What is NOT considered consent
No means no, no matter when you say it. But when it comes to consent, it’s not just about saying no, it’s about saying yes too – saying what we are and are not comfortable with regarding our bodies and sexuality. It’s also about communicating with our partners to respect our wishes and not to do anything until we give explicit consent. Remember: without consent from BOTH people, any sexual act committed is a sexual assault or rape.
So, what is NOT considered consent? Here’s what consent is not Choma.
Consent is not keeping quiet
Just because someone is keeping quiet, it doesn’t mean that they are comfortable with what’s happening. Many people may keep quiet out of fear or discomfort. Sometimes, even peer pressure can lead us to keep quiet when we’re feeling uncomfortable with what’s happening. Choma, don’t be involved in anything that you’re not ready for just because you want to fit in, be popular or to keep bae happy.
Consent is not automatic
Just because you give your consent to one sexual act, doesn’t mean you automatically give consent to something else. Agreeing to kiss doesn’t mean you’re agreeing to grope. Removing your clothes and agreeing to foreplay doesn’t mean you’re agreeing to have sex. It’s important that your partner never assumes that they have permission to proceed further without checking. It’s also important to never assume that your partner understands your signals – be clear.
Consent is not forced or coerced
Ever had someone beg or nag you until you agreed to have sex with them? This is not consent, Choma. In situations like this people often say yes because they feel like they don’t have any other choice or they think they will lose their boyfriend if they choose to not have sex. Consent is about acknowledging a person’s choice and respecting their decision.
Consent is not given while unconscious
Think about this for a second, if a person is drunk or under the influence of drugs, are they actually giving consent? When we are under the influence, our rational thoughts and inhibitions are compromised leading us to agree to things we might not usually want to do. Having sex with someone who is too drunk to make a rational decision, or even worse, passes out, is wrong and is an act of sexual assault. If you are on the other end of that situation, respect your partner and refuse to go further until they are sober and thinking clearly.
Consent is not forever
Just because someone said yes today, it doesn’t automatically mean yes tomorrow. Each situation is unique and should be treated that way. Also, giving consent doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind and take it back if you start to feel uncomfortable, or don’t want things to go any further.
Consent is not ill-informed
If you give consent not knowing that your partner has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) including HIV or isn’t using protection, or even if they have other partners you are not aware of, you are not giving informed consent. The truth is, you are consenting to a fictitious situation and this is not right. Would you agree to have sex with the person if they told you they had an STI? Probably not. By not telling you, they are robbing you of your right to choose knowing all the facts – their withholding information means you haven’t really consented.
Consent is about giving permission for people to do things that you are comfortable with. Take the time to think about what you will allow and what you are ok with. At the end of the day, it’s your body, your choice.
Do you need more information on consent? Remember that you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)
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