Frequently Asked Questions
What is Consent?
Consent must be…
Fully informed. To be fully informed, consent must be based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given.
Non-coercive. Cajoling, threatening, or otherwise trying to “convince” someone to engage in a sexual act with you is breaking consent. This means that asking 16 times, getting 15 No’s and 1 Yes, is still not adequately obtaining consent.
Not fixed. After asking once for consent does NOT mean that you now have consent forever. It should be continuously negotiated, even (and especially) when you are in a committed relationship.
Dynamic. Related to the above note, consent for one act does not necessitate consent for all acts. It should be re-addressed constantly for different acts.
Conscious. Anyone who is inebriated, asleep, passed out or otherwise not fully coherent cannot consent, legally or otherwise.
Unambiguous/Explicit. Many phrases that indicate doubt, such as “Maybe,” “I’m not sure,” “Not yet,” “Kinda,” “Wait a minute,” are not consent. One can assume they mean “no.”
Not contingent upon sexual interest nor sexual arousal. Neither your interest NOR the expressed/implied interest of any potential partners is an invitation to any act. Also, neither your arousal nor the (assumed) arousal of anyone you might want to have sex with is an invitation.
Not compensatory. Despite some assumptions, a nice dinner and a movie are not an invitation to have sex.
Not something that requires a qualifier. No one needs to explain why they are not granting you consent. No is enough.