SEX: Consent

What is consent?

Consent is giving your permission, or agreeing to something, after you have thought carefully about whether or not you want it.

To be able to give your consent you should be sure that it is your decision and not one you have been pressured to make.

The law in Britain says that both people need to give their consent before they have sex and before any physical closeness.

The law in Britain also says that to consent to sex a person must be over 16, be able to make informed decisions and have the capacity to choose.

Sex should be shared and enjoyed by both people involved


When it comes to sex or physical closeness you should feel safe with your partner, trust your partner and feel that they would respect you whatever your decision.

Good communication between you and your partner will help to ensure you know how your partner feels about sex or physical closeness. It is a good idea to check things out with your partner by asking if they are enjoying what you are doing and asking if they want to continue.

Reading body language is also important. If your partner is relaxed it is likely that they feel comfortable. If they are tense, they may be nervous, or frightened and are trying hard not to show you how they really feel.

That is why it is good to ask...If you are not sure how they are feeling - you should stop.


When it comes to sex and physical closeness, remember....

  • You don't have to have sex....many people prefer to wait.
  • You always have the right to say ‘no' to sex or physical closeness
  • You control your body and have the right to decide what you are comfortable with

Also remember...

  • You do not have a ‘right' to have sex
  • Sex should not be something you ‘do' to someone, or something you ‘get'
  • Sex should never be used to try to control someone else
  • Sex should not be a competition with your mates
  • Being sexually assaulted or raped is never the victim's fault.