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Check in First: How to Talk About Sexual Consent

It is up to you to check in with your partner before you start any kind of sexual activity.

Are you nervous about asking? Having someone say yes can be very sexy!  You can ask in all sorts of interesting ways and when your partner says yes it can be really hot.

Getting consent just takes a second and can make a big difference in how things go.

Sexual consent doesn’t have to kill the mood!  If you’re wondering how to go about checking in and making sure that you have your partner’s consent before you have sex, this page can help.

What is sexual consent?

  • Sexual consent means saying yes to sexual activity. It’s important to realize that agreeing to one type of sexual activity doesn’t mean that a person is agreeing to other sex acts. Everyone has the right to decide whether or not they want to do something sexual and to change their mind at any point.

How should I ask for consent?

There are lots of ways to make asking for consent fun and sexy.  Here are some ways to ask:

  • I’d really like to kiss you. How do you feel about that?
  • I think it would be hot if you took your shirt off. Is it okay if I take it off?
  • I think you’re hot. Wanna have sex?
  • I’d like to try going down on you. Would that be ok?

If things are moving forward and you want to try new things, continue to pause and ask first.

How can I check to make sure?

If you’re not totally sure if you have consent, here are some ways to check:

  • Is this okay?
  • Is there anything you’d like me to do differently?
  • Are you still into this?
  • Does this feel good?
  • Do you want to keep going?

What if my partner changes their mind? What if I change my mind?

  • Just because someone consents to one sexual act (e.g., kissing), that doesn’t mean that they’re okay with another.
  • You always have the right to change your mind at any point, and your partner should respect this.

What is not consent?

  • Not now means no.
  • Maybe and maybe later mean no.
  • If someone is asleep, unconscious or blacked out, they can’t consent to sex
  • If someone is really drunk or high, they can’t consent to sex.
  • Consent is not about forcing, shaming or begging someone to have sex.
  • Consent isn’t really consent unless all parties are free to say “no”, “maybe”, or “maybe later” without feeling forced.
Useful Tip
If your partner tries to pressure you into sex without your consent, you may want to think seriously about your relationship. Do you want to be with someone who doesn’t respect your wishes?

For more on sexual consent, check out Yes Means Yes: Sexual Consent and What Do I Need to Know About Age of Consent?

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

Last Edited: May 2020