Consent is an agreement between you and other people defining what you want to do together. We can practice consent in our daily lives, whether we are asking a new coworker if they are okay being hugged or we are telling someone we met on Grindr what we’re comfortable with sexually.
When it comes to sexual relationships, consent ensures that everyone gets what they want without being harmed. Consent is all about open communication, and it happens in two ways: obtaining and providing consent.
Obtaining consent means getting explicit, enthusiastic confirmation that your partner feels safe, affirmed, and is enjoying themselves. This can be achieved in several ways, including asking questions (“May I take your shirt off…”) and making suggestions (“I’d like to kiss you, would that be ok?”). Checking in with your partner and receiving their consent will ensure that you know and respect each other’s boundaries.
Providing consent means letting your partner know that you are enjoying yourself and are ok with everything that is happening. You can provide consent with verbal affirmations like “yes” as well as nonverbal cues that indicate pleasure and let your partner know you’re having a good experience.
It’s important to remember that consent is always reversible. Have you ever said something to someone on Grindr and felt different when you met in person? You can change your mind about what you want to do at any time. Just because you may have given consent for something on Grindr does not mean you are obligated to do that when you meet up. At the end of the day, you and your partners deserve to feel respected and comfortable with whatever you are doing together.