This year's Sexual Health Week is all about consent, a topic that underpins relationships, sexual health and wellbeing. It’s more than just saying “no” to something you don’t want to do, it’s about listening, discussing, and actively agreeing.
Here at HANX we believe that sex is brilliant. Sex should be fun and positive and we should feel comfortable caring for this important aspect of our wellness. And it all starts with consent.
What is consent?
Consent is giving permission for something to happen, or the agreement to do something.
What about sexual consent?
Consent in sex is actively agreeing to be sexual with someone. The crux here is that sexual activity without consent is rape or sexual assault.
This is why it is super important to be honest with your partner about what you want and what you don’t want. This is central to what we believe at HANX, not only to ensure you’re not doing anything you’re uncomfortable with, but also to ensure pleasure and enjoyment.
- Informed. You can only consent to something if you know what it is you’re consenting to. If someone says they’ll use a condom, for example, and then they don’t, that’s not full consent.
- Your choice.This is freely given without manipulation, and without the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Reversible. You can change your mind about what you want, at any time, even if it’s about something you’ve done before.
- Something you wantto do. With sex you should only be doing something you want to, not what you think you should be doing or feel you are expected to do.
- Specific to one thing. For example, saying yes to heading to the bedroom and kissing doesn’t mean you’re saying yes to have sex.
Consent is NOT influenced by:
- what you wear
- how you have behaved in the past
- where you go
- being silent
Ultimately, you are in control of your body, and are in control of what happens to or with it. Your partner needs to respect that if you say “stop” at any time, it means stop, regardless of what has happened previously.