Friday — December 10, 2021

Your Body, Your Sovereignty - Let's explore consent!

by: Cesar Segura

Con·sent (v) – the act of giving permission for something to happen.

In sexual circumstances, consent is the act of agreeing to participate in sexual activity; in other words, letting your sexual partners know that the sexual activity is wanted. Why is consent important? Without consent, sexual activity is considered sexual assault or, in some cases, rape.

So, how do you tell if you have been given consent? Planned Parenthood describes the key factors of consent being given as following the F.R.I.E.S. acronym: Consent should be:

Freely given. Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Reversible. Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing at any time. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.

Informed. You can only consent to something if you have the full story. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.

Enthusiastic. When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do.

Specific. Saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you’ve said yes to others (like having sex).

As a reminder, consent must come from you; YOU DO HAVE CONTROL OVER THE CONSENT YOU GIVE! If consent has been previously given to an individual, this does not grant that individual a lifetime of consent to your body. Consent can be revoked at any time during a sexual encounter. Lastly, consent cannot be given when a person:

- Does not understand what they are agreeing to

- Is physically forced into an activity

- Is coerced into an activity by financial, physical, or emotional threat

- Is under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Additional Resources:

Consent and Tea Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Nii5w2FaI

Breaking down consent for kids - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3nhM9UlJjc

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