Consenting to sex is a conscious decision that we make in every sexual encounter, regardless of whether the person is our partner, spouse, acquaintance, or a stranger. There are lots of important things to remember about consent:
- Consent cannot be given, and is not considered valid, if the person is intoxicated, sleeping, unconscious, or unresponsive.
- Just because your partner has consented to have sex with you in the past, or kissed or made out with you beforehand, does not mean that they are consenting to sexual activity in the present moment.
- There are many different ways to turn down sex. For example, pushing the other person away, saying things like “I’m not sure” or “I have to get up early”, not actively participating, trying to keep their clothes on, or just being silent are all valid ways of communicating “no.” For a full definition of consent, see the Criminal Code.