Making Sure There Is Consent

Now that we’ve defined consent and talked about how to seek it out, let’s talk about how to know there is consent. 

You have consent when you and your partner:

  • Have each given an informed, uncoerced, verbal “yes.”
  • Are both of sound mind and legal age
  • Aren’t at all incapacitated

Remember check in regularly! Consent is ongoing and requires everyone involved to be engaged in the dialogue.

Like we said, repeat steps 2 (seeking consent) and 3 (ensuring consent) before making the next move. 

To ensure consent, first ask:

  • How are you doing?
  • Do you like what I am doing?
  • Do you want me to keep going?
  • Would you like me to stop?

And then give them the physical space and time to respond.

You are merely checking the box if you only ask questions. Consent requires a pause to make room for their response and demonstrate respect their answer. 

Body language: let’s talk about body language and consent.

  • A lot of communication in intimate situations is nonverbal.
  • Nonverbal cues include nodding, touching, smiling and more.
  • Body language includes totally legit ways of communicating and does help convey our thoughts and feelings.

When we’re talking about consent, though, body language often isn’t enough. Relying only on nonverbal cues during sexual activity is pretty sketchy, and the stakes are too high to be wrong.

Rely on explicit verbal communication to make sure you have consent. Complement the verbal with all the nonverbal communication and body language you want!