Sexual Consent: What you should have learned in Health Class

What is Appropriate Sexual Consent?

Rule 1: Only an enthusiastic yes means yes. Everything else is no. Consent means hearing the word “yes.” Silence isn’t consent. “Maybe” isn’t consent. “I guess so” isn’t consent and if you hear no, you stop whatever you are doing.

Rule 2: Permission is non-negotiable. Getting permission to do one thing doesn’t mean you have permission to do the next. Just because your hand is under someone’s shirt doesn’t mean that it’s okay to move your hand into someone’s pants. Unless you’re in a relationship, with a set of planned out rules – every time the intimacy goes to the next level you need consent.

Some people might say, “That’s not romantic. That totally breaks the flow,” but by both of you what know you’re doing and what you want, there’s likely to be more pleasure for everyone.

Rule 3: Talk about it. Don’t make assumptions about what someone is comfortable with in general or sexually. It’s up to both of you to learn each other’s limits. That’s why you ask questions like “Do you feel comfortable moving to the next level?” Trust is key. Never assume you have a yes; it’s not up to the other person to say “no”; it’s up to you to listen for the “yes”.

Rule 4: No one can’t give consent if they are drunk or stoned. If a person is too intoxicated to know what they are doing, then they can’t give consent.

Rule 5: “No” means stop. If a person decides in the middle of an intimate moment that they don’t want to continue all previous yes’s are null and void. Whatever you were doing comes to an end, until you’re both consenting again.

Rule 6: Date with empathy. Every approach, every sexual encounter, every romance you are part of, do your best to ensure that the person not only enjoys the experience but that it enriches their lives and is better off for having had it.

Rule 7: Be safe and compassionate: Safe sex is mandatory. However, there is no such thing as safe love. Every relationship you enter is a risk of the heart, but many are well worth the reward.

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