Well, consensual sex that is.
In fact, let’s just start by defining the term “consensual sex.”
Consensual sex is two adults willingly and verbally agreeing to engage in sexual activity with each other.
Not too difficult to understand, right?
But there are many misunderstandings associated with the term “consensual sex”
Because in our culture, the line that separates consensual sex from nonconsensual sex has been blurred.
If you are intoxicated can you give sexual consent?
If you are dating or married to someone, is there still a need for sexual consent?
If you flirt with a guy and wear sexy, revealing clothing are you basically asking for sex?
If you’ve had consensual sex with this person before, should it already be assumed that your next sexual encounter is consensual?
And if you’re already having sex with someone but change your mind in the middle of it, is it consensual sex?
The answer to all of these questions is no.
And I’ll explain why.
If someone is intoxicated or high, they cannot give sexual consent.
The reason for this is because when you’re drunk or high, your thinking is altered and you could be making drunk decisions that you wouldn’t have made if you were sober.
If sexual activity does occur between someone who is drunk and someone who is sober, the responsibility for the misinterpretation belongs to the sober person and it is considered rape.
If both parties are intoxicated, the responsibility falls on the person who initiated the sexual activity.
Just think of it like this: if you’re too drunk to drive, you’re too drunk to have sex.
Just because you’re married or dating someone, does not mean that you have to have sex with them.
You’re not obligated to sleep with someone just because you’ve entered a relationship with them.
Consent should be absolutely clear every single time you have sex, and the only way to have clear consent is to verbally say “Yes.”
Even married people should only have sex when they actually want to.
I’m going to try and make this as clear as possible.
If I am wearing clothing that is considered “revealing,” that does not mean in any way at all that I am inviting you to have sex with me.
Let’s look at it like this,
If I buy a beautiful brand new Mercedes-Benz and drive it around the town, I am not inviting you to take my car and give it a spin.
Just like if I’m wearing a pretty dress, I’m not hinting that you should take it off.
The only way someone could possibly be “asking for sex” is if someone literally says, “I want to have sex with you.”
Let’s not blame the victim or what they were wearing, let’s blame the rapist.
4. Previous Sexual Consent
Again, consent must be given every single time someone has sex.
Let’s look at it like this, if you went out to dinner with someone last night then they shouldn’t be showing up at your door tonight assuming that you’re free to have dinner with them again. But when you tell them no, they get angry and start screaming, “But we had dinner last night and you were enjoying it! Why can’t we go out again tonight?!”
That’d be strange and you’d probably shut the door in their face.
So it doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex with someone before.
It doesn’t matter they’re asking for it again and calling you a “tease” or a “slut” because they know you’re “dtf.”
Just because you’ve engaged in sexual activity with someone before does not take away your power to say “No.”
You’re not a tease. They’re just disgusting.
5. Current Consensual Sexual Activity Turned Nonconsensual
People can change their mind once they’re already engaged in sexual activity.
If you begin having sex, that does not mean that you have to continue having sex.
Just verbally say that you no longer want to be engaged in that activity and if they stop, it’s not considered rape because you already consented.
However, if the activity continues, it’s considered sexual assault/rape.
I know that this topic is difficult to discuss and that many people misunderstand the line that defines consensual sex from nonconsensual sex, but that is exactly why I wrote this: to clarify.
Because when I was in high school, I had no idea what determined nonconsensual sex from consensual sex.
I thought it was simple.
I thought “sexual assault” could only occur when a poor girl was walking down the street and a random maniac popped out of the bushes and attacked her.
But according to RAINN (The nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization),
“82% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger.”
Most victims feel that it’s their own fault because they were drunk, or dating the attacker, or flirting with them, or have had sexual relations with the attacker before.
But it is never the victims fault.
So let’s promote the understanding of this difficult topic and make it clear just what is “sexual consent” and what it is not.
If you’re a victim of sexual assault or know someone who is and is struggling,
Here are a couple help lines:
- RAINN – 1-800-656-HOPE
- Safe Horizon – 212-227-3000
And if you have any more questions concerning consensual sex, watch this amazing video:
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