5 mins - Article
Having sex means you have a responsibility to yourself, and your partner(s), to know about consent!
It's not just a personal responsibility; it’s a legal responsibility too! Have you ever thought to yourself…
- When can I give consent?
- Can I take it back and stop?
- How do I know if I have consent from my sexual partner(s)?
- How do I know if I don’t have their consent?
So many questions! You’re not a mind-reader, and neither is your partner(s)! Let’s get into it!
Only “Yes” Means “Yes”!
What is “Consent”? Very simply, “consent” means giving permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something.
“Sexual consent” means that you and your partner(s) voluntarily agree to sexual activity. Sexual activity includes kissing, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse (oral, anal, vaginal).
Consent is the foundation of good and healthy sexual relationships. It is needed for every single sexual activity, every time (Alberta Health Services).
An enthusiastic “YES!” (Only “yes” means “yes!” It must be clearly “yes!” Everything else is “no”) Ongoing (you must keep asking for consent – it’s active, ongoing, and act-specific)
Can be revoked at any time! You and/or your partner(s) can deny consent at any time. Even if things are already hot, and heavy.
Consent is NEVER implied or assumed
Consent is NEVER silence or the absence of “No”
Consent is NEVER given by a person who is drunk, high, or unconscious or asleep
Consent is NEVER obtained through threats or coercion or if a person is in a position of power, trust, or authority
Want to know more?
Watch these videos: Consent: It’s as simple as a cup of tea Understanding Consent
If you have been sexually assaulted and are ready to talk to someone:
Call or text Alberta’s One Line at 1-866-403-8000, OR
Go to aasas.ca/get-support (for chat support or to find a sexual assault centre near you)
This is information only, not legal advice. Some information was adapted from Ottawa University