The bestselling book turned global phenomenon and now highly anticipated film, 50 Shades of Grey, opens in theatres this weekend. Literature student Anastasia Steele and billionaire Christian Grey cross paths in what starts as an innocent business interview, but quickly evolves into what can only be described as a whirlwind of lust and control.

Watch the trailer here:

We’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not you’d like to find out what happens next, but we did want to point out one glaring piece of the puzzle that seems to be missing from this storyline: consent.

What is consent?

“Consent is a mutual verbal, physical, and emotional agreement that happens without manipulation, threats or head games.” –Project Respect

Always eliminate uncertainties, be clear and enthusiastic and establish boundaries with your partner. Safe and positive sexual experiences start with consent and open communication. This means that a conversation is a must. There is no question mark at the end of consent. It has to be established, not implied, by all partners involved.

Only YES, means YES.

The way a person looks, dresses and acts does not mean YES. Saying I guess means NO, maybe means NO, saying nothing means NO, a smile means NO, handholding means NO, kissing means NO, crying means NO, pulling away means NO, no means NO…you get the picture. Consent is simple, but communicating NO can come in various forms.

Remember that erotic fantasy fiction, like 50 Shades of Grey, should not be interpreted literally. Too often, our media fails to include conversations around sex, consent, protection, birth control, boundaries and pleasure. Keep your critical lens on while you’re consuming media and remember:

Consent is sexy, sexual violence is not.


For more information on consent Infographic sourced from:

Infographic sourced from