Sometimes people think they’re consenting to sexual activity but they can’t actually give enthusiastic consent.
They’re asleep or unconsciousThey’re asleep or unconscious
They lack mental capacityThey lack mental capacity
They’re under the influence of drugs or alcoholThey’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol
They feel pressured or forcedThey feel pressured or forced
They’re too youngThey’re too young
They’re relatedThey’re related
There’s a difference in powerThere’s a difference in power
If you’re in a sexual relationship, are you giving enthusiastic consent?
There are lots of reasons why people feel they should agree to sexual activity, even if they’re not sure it is what they really want.
Here are a few examples of reasons why someone might agree to sex, even if they aren’t really sure or giving their full consent:
- because I can’t decide whether I really want to
- because I am under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- because none of the adults around me seem worried about it
- because I’ve been threatened or hurt, or they won’t stop asking me
- because they are giving me something that is important to me and I am worried if I say “no” then they might stop giving it to me
- because everyone else is doing it
- because I need something (money, a place to stay, help) from the other person
Are any of these true for you? If so, you may want to pause and think about whether you’re really giving your full consent.
Maybe after reading all of this, you think you’ve been involved in sexual activity when you didn’t really want to. Perhaps you realise you yourself weren’t able to give consent.
Or maybe you’ve been involved in sexual activity with someone else who wasn’t able to give consent.