Things You Should Know about Consent

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Consent is an agreement between participants regarding what they want and don’t want to happen in a given practice (scene). Basically, it is the fruit of honest communication and negotiation. Here are 5 things you should know about consent: We hope you find them useful.

First of all, you should understand that consent is a complex concept. Consent is rarely as easy as a simple “yes” or a simple “no.” It’s not a stamp that you can print in a minute. Quite the opposite, true consent requires a long conversation between participants. That’s why we always suggest taking your time to plan a scene and discuss consent and limits.

Second consideration, you are never forced to consent. Even though the other participants might have strong expectations of you, it is your decision to consent. And you always have the option to say “no.” If your partner really wants to try something, but you’re not ready, you are entitled to refuse. Actually, you may never be ready for that, and your partner has to understand it.

Consent is not a free pass. You consent to one specific activity. Each new session or activity requires renewed consent. Of course, for long-term partners, this will be easier, but it’s never optional. So, whatever you may have agreed to in the past doesn’t count toward your current decision. You have all the right to decide that you no longer want to consent to something to which you consented before.

Coercion is not consent. If you feel intimidated, manipulated, pressured, or deceived to consent, then that’s not true consent. Remember, consent is the result of an honest, free conversation; otherwise, it is manipulation and, therefore, not valid.

You can always ask for things to stop. And you can do this at any point before, during, or after the scene. For whatever reason, you always have the right to ask for a halt. And your partner should respect that.

Do you agree with these 5 things you should know about consent?