Boundaries and consent
Sexual intercourse is built on equality and good communication where the desires and needs of both parties are respected. It is therefore never OK to force or coerce someone into sex, whether we are in a relationship or not. Both parties should feel comfortable discussing their boundaries. If we belittle the needs of others, say they are foolish or react badly in some way, we are not treating them with respect.
Consent for sex and sexual activities is incredibly important and necessary for everyone to feel good. But what exactly is consent?
- Talking about what we want and listening to the other party: before, during, and after.
- Asking for permission instead of assuming that we can do something.
- Continuing to ask the person what they like and what they want to do, despite having slept together before. People don’t always want to do the same thing.
- Consent can be given through words or body language. If the other party is silent, unsure, or says maybe, that is not consent.
- Consent implies that the other party is conscious. People who are sleeping, very drunk, or unconscious cannot give consent.
You are not respecting boundaries if you:
- Pressure the other person to do things they don’t want to do, for example by threatening them or by making them feel guilty.
- Make the other person feel as if they owe you sex or some kind of sexual behaviour, for example in return for a gift, favour, or being invited on a date.
- Ignore boundaries that have been expressed in words or body language, for example, if the person resists or pushes you away.
It doesn’t matter if the person said something different earlier, they can always change their mind. According to Icelandic laws, rape is defined based on consent, which means that if sexual intercourse or other sexual activity are had with a person without consent it is rape. Consent is therefore key.