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The Meaning of Consent in Romantic Relationships


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Many are the times we hear people talking how they’ve been sexually harassed or asulted by either a friend, partner, relative or a colleague. Then sometimes I wonder, is it really ignorance or people just don’t know the meaning of consent when it comes to sexual relationships.

A day never ends without our headlines talking about a rape case (both genders are affected). Investigative reporters have also opened our eyes in terms of harassments and what really happens in companies behind closed doors.

For example investigative stories by the BBC Africa Eye exposes everything about how women and men have gone through sexual assaults in decades. eg, Sex For Work: The True Cost of Our tea documentary explains how women have suffered under sexual goons called employers for decades. Then other story of Predators In The Pitch: Inside Africa’s biggest football scandal reveals what has been happen for decades now in the boys’ football pitch at Gabon and maybe that’s why Gabon has been appearing nowhere when it comes to African football.

What ís really the meaning of consent in romantic relationships?

Consent occurs when one person agrees to the proposal or desire of the other. In a dating relationship, consent is when partners mutually agree to sexual activity which may include hugging, kissing, touching or sex. Both of them must be consenting.

It also means respecting boundaries and never making assumptions. You can’t just assume that your partner is comfortable with actions. It requires a clear and enthusiastic yes-meaning if someone seems unsure, stays silent, doesn’t respond, or says “maybe” they aren’t saying yes. The absence of “no” infact doesn’t mean “yes.”

Just because I’m in a relationship you’re in a relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean that you have permissions to have sex with them anytime you feel like. Infact before being sexual with them, you’ve to know if they also want to be sexual with you. Both ofyou must agree to sex- every single time for it to be consensual.
It’s also important to be honest with your partner about what you want and what you don’t want.

Other times men be saying that it is cool if one gets raped because they were dressed into a provocative manner. Consent can’t be implied by what a person wearing or things liketheir past behaviour.
Regardless of them being naked or wearing clothes like miniskirts doesn’t imply that they’re craving for sex or any kind romance.

Consent should be communicated. I think everybody has the final say over what happens with their body. It doesn’t matter if you guys had hooked up before or even if they said yes earlier and then changed their minds. A person has the right to say “stop” at anytime andyou as the partner needs to respect that.

It doesn’t exactly mean that for it to be a sexual violence a weapon has to be involved. The victim doesn’t have to have fought back, screamed or said no repeatedly. Any sexual activity without consent (including oral sex, genital touchinetc) is a sexual assault or rape.

Most of sexual assaults don’t happen to strangers in dark alleyways. Often it’s someone the victim knows or even a romantic partner.

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