It’s getting cold up in the Northeast, and you might already be on the lookout for a cuddle buddy. Whether your sexual partner (or partners wink wink) are a recent tinder prowl, an old friend, or a returning lover, it’s never a bad idea to touch up on the basics of consent.
Why is consent important?
Asking for consent can be tender and intimate. It helps us make sure everyone is feeling safe and having fun - because why have sex otherwise? There is always a way to ensure all parties involved in a sexual act, whether it’s vanilla sex or power play, are fully consenting adults. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in ugly territory. Sexual violence and harassment don’t happen in one single way. There doesn’t need to be a weapon involved or a full blown fight for it to be rape. Sometimes the perpetrator is a long time romantic partner.
Consent is never implied and is always clearly communicated, so ask for it.
The FRIES acronym from Planned Parenthood.
Consent is a choice you make without pressure, coercion, manipulation or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.
You can only consent to something if you have the full story. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.
When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do. So if it's not a resounding YES, then it's a no.
Saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you’ve said yes to others (like having sex).
There are resources that can help you heal. The RAINN organization has a list organized by state. You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline from anywhere in the US at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673) or call 202-544-3064 to reach the RAINN business office. You can also check out resources on your respective college or university campus if you’re an enrolled student.
Talk to our nurse practitioners and OBGYNs about getting an STI screening or book your video visit with a therapist. We’re here for you - you can use our chat feature or video visits to connect with a caring provider.