What is Consent?

Consent means giving permission for something to happen or agreeing to do something and being comfortable with that decision. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, or whether you’re straight, gay or bisexual, if you’re planning to do anything sexual then both of you must give consent.

Consent has to be given freely and no one can be made to consent to something. It’s not consent if someone does something because they feel like they have to. You can also never assume that someone is giving consent – you have to be sure.

Consent is an essential part of healthy relationships and it’s really important to know what it is and the many ways to spot it. Both you and the person you’re with always need to consent before sex or any intimate activity.

If you want to do something sexual with your partner, the responsibility lies with you to check for consent, not with your partner to say ‘no’ if they don’t want to.

 

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If they don't say anything, what other ways can people show they're not consenting?

There are lots of signs of someone not consenting to sex – they might stop kissing you or not want to be hugged or held. Don’t ignore it.

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Get advice on consent and find out where to get further help and support if you have questions.

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