• Nicole Escobar

What Is Consent?

What is consent? Consent means to agree to be sexual with someone. Any sexual activity without consent is considered sexual abuse, rape, or sexual assault. You have boundaries that others must respect, and it’s only when you consent to have sex with someone else that you agree to engage in sexual activity.

Choice. To consent is to decide to have sex without being pressured, coarse, or manipulated. Sex is an act that must be consented and agreed upon by two individuals. Therefore, it’s a choice that should be respected. In the case that it is not then it’s a violation of your boundaries, thus considered abuse.

Reversible choice. Let’s say that you’ve consented, but then you start feeling bad right before engaging in sexual activity or during, can you change your mind? Yes, absolutely. You have all the right to change your mind and communicate what you feel.

Wanted Engagement. You should always consent to have sex because you want to not because you feel like you have to or because it may be expected of you.

Be specific. Let’s say you’ve consented to go into a bathroom, to a bedroom, or somewhere secluded to kiss and make out with someone; this does not mean that you’ve agreed to have sex. You must specify to your partner what your boundaries are at all times. Remember that consent must be communicated in many ways and what you want to do must be known to your partner.

If you have a partner or are dating someone, your view on sex, and what you desire in the short and long-term must be communicated at all times. Please note that consent does not depend on what you wear, past behavior, or where you go. It is a choice that one renders to another individual as permission for sex. You get the final say about what happens to your body.

Also, be aware that there are laws set in place that inform who can consent and who cannot. For instance, if you are drunk, drugged, or passed out, you cannot agree to sex because you’re not in a complete state of consciousness. Inhibitions are down and your ability to consent is at that point hindered. Also, the age of consent varies depending on where you are located as far as the city, state or country. Adults who have sex with those who are considered minors face jail time and are considered child abuse because it’s sexual activity with a minor.

Nowadays, all this information must be discussed with our youth so that they can take control of their bodies, set boundaries, and feel empowered to say no when the times call for it.

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