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Kwiecien: How do you make sure the person you’re having sex with doesn’t later accuse you of sexual assault?



How do you make sure the person you’re having sex with doesn’t later accuse you of sexual assault? If they can claim months after sex that they didn’t actually consent (even though they were obviously into it the whole time), aren’t you kind of screwed? (no pun intended).

-Dude Process McGee

Dear Dude,

You are right to say that consent is a very sensitive topic at the University of Oregon, and I’m happy to hear that you respect the consent of others, as well as the impact it will have on yourself. As you may have learned during a Get Explicit presentation, always ASK!

Your first step to getting consent and not being framed for sexual assault is to literally ask, “Wanna have sex, sweet thang?” This can be steamy, romantic, cutesy, cheesy, quirky, suave, awkward — whatever your style is, there is a straightforward way to ask if your partner wants to give consent.

If you feel like this would ruin the mood, practice so it doesn’t! Get up in the morning, brush your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror and in your gentlest voice whisper in their ear, “Do you want to have sex with me?” Say it so you know the mood won’t drop — in fact, say it so it adds to the mood. The asking may be the part that turns your partner on the most (outside of bed, of course).

Okay, let’s say you practiced ‘til you were an expert, and when you asked in the moment it seemed right, but then your partner is hesitant and unsure about saying yes. If that’s the case, do not keep pressuring them because that might lead to the assault accusation you are worried about and make your partner very uncomfortable. The last thing you want is to coerce your partner into saying yes. Try asking what they’d like to do or what you can do for them. This will prompt them to say what they consent to and will give them the opportunity to possibly express why they are feeling hesitant.

Now, let’s say that your partner wasn’t hesitant and it seemed like they were “obviously into it,” as you put it, but they were drunk. There’s quite a lot of grey area around giving consent and being drunk, here’s a simple guideline: even if you are drunk, the initiator is still liable for their actions, and if someone seems incoherent or unable to think about consequences because they are intoxicated, they forfeit their ability to give consent.

I’m not saying drunk sex is bad because two very inebriated people can certainly have a fun night and end it with sex, but if you’re wary whether someone may accuse you of sexual assault, you shouldn’t be having drunk sex. If it’s your first time with this person or it seemed like you may have pressured or coerced them in any way — I know it sounds unnatural — you should not have sex. Try asking the next day when you’re both sober… then let the magic begin!

If I have one piece of advice, it’s that you should do the right thing, and you seem to know what that is regarding consent. Sometimes temptations or intoxication make irresponsible actions seem okay, but try your hardest to know what’s right and wrong.

For further guidance about consent, check out this comic from Everyday Feminism. 

I hope you consent to my advice,

Braedon


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Braedon Kwiecien

Braedon Kwiecien