Consent is giving and getting permission to do something. For sex, consent means two people freely give each other permission for sexual activity—touching, kissing, and having sex.
Consent requires communication. Sexual consent means both partners agree to the sexual activity and understand what they are agreeing to. Consent is needed for every activity, from kissing to having sex.
Sexual consent involves three stages, before and during each sexual activity.
Asking for consent can be fun and sexy.
- Do you like this?
- Do you want to try this?
- Does this feel good?
- How far do you want to go?
- Can I kiss you?
- Are you comfortable with this?
- Do you want me to keep going?
It is your responsibility to ask your partner for consent before you start any sexual activity—kissing, touching, and having sex.
What does “YES!” sound like?
- Definite and clear “yes”.
- I’m totally up for that.
- Oh-h-h-h-h YES!
- That feels good
What does NO sound like?
- I’m not sure.
- I don’t know.
- Not now.
- I liked it last time, but right now I’m not in the mood.
- Can we do something else instead?
- I like this, but not that.
What does NO look like?
- Someone who is drunk, unconscious, or asleep.
- Someone who is crying, silent, or pushing away.
If you hear “YES” → keep asking for consent with each sexual activity. Your partner has the right to change their mind at any time, and you need to respect their decision.
If you see or hear “NO” → stop what you are doing and respect their decision. Check in with your partner. Consent is an ongoing conversation that helps people navigate their boundaries and communicate what they want and how they are feeling.
Consent is essential—for EVERY person and EVERY situation.
- Any age, gender, and sexuality
- If a person’s clothing is revealing or not
- If a person is out late or early
- If a person is a friend, spouse, common-law, husband, best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, on-and-off, acquaintance, stranger, partner, date
- If a person changes their mind during sexual activity
- If a person said “yes” to one sexual activity and “no” to a different activity
Sexual activity without consent is sexual violence. It is against the law.
- Unwanted kissing or touching
- Following or stalking
- Making sexual comments
- Taking and sharing sexual pictures
- Forced sex (rape), including sex with someone drunk, unconscious, or asleep
- Any sexual activity with someone outside the age of consent