What Is Consent And Why It's Important You Understand What It Means For A Successful Relationship

By Zeest Qureshi | 14 Dec, 2017

Consent has become a big topic of discussion after all the sexual harassment discussion that has come to the forefront all over the world. With people calling out sexual predators and detailing their encounters, it is important to understand that accusations are stemming from victims of sexual assault wanting to inform what behavior constitutes sexual deviance and harassment.

People often assume that there is no need for a conversation on consent after marriage. This is misguided since it is always important to seek your partner’s permission before moving forward with any sexual act.

 

What is Consent?

Consent is the process of asking your partner for permission before you proceed to have sex. This is the most basic definition of consent but there are different types of consent and understanding that is vital to really understand what it means for your relationship with others and when you may cross that line between sexual partner and sexual predator.

consent_defined
Source: concordia.edu

 

Types of Consent

Explicit consent:

This is when your partner explicitly says that they want to go through with a sexual act and you move forward in mutual agreement. However, this should be repeatedly sought on every stage of the sexual act. Keep asking questions like, “May I touch you?” or “Can I do this?” as these will make your partner more comfortable and you both will be at ease.

Source: Marria Khan / MangoBaaz

 

Implied Consent:

This form of consent usually stems from foreplay because when you take time to involve your partner in an intimate environment and make them more comfortable, it might become obvious to you that they are interested in going further and that is an implication of consent even if they do not say it explicitly.

However, just because someone isn’t saying no doesn’t mean that they have given you their consent so understand the signs.

Source: Marria Khan / MangoBaaz

 

Change of Consent:

It is highly possible that your partner may have implied their consent in the beginning but withdraw it in the middle of sex and it is important for you to stop and ask them if something is making them uncomfortable or if they want to stop altogether. This is a concept that most people fail to understand and it is important to realize that consent can be withdrawn at any point of a sexual encounter.

Source: Marria Khan / MangoBaaz

 

How to take consent?

This is often the most confusing part of the concept. There are two things you need to ask yourself before determining consent.

Does my partner wish to give consent?

The only way to know for sure is to ask! Ask your partner if they are in the mood to engage in any sexual activity but there are other ways to tell as well. For instance, if they are seem to be reciprocating your advances then that means they are also interested in moving forward but do not take this consent for granted as it may change at any point. You need to be mindful of their facial expressions and body language. This will be an indicator of their willingness to keep going.

Is my partner capable of giving consent?

If your partner is in a state of mind where they are not capable of giving consent then you should not make any sexual advances at all. Instances of these can include intoxicants of all sorts and heavy medication. Choose a partner who is mature enough to understand the consequences of saying “yes” and has the mindset to say “No”.

Source: Marria Khan / MangoBaaz

There are things you should never assume as consent. If a person has consented to sex in the past does not mean that you no longer need to seek permission every time. Silence is often taken for granted as consent which is problematic because the person still needs to be asked if they are willing to move forward. Sex is an incredibly intimate act that needs to have a proper approach.

We hope this information on consent helps you understand your partner and helps your partner understand you.

 

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Cover image via: videohive.net

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