The word "no" written in graphic font against a red background.

Practicing consent is necessary, normal and healthy.

But no one is born knowing what consent looks like and how to practice it. We’ve already shared ways to check in with your partner and examples of what yes looks like.  Today, we want to show that “no” can look lots of different ways. Of course, there are way more examples than we could fit here. What would you add?

Remember: consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific (FRIES)! It’s also for way more than “just” sex. It is essential that you always respect partners’ boundaries. When someone says no, you need to stop. Otherwise, it may be sexual assault. It is also always ok to say no, for any reason or no reason at all. Sometimes, like when someone is drunk, high or asleep, they cannot consent. Learn more about consent here, and use these 6 questions to help you understand your own relationship to sex and consent.


The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center is located in New York City. It provides comprehensive, confidential, judgment free health care at no charge to over 12,000 young people every year. This column is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual, only general information for education purposes only.