What is consent?
Consent means that you agree, of your own free will and without impairment of drugs or alcohol, to participate in a sexual act.
We love this definition by the folks at Project Consent:
“Consent is a mutual verbal, physical, and emotional agreement that happens without manipulation, threats, or head games.
Consent is a whole body experience. It is not just a verbal “yes” or “no” – it involves paying attention to your partner as a person and checking in with physical and emotional cues as well.
Consent is also mutual (all parties have to agree) and must be continuous. You can stop at any time, you can change your mind, and just because you said yes to one thing doesn’t mean you have consented to anything else.
Consent is enthusiastic.
At Project Respect, we believe that everyone has the right to sexuality without violence and as part of that we believe that positive sexuality begins with enthusiastic consent. This means being as excited and into someone else’s enjoyment as we are excited and into our own enjoyment.
Only yes means yes – and yes should come from an engaged and enthusiastic partner.”
Planned Parenthood has another way of explaining it.
Not sure how consent would play out in a real life scenario? Planned Parenthood has some great videos on the topic:
What consent is NOT
Drinking alcohol, accepting a dinner invitation, flirting, texting, sexting, dressing to impress, going to a bar, attending a party, going on a date, making out, asking for a ride home, being unconscious—are not ways of consenting to sexual activity.
We like this comparison a lot.
The age of consent in Saskatchewan
There can be no relationship of trust, authority, dependence or exploitation; if any of these conditions are present, consent is void.
- 16 years of age is the minimum for consent; 15 years or younger cannot legally consent to sexual activity
- 14 & 15 year-olds can consent to sexual activity with someone who is not more than 5 years older (peer group exception)
- 12 & 13 year-olds can consent to sexual activity with someone who is less than 2 years older (close in age exception)
- Under 12 years of age cannot consent to sexual activity under any circumstances