Navigating Digital Consent & Boundaries

The Five 5W’s of Digital Consent: topics to explore to ensure safe and consensual digital intimacy

by Priya Senecal, MA, LPC (CAPS), Johanna DeBari, MA (SACE Office), and Seirra Fowler, MPH, CHES (WesWell)

Want to learn more about the 5Ws? Click here to watch the creators of this infographic unpack each question for navigating digital consent & boundaries. 


Who is seeing this? Is this just shared between you and me, or extends beyond this? Who’s involved, how many folks are joining? Who is this person to me? Who am I talking to and can they give me consent (sober, of consenting age, etc.)?


What format are we using? Texting, phone call, video call? A combination? What do I want/need from this connection? What are my desires? What are their desires? Ours?


Where is everybody physically located? Is the space private? Is the lighting good? Does the space make you feel sexy or cute? Do all parties feel safe here?


How long do you have? Is this a quick chat or a long conversation? When are you connecting? What are your time boundaries? One time or ongoing?


Why are we doing this? Why do I want this? Do you want to feel closer? or is it to “check a box” or for conquest? Why are you seeking this connection? Is this a one-time hookup, or a potential relationship? Why is this person asking me for connection/pictures? Are they asking to connect or are they asking just to see my body?


How will the conversation go? How will we set boundaries on how to play together? How are your pictures/media going to be used? How will we negotiate sharing media (pictures, texts, videos, snaps, etc.) the possibility of screenshots, or accessing/viewing media after we send?