Relationships and consent
Going out with someone or being in a relationship can make you feel many different things - happiness, nervousness, excitement and love. Sometimes it can also be confusing, especially when it comes to intimacy and sex. Intimacy is when two people become physically, sexually and/ or emotionally close.
Consent and intimate relationships
Consent is when one person agrees or gives permission to another person to do something. It means agreeing to an action based on your knowledge of what that action involves, its possible consequences and having the option of saying no.
Questions you could ask:
1. Is there anything that you don’t want to do?
2. Are you happy with this?
3. Are you comfortable?
4. Do you want to stop?
5. Do you want to go further?
Recognising non-verbal communication
The look on someone’s face and their body language are also ways of communicating how they feel, and often have more meaning than the words they say. Asking questions and being aware of body language helps you to recognise if the person you’re with is consenting and feeling comfortable, or not consenting and feeling uncomfortable. If you get a negative or non-committal answer, then you should stop what you are doing and talk to them about it.
Slowing things down
Taking your time, making sure you are both comfortable, and talking about how far you want to go will make the time you spend together a lot more satisfying and enjoyable for both of you.
You always have the right to say ‘no’ and you always have the right to change your mind at any time regardless of your past experiences with other people or the person you are with. Below are some things you can say or do if you want to stop:
1. Say ‘no’
2. Say ‘I want to stop’
3. Say ‘I need to go to the toilet’