Consent: all the facts
In this day and age, you’d think that everyone knows what consent is, but from the multiple assault cases reported daily, that’s definitely not the case.
Because of systemic issues like patriarchy, a lot of men think that they are entitled to women’s bodies. This is not true.
A woman’s body belongs to her alone, and therefore she should be the only one who decides what happens to it.
Consenting is saying ‘yes’
So let me break down again, what consent is.
It is simply – saying yes. Agreeing to whatever is about to happen, explicitly. Saying yes when you mean yes is easier for everyone involved, and vice versa – say no when you mean no.
Confusion in communication can lead to a lot of crossed wires. This is part of the reason why sometimes guys cannot understand that no means no. Even when it does. Especially when it does.
So, do the entire female race a favour, and say what you mean!
It can be scary to say no to someone, just as it can be scary to say yes, simply because of everything that comes with saying yes, and the repercussions that could come from saying no (particularly from people who aren’t used to hearing it).
Women admitting that they want sex is still so taboo in some places, regardless of statistics that show that women want and enjoy sex just as much as men do! But it’s easier and safer for everyone if men and women say what they want, and agree to it – explicitly, and consensually.
You can withdraw consent
Now, after you understand basic consent, there’s another concept that people need to grasp – the fact that consent can be withdrawn. Consent can flip to the other side at any point during a sexual interaction: at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. You can back out at any time, if you feel uncomfortable.
For example, let’s say you are at a party and you see a dude you like. You talk for a little bit, have a lot in common and spend the whole night getting to know each other. You decide that you want to do more than talking, and so you find a bedroom to go have sex in.
Ideally, when you get to the bedroom, you should check with each other to make sure you are okay with what’s about to happen. Why? Because if you like a person, you should be sure that they are on the same page as you. And even if you don’t like the person, out of respect, you should be sure, too.
So great, you’re on the same page, but something comes up. Something like, for example, neither of you has protection or can find somewhere to buy any at short notice.
At this point in the interaction, if you want to back out, it is completely within your rights to. If you don’t want to have sex without a condom, you don’t have to.
His blue balls don’t matter if you’re not okay with the situation any more. You can withdraw your consent.
In fact, even if he is inside you and it starts to hurt, you can withdraw your consent and the sex can stop. For men, if, say, she is giving you oral sex, and you don’t like how she’s doing it, or she tries a technique that doesn’t work for you, you can tell her to stop at whatever point she’s gotten to. They’re your bits after all!
Just because you’ve started sex, or sexual activity, doesn’t mean you have to see it through all the way to the ‘end’, just because you think you’ve committed. Sex is supposed to be pleasurable for the both of you, right?
Do you have any questions about consent? Ask our moderators and Let’s Talk!