What is consent?

  • Consent is described as permission or an agreement to something. 
  • Consent is saying yes and meaning it.
  • Consent is knowing what you are agreeing to.

So, if you believe that you are ready to have sex, it is imperative that both you and your partner provide consent. In other words, you must make sure you both agree that you want to have sex before proceeding.  This means all forms of sex, including kissing, touching and eventually intercourse.

Why is consent important?

  • Asking for and receiving consent shows respect for yourself and your partner.
  • It eliminates the power position one partner might feel over the other.
  • It allows you to respect your own boundaries as well as everyone’s boundaries around you – how far are you prepared to go and how far are they willing to go?

What consent is NOT:

  • Agreeing to having sex once does not mean yes every time. This is not a standing order!
  • Agreeing to having sex and then changing your mind – you are allowed to change your mind at any stage of having sex, even at the last minute!
  • Agreeing to kiss your partner but now they want to take it a step further.
  • Silence is not consent – just because you did not say no, this does not mean yes.
  • If you are drunk or high, you are not able to give consent as you are not thinking clear enough to make a responsible decision.
  • Passing out from alcohol or drugs is not consent! This is rape! – Alcohol is the number one date rape drug, and this happens far too many times when the person has lost consciousness.
  • Being forced to say yes is not giving consent. It must be given of your own free will. It is your right to give consent or not!

For example: “Brian asks Lucy if she wants to hold his hand and she says no.  This means NO! This does not mean that Brian can continue to pressure Lucy and grab for her hand. No Means No! Brian and Lucy both must respect each others’ boundaries. 

Contact the FASD Prevention Conversation Facilitator in your area for more information on consent.