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Consent is a mutual verbal, physical, and emotional agreement that happens without manipulation, threats, or head games.
Consent is a whole body experience. It is not just a verbal “yes” or “no” – it involves paying attention to your partner as a person and checking in with physical and emotional cues as well.
Consent is also mutual (both people have to agree) and must be continuous. You can stop at any time, you can change your mind, and just because you said yes to one thing doesn’t mean you have consented to anything else.
At Project Respect, we believe that everyone has the right to sexuality without violence and as part of that, we believe that positive sexuality begins with enthusiastic consent. This means being as excited and into someone else’s enjoyment as we are excited and into our own enjoyment. Only yes means yes – and yes should come from an engaged and enthusiastic partner.
One blogger writes:
“Consent isn't a question. It's a state. If, instead of lovers, the two of you were synchronized swimmers, consent would be the water. It's not enough to jump in, get wet and climb out -- if you want to swim, you have to be in the water continually. And if you want to have sex, you have to be continually in a state of enthusiastic consent with your partner.”
Consent and open communication are key to positive sexual experiences for everyone involved.
Remember: Only Yes Means Yes
Just because you dressed a certain way…
Just because you like each other…
Just because you didn’t say anything…
Just because you’ve done it before…
Just because you’re a man…
Just because you got wasted…
Just because you went on a date…
Doesn’t mean yes! Only yes means yes!