In the previous post about sex positivity it is mentioned how consent is key. What is consent though, and why is it so important?
Consent is all about communication. By talking with your partner and making sure they are okay with what you are doing, you are making sure you both have given consent. Note that consent does not occur simply because of an absence of the word, “No.” Assuming consent is always incorrect. You need to make sure the answer is, “Yes,” and never figure, “Well, they aren’t protesting, so I guess this is okay.”
Another big aspect of consent is keeping in mind that both partners have the right to change their mind. You and someone else may have agreed you are going to have sex, but while kissing and engaging in foreplay they tell you they have changed their mind and no longer want to go any further. Trying to pressure them into taking things further or continuing despite their saying to stop is wrong–consent can never be taken, only given.
It is also important to note that alcohol cannot be used as an excuse for consent. If someone is made drunk or incapacitated by alcohol they are unable to give consent–or to put it simply, a drunk, “Yes,” is still a, “No.” The occurrences of rape on college campuses often involves alcohol and if either party doubts a clear-minded consent is being given, they should not have sex. To the credit of many colleges and universities there are policies in place to help ensure students know about consent, but it remains a constant concern.
We can talk about the importance of consent and raise awareness through informational campaigns, but at the end of the day it comes down to you–you need to make sure your partner has consented, and that you too feel comfortable consenting. Through ensuring everyone is comfortable and happy a good consenual time can be had by all!