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We want to be clear that if you deliberately violate someone’s boundaries or ignore their consent, it can be considered sexual violence, sexual assault, or rape. It’s never, ever okay to perform a sexual action towards someone who hasn’t consented to it. For more information, or for help, we encourage you to reach out to an organisation like 1800 RESPECT.

Consent is more than just an important part of sex—it’s absolutely vital.

Sex without consent is rape; and without consent, sex can not go ahead.

Although we all understand the importance of consent, it’s super common to feel a little awkward, strange, and even intimidated asking for consent. Many people wonder if they’re being presumptuous by asking something like, “Do you want to have sex?” or “Can I kiss you?”, and some might even worry that asking for consent ruins the mood or works against them.

We’re all about consent, so we’re about to show you how to talk about consent in a natural, respectful, and totally non-mood-killing way.

“When I talk about consent, I mean verbal and non-verbal communication that ensures everyone involved in whatever sexual thing you’re doing is willing and excited about being there,” says sex coach Georgia Grace. “Because, I mean, isn't that what you want?

“And I know that feels like a lot of words, but you can also think about it as making sure everyone is excited and willing to experience whatever you’re about to do.”

Obtaining someone’s consent is about more than just getting a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to what you’d like to do. Consent isn’t a permission slip to have sex: it’s a complete dynamic between you and another person. It’s about checking in to see that your partner is excited, turned on, happy to be with you, and eager to do something with you—whether it’s kissing, penetration, or anything else.

“We often, rightly, frame consent as something we need to teach to prevent bad things happening,” says Georgia. “But becoming someone who is actively really good at discussing consent and boundaries will make sex so much better for you and your partners! And it's important to remember that we can all become better partners through this.

“Whenever we're involved in sex, we're dealing with boundaries. We all have the capacity to violate someone else's boundaries, and we all have the capacity to make someone feel comfortable and supported as well.”

Pretty much everyone wants to be thought of as good in bed, and being good in bed is about more than just having ‘the moves’ or being able to make your partner orgasm. It’s about being the kind of person who others feel safe and comfortable around, someone who they can trust. And being that person all starts with talking about consent.

“People will often say, ‘It’s too awkward to have a conversation about consent before sex. I don’t know what to say’,” says Georgia. “And I find it interesting that talking is what most people will say is the most awkward part—not the part where you get naked, exchange bodily fluids, and rub genitals together!”

“If you find it awkward or clunky, you are human. But it’s a non-negotiable: you must speak when it comes to sex. I understand it can feel like learning a new language, so here’s a way to approach it.”

To learn more about the foundations of great sex from acclaimed sex coach Georgia Grace, check out NORMAL's online video masterclass The Modern Guide to Sex.