The Importance of Consent

Sexual Consent Presentation by Tristan Keene and Moorea Keene. Picture credit by Emma Goularte

By Emma Goularte

     On Thursday, September 27th, there was an event taught by students from Benicia High School. Tristan Keene and Moorea Keene, part of the Intersexual Feminism Club, made a presentation explaining to students about sexual consent. They made sure we were in a safe and helpful environment- open for people to talk about confidential things and made it comfortable. They didn’t just talk at us; they made everyone in the audience feel like they were included. We discussed what consent means to us with people coming up with words like safe, comfortable, enthusiastic, fun, and more. Everyone has different definitions of consent, it’s a feeling.

     We discussed how important consent is and how to bring it up because it is an important conversation to have with the person you are with. Consent can be described as the acronym FRIES. This stands for Freely given, without manipulation. Reversible, can be taken back at any point. Informed. Enthusiastic. Specific. These are important things to go by because some people think if consent is given once that the consent is always there, but it isn’t. Consent had to be given every time and if someone is sleeping, drunk, high, or passed out they are not capable of giving consent. Consent shouldn’t be something not talked about, it is important to talk about it and in a relationship both people need to be on the same page.


What consent really means. Picture credit by Emma Goularte

     Having the conversation about whether you are ready or comfortable is a big step. If you aren’t comfortable talking about it then chances are you aren’t ready to make this decision yet and you should wait longer. You can start by asking your partner simple questions to see how they are feeling and if they’re on the same page as you. They shared with us some conversation starters because consent can be hard to bring up for some people. The sentence starters are, “Can I…, Would you be comfortable with…, Do you want me to…” These simple sentence starters can help you break the ice and talk about how important consent really is.


Consent is important let’s have the conversation. Picture credit by Emma Goularte

     Tristan and Moorea Keene did a good job making it clear that our bodies are ours and no one has power over them. Also, we don’t owe anyone anything. It is all about what you want and how comfortable you feel. They made it clear that talking about consent it an important part and it’s not right to assume you and your partner are on the same page. This was an important presentation for people of all ages, but especially for our age. This presentation made it so people of all ages could feel comfortable talking about this. It was a good idea because a lot of people steer away from this subject but they talked about it and made it easier to talk about it.

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