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Asking for Consent

 

Show your partner that you respect him/her enough to ask about her/his sexual needs and desires. If you are not accustomed to communicating with your partner about sex and sexual activity, the first few times may feel awkward. But, practice helps. Be creative and spontaneous. Don't give up. The more times you have these conversations with your partner, the more comfortable you will become communicating about sex and sexual activity. Your partner may also find the situation awkward at first, but over time you will both be more secure in yourselves and your relationship.

When?  Before you act. It is the responsibility of the person initiating a sex act to obtain clear consent. Whenever you are unsure if consent has been given, ask. Check in throughout. Giving consent ahead of time does not waive a person's right to change their mind or say no later.

How?  Consent is not just about getting a yes or no answer, but understanding what a partner is feeling. Ask open-ended questions. Listen to and respect your partner's response, whether you hear yes or no: "I'd really like to ...., how does that sound?"  "How does this feel?"  "What would you like to do?"