Establishing Consent

You must ask the question

Both your question and the other personís answer must be:

Specific: "Do you want to come back to my place?" is not a specific request for sex.

Clear: Lack of saying "no" is not the same as granting consent.

Updated: Anyone can withdraw consent at any time. In a 2003 California case, a man who was engaged in consensual sex with a woman was found guilty of rape because when she withdrew consent, he failed to stop.

Of a capable person

That person must NOT be:



Mentally or physically incapacitated

Underage (chronologically, emotionally, or intellectually)

In a prohibited relationship (e.g., incest, adultery, or in a professional relationship such as therapist/client, President/intern, etc.)

With adequate disclosures

This would include anything that either of you consider to be relevant in making a decision to be physically intimate. Some examples are:

Exposure to STDís

Intention for the relationship

Marital status

Attitudes toward contraception & pregnancy

And without coercion.

Consent is not determined by whether they say "yes" as much as it is by their ability to say "no." Unless they are as free to say "no" as they are to say "yes," consent is not granted. Remember, sex without consent is not sex; it is sexual assault. Coercion tactics include:

Rape: The most obvious and especially harmful use of coercion

Bribe (e.g., prostitution or pornography)

Threats of force or other consequences

False disclosure such as a married person claiming to be single

Obligation: "You owe me for taking you out on a date" or "because youíre my wife."