What is consent?

All about consent

Consent is an agreement between two or more people that everyone understands and is happy with. When it comes to sex, consent is when everyone involved in any kind of sexual activity (either in real life or online) actively agrees to take part.

In the UK, someone can only legally give their consent if they have agreed by choice. However, they must also have the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Consent is FRIES (Freely given, ReversibleInformedEnthusiastic and Specific) is an easy way to remember the 5 key things needed for consent to take place.

and why it’s important

Sex is only sexy when everyone involved has given their enthusiastic consent. While you don’t need to have a formal talk about it (although some people find this helpful too), you should always be clear that you’ve got your partner’s consent.

If you’re ever in any doubt about whether someone is consenting to something, you should always stop and ask the person you’re with – “are you ok with this?” or “do you want me to stop?”.

Unless everyone involved consents, you’re breaking the law – sex or any kind of sexual activity without consent is either rape or sexual assault.

What if I don’t get consent?

The long-lasting impact of not getting consent can be devastating for everyone involved.

For the person who didn’t give consent, this might include being traumatised by the experience, as well as the fear of not being believed if they choose to speak up about it.

For the person who didn’t get consent, this could involve going to prison and/or getting a criminal record and living with the knowledge that they raped or sexually assaulted someone.

It’s always, always, best to ask for consent. For the sake of a slightly awkward moment and the possibility of rejection (this happens to everyone) what have you got to lose?

Consent Quiz

What would you do?

Find out if you know when it's time to Pause, PlayStop.

Want to learn more about getting consent online and in real life?

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#IGetConsent because it's important to respect each other's bodies and boundaries.

Jack, 17

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