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Sexual consent

Sexual consent is when you and your sexual partner both agree to have sex. It is important to ask for consent before engaging in sexual activity.

In a healthy sexual encounter, both parties should feel comfortable communicating their needs without feeling fearful or coerced. If #MeToo has taught us anything, it is that we need to start having open and clear conversations around consent.

To do that, we need to educate ourselves on:

  • What exactly is sexual consent?
  • How do I know how to give clear consent?
  • How can I ask for consent?
  • What are the verbal and non-verbal cues?
  • How might a conversation about consent play out?

To answer these questions, we’ve compiled a selection of resources that tell you everything you need to know:

Great Resources on Consent

1. Healthline: “Guidelines for Consent”

This super useful guide to sexual consent talks you through when and how to ask for consent. It offers some general guidelines for those wondering “How do you know if you have consent before engaging in a sexual act?”

2. Consent: “It’s Simple as Tea”

This viral video compares asking someone for sexual consent to a making someone a cup of tea. The idea is that, just as you wouldn’t force someone to drink a cup of tea they don’t want just because you made it, you wouldn’t force someone to have sex with you.

But is it just as simple as tea?

What if a drunk person insists they want tea, when they don’t actually have the capacity to make that decision? If someone is being coerced into saying yes, is that still consent? Despite these clear limitations, the video still gets the basics of consent across in an engaging way. Check out the video and see for yourself.

3. The Line: “I hereby agree to partake in a consensual act…”

Sometimes when you’re in a relationship, or you’ve had a few drinks, or you just don’t want to kill the mood, you can assume or convince yourself that someone’s OK with something, when they’re not. Even if you’re kind of sure – still ask. Read the article at The Line »

4. Tumblr: “Why Consent is Sexy”

This hilarious Tumblr post explains exactly how getting affirmative consent from your partner doesn’t ‘kill the vibe’. Actually, communication is a big part of setting the mood.
Source: bimbotoysforprettyboys/Tumblr

5. The Line: “The Pressure Test”

Take the pressure test to see how well you can communicate with your sexual partner about consent.

6. Planned Parenthood: Video “Sexual Consent”

Consent lets someone know that sex is wanted. To get consent properly, you need to pay attention to all the signals. This means both body language and words. Planned Parenthood has a whole series of videos that play out different consent scenarios.

7. Bustle: “How To Ask for Enthusiastic Consent in a Sexy Way”

Asking for consent can be sexy. This article guides you through some great ways of asking for consent without ruining the mood.

8. ReachOut: 5 Things You Need to Know About Sexual Consent

Are you thinking about whether you’re ready for sex? Do you want to know how to give consent? This guide covers the 5 most important things you need to know about sexual consent.

9. The Line: “One story, two experiences of consent”

Knowing what consent looks and sounds like can be tricky – especially in the heat of the moment. Check out this story of what can happen when two people don’t communicate about consent.

10. 1800 RESPECT: Help and Support

If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you can get help and support from services like 1800 RESPECT. They provide telephone and online counselling that is guided by you – your needs and your feelings – about what is right for you and your situation.
If you would like to speak to a counsellor, you can call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or use online counselling.

Where can I go for help?

If you want to discuss your situation, or find out where you can get further support, you can contact WIRE.

Contact us here

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