With the me too movement some men have become gun shy and no longer understand clearly what consent entails so today let’s talk about What is consent?
Consent is a voluntary, enthusiastic, and clear agreement between the participants to engage in sexual activity. Period.
There is no room for different views on this. People incapacitated by drugs or alcohol cannot consent. If she’s slurring that she wants to have sex it’s now your job to think for both of you and politely decline. If she can’t walk a straight line or speak a coherent sentence she isn’t capable of agreeing to sex.
If clear, voluntary, coherent, and ongoing consent is not given, it’s sexual assault. There aren’t different rules for people who’ve hooked up before.
Nonconsensual sex is rape.
Consent is clear and unambiguous. Is your partner enthusiastically engaging in sexual activity? Have they given verbal permission for each sexual activity? Then you have clear consent.
Silence is not consent. Never assume you have consent — you should clarify by asking. Once you start kissing your way down her stomach and she freezes don’t assume it’s because she’s impressed with your skills. Look up at her and ask her if she wants you to go down on her.
You should have permission for every activity at every stage of a sexual encounter. It’s also important to note that consent can be removed at any time — after all, people do change their minds! If she’s saying yes, yes, yes and then NO!! The previous yeses are irrelevant.
Failure to recognize that the other person was too impaired to consent is not “drunk sex.” It’s sexual assault.
Consent should be given freely and willingly. Repeatedly asking someone to engage in a sexual act until they eventually say yes is not consent, it’s coercion.
Consent is required for everyone, including people who are in a committed relationship or married. No one is obliged to do anything they don’t want to do. And being in a relationship doesn’t obligate a person to engage in any type of sexual activity.
It’s important to understand that any type of sexual activity without consent, including touching, fondling, kissing, and intercourse, is a form of sexual assault and may be considered a crime.
Both parties should feel comfortable communicating their needs without feeling fearful. If you’re initiating sex, and you become angry, frustrated, or insistent when your partner declines any sexual activity, this is not okay. Reminding her of nice things you’ve done in the past just makes you a dick. And means everything you did was laced with ulterior motives.
Sexual or nonsexual activity that occurs because of fear, guilt, or pressure is coercion — and it’s a form of sexual assault. If you’re engaging in sexual activity and the person declines to go further or seems hesitant, stop for a moment and ask them if they’re comfortable doing that activity or if they want to take a break.
Let them know you don’t want to do anything they don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with, and that there’s no harm in waiting and doing something else.
In any sexual encounter, it’s the responsibility of the person initiating sexual activity to ensure that the other person feels comfortable and safe.
You might worry that asking for consent is going to be a total mood killer, but the alternative — not asking for consent and potentially sexually assaulting someone — is unacceptable.
Consent doesn’t mean having to sit down for a clinical discussion or signing forms! There are ways to ask for consent that aren’t a total buzzkill.
Besides, if you’re comfortable enough to want to get closer, then you should be comfortable enough to ask for consent.