Consent can be defined in it’s easiest form as the permission or agreement to do something. And this, is very important in any sexual relationship. As we continue with #16DaysofActivism, I wanted us to reflect on the importance of consent.
What is Consent?
Like I said above, it is the permission given to do something. In a sexual relationship however, it is obtained permission to indulge in any sexual activity. Consent is meant to be clearly communicated. It does not come with doubt, or as a result of manipulation. Consent is freely given.
One major problem with a lot of sexual relationships is entitlement. Partners tend to be entitled over each other. The problem is, they end up being entitled to their bodies as well.
Problems worsen when sex is forced on one another. We all need to understand that none consensual sex is nothing but rape.
Most times, I wish we learned about it as early as primary school. It is important that every child understands consent. In Malawi, we have lifeskills as a subject that starts from primary to secondary school. However, everyone that has gone through our education system will agree that not much on the topic is covered.
Don’t get me wrong, there are topics on sex and rape. But, they are not as vital and informative as one would wish them be. It would be great to teach kids about such topics while they are young. Both girls and boys need to appreciate the importance of consent.
Read the posts on #16DaysofActivism:
Affirmations for consensual sexual activities
No means No, means No means NO! When your partner says “maybe,” then they did not consent to the sex. Remember, just because you are in a relationship with them does not mean you have a pass to every sexual flavor.
There will be times when your girlfriend or boyfriend will not want to indulge. Once they make it known to you that they don’t feel like it, it means you should stop. That is not an open gate for you to manipulate their bodies to wanting to. A lot of partners will go forward to give oral sex as a way of making someone want to. Once that is done, it is important to know that you have started your journey of being a perpetrator. Because, that is SEXUAL VIOLENCE.
When you want to have any sexual activity with your partner, it is important to get CONSENT. Any affirmation they make to you needs to be clearly communicated and honest. It needs to be given on each level of intimacy.
For example, you might engage in oral sex, but if one denies penetration, there choices are meant to be respected. If one withdraws during sex, then it is allowed. Consent cannot be carried over from one stage to the other.
Get the right affirmations from your partners. Make sure that their consent is reflected not only using their words, but through their body language as well. Sometimes, the mouth might say Yes while the body screams No. Be very conscious of that.
Always remember, non-consensual sex or sexual activity can either be regarded as rape or sexual violence.
SO, always get consent before delving in any sexual activity because consent is key.
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