Talking about consent is an important part of any healthy relationship. It’s an easy way to make sure nobody is being pressured into something they don’t want to do.
How do I talk about consent?
Talking about what you want and don’t want and respecting your partner’s boundaries doesn’t have to be serious, scary, or awkward. Consenting and asking for consent means that everyone is being clear about their wants and needs — and that partners are respecting each other’s limits. Bonus: talking about what you want in bed can make you and your partner feel more turned-on and respected.
So, how do you ask for consent? It’s simple. Ask: “Can I [fill in the blank]?” or “Do you want me to do [fill in the blank]?” And listen for the answer. It’s also important to pay attention to their body language and tone.
If your partner says “yes” or makes it clear that they’re into it, then you have consent.
If your partner says “no,” doesn’t say anything, or says yes but seems unsure or uncomfortable, then you DON’T have consent.
If you don’t know what they want, or they say yes but don’t seem sure, check in before you continue. You can check in by saying something like:
“I want to make sure you want to do this. Should I keep going?”
“It’s okay if you’re not into this. We can do something else. What do you think?”
Never, ever pressure your partner into something they don’t want to do or seem unsure about. Let them know it’s okay if they want to stop or do something different. And once you know someone isn’t into what you’re asking about, stop asking. Everyone deserves to have their boundaries respected. Being pressured into doing sexual things doesn’t feel good, and it can totally ruin a relationship.
If your partner pressures you into sex, that can be a sign of an unhealthy, unsafe relationship.
Want to see consent in action? Check out our videos of couples asking for consent.