What is Sexual Consent?


What is Sexual Consent?

Un article écrit avec la Fondation Marie-Vincent

Consenting means clearly indicating that you feel like engaging in or continuing a sexual activity. Consent is the basis of any healthy, respectful relationship. Here’s how it can be expressed.

You and your partner can express your consent in several ways:


• It can be expressed in words or gestures, explicitly or implicitly

👉 There is consent when the person gives a clear “yes”, when they are enthusiastic

👉 There is no consent when the person:

– Expresses their refusal through words, gestures or an attitude;
– Remains silent, is asleep or does nothing;
– Is paralyzed by fear;
– Is afraid to react or speak;
– Has no other choice but to do what the other person asks them to do;
– Is coerced through the use of physical or psychological force (blackmail, intimidation, manipulation, violence).

•It is never final: it is possible to say “yes” and then change your mind any time during the sexual activity or to say “yes” to certain activities and “no” to others.

• For consent to be valid, it must not be given under the influence of alcohol or drugs and neither of the partners should be in a position of power or authority over the other.

Whether it’s kissing, touching, having sexual intercourse with or without penetration, sending sexually suggestive photos or messages or any other gesture of a sexual nature, you and your partner must consent to it and therefore agree to its taking place.  


If either of you expresses their refusal through words or actions, the sexual activity should stop. If you have even the slightest doubt, ask! 😉

Is there consent?

To be valid, consensual sex must involve four elements: respect; equality between partners; partners of the proper age and with no improper family ties; expression of consent.

Learn more

Have you experienced sexual abuse? Do you have questions about what happened to you?
Here are some resources to help you!

Need to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing?

Talk to a counsellor at Tel-Jeunes : it’s anonymous, free and available 24/7


External resource

Love – Tel-Jeunes

With Our Partner


The Marie-Vincent Foundation supports children and teens who are victims of violence by offering them the services they need—all in one location. It helps prevent sexual violence by focusing on education and awareness, and by helping children with problematic sexual behaviours.

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