Student Health Services
How Can I Ask for Consent?
When we talk about consent, we often talk about what a partner doesn’t want instead of talking about how we can create space for our partners to express what they do want.
Here are some great ways to ask for consent:
- Can I kiss you?
- What do you like?
- Do you want to dance?
- Is this ok with you?
- Is this what you want?
- What would you like to do tonight?
- What can I do to make you feel good?
- Do you like it when…?
- Is it cool if I…?
- Are you comfortable with…?
- Are you sure you want to do this?
- Do you want to slow down?
Top 10 Tips for Doing Consent Well
- Introduce yourself when you approach someone
- Talk, don't rely solely on body language
- Ask your partner first if they would like to dance with you
- Check in with your partner about their level of sobriety
- Move to a quieter space if you can't hear the conversation
- Choose to abstain until your partner is not incapacitated
Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness. Sometimes, a person can be incapacitated after 1 drink -- for example, if they're on medication that interferes with alcohol. For others, incapacitation is several drinks. If you see any of the following, we recommend that you slow down and reconsider whether becoming sexually involved with a (potential) partner is a good idea:
- Slurred or incoherent speech
- Unsteady on their feet (i.e. cannot walk on their own)
- Passed out
- Combative and/or emotionally volatile
- Establish healthy boundaries/communication with your partner while sober
- Talk about exploring new things before you try them
- Be proactive about having a variety of safer sex tools and learn how to use them (Male and Female CONDOMS and DENTAL DAMS ARE FREE AT THE STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES)
- Check in throughout the interaction(s) - give people options and space to give consent