As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may have plans to meet up with a significant other or sexual partner to celebrate the holiday. Although Valentine’s Day can be an exciting time for people, it is also a time for which the topic of consent is extremely important.
What is Consent?
Consent is a mutual agreement between two people that should occur prior and during sexual relations. Consent is not a simple “yes” or “no” answer, rather it can look different for everyone. Some examples of consent are:
- Asking permission before changing activities. (ex. Is it okay if I...?)
- Being sure that both parties are interested in participating.
- Setting boundaries
- Creating a safe environment, where the people involved are aware the event can stop at any time.
It is important to note that consent is essential to any healthy relationship.
Consent is not…
Based on someone’s appearance or personality (revealing clothing, flirting, kissing, etc)
Binding if one or more of the participating parties are intoxicated.
Accepting that someone has explicitly said “no” and continuing anyways.
Before participating in any activities this Valentines Day and beyond, it is important to be certain that everything is consensual, and that all parties have agreed to participate.
If you need support, Student Health and Wellness has many resources available to students. For more information on the resources available to you, click here.
- Makayla Foster, Peer Wellness Educator Lead