Consent means agreeing to do something that you want to do.
Consent is needed for every type of sexual activity, from kissing to touching through to penetrative sex.
Sexual consent means everyone involved is:
You need consent every time you engage in sexual activity.
You need consent with someone you have just met, or with someone you are in a relationship with.
You need consent for each kind of sexual activity. For example, you need consent to change from kissing to touching, or from touching to oral sex.
The absence of a ‘no’ does not mean consent. The only way to be sure you have got consent is for your partner to say or show, very clearly, that they want to do the sexual activity.
Check in with yourself and your partner!
Take a look at this campaign, NHS Awkward Moments, which is about getting people talking about and understanding what good consent feels and looks like.
Young people were involved in making this campaign.
For more ways to start the conversation about what good consent feels and looks like visit www.awkwardmoments.co.uk.
Consent can be:
Examples of consent
Examples of things that are not consent
Read more about when is it not consent.
Good communication during sexual activity
It is important you pay attention to each other and make sure you are still happy, comfortable and enjoying the sexual activity. If you are not sure that the other person is happy and comfortable, you do not have consent.
Consent can change at any time. Watch and listen to your partner all the way through any sexual activity you do together. Ask for consent before you change the type or level of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this okay?”
For more information on how to give and get consent visit Brook.
Remember you can always change your mind
You can always change your mind when you are doing something sexual. Sometimes in the moment you want to change your mind. It is never too late to stop.
Without consent, any kind of sexual activity is sexual violence.