It’s the season of love, but while getting down and lovey dovey, remember to regularly check with your partner that they’re into what is happening.
Consent is a major issue in many ways, such as getting it, giving it and exactly understanding what is and is not consent.
Merriam Webster defines it as “to give assent or approval.” But what are easy ways to do that?
There’s a misconception that stopping to ask consent kills the mood, but it can be as easy as, “Can I kiss you?” That’s asking consent and giving someone of autonomy their own body.
Other ways of asking for consent can be any of the following: “Can I…?” “Do you like this?” or “Do you want…?” Communicating makes sure that not only is everything happening consensual, but also finding what both you and your partner like.
Consent even goes beyond just verbally asking for it. Being able to read your partner and know if they’re actually OK with what is happening is important.
If they seem uncomfortable, tense, awkward or anything that isn’t immediately obvious as enthusiasm, stop and talk.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with stopping and talking. You don’t have to negotiate the night play-by-play, but knowing that you’re both comfortable with what is happening is key. Also being able to tell whether or not someone is able to consent is important. If they are intoxicated, they cannot consent.
And if you don’t get consent, you have no right to be mad. That is someone else’s body, and they are making their decision. If you throw a fit when they say no, you’re just proving to be someone they can’t trust.
You can be upset that your feelings aren’t reciprocated, but you absolutely cannot take that out on the other person, be it through words or actions. Be a better you by realizing you aren’t entitled to anyone else’s body, mind or time.
There seems to be the perception that anyone and everyone is being accused of sexaul assault currently, but really it is people stepping forward to talk about what happened to them and stop it from happening to anyone else.
According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. While a smaller percentage, about three percent of American men – a total of 2.78 million men – have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
Male college-aged students (18-24) are 78 percent more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault, according to RAINN.
Both participants need to ask for consent. It’s not just one person who has to ask. Look up different ways to ask for consent and read online how to better read body language.
It’s time we put misconceptions about consent to bed.