Consent is the agreement of two people to have any kind of sexual activity together. It also means that any person can decide at any time that they want to stop. It seems clear and simple. But is it really like that?
Consent is primarily based on communication between each other. It is a way to listen to your partner’s needs and feelings and letting him or her know how you feel. Consent is exploring your and respecting other’s people boundaries. Consent means care and respect for each other and wishes to make the sexual relationship as pleasurable as possible for both.
Consent involves both genders. It is not reserved for men or for women only. It is equally valid for both sides and genders. Everyone has a say during intimacy to set the pace they feel comfortable with.
Consent is always orientated to the present moment. It means that at this particular time, you would like to engage in this particular sexual behavior. The consent for one behavior does not mean, however, consenting on anything else or obligation to consent on any other occasion. Nobody is ever obligated to give consent just because they have done so in the past.
Consent equally matters if you are engaged in sexual activity for the first time, you are in a relationship or married; consent should be given every time. No consent, essentially creates the foundations for the definition of sexual assault and rape.
Your body is the most intimate and precious thing you have and you have right to feel safe and comfortable with it.
Sometimes you may feel pressure to do something or made to feel guilty for not doing something. Remember, that is not consent.
– Gabija Kisieliūtė is a third year psychology at the University of Vytautas Magnus in Lithuania. She is following a Bachelors degree in Psychology. Her main interests are family psychology and aging. She is participating in a summer internship programme at Willingness.com.mt.