreed to anything last month or just now, they have the right to change their mind at any time. If they do, it is perfectly okay and you must respect their decision. No one owes you any sexual favor. Remembering this is essential for understanding consent.
Statements like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ do not require explanations because they are self-explanatory. Respect them when they say no. If you’re not sure, ask for permission.
Conversations about consent should be ongoing, especially when so many people are raped and sexually harassed as a result of others failing to understand or respect consent. We must all talk about it more to raise awareness and help put a stop to violence, harassment, rape, and victim-blaming. Share this with your loved one, will you?
What other lies about consent have you ever heard?