What is Consent?

Consent is understanding what will be happening and voluntarily doing it while respecting the limits of everyone involved.


Consent is revocable
Anyone can revoke consent to anything at any time during the activity. Even when a person is in a power exchange relationship in which they agreed to give up contemporaneous consent for the duration of the relationship, the submissive has the legal right to stop any activity at any time.

Consent is communication
Communication is important so consent can be clearly given, modified and withdrawn. You need to have a good understanding of the consent that is given, and the ability to communicate during the scene.

Consent is informed
You have a responsibility understand the desires and limits of each other, including health issues and the risks involved in what you’re doing.

Consent is choice
You must give consent voluntarily, without being subjected to threats, fraud, coercion or deceit. If you are pressured into doing something or pressured into entering into a power exchange relationship, you have not given consent in either the ethical or the legal sense. If someone gives consent, then you have an ethical responsibility to be sure that such consent was given voluntarily and not coerced.

Consent is given within limits
Consent is not a blank check. You have an ethical and legal obligation to be sure that the activities you do are within the scope of what was consented to. The scope and limits to the previously given consent may have been made clear in the beginning of the relationship, or it may be clear from the participants’ previous conduct during the relationship. If there is any doubt at the time, however, there is an ethical and legal responsibility to clarify that doubt.

Consent is given with a sound mind
You must have enough mental capacity to give consent, and you have a legal obligation to make sure that your partners are of a sound mind. In order to consent you must be in a clear-headed state of mind, not impaired by alcohol, prescription medicine or recreational drugs. Re-negotiating limits in the middle of a scene with a partner who is in subspace may result in consent that is not given with a sound mind.

Taking A Positive Approach to Consent