3 minutes - Article
Any sexual encounter must be consented to by every person involved.
By Elder Connie Forbister
Sex can be one of the most intimate and enjoyable experiences between two people. But is also an encounter which can lead people into unpleasant, and sometimes even dangerous situations. It’s important to know how to protect yourself and others.
First and foremost: Any sexual encounter must be consented to by every person involved. When it comes to sex, consent is the agreement between two or more people that sex is going to take place. Consent needs to be both Conscious, Enthusiastic, and Current.
Conscious Consent means that the person who is agreeing to sex is aware of what they are being asked. A person who is drunk, high, sleeping or passed out cannot consent to sex. Continuing sex with someone who is not sober and awake is considered sexual assault.
If a person has been using drugs and may say “yes” to having sex, this does not guarantee that they are aware of what they are being asked, or that they want to do it. This is because the side effects for many popular drugs often include delusions, or a lack of awareness of what is happening around them. If you think the person you are asking is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, DON’T DO IT!
Enthusiastic Consent means that the person’s body language matches the words coming out of their mouth. This “yes” should not be the result of coercion, manipulation, or pestering for sex. If the person says “no” the first time you ask them to have sex, consider that to be their final answer. Do not ask them again.
Some examples of body language which can indicate a person wants to have sex includes smiling, laughing, touching, mirroring your body language, and tone of voice. If the person sounds bored or nervous when stating their “yes,” this may be a sign that they are not really wanting to say yes, and the sex needs to stop.
Current Consent means sex is an ongoing conversation. When a person says “yes” to sex today, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to want sex tomorrow or later. It is important to ask every single time, and to continue only if you receive a conscious and enthusiastic “yes.”
Check in with your partner during sex to make sure they are comfortable and okay with what is happening. This can be as simple as asking “We still good?” or “Do you want to keep going?” Make sure you’re paying attention to body language when the person is saying “yes,”. If they are looking away or not making eye contact, they probably don’t want to keep going.
Being rejected is never fun for anyone, but it’s important to respect someone’s boundaries when they tell you they don’t want to have sex, or they aren’t giving signals that they want to have sex. Everyone has the right to say no to anything they are not comfortable with, and being told “no” or not receiving a firm and clear “yes” does not give you the right to go ahead anyway – no matter what your relationship with the person is.
(photo credit: unsplash.com)