Yes Means Yes.

Written by K. 



First and foremost: No one owes you sex.


I don’t care about the situation surrounding the proposal for sex; I don’t care how much you paid for dinner, or how many drinks you bought them, or how nice you’ve been to them, or how flirty they’ve been with you. They don’t owe you shit. And I am speaking to every gender, so don’t think this doesn’t apply to you.

Secondly, consent can be revoked at any time. If someone says they’d like to have sex with you and then later change their mind, that’s the end of the conversation. They do not wish to engage in the sex with you, please back away and respect their wishes, thankyouverymuch. In the same way if I offer to lend you $20, but then change my mind and you turn around and steal $20 from my purse,  that is a crime! The same thing is true with sex. Only it’s not $20, it’s a PERSON.

Now, if that person is intoxicated, as in you don’t trust them to operate a motor vehicle, you probably shouldn’t trust their decision making abilities, either. If someone is plastered, they’re going to agree to most things because their cognitive abilities are impaired. But this impairment means that they are not mentally capable. We don’t trust drunk people to make decisions about most things and this needs to be included on that list.

I get it, it’s a tricky line and drunk people are can be firtier than your average bear. It’s pretty easy to say, “but I didn’t realize how drunk they were, they seemed into it!” But let’s be real, when you’ve been drinking with someone, you know whether or not you trust them to start cooking. You do a quick mental evaluation to see how comfortable you’d be with them handling fire and sharp objects. If they have the mental capacity of a tired toddler, you’re probably going to encourage them to pound some water and take a preventative ibuprofen instead. Now replace cooking with sex, et voila!

In general, if you would use the term “drunk” to describe the person, or any of its more severe synonyms (hammered, plastered, wasted, etc.) then avoid having sex with that person. They do not have the mental capacity to make an important decision. And having sex with someone, even casual sex, is an important decision given the potential consequences.

And it probably goes without saying, but if the person is unconscious, DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THEM. They are physically incapable of giving you permission to touch them. Which means you should not touch them.

Here’s a pro-tip: If if your partner is quiet, avoiding eye contact, retracting into themselves and withdrawn, you may want to stop and check in with them instead. Not only is this a good practice sexually (you may be doing something they’re not into), but some people have a very hard time speaking up when they’ve grown uncomfortable. And if they’re fearful, they’re more likely to freeze up and say nothing. That’s why it’s important not just to avoid getting a “no” when proposing sex, but you also want to get a verbal “yes”. Because some people get scared or anxious and are unable to bring themselves to ask you to stop.

A good rule of thumb is to check in with your partner before, during and even after sex, to make sure they’re still into it. Sex is way more fun when you partner’s having a good time, so it’s not like this is some kind of un-sexy hardship you now have to slip into your dirty talk. Whisper in their ear and ask if they’re having a good time. Boom! It’s easy AND sexy! It’s not a mood killer if you’re willing to get a little creative and have fun.

In any situation, if you find that you’re not sure whether or not your partner wants to have sex, err on the side of caution and don’t risk it. An unwanted sexual encounter can have devastating effects on the person you slept with.

There’s a video that circulated the internet about a year ago that explains this brilliantly with an analogy regarding tea. I encourage you to watch it below.

Tea Consent


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