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VO5 Summer of Love Series: What is consent?

chubbydumplingchubbydumpling Posts: 487 Listening Ear
edited June 2019 in Sex & Relationships
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As some of you know, The Mix have recently partnered with VO5 to bring you the Summer of Love Series, focussing on issues impacting young people. This week’s topic is all about relationships, sex and consent. 

What is consent?

Regardless of your gender or whether you are straight, gay or bisexual, consent must always be given before any sexual activity takes place. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to sit down and hash out a written contract before every sexual encounter. Consent is an ongoing dialogue about what you want, don't want, like and don't like. 

In a nutshell, consent means giving permission for something to happen. When it comes to sex, this means agreeing to sexual activity and being comfortable with that decision. Sexual consent is where a person is free and able to agree to sexual activity. 

How to get consent

Having a person’s enthusiastic consent is essential since it ensures that everyone involved is free and able to engage in sexual activity. Anything less than an enthusiastic YES is not consent. If you’re unsure that you have the other person(s) consent, make sure you stop and ask them – checking in is a good habit to get into. 

If you say NO, or if someone else says NO, explicitly (they say “No” or “Stop”) or implicitly (they pull away, seem reluctant to keep going etc), you must always respect their wishes. Putting pressure on someone or making them feel bad for changing their mind is coercion and does not equal consent. 

Some things to remember: 
ALWAYS ask for consent at the start of every sexual act
• Regardless of whether you are married or in a relationship with the person(s) you want to have sex with, you still need consent
• Flirting or wearing certain clothes does not equal consent
• If someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may not be able to consent

Can you think of any more examples? 

It’s important to remember that you always have the right to withdraw your consent at any time during sex. It doesn’t matter who the other person is, whether you are in a relationship with them, how far you’ve gone with them or others in the past.

Some people use psychological and emotional manipulation tactics to force other people into sexual activity. The majority of survivors of sexual assault and rape are victimised by people known to them, most often intimate partners. Just because someone does not physically hold you down and force you into sexual activity, does not mean you have consented. 

If you or anyone you know has been impacted by these issues, you can contact the Rape Crisis national helpline here: 0808 802 9999

If you’d like more information about sex and consent, I’d encourage you to visit: https://www.brook.org.uk/



  • coc0maccoc0mac Posts: 1,054 Wise Owl
    This is so important, love this thread!

    I really like how you pointed out the right to withdraw at any time during sex. The minute somebody say no they have withdrawn their consent - a simple rule to follow that should always be respected! 

    Some great links here for further support too. Fab thread!
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling Posts: 487 Listening Ear
    Thank you, @coc0mac!

    It's definitely something that everyone should keep in mind. 
  • davcr0ckdavcr0ck Posts: 774 Part of The Mix Family
    Love this thread @chubbydumpling

    I remember the times when both me and my boyfriend both make out together and we both kept asking with everything we did and he always stop instantly if I wasn't ok, only if everyone was like that 
    Love is love and everyone is accepting and can share their issues with no judge from me and I try to help 
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling Posts: 487 Listening Ear
    I'm glad, @davcr0ck!

    It's great that you and your boyfriend are conscious of each other's boundaries. 
  • alice123alice123 Posts: 88 Budding Regular
    Hi @chubbydumpling

    I think this topic is sooo important to talk about and I love that your post is pretty much a step-by-step guide to getting consent. 

    I definitely think the point about drugs and alcohol is necessary to reiterate - if you are intoxicated it is unlikely that you can give consent and visa versa if your partner is intoxicated. Although this can be a tricky grey area, to me this means that it is EVEN more important to verbally articulate whether or not consent is given/ received in these situations. 

    Also want to say, as cringey as it sounds, that it is sexy to ask for consent - it shows that you care and value the person you are (potentially) becoming intimate with and this is often found to be incredibly attractive!
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling Posts: 487 Listening Ear
    I'm glad you found it instructional @alice123!

    I think you're absolutely right about the grey area and the importance of being able to verbally give consent in those types of situations - great insights!
  • LaineLaine Deactivated Posts: 2,762 Boards Guru
    This is a really handy thread!  

    I feel like some people don't seem to know they absolutely have the right to withdraw even if they have now or previously said yes, 

    I see this arise a lot on some forums I use and people don't seem to know they weren't in the wrong.  
    a yes then does not mean that a no now doesn't matter 😊

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈

    "This is my family. I found it, all on my own.
    It's little, and Broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good." ~ Stitch

    "Lately, I've been struggling with all the simple things in my life" ~ Cian Ducrot

    "I don't know if it's because my heart hurts or I'm insecure" ~ Juice Wrld
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling Posts: 487 Listening Ear
    I'm glad you found it helpful @Laine!

    I think you're right - a lot of people I've spoken to about consent didn't seem to consider that someone can change their mind during sex. It's a little worrying to be honest. I'm a not-so-casual Reddit user and it's rampant in posts on there. 
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