Consent is the clear, mutual agreement between two people to have sex. Without consent, sexual advances are considered sexual assault or rape. Learn the basics of consent here.
Things to know about consent
It is not implied by what someone wears, if they’re under the influence, or even if they’ve done something sexual with you before. Communicate (i.e. “Is this okay?”), read signs, and stop if your actions are unwanted. If they do not consent, further sexual advances are considered sexual assault or rape.
Just because you’ve said yes once doesn’t mean you’re obligated to say it again. You can decide at any point that you do not want to have sex or engage in any sexual activity. It’s your choice, and you always have the right to say no. Both partners need to understand and respect that you can change your mind at any time.
It’s important to pick up and understand different signs that someone may not want to have sex (i.e. not responding to touch, verbally asking you to stop) and communicate with them if you’re unsure. Ask questions and don’t assume someone is okay just because they aren’t saying anything. The absence of no is not consent.
If you’ve experienced sexual assault, you’re not alone. To speak with a trained specialist, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or text HELLO to 741741.