People like different kinds of sex. You can do whatever you want in the bedroom, as long as everyone involved consents. But how can you know what someone else wants? It’s important to try and read people’s body language and ask them what they want, to make sure you and your partner are into the same things. Asking might initially feel hard and kind of awkward. But every time you ask is good practice and a way to make sure you never cross anyone’s boundaries. Because disrespecting someone’s sexual boundaries is illegal, it’s a crime. You might think all you need to do is ask and get a ‘yes’ in response. But it’s also about looking out for other signs that the other person is enjoying the sex as much as you are. And it’s just as important to respect their ‘no’. It’s never okey to cajole someone into saying yes!

So how do you check whether the person you’re into wants to try out the same things you’re keen to explore? Our advice: don’t just ask whether they want to do what you want to do. Instead, ask them what they like, what feels good for them and what they want to try out.

What does the Consent Law say?

In July 2018, Sweden adopted new sexual offence legislation – a new law widely known as ‘the Consent Law’. This new law is based on the concept of free will. Sex has to be an act of free will – otherwise, it’s illegal. Sex as an act of free will means participants should actively express their consent to a particular sexual act, either with words or through their body language. This means you should always check whether the other person really wants to have sex with you, for example by asking them. Consenting to one sexual act doesn’t mean consenting to other sexual acts. So during sex, it’s important to keep asking (or checking in other ways) whether your partner wants to continue. The law emphasises that people always have the right to change their mind and withdraw their consent. As their partner, you have to respect that, even if you want to continue. Otherwise, you’re committing a crime.
There’s never consent if you’ve cajoled or threatened someone into having sex with you. Never have sex with someone who’s very unresponsive or passive, who seems afraid, who’s in pain, very drunk or under the influence of drugs, or who’s fallen asleep, because that is illegal. If you want to read more about consent and the new law, check out – a trustworthy website created by the Swedish Crime Victim Authority. And remember: it’s illegal for people who are 15 or older to have sex with someone who’s younger than 15. It doesn’t matter if the younger person wants to have sex. It is always illegal for an older person to have sex with someone who hasn’t yet turned 15. Click here to read more about the law, which exists to protect children and minors:

Consent and porn

Communication during sex is very important to find out what the other person wants. When you know what your partner is into, sex actually feels nicer and becomes more fun. Many people watch porn to get an idea of what sex is like. But it can be good to remember that porn never shows what sex is really like. Porn won’t teach you how to check whether your sexual partner feels safe and whether they’re enjoying themselves as much as you are.

Porn tries to tell us what we should enjoy or be okay with – even when it’s something we might not like at all. So it’s really important to always ask and make sure that the other really wants to do the things you’re suggesting in bed. It’s very common in porn for the girl to say no, only for the guy to ignore them and just continue. Porn can trick you into thinking consent doesn’t matter – but it does. Because sex without consent is not okay; it’s a crime.