Can I change my mind halfway through sex?

University of Leeds
2 min readFeb 9, 2024

‘Whilst I have a great relationship with my partner, sometimes I think I want to go ahead with something during sex but then change my mind. Because I’ve already consented, I feel pressured to continue. Is it okay if I change my mind? I don’t want to hurt my partner’s feelings, but I don’t want to feel pressured. How do I talk to them about it?’

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Consent can be easily explained using the acronym ‘FRIES’: it should always be Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and Specific. The thing to focus on in this case is ‘reversible’. It’s completely normal and okay to change your mind, whether you’re halfway through something or haven’t even started yet. A key part of consent is being able to communicate what you want and if, how and when you want it.

Explaining how you’re feeling to your partner is the easiest way to make sure you’re both on the same page and neither of you feel hurt or misunderstood. There are many areas in a relationship that can be a struggle to communicate to your partner about — sex can be one!

Someone’s hands holding a mug sat opposite another person.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When talking to your partner, try to have the conversation when you’re calm and feel comfortable; if you’re angry or upset, you’re less likely to clearly communicate how you feel, or listen to what your partner has to say. Ultimately, if you’re in a relationship it’s because you care about each other, and your partner should want you to feel comfortable. Read more about how to recognise, remove and respect consent.

You are not alone. If you’ve experienced any kind of violence, abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination, we’re here to help. Explore support options in our community, including specialist support offered by the Harassment and Misconduct team here at Leeds.

Written by Harriet Cochran, Student Communications