Unfiltered

The Anatomy of Non-sexual Consent, Ask Before You Assume

Consent is not just for sexual things, the anatomy of non-sexual consent

Consent – something we often associate with anything sexual. We have long been discussing the anatomy of sexual consent. Consent is the first thing that shows that you respect a person’s choices, preferences and privacy. It is always better to ask than to assume. And while we mostly consider consent to be around sexual acts, there are several things you need to take non-sexual consent for.

There are several things in our everyday life where we assume that the other person will get on board with it. And of course, your assumption could be right but it is always better to ask instead of making assumptions in regard to anything. Here’re a few things for which people forget to take consent. Let’s discuss the anatomy of non-sexual consent taking these as references.

Don’t make assumptions, keep in mind, the anatomy of non-sexual consent

Ask before you touch

Touches can make some people really awkward. These can be simple touches from a handshake to a hug to just dabbing one’s head. Some people can be really uncomfortable when they confront the touches, especially uninformed. So, always ask before you touch. Ask if you can hug them. Ask if they want to be touched in a particular way instead of just assuming it.

Ask before you photograph them

Some people are photo conscious. They don’t like being photographed. Or otherwise too, even if they like being photographed, they might not be willing to be photographed by a particular person (someone else’s camera) or otherwise. So, before you click anyone, be it your partner or anyone, ask them if they want to be clicked. Ask them “should I click your picture?” Give value to their choice because that’s important.

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Ask before you record their call

In the digital world, the option of recording video and audio calls has been very trendy. Especially since the pandemic, people have been doing most things online, recording the conversations has become an unsaid rule which is not alright. Be it business meetings, interviews, seminars or just random calls with your friends, if it’s being recorded, it should be in the consent of the people being recorded. There’s no issue in simply asking, “will you mind me recording this call?”. In case of seminars or events that are to be recorded, a consent form should be attached during the time of registration.

Respect their privacy

Respecting a person’s privacy includes a lot of things ranging from not using their personal items like their phone, their vanity, their earphones or any other belongings. It could even mean respecting and keeping the information being shared by a person private. Don’t consider telling what someone is sharing with you to some other person before asking the former. Don’t just pass on someone’s number before asking them. These are simple things you should acknowledge to respect a person’s privacy.

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Ask for their choices

Choices are always subjective. Imagine you like eating noodles but the other person doesn’t. In situations like these, there’s no harm in asking if they like it or not. You can ask them “what would they like to have?” or “would they like to have..?” Let them make a choice based on their choice.

Accepting no means no

If you get a ‘No’ for any of the non-sexual things you have asked for, it’s better to accept them. Don‘t push their boundaries or try to convince them if they have not given consent for a particular thing. And in situations of unclear consent, always try to come to a point with clear consent before acting upon it.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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