What is Sexual Consent?
In the UK, the age of sexual consent is 16. Sexual consent is an agreement to a sexual experience – be it touching someone, kissing someone, or having full sex with them.
- In order to give consent, a person must have both the freedom and the capacity to make a choice – this means that they’re not being pressured by external influences and they do not lack capacity (eg. through being intoxicated, drugged or unconscious)
- Sexual activity without consent is a crime
In any sexual situation, it is important to know exactly what a person has said yes to and what a person has said no to, and to not take advantage of that person’s consent by pushing the boundaries beyond their comfort zone.
When is it a Yes?
A clear yes can include verbal responses such as “Yes” or “I’d like that”, even “Go on” or “Do it” but there are also non-verbal signs that help you understand that a person likes what you are doing such as leaning in to you, touching back and being in sync with your movements. If you are unsure then always get the verbal reassurance and keep asking “Is this ok?”