Consent is a very important aspect of healthy relationships. It is important to know when something is consented to or not. Otherwise, respect and trust would not exist within that relationship.

Well, what is consent? Consent involves communicating, being honest, and truly being able to trust your partner. It is a complete agreement between the participants involved in a specific activity, and it respects various boundaries. When giving consent, it should be out of the individual’s own free will and desire, not because they feel pressured into doing something. It is absolutely crucial to realize that giving consent once does not mean it is okay every single time. In every circumstance, consent should be given without a great deal of persuasion, and never should the participating group feel as if they are being compelled to give consent. 

What does it look like? When asking for consent, a positive and confident, “yes,” would generally be the best way in determining whether the participant is on equal footing. Checking and asking your partner from time to time if something is okay is a great way to make sure they want to continue. Taking notice of your partner’s facial expressions or body language can also help determine if they feel uncomfortable, and if they are, it is important to set boundaries. If your partner says “no,” or feels unsure about an activity, acknowledging and being understanding of their decision is highly pivotal. 

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