Topic 2 Do I have your consent?

Consent is essential in a lot of scenarios in life, whether that is agreeing to attend an event or getting/giving permission to touch someone or be touched. These definitions will guide you through this topic:

Consent is permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something.

To coerce means you use some psychological or physical force or threats to get the other person to agree with you. Consent is not true consent when you use coercion.


Sexual consent is a voluntary agreement for both people to agree to take part in sexual activities. Sexual activities include kissing, sexual touching, and oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.

Assault: Having erotic or sexual contact without consent is legally called “assault”. Did you know that touching someone erotically, or kissing them without consent is forbidden?

Sometimes, it is not always clear when someone is just being friendly, or when wanting to make contact is innocent or is meant erotically. And sometimes, it is unclear if your partner is willing to be touched or kissed.

Rape is another serious concept of the law. “Rape” is forcibly penetrating someone else without consent.


Activity 1: Consent among Friends

Scenario: Alex is asking from a friend, Taylor, to borrow his/hers mobile, for sending a message. Taylor, even though sceptical at first, agrees to lend the mobile to Alex. Alex takes the mobile, and spends some time doing some activity with it. Taylor is wondering if Alex is just sending a message or if s/he is searching for something else on the mobile. Taylor is wondering what is going on, but does not say anything more. Did Taylor give consent to Alex to use the mobile for any other matters? Why is it important that Taylor gives consent first for any other kind of use of the mobile?

Give a definition of what consent is in general and talk about why it is important in this scenario. What could sexual consent mean along the same lines? Discuss with peers.

Activity 2: It’s simple as tea

Just like in the previous scenario, sexual consent is crucial in relationships. When and how do you ask or give consent for kissing, sexual touching, and sex?

Watch the following video, where consent is compared to offering tea:

After watching the video, reflect if the metaphor of offering tea is effective in making you think about more seriously what sexual consent is in particular. Discuss then with peers.

Activity 3: Yes or No?

How can you be sure that you have consent before touching or kissing? Discuss with peers.

Activity 4: Are you in the mood?

Do you have to ask your partner every time explicitly if you can have penetration? Discuss with peers.

Consent & Communication

Consent means partners agree to participate in an activity and understand what they are agreeing to. Consent is the foundation of sexual relationships and is needed for every sexual activity, every time.

Understanding implies your have a meaningful conversation with your partner. You cannot presuppose that you understand what the other wants, when and how. So talking, but also non-verbal communication, is important.

This may be challenging. Many people are not used to talk about, or during sex. This is something you have to learn by experience.

You can start to ask if your partner feels comfortable and what you can do to make the situation more comfortable. You can also ask what your partner feels, and tell how you feel.

Activity 5: The Law

A lot of court cases about assault or rape are difficult, because initiating sex is often done without talking and assuming the other wants sex. To overcome this, in Sweden, a law was adopted which makes asking explicit consent mandatory. (

What is your opinion on this? If you don’t agree with this law, what other ways do you suggest to solve the problem of partners giving opposite stories about what happened? Discuss with peers.

Activity 6: The first move

In many countries, boys are still expected to take the initiative in dating and in sexuality. This makes them extra responsible for getting consent.

How can you clearly communicate your values, needs and what you want?

How can you make sex comfortable and pleasurable bot both of you?

Let’s find a solution!

Although we want to be positive about sex, we spent a lot of time on consent. Why? Because we think consent is so important. Research shows that the victims of violent sexual crimes are, in their majority, women and girls. Although fewer in number, records show that boys and men can also be sexual assault victims. We hope you are going to be part of the solution: more equal, comfortable and pleasurable sex.


  • Consent is voluntary, positive and freely given

  • Consent is clearly communicated and part of an ongoing conversation

  • Consent is about mutual agreement to do something

  • Consent cannot be assumed or implied by silence, having had sex before or clothing

  • Permission for any type of erotic or sexual contact needs to be verbally given

  • Sexual activity without consent is sexual assault