Chapter 3 - Situations Subchapter: Consenting to sex

Talking about sex

Who we choose to share our bodies with is an extremely personal decision – the first time and every time after that.

Managing all of the emotions that come with physical intimacy can be hard. One moment your inner world might feel bright and hopeful and the next vulnerable, even scared.

Desire, hope, comfort, fear, pleasure, lust, belonging, rejection, connection, love - all of these emotions racing around - it can be the best of times, and it can also be really tough.



Outer world - This person is funny and has friendly eyes and also hates clowns!

Body - My heart is thumping thump thump thump.

Inner world - The last time I had sex the other person made me feel like I was awkward and no good at it.


Consider - whatever you’re feeling the other person might be feeling it too.  

Understanding how you feel about each decision is important for you - giving the other person time and space to work out how they feel is important for them.  

Talking to each other about how you feel is critical. 


Talking about sex

Talking about sex and your feelings about sex can be awkward, even intimidating, but it’s necessary, and it does get easier with practice.

If you can develop a habit of talking with the other person about all the important shared decisions, big or small, that are part of being in an intimate relationship - deciding to meet up, date, pineapple on pizza, sext, kiss, sci-fi or romantic comedy, have sex – and how all of it is making you feel, communication becomes essential to the way you engage with each other.

Our unique rich inner worlds are our own, filled with our own thoughts, feelings, desires and needs.

One person can’t know what’s going on in another person’s inner world and they can’t decide what another person wants or needs.



When it comes to intimate relationships:

  1. Check in with your partner on every new decision, big or small
  2. Listen to your partner
  3. Respect what your partner is communicating to you, either verbally or non-verbally.
  4. Stop when anything seems unclear.