Consent is Mandatory and Sexy


The Centre for Gender and Social Justice commends the TCSA for promoting the “Consent Is Sexy” campaign at Trent.

We all need to work on consent personally and publicly to get to “creat[ing] a campus culture that is sex-positive, safe, and sexual assault free, help students understand safer sex, risk negotiation and options available to them in the case of sexual assault and to create an atmosphere where all stakeholders place blame on the perpetrators (as opposed to the survivors) of sexual assault (TCSA’s Consent is Sexy campaign goals).” There is a lot that needs to be done for these goals to be reached at Trent.

Whether it feels sexy or awkward (or both!), consent is always completely mandatory. It is important to emphasize that verbalizing what you want and asking what someone else wants can be incredibly hot. It frees people up to express themselves and to get to understanding all the sexy things their sexual partner(s) and themselves want and need just as much as what they don’t. It makes space for people to specify what they do want. Consent is/can be dirty talk!

What if you don’t know what consent looks like? Here are some guidelines:

– Consent is about everyone involved. Everyone needs to seek consent.
– Consent is not static—it can be withdrawn at any time.
– Consent to one act is not consent to another act. No former consensual action is consent to a future act.
– Consent is not just about intercourse —it’s about all types of interpersonal interactions. Asking a friend before hugging them or touching their arm is a good way to practice explicit consent in everyday life.

Asking before initiating an interpersonal act makes it so that people don’t have to take on the responsibility to stop something that they didn’t want in the first place.
Consent is not about the absence of no. Consent needs to be ongoing, enthusiastic, and (usually) verbal.

To make sure you are maintaining consent, it is a good idea to keep talking during whatever you are doing and checking in with your partner(s) once they have consented to something to see if that’s what they still want.

If you want to learn more, come to the Centre for Gender and Social Justice’s ‘Sex Positivity and Explicit Consent’ workshops, happening on Thursday March 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Seasoned Spoon and on Monday, March 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hobbes Library in Sadleir House.

If you have any ideas about what you would like to see on campus and/or want to start an initiative or working group and would like support, contact the Centre for Gender and Social Justice at

For rape crisis help (immediate and/or historical) for women and men, contact the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC). The Centre offers a 24-hour Crisis line (1-866-298-7778), Individual and Group Counseling and Accompaniment (as well as other services) within the City of Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes.