I believe I’ve seen a comprehensive description of consent once before. Figured I’d contribute as it’s a subject that bears repeating.
- Non-coercive: If you’re cojoling, threatening or otherwise trying to “convince” someone to engage in a sexual act with you, you are breaking consent. If you asked 16 times and got 15 No’s and 1 Yes, you still did not adequately obtain consent. Also, you’re a weak individual.
- Not fixed: What I mean by this is you shouldn’t take for granted that after asking once for consent that you now have consent forever. It’s not like landing a gig as a Supreme Court judge. You don’t have consent for life. It should be continuously negotiated.
- Dynamic: Related to the above note, consent for one act does not necessitate consent for all acts. Consent is not an EZ Pass. It should be re-addressed constantly for different acts.
- Conscious: Yeah, I want to believe I don’t have to explain this one. Bad enough I had to list it. But ok, yes, an inebriated/asleep/passed out or otherwise not fully coherent person cannot consent. There, you can’t say no one ever told you.
- Unambiguous/Explicit: Assume all of the following to mean “no.” — “Maybe,” “I’m not sure,” “Not yet,” “Kinda,” “Wait a minute,” …I could go on.
- Not contingent upon sexual interest nor sexual arousal: We know. Blue balls are a motherfucker. Still no excuse. Neither your NOR the expressed/implied interest of any potential partners is an invitation to any act. Also, neither your nor the (assumed) arousal of anyone you might want to have sex with is an invitation. Yes, someone might be aroused and still not want to fuck. Crazy times. I know.
- Not compensatory: Yeah, that dinner and a movie were nice. Still not an invitation to fuck. And if you thought it was, you’re a world class asshole.
- Not something that requires a qualifier: No one needs to explain why they are not granting you consent. No is enough.