What is Consent?

Check out this new video made in America for college students. Latest research has found that one in five women may be sexually assaulted during college years and 40% of men admit to using coercive methods.

Consent is  permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

Consent to sex is when you freely and voluntary agree to engage in sexual activity. This means communicating yes on your own terms.


What is not consent; silence, being passed out, fear or being made to feel too scared to say no.

You’ve probably heard, “no means no” before. Just relying on hearing the word “no” isn’t enough because there are many other ways to communicate no. A person doesn’t have to scream, kick you away or run off to communicate ‘no.’ It can also be freezing up, rolling away, silence or saying they’re too tired, tensing up, not moving, stiffening of muscles. Sometimes people don’t feel like they can say no even though they want to.



One of the best ways to know for sure that someone is consenting is to ask questions like;

  • Are you happy with this?
  • Is this okay?
  • Do you want to stop?
  • Do you want to go further?

If you find yourself in a sexual situation that you’re not sure about and you don’t know how or don’t feel safe to say no, then trying saying;


  • Can we stay like this for while?
  • Can we slow down?
  • I want to stop
  • I only want to kiss/hug etc for now..

You have not consented to sex if;

  • you were asleep or unconscious, or had been drinking or taking drugs and were not aware of what was going on.
  • you are in a relationship and said ‘no’ to having sex.
  • Someone put drugs in your drink and you were not aware of what was going on.
  • The perpetrator used or threatened to use force against you or someone else.
  • The perpetrator bullied you, for example, by threatening to leave you in a deserted area at night.
  • You thought what was happening was for medical reasons, for example, if a health practitioner gave you an unnecessary and inappropriate examination.
  • The person held them against your  will by taking you away, keeping you somewhere, or locking you in a room.
  • You were afraid of the person and what they might do to you or someone else.


Coercion is used in manipulating people to have sex until they give in. Coercing someone into sex is sexual assault.  Examples of coercion are;

  • pressuring (e.g. repeatedly asking someone until they are worn down)
  • threatening (e.g. “I’ll break up with you if you don’t have sex with me”)
  • intimidating (e.g. smashing something when someone says “no”)
  • blackmailing (e.g. “I’ll tell everyone you’re gay if you don’t”)
  • guilt-tripping (e.g “If you really loved me you would have sex with me”)

Coercion is when the person is not given the space to freely say “no.”

Our society often doesn’t take consent seriously, just look at phrases like “playing hard to get.” If there’s no clear consent then it is sexual assault or rape.

If someone is kissing you or has gone back to your house it doesn’t mean they have consented to intercourse and they can change their mind at any time.

Under Australian law consent to sexual activity must be ‘free and voluntary’. There are certain instances where there is no consent to sexual activity, or where consent is vitiated. These are;

  1. lack of capacity to consent, including because a person is asleep or unconscious, or so affected by alcohol or other drugs as to be unable to consent;
  2. the actual use of force, threatened use of force against the complainant or another person, which need not involve physical violence or physical harm;
  3. unlawful detention;
  4. mistaken identity and mistakes as to the nature of the act (including mistakes generated by the fraud or deceit of the accused); and
  5. any position of authority or power, intimidation or coercive conduct.

Consent is hot! Consensual sex is dam sexy! Understanding consent is important when we want to enjoy great sex and healthy relationships.

If any of this blog has brought up issues for you, please get in touch here for a chat. 
I look forward to hearing from you,



One thought on “What is Consent?

  1. “I’ll break up with you if you don’t have sex with me” may look like a threat, but legally it isn’t considered one because the threatened behaviour isn’t illegal. People have the right to break up with whomever they want for whatever reasons they have.

    Compare it to the threat “I’ll break your arm if you don’t have sex with me”, which contains the threat of assault, or “I’ll tell everyone you’re a paedophile if you don’t have sex with me”, which contains the threat of slander or defamation, depending on your jurisdiction.

    To preclude consent, the threat must be tantamount to extortion, which requires the element of threatened illegal behaviour. Otherwise it’s just being a coercive asshole, which, while immoral, is not illegal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s