Consent and Sex
Sex is fun and exciting and makes you feel good but its important that sex should always be agreed to by everyone involved.
The name for this is consent and any sort of sexual contact without consent is illegal whatever the age of the people involved.
Consent isn’t complicated but you do need to think about a few things:
- Consent must be freely given – its not ok to pressurise, trick or threaten someone into saying yes. And you can’t give consent if you’re drunk, high or passed out.
- Consent is reversible – it’s ok to say yes and then change your mind (at any time!). Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.
- Consent means being informed – you can only consent to something if you have all the facts. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, there isn’t full consent.
- Consent should be specific – saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean you’re saying yes to other things (like having sex).
Here’s a short cartoon which really explains what consent actually is and isn’t.
The age of consent in the UK is 16 for both men and women but there is clear guidance from the home office that there is no intention to prosecute you if you are under 16 and you are having sex with someone of a similar age if you both agree to it.
Those under the age of 13 however are protected by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This means that if you are aged 12 or under you are not able to consent to any form of sexual activity. Any sexual activity with someone aged 12 or under is illegal.