In general, giving consent means agreeing to do something. When it comes to sexual relationships, consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity.
In Ohio, the legal age for a person to consent to any kind of sexual activity is 16 years old. This age varies state to state.
Here are the top rules about consent:
- Consent must be clearly and freely communicated without threat of force or verbal pressure or coercion. Silence, saying “maybe”, “I guess if you want to” and “maybe later” do NOT mean “yes”. Only “yes” means “yes”.
- Consent, once given, can be withdrawn at any time and the activity must be stopped immediately. Consent to one activity does not mean consent to any other activities. Consent to an activity once does not mean consent to that activity forever.
- Consent cannot be given while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while sleeping or unconscious. Being naked, getting a condom, undressing, and foreplay does NOT mean consent for sexual intercourse.
- Consent should be obtained continually and before each sex act.
For an easy (and fun) explanation of consent, check out this video.
Obtaining consent doesn’t have to be awkward. You don’t have to actually say “Can we have sex now?” Here are some suggestions for obtaining consent in more natural ways. You can ask questions like:
Learn more about consent with these great resources: