Consent Skills for Students

Getting Really Good at Consent and Boundaries

a 90-minute in-person or online workshop

"It's really important to think about how acceptable or not acceptable it is to say a direct 'no' in our culture, even in non-sexual situations."  - Hannah Witton, Sex and Relationships Youtuber and Author

Consent is rightly a hot topic in universities - especially sexual consent, which is crucial in preventing serious harm.   But consent and personal boundaries are relevant to all areas of our lives: with our friends and families, with acquaintances, and in our professional and educational relationships.   

 

However, establishing consent can be challenging for any number of reasons, including peer pressure, our experiences of privilege or marginalisation, personal trauma, social conditioning, group dynamics and professional and social power imbalances.  Because of this, unfortunately, we all sometimes make mistakes – and we are all sometimes on the receiving end of others’ mistakes - or worse.

The good news is that consent and boundaries skills can be improved with practice.  We can develop our self-awareness and relationship-building skills by learning to trust and communicate our own needs, boundaries and desires, while honouring those of others.  Key to this is understanding that consent can be approached from three different, but related, perspectives:

1. Consent for Harm Prevention - basic, fundamental  sexual consent awareness to reduce sexual harassment and assault; e.g. Consent is as Simple as Tea, and    Enthusiastic Consent.

2. Consent as a Personal Skill - bringing more clarity, safety, authenticity and enjoyment to all areas of life, including sex; e.g. The Wheel of Consent, and Authentic Consent.

3. Consent as a Community Culture - where we normalise addressing the dynamics and nuances of consent in our communities, e.g.  Building Consent Culture  and Creating Consent Culture.

 

Each level includes and goes further than the previous one.  Our 90-minute workshops typically provide a refresher on level 1, focus mainly on level 2, and lay the groundwork for level 3.   This approach can also be adapted to suit your particular needs.

There are 4 main elements in the Art of Consent workshop:

  • Why consent and boundaries are relevant in all areas of our lives

  • Understanding why people can sometimes find consent and boundaries challenging

  • Simple embodied exercises to practice your consent and boundaries skills, with the opportunity to reflect on your experiences with other students.

  • An introduction to the Wheel of Consent,  an embodied consent model which helps clarify four different kinds of consent agreements we can make with others, which are applicable to all areas of life, including our sex lives.

 

This workshop is designed to help if you ever:

  • find it difficult to ask for what you want

  • realise only after the event that one of your boundaries has been crossed

  • are informed by someone else after the event that you inadvertently crossed one of their boundaries

  • say yes to things you wish you’d said no to

  • say no to things you wish you'd said yes to

  • feel uncertain about how to respectfully communicate an attraction you feel towards another

  • cajole others into doing things with you

  • take it personally when someone tells you a no

  • find yourself out of consent in group situations

  • feel uncertain how to establish consent where there is a power imbalance

  • find that consent conversations framed solely in terms of binary gender don't match your lived experience

  • find it awkward to talk about your feelings during sex and intimacy

We have taught consent workshops to thousands of people, many of whom have commented, “If only I had known this when I was younger!”

"We can talk about consent 'til we can’t talk any more, but without a way to teach people about consent, not just conceptually but in the body and in the voice, we won’t arrive at the consent culture we seek.” – Carol Queen (author and sexologist)

WATCH: 5 minute video about student consent workshops...

Our lead workshop facilitator, Rupert James Alison, has been facilitating consent workshops for over a decade and is an accredited teacher of the Wheel of Consent with Betty Martin’s international School of Consent.   In March 2022 he was a panel member at a sexual consent education panel discussion organised by Brookes University in Oxford.  In the Autumn of 2022 he will be leading a series of workshops on consent and boundaries for Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

 

We can run these workshops in person at your organisation anywhere in the UK, and can also deliver them online if preferred.     Contact us to find out more...

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Our workshops last anything from 1 hour to 3 days.  Please contact us to find out more