It’s not just celebrities who cross the line when it comes to sexual consent; this can happen to anyone in any area and, as part of Sexual Health Week, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is supporting the advice from the Family Planning Association from 24-30 September.
This year’s theme is all about consent; listening, negotiating and enthusiastically agreeing to sexual activity.
Learning ways to ask whether a partner is enthusiastic and excited about having sex with you is key to a healthy sex life. Some people worry that asking for consent might “ruin the mood”, but it can actually be a fun way to turn consent into an essential start to any sexual activity.
Asking for consent
Ways to ask for consent include:
- Do you want me to...?
- Would you like it if I...?
- Is it okay if I...?
- How do you feel about...?
- Do you want to try...?
- Do you want me to keep going?
Don’t be afraid of being direct. Being honest is the best way to understand what you both want.
What can often be more difficult and make people feel awkward is not giving consent. It’s important to be equipped with ways to do this too.
Ways to say “no” include:
- I would prefer not to...
- I would rather not...
- I don’t know how I feel about this
- I don’t think I’m ready for that
- Maybe another time, but not now
- I would prefer it if we...
- I would feel more comfortable if...
- I don’t want to do this anymore
- This isn’t working for me
Sometimes, refusing consent can be intimidating or confusing if you’re unsure or would like to say yes in the future, but remember that you always have the right to say no.
Isabel Carrick, public health lead for sexual health at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The Sexual Health Week campaign on consent provides a welcome emphasis on positive sexual health.
“Helping young people to develop self esteem and healthy relationships can deliver lifelong benefits for physical and emotional well-being.”
For more information on sexual healthvisit www.eastriding.gov.uk and type ‘sexual health advice’ into the search bar.
You can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #SHW18.
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