No one wants to be misunderstood in the bedroom or be made to do something that they do not want to do. Consent is not only mandatory, but it is the only way to make sure all parties involved are comfortable and willing to partake in the actions that are about to occur. There are even things that many people would think is consent, but actually could lead to a sexual assault. It’s important to know what these differences are to prevent harm to yourself or your partner(s).

There are multiple different ways to make sure you have consent, but our partners within Ohio University’s Health Promotion team, POWER/GAMMA, have an acronym to help make things easier to understand. Using their F.A.C.E. method, people can be sure to know when consent is being given as well as when it has been revoked. Let’s see what it stands for:

F - Full Conscious:

All parties need to be fully conscious to be able to give proper consent in any interaction. This means that they cannot be incapacitated in any shape or form, including any form of intoxication, whether this be alcohol or drug induced. Whenever someone is no longer coherent or loses consciousness, consent is immediately revoked and you should no longer continue for both of your safety.

A - Acting Freely:

All parties must be acting on their own accord and are not being influenced by the other to partake in any interaction. Sadly, within relationships it is relatively common for comments such as, “You’d do it if you loved me,” or “Don’t you want to take our relationship to the next level?” These comments are a form of coercion, and using coercive techniques like this to influence your partner(s) choice is a form of sexual assault and a breach of consent. All decisions should be made solely by the individual.

C - Clear Intent:

All parties must know and agree to the acts that will be performed. For example, if one day you and your partner(s) agree to do anal penetration, this does not mean that they agree to it every time. By having clear intentions between you and your partner(s), you won’t need to worry about anything being ambiguous or misinterpreted. You’ll be able to perform the acts that all parties agreed to and enjoy things even further knowing the expectations.

E - Enthusiasm:

When any party is giving consent, it must be a resounding “YES!” This means that anyone involved is not questioning their decision to partake in these sexual interactions. There is nothing that is holding them back or making them think it could be a poor decision. If anything is making you or anyone else hesitant to say yes, you shouldn’t do it.

If this leaves anything out that you think is important, you might find it in the FRIES model from Planned Parenthood!

Of course, always remember that consent is fluid and can be given or revoked at any point in time. Just because one moment you or any others agreed to something at first, this doesn’t mean you cannot change your mind down the line. If you do, and they do not listen, this then becomes a breach of consent and potentially a sexual assault or rape. 

If you are in need of any resources for yourself or anyone else, please explore those listed below! 

RAINN Homepage

24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline 

800-656-HOPE (4673)

Domestic Violence Resources Site

24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline

1(800) 799 - 7233