How do UGA students
make consent sexy?
"I make consent sexy by having a conversation with my partner about our sex life. This includes talking about: what I do and do not feel comfortable doing, any health concerns we might have, using protection, and the importance of being honest with one another. Communication is the key!"
"Talking about it before it happens."
"Always respect what people want -- and start doing this by first making sure everyone's wants are out in the open!"
"By waiting for him to get that special look in his eye and ask me first."
"Communicating with your sexual partner, which shows them that you respect them and that you're being honest and open."
"Mutual respect, honor, appreciation, intimacy, foreplay, understanding, communication, dialogue"
Consent Is Sexy
What is consent?
- Consent is a voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement
- Consent is an active agreement: Consent cannot be coerced
- Consent is a process, which must be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy, just ask
- Consent is never implied and cannot be assumed, even in the context of a relationship. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that you have permission to have sex with your partner
- A person who is intoxicated cannot legally give consent. If you're too drunk to make decisions and communicate with your partner, you're too drunk to consent
- The absence of a "no" doesn't mean "yes"
- Both people should be involved in the decision to have sex
- Consent is an important part of healthy sexuality
- It is not sexy to have sex without consent!!
What is sexy?
- Challenging myths about sex and consent, such as the stud vs. slut stereotype
- Communicating with your partner about sex
- To know and be able to communicate the type of sexual relationship you want
- Knowing how to protect yourself and your partner against pregnancy and STIs
- Acknowledging that you and your partner(s) have sexual needs and desires: Yes, it is okay for women and men to both want and enjoy sex
- Knowing your personal beliefs and values and respecting your partner's personal beliefs and values
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Challenges stereotypes that rape is a women's issue
- Challenging sexism
"Never assume. Ask before you proceed. A good lover is a good listener. A bad listener is at best a bad lover and at worst a rapist." 1
Why is consent sexy?
Asking for and obtaining consent...
- Shows that you have respect for both yourself and your partner
- Enhances communication, respect, and honesty, which make sex and relationships better
- Gives the ability to know and communicate about the type of sexual relationship you want
- Aids in protecting yourself and your partner against STIs and pregnancy
- Provides the opportunity to acknowledge that you and your partner(s) have sexual needs and desires
- Allows for you to identify personal beliefs and values and respect your partner's personal beliefs and values
- Builds confidence and self-esteem
- Promotes positive views on sex and sexuality
- Is empowering
- Eliminates the entitlement that one partner might feel over another
- Challenges traditional stereotypes that sexual assault is a "women's issue"
- Challenges sexism and traditional views on gender and sexuality
How can you make consent sexy?
Show your partner that you respect her/him enough to ask about her/his sexual needs and desires. If you are not accustomed to communicating with your partner about sex and sexual activity the first few times may feel awkward. But, practice makes perfect. Be creative and spontaneous. Don't give up. The more times you have these conversations with your partner, the more comfortable you will become communicating about sex and sexual activity. Your partner may also find the situation awkward at first, but over time you will both be more secure in yourselves and your relationship.
How do you know if the person you're with has given consent?
The only way to know for sure if someone has given consent is if they tell you. One of the best ways to determine if someone is uncomfortable with any situation, especially with a sexual one, is to simply ask. Here are some examples of the questions you might ask:
- Is there anything you don't want to do?
- I really want to hug/kiss... you. Can I? What do you want to do with me?
- Have you ever...? Would you like to try it with me?
- Are you comfortable?
- Do you want to stop?
- Do you want to go further?
Alcohol, Drugs & Consent: What if the person you're with is too out of it to give consent?
Alcohol and other drugs (including marijuana) can affect a person's ability to make decisions, including whether or not they want to be sexual with someone else. It also impairs the ability to give consent and one's ability to accurately interpret whether the other person you're with is capable of giving consent.
It's also important to know that often perpetrators use alcohol as a way to target individuals and to "excuse" their own actions. Alcohol does not cause someone to be abusive. Sexual violence and assault is about power and control, not the result of alcohol usage.
How do you recognizing non-verbal communication?
Remember, an absence of "no" does not mean "yes."
Here are some ways that your partner's body language can let you know that you do NOT have consent:
- Not responding to your touch
- Pushing you away
- Holding their arms tightly around their bodies
- Turning away from you or hiding their face
- Stiffening muscles
Are things moving too quickly?
If you are starting to feel uncomfortable, you always have the right to slow things down or stop altogether. Here are things you could say to let your partner know that you don't want to go any further:
- I don't want to go any further than kissing, hugging, touching
- Can we stay like this for a while?
- Can we slow down?
Below are some things you can say or do if you want to stop:
- I want to stop
- I'm not comfortable doing this anymore
- That's enough for now
- I need to go to the bathroom
How can you get more information?
Michele Passonno, Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, Health Promotion Department, email@example.com, 706-542-8690
1. Yisrael, D.S. (2005, June). Wimps, studs, virgins, and bad girls: How gender roles affect sexual health and everything else. Session conducted at the annual meeting of the American College Health Association, San Diego, CA.