Only Yes Means Yes.

What’s the deal with sexual consent? It seems there are a lot of people who don’t understand how sexual consent works, which is actually really scary. If you are sexually active or wanting to become sexually active, you need to know how consent works, because consent is everything.

Simply put, consent means giving permission. This is an acknowledgement necessary for both (or all) people to share before engaging in and during a sexual act. If every involved member agrees to the act, that is consent. If one person says no, if they are unsure, then that is not consent.

Need some help? Here’s a simple flowchart that can tell you the basics about sexual consent (don’t worry, it’s super easy to memorise for the next time you want to engage in sexy time).

Some key things about sexual consent:

  1. All parties are responsible for sexual consent. You’re responsible for giving consent, and for being 100% sure that everyone else has given their consent.
  2. You have the right to say no. You have the power to say no to anything you’re not comfortable with. You can say no when someone asks you to have sex. You can change your mind and say no if you’re both already naked and hooking up. You can even say no if you’re already having sex and you feel uncomfortable with how the sexual acts are progressing. You have control over your body and you can say no when you’re not comfortable.
  3. An unconscious person CANNOT give consent for sexual activity, and any consent they had given before falling unconscious becomes void as soon as they have lost consciousness.
  4. The way someone is dressed is not a cue for sexual activity and does not grant sexual consent.
  5. Just because you’ve engaged in sexual activity with someone before does not mean you have the right to do so again. Likewise, just because you’ve consented before does not mean you have to consent again. Each sexual act is a stand-alone moment.

Remember: if someone hasn’t given their consent for any sexual activity it’s not sex. It’s rape.