BREAKING IT DOWN
Understanding consent can sometimes be confusing
so SHAG is going to break it down for you
CONSENT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS ASKING SOMEONE IF THEY WANT A GLASS OF WATER.
If they say yes, you give them a glass of water.
If they say no, you don’t, because why would you force water down someones throat - that’s weird.
Maybe they wanted a glass of water and then they changed their mind, that’s cool too.
Maybe they said no and then they decide that they do want a glass of water, so you can give them a glass of water.
Maybe you have given them a glass of water before and they loved it, but don’t feel like one now.
If you are giving someone a glass of water and you aren’t sure they are enjoying it, ask them.
Then you know if they want a glass of water or not. Don’t give them a glass of water if they are passed out.
They can’t decide whether they want it or not when they are passed out.
If this doesn’t make much sense to you, read our step by step below.
Every interaction begins with a meeting. If you are sexually interested in the person, it’s pretty clear to figure out whether they are interested in you in that way too. By picking up on verbal and non-verbal communication, the way they speak to you, their enthusiasm in the conversation and if they are showing interest with their body language, you can return the favour. Remember never assume that because they are showing interest that gives you permission to touch their body at all, take things slow and if you are worried always ask if something you are doing is okay. It is very clear to figure out whether somebody wants to be talking to you or they don’t. Never force or pressure somebody to be interested in you. It’s just life. It’s not because there is anything wrong with you they are just interested, and there will be plenty of people that will be.
YOU HAVE BEEN INVITED BACK
So you are with a person that you want to have sex with. Let’s say you invited them back or they offered the same. This interaction does not mean that that person is asking for it, or is suggesting that they want to have sex. Just because you have gone to theirs or they have come to yours, does not mean they have entered a zone where they are expected to have sex with you. Maybe they offer you a drink, you accept. This still may not mean they want to have sex with you. Maybe they do, but you don’t know this yet. You are just going to go with the flow and see what happens. Maybe you lean in to kiss them and they pull back, or turn their head. That’s okay. Maybe they are nervous, ask them.
Is it okay if I kiss you?
May I kiss you?
Is this what you want?
By this you are already establishing consent. If they say no, then you can either stay, have a wonderful conversation and then go your separate ways or just leave. You do not try to convince them to kiss you or argue against it.
THINGS START TO HEAT UP
So now you have read the persons body language, or you have asked the person whether you can kiss them and they have agreed, physically and verbally. You know that this person is interested in you. This doesn’t mean that they want sex, but you guys are cool just kissing now. If things continue to get heated and you place a hand further down they’re body and they move it up. Just keep your hands up there until they put them down. If they don’t move them just carry on having a fun time and giving your partner pleasure. It is clear that if they start taking their clothes off and touching your body they are interested but they still have not given consent yet. Just because they have taken their clothes off does not mean they have consented to sex. Make sure your partner is as interested in this interaction as you are. Remember you have to have both:
You can feel by the pressure of their body, where their hands are placed or moving to tell if they are into it still. Be gentle and considerate unless told to be otherwise and remember if there is any doubt in your mind, just check in with them. Ask if they are enjoying it or if there was anything you wanted them to do because the best sex is when you are pleasuring the other person.
If all the signs have led you to this point then its not unfair to think that you have full consent but to make sure that this is really what the other person wants, just ask them. It is actually really attractive for your partner to check in and say:
Are you sure this is what you want?
Do you want to have sex?
Can we have sex?
if they say yes then have a great time, and remember to make sure that throughout the sex your partner is engaged.
If they say NO or STOP it doesn’t matter how much you are enjoying it you STOP immediately. Once they say no and you continue it is an act of RAPE, and your partner is no longer consenting. If you get to the point where you are about to have sex and your partner changes their mind and says that they no longer want to continue that’s fine. You tell them it’s okay, you put your clothes back on and either stay and have a lovely conversation or leave if you want to or they ask you to. The most important part of consent is to make sure there is communication. You have to have both physical and verbal consent.