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News just in... Consent is SEXY!

By ECollins 21 Jun 2016

The Facts:

  • Consent is active & willing participation in sexual activity. That means that both parties had the freedom and capacity to make the choice.
  • Consent cannot be assumed even if you’re in a relationship, have been kissing or no matter who has paid for the date.
  • An absence of a “no” doesn’t mean “yes”. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to ask.
  • A lot of people are worried that checking for consent will be embarrassing. But if you think the mood could be ruined if you ask, then it can't have been that good to start with.

True or False:

  • Consent isn’t always important

    False: Consent is important in every sort of sexual encounter whether it is a one night stand, a long term partnership, a fling, a marriage, and no matter whether the encounter is between a woman and a man, two women, two men, or more than two participants. 
  • Everyone has different boundaries around sexual consent

    True: some people may not want to have penetrative sex, some people may be unable to move into different positions because of physical disabilities and some people's culture or religion may make them unwilling or unable to engage in certain sexual encounters. This must all be kept in mind when discussing consent with anyone. But, most importantly, it must be discussed with everyone! 
  • Silence Means No

    True: No means no, but silence also means no. Many times people do not feel like they can say no due to power imbalances. People can also become unresponsive or not know what to say when they are in uncomfortable or frightening situations. 
  • You can’t communicate consent due to the nature of sexual interaction

    False: Consent can be spoken, but it can also be expressed in action. If in doubt, ask. It won’t ‘kill’ the mood. 
  • If you kiss someone, you don’t have to have sex with them

    True: Consent to do one thing does not automatically imply you want things to go further. Sometimes you might just want things to stop at a kiss. 
  • If you wear sexy clothing or are ‘that kind of person’ i.e. walking alone at night, having multiple partners, or going out a lot – you’re asking for it.

    False: Nobody wants to be assaulted. You might be dressing sexily because you like to look attractive or because you want to attract someone's attention, but none of this means you want to experience assault. If someone chooses to assault, the consequences are their responsibility and their fault. It is not the fault of the person who is assaulted. 
  • Rape & sexual assault can happen to anyone

    True: Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone no matter their age, gender,class, culture, ability, sexuality, faith, race, or appearance. Rape and sexual assault can occur inside marriages and committed relationships, by trusted family or close family friends, or by community or religious leaders. There is not a stereotype for victims or perpetrators. 

The Check List of Consent:

  • Informed – both individuals agreeing to act
  • Mutual – clear understanding of both individuals about what is being asked for and consented to
  • Given – freely and actively
  • Communicated – in words and or actions that are mutually understandable
  • Retractable – one sexual act does not mean all sexual acts
  • Willing- agreement does not count as consent if someone is forced.
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ECollins Residential Life Officer for Accommodation Services - foodie, book lover, campervan mad...well just mad in general.
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