Consent

            Sexual acts cannot legally take place without informed consent.  Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon a full appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of any actions, with the individual being in possession of all of his or her faculties.  For example, someone who is mentally ill or mentally impaired can not be expected to give informed consent.  Anyone whose judgment could be impaired at the time of consenting by sleepiness, intoxication, alcohol, drugs is not necessarily truly giving informed consent. 

            Any sexual act committed without both parties’ informed consent is illegal and can be considered rape or sexual assault.

            Oodles of advice on how to say no are available online, and you can certainly develop your own tactics.  Just know that it is not in anyone’s interest for either person to be pressured into something they don’t feel ready to do.  Asking for consent is legally smart (remember Kobe Bryant?) and demonstrates consideration and care for your partner

            Consent is physical, emotional, and legal protection.  It should be asked every time.