Simply put, consent is uncoerced permission to interact with the body or the life of another person. It is up to all of us to ASK our partners about what they like and their boundaries; to LISTEN to what our partners share about what they are comfortable with and how they would like to experience pleasure and joy, and to RESPECT the boundaries our partners share around their bodies and lives, and their expectations around pleasure and joy.
It is up to all of us to ASK our partners what they like, what they are comfortable with, what would make experiences pleasurable and joyful, and what their boundaries are. Check-in and ask partners how they are feeling before and during sex and intimacy.
Ways to ask how your partner(s) are doing:
It is up to all of us to LISTEN to our partners to make sure we understand what they like, what they are comfortable with, what their boundaries are, and what they have given permissions for. Listen to partners to make sure they are comfortable and enjoying our sex and intimacy. If they are expressing uncertainty or discomfort, it’s time to stop and check-in.
Phrases to listen for with your partner(s):
[table id=5 /]It is up to all of us to RESPECT our partner’s boundaries, to make space for them to comfortably tell us “no” and to change their minds, and to equally prioritize their pleasure and joy with our own. Respect partners’ pleasure and their boundaries during sex and intimacy. If at any time they seem uncomfortable or no longer excited about what is going on, stop and check-in with them.
Ways to express respect with your partner(s):
[table id=6 /]
- Consent is informed, meaning all people involved in the sexual or intimate act know what is going on. For example, conversations around STI health have been had and expectations for the act have been made clear and discussed.
- Consent is active, meaning consent exists for all changes or progressions in the event or act. For example, consent is present for oral sex, and is given again should oral sex move to penetrative sex.
[toggle title=”Can be revoked at any given time”]
- Consent can be revoked at any time, meaning before or during an intimate event or act. For example, if someone changes their mind in the middle of sex and wants to stop, consent has been taken away.
[toggle title=”Agreed upon AND wanted”]
- Consent is agreed upon AND wanted, meaning partners have given uncoerced permission for the event or act.
- Consent is ethical, meaning partners have made sure everyone is comfortable with the intimate event or act. For example, space is made for partners to change their minds and to have conversations about concerns and vulnerabilities.
[toggle title=”Focused on mutual pleasure and joy”]
Consent should be focused on mutual pleasure and joy, meaning equal focus is placed on all partners‘ physical and emotional enjoyment and happiness. For example, taking time to find out how our partners like to be touched, taking time to find out if our partners would like any sort of care after intimacy.
[toggle title=”Without coercion”]
- Consent cannot exist where there is no permission or if the permission is coerced. Coercion can look like:
- The threat of force.
- Leveraging power or positions of power.
- Targeting a person that is incapacitated by drugs or alcohol.
- Pushing a person to become incapacitated by drugs or alcohol.
- Pushing someone over and over until they give in.
The University’s definition of consent can be found in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.
There are a variety of ways folks can have romantic, sexual, or other intimate relationships. Intimate relationships are relationships where the folks involved are somehow vulnerable with one another. Folks can be vulnerable in many ways including physically, emotionally, and mentally. In healthy relationships, all partners take time to make sure each other is emotionally and physically safe, their boundaries are respected, and consent is prioritized.
Programming Requests, Materials, & Resources
Below are some of the I Ask, I Listen, I Respect campaign materials. Check out this document for more materials and to help CHEW spread the news of the Consent campaign on social media. For more information, to request materials, and to request programming around consent, please follow this link or email Alyse Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.