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Consent and the meaning of “yes”


Consent: Why dressing up a certain way or being incapable of saying “no”, does NOT mean “yes”

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity.

Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. A verbal and affirmative expression of consent can help both you and your partner to understand and respect each other’s boundaries.

Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious.

Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be freely given.

You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable.

Enthusiastic consent is a newer model for understanding consent that focuses on a positive expression of consent. Simply put, enthusiastic consent means looking for the presence of a “yes” rather than the absence of a “no.”

Consent can look like:

✨ Asking permission before you change the type or degree of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this OK?”

✨ Confirming that there is reciprocal interest before initiating any physical touch.

✨ Letting your partner know that you can stop at any time.

✨ Periodically checking in with your partner, such as asking “Is this still okay?”

✨ Providing positive feedback when you’re comfortable with an activity.

✨ Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m open to trying.”

✨ Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable taking things to the next level (Physiological responses like an erection, lubrication, arousal, or orgasm are involuntary, meaning your body might react one way even when you are not consenting to the activity.)

Consent does not look like:

🚫 Refusing to acknowledge “no”

🚫 A partner who is disengaged, nonresponsive, or visibly upset

🚫 Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting, or kissing is an invitation for anything more

🚫 Someone being under the legal age of consent, as defined by the state

🚫 Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol Pressuring someone into sexual activity by using fear or intimidation

🚫 Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you’ve done it in the past


I love you, stay safe! 💜



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