We teach our students to seek out consent from their partners, to create a safe, comfortable, and fun environment for all involved by checking in with their partner(s) throughout their sexual encounters – should they choose to have any.
We do this by teaching students Consent through FRIES:
- Freely Given
Doing something sexual with someone is a decision that should be made without pressure, force, manipulation, or while drunk or high.
Anyone can change their mind about what they want to do, at any time. Even if you’ve done it before or are in the middle of having sex.
Be honest. For example, if someone says they’ll use a condom and then they don’t, that’s not consent. If someone has taken a lot of alcohol or drugs, we can’t be sure we have informed consent.
If someone isn’t excited, or really into it, that’s not consent.
Saying yes to one thing (like going to the bedroom to make out) doesn’t mean they’ve said yes to others (like oral sex). Consent is applies to specific acts on specific occasions.
This is a move away from the traditional ‘no means no’ understanding of consent, and it’s important that we as first responders are familiar with this model too.