Yes means Yes - On Sex and Consent
There has been quite a lot of talk on consent in the media lately. In my eyes, most of the debate around consent focus on the wrong angle. We shouldn't just be aiming for consent, we should be looking for willing and enthusiastic participation. I want my partner to be engaged and enjoying the experience, I don't want someone who is disinterested and passive.
It does not matter what someone is wearing it is never okay to touch them without their consent; I don't care if that guy has the "sickest guns" you've ever seen, or that girl has "the greatest rack", if they haven't given you express permission to get up close and personal with them don't. It's not rocket science. Do not touch unless invited to do so. You can ask if you can, but don't already be touching while you do this.
So often in sexual assaults the victim is put on trial; did they fight, were they passive, what were they wearing. It should also be pointed out that receiving a yes, after you have badgered someone into agreeing is not consent. A pressured yes, is not an indication of consent. No is a complete sentence, it is a definitive response, it is NOT the start of a negotiation.
It is not something you should moan or complain about continually until it is changed. If we made the story about enthusiastic participation then consent would never be able to be questioned. Either they are into it or you need to stop. It shouldn't be about 'no means no' (even though that is correct), it should be yes means yes. If your partner is incapable of giving a willing and enthusiastic yes, then you need to not be doing whatever it is you're doing.
It can feel really awkward to have a conversation like "I want to have sex with you, do you consent?" but it doesn't have to be a specific verbal yes; are they kissing and touching you in return? Are they smiling, nodding, looking relaxed and happy? Other good signs to watch for moaning, heavy breathing, saying that's good, don't stop, etc.
Remember to check with your partner throughout the sex, just because they've consented to one thing doesn't mean they've consented to everything. A really good way to do this without it being awkward is to try touching, stroking or kissing different areas of your partner's body, asking do you like this? If at any point the answer is no, move away from that place. They are giving you a definite cue and you need to pay attention to it.
To sum up: The lack of a 'no' or the lack of physical resistance does not equate consent. Consent needs to be an enthusiastic and willing yes.