We don’t talk about consent enough. Even though it’s the cornerstone of every interaction between partners, most people are still a little unsure about what consent means — and what it doesn’t.

Consent is often used in the context of physical or sexual activity with a partner, but it has more to do with the decision-making behind your actions than the actions themselves.

Put simply, consent is an ongoing mutual agreement between partners about what they want to experience .

You may have heard the phrase “no means no” in the context of consent. That’s true, but a statement like that doesn’t provide a complete picture of the complexities that go into mutual decision-making and respect in a relationship.

“No means no” (and even “yes means yes”) puts the responsibility on one person to resist or accept an activity. Instead of framing consent as a reactive measure in response to a partner’s actions, think of consent as a proactive expression of what partners are comfortable with and want to do together.


What it means, how it works, and why it’s so important.

Is your relationship healthy?