Consent

In simple terms, sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity. This agreement comes with conditions though. Planned Parenthood uses the FRIES acronym to explain the conditions of consent:

Freely given

This means that you agree to sexual activity without pressure, manipulation or influence of drugs or alcohol. Everyone involved must have full consciousness.

Reversible

Just because someone agreed to sexual activity doesn’t mean they can’t change their mind. This includes in the middle of sex. The second you or your partner has a change of heart, everything stops.

Informed

You have the full picture. If you agree to sexual activity with a condom but then the person doesn’t use a condom, that’s not informed consent.

Enthusiastic

You want to do this. You really want to do this. Consent requires an enthusiastic yes, because you want to participate in the activity, not because you think you should or those involved are pressuring you.

Specific

Just because you’ve consented to one sexual activity doesn’t mean you’ve consented to others. Consent is required for every sexual activity.

On campus, the Sexual Assault Support Centre is the best resource for information on consent and healthy sexual relationships. Its webpage (amssasc.ca) has lists of support resources, definitions and many services ranging from crisis and emotional support, advocacy support, education services and a Healthier Masculinities program.