We live in a time when we have more open and honest discussions about sexual assault and the traumatic impact it can have on men and women alike. As you navigate your dating life in Orlando, it is best to have a solid grasp of the importance of gaining consent before any type of sexual activity.

Planned Parenthood offers a few guidelines on what consent is and how to talk about it. Keep these tips in mind to stay on the right side of the law.

Breaking down consent

Sexual consent is permission to engage in a specific sexual activity, eliminating any doubt that either party is comfortable with what is taking place. Honesty is a big part of consent, so as to not send mixed messages.

Another essential component of consent is that parties have to give consent every time they engage in sexual activities. Saying “yes” the first time does not mean the person gives unspoken consent for every similar sexual act in the future. A person can rescind consent if she or he ever has a change of heart later on.

Consent is not implied

Something else to bear in mind regarding consent is that it is never implied. What that means is that just because a person acts or dresses a certain way or has a certain reputation does not mean he or she gives unspoken sexual consent. On a related note, an inebriated or unconscious individual, or a person under the influence of drugs may not be in the right state of mind to give proper, unquestionable consent.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.