The age of consent

The legal age of consent in the UK is 16. This means anyone under 16 cannot legally give consent to have sex. If you’re 16 and you get verbal consent from a 15 year old, you could be given a caution, a fine, imprisonment or possibly put on the Sex Offenders Register if the police become involved.

However, this law mainly exists to protect young people who aren’t old enough to give consent from being coerced into sex by say, someone over 18. In reality, if you are the same age or there’s a small age gap, you probably aren’t going to get locked up.

How to ask for consent

Asking for consent doesn’t necessarily mean you have to constantly ask what you can and can’t do during sex. If you’re getting positive vocal feedback, that’s great. Otherwise, asking them to show you what they like or asking if they like something can actually add to the mood rather than taking anything away.

When in doubt, however, it’s always better just to ask someone straight up whether they’re into it. Silence doesn’t equal consent and sometimes people might freeze and not actively resist even though they’re not consenting to what’s happening. That’s why it’s important to understand what enthusiastic consent is rather than just thinking of consent as a simple yes or no.

Staying safe during sex

Sex is better when people feel safe to assert their boundaries, and it’s also a lot safer when you don’t underestimate the power you hold in the sexual dynamic. Have a read of our consent resources to get yourself up to speed.

What is sexual consent?

YouTuber Daniel J. Layton joins us at The Mix to explain what consent is all about. As well as offering some top tips on how to ask for consent before, during and after sex.

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