Principle 5: Explore Affirmative Consent
Any conversations around porn offer great opportunities to counter some of the problematic messaging in porn around consent and explore affirmative (‘Yes means Yes’) consent.
Explicit consent is rarely present in porn, which can provide confusing consent messages to young viewers. This, alongside the increasing normalisation of diverse sexual behaviours (such as rough sex) seen in porn, can contribute to blurred and problematic understandings, expectations, and experiences of consent and sexual aggression.

We recommend discussing affirmative consent as part of any porn conversations. Accurate and informative sexuality education and messages can form an effective counter-narrative to the messages that porn offers young people. Young people themselves tell us that it is more important than ever for education to provide them with that counter-narrative (46).

The F.R.I.E.S. consent model offers a quick and relevant way to discuss affirmative consent with young people. The Kahukura Consent for Rainbow Communities is helpful for Rainbow young people (particularly if their sexuality education omitted sexuality and gender diversity, including negotiating consent).

For information on consent with rough sex and choking, see here.
“If they would just watch porn to try and learn about consent, they wouldn’t have a clue.”
Female, 17 years