Consent, till the last day of a relationship, doesn’t matter how many years, is an ongoing process. Especially in long-term relationships, it’s necessary to understand what is the meaning of consent even deeper.
For why so and an elaborate meaning of sexual consent, keep reading…
Are you aware of the controversy around the movie Pati, Patni Aur Woh? If not, it revolves around the idea of sexual consent. One particular dialogue of Kartik Aryan was enough to get this movie into a controversy where he was venting to his friend about how he cannot ask his wife for sex, cannot convince her for sex, or cannot deny her when she asks for it. Why? It’s all looked down upon by society.
Do you know why it happened? Because the consent culture definition and its meaning are taken very lightly.
But now, we must thank social media and an open-minded society that helped us add to our vocabulary & understanding of what a healthy relationship looks like & the consent culture added to it manifold.
People are now aware of what do consent mean and what its actual face looks like. Especially in long-term relationships, assuming it’s a ‘consent all time’ is normal. That’s where it needs to be debunked. But first:
What Is the Meaning of Consent?
A mutual decision to engage in sexual activities between a couple is called sexual consent. Before two people are willing to enjoy some intimacy, it’s vital to know if the other person too wants to get sexual. Additionally, it’s also vital that two people are honest with each other about what they want & what they don’t.
What Consent Looks Like?
- Consent is followed by clear communication.
- Consent is specific. ‘Yes’ for one sexual activity doesn’t imply to all other activities too. Every time the level goes up or things change, politely ask for consent again.
- Consent is given enthusiastically. Consent, if not given enthusiastically, should be considered as a ‘No’!
- Consent is also about respecting the other person’s change of mind. ‘Yes’ at one minute can be ‘No’ at another, and one must accept it.
- Consent happens without pressure and manipulation.
- Consent is not just limited to verbally saying a ‘Yes’. If the body language or activities say otherwise, understand & respect!
What Doesn’t Consent Look Like?
- The assumption is not consent. If someone is wearing a certain dress, flirting, has had a sexual past, or behaving a certain way, you can’t assume that they are into it. Consent means clarity of words or actions.
- Again, consent under pressure or manipulation means a totally different thing. If it’s a ‘Yes’ only because saying ‘No’ can have consequences, it doesn’t count as consent.
- Lying has no space for sexual consent. Example: If the other person says ‘Yes’ to safe sex and you refuse to wear a condom, in that case, it’s not a consensual sexual experience.
- Consent cannot happen in an unaware mode. Example: If someone is under the influence of alcohol, they are not in the right state of mind to give consent.
- One important aspect of it is age. Consent happens between two grown-up people who are legally allowed to have sex.
- Last but not least, if sexual activity happens without consent, it’s considered rape.
Read Also: The Complete Guide to Consensual Sex
Unfolding Consent in Long-term Relationship
In a long-term companionship, two individuals must value each other’s boundaries and practice consent regularly. Why?
1. It Brings a Sense of Reliability and Trust
Everybody wants to be with a partner they can feel safe and comfortable with. A partner who allows them to be vulnerable around them. Your partner is the last person you would want to be uncomfortable around.
A relationship that lacks the culture of consent can totally look otherwise. It won’t take much to turn a relationship around into a traumatic experience when requests are always substituted with demands. What once was pleasant could turn murky, and it’s not fair.
So understand the importance of consent to maintain a long-term relationship that leads to a beautiful ending.
2. You Communicate Honestly
You must have heard for endless times that honest communication is the key to a happy relationship. Talking about the long-term relationship, it’s more like a partnership. It functions best when two people function in harmony. One taking a decision and the other just following is not how you maintain it. The other might fall out of love eventually.
We all want a partner we can talk our heart out with. It’s also important where consent comes into play. If their ‘NO’ doesn’t matter to you, it directly implies that you don’t care about them. If you listen to them, they can be vocal and honest about it every time that brings in a clear communication.
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3. Consent Is Not Only About Sex
Particularly in long-term relationships, the lives of two individuals are intertwined together. In such companionships, it’s great to talk about each other’s consent ideas to come to a mutual conclusion. It decides how far will your relationship reach that’s totally different from sexual consent.
You must respect your partner’s comfort in every sphere of life. If you fail, it creates dissatisfaction that’s not allowed in long-term relationships.
The Bottom Line
Consent is extremely important. It doesn’t ruin or spoil the mood or make the situation awkward. It rather makes the bond stronger because it shows respect and honesty. These two elements are key to a healthy relationship. Consent assures you are having enthusiastic sex that enhances the experience.
What is the meaning of consent? To put it right, there isn’t one answer to it. It’s a wide concept that must be understood deeply and individually.