(cont.) nesscicarily any consent given by any party. I really enjoyed the sex but I just dont know how to feel about this. What does consent mean? How do you reconcile when no consent is given but it seems like both parties are enjoying it and it continues.
Consent comes in many forms, Sometimes it’s verbal, other times it’s based off more of physical cues. It’s important to keep in mind what form is most comfortable for you. It may be helpful, although not always possible, to make a consent plan with your partner before engaging in sexual activity that takes into consideration what they are comfortable with and how they prefer to communicate; for example, if they prefer that each act is prefaced with verbal consent (before taking off an article of clothing, before kissing, etc.). If you’re feeling confused or uncertain about what is going on between you and your partner, it’s your responsibility to check in and let it be known what you’re feeling!
Hampshire College’s Sexual Offenses Policy (updated Spring 2013) states that:
“Ideally, consent is given verbally. However, consent can also be
expressed (given or withdrawn) through mutually understandable body
language. For example, active reciprocation could express consent;
pushing someone away or moving away could express lack of consent.
• Body language and even verbal responses may be ambiguous. It may
also be unclear who is responsible for getting consent and who is
responsible for giving consent at any particular moment. If consent is
unclear, there is a risk of committing a sexual offense. Consequently,
when in doubt, each participant in the activity should stop and ASK.”
You can find more information on the Sexual Offenses Policy here: http://www.hampshire.edu/shared_files/sexual-offense-policy-2012.pdf
We think it’s really incredible that you took the time to consider consent. We encourage reflection on your consent practices; this could be done by keeping a “Consent Journal!”
If you’re still feeling uneasy about this situation, don’t hesitate to contact Brittanie Tarczynski. Brittanie is the temporary sexual offenses counselor, and her office is located in the Wellness Center. Her office hours are as follows:
Monday: 2:00-8:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 5:30-9:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 5:30-9:00 p.m.
Friday: 2:00-8:30 p.m.