Effective Consent, as noted above, means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.
Sokolow, Brett A., Lewis, W. Scott, Schuster, Saundra K., NCHERM Institute on Responding to Campus Sexual Misconduct. 2010, p. 49.
- Requires Communication
Words or actions must be used to establish consent. The absence of "no" does not equal "yes."
- Must Entail an Uninfluenced yes
Consent cannot be established if one person if pressuring the other- this can be physical or emotional. Pressuring another person by saying things like "if you love me you'll do this", "I'll find it elsewhere if I don't get it from you" does not lead to effective consent and is not respectful of the other person's wishes.
- Happens one step at a time - every time
Just because your partner agrees to one thing, that does not mean they agree to everything. Oral sex does not give consent for intercourse and vice versa. Also, just because you have hooked up one time, it does not give permission for every other time- even if you are in a relationship, even if it has happened many times before.
- Is free to be taken back at any time
At any point during a sexual encounter each partner should feel free to change his or her mind and the other partner must respect that person's decision.