At its core, consent is an informed, affirmative, voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.
Seawolves C.A.R.E. is a reminder of what’s expected when we talk about “consent” at SSU. Sex should be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved- consent is the foundation of that.
When we say Seawolves C.A.R.E., we know that consent is
- Clear, Capacitated Communication.
- Always Affirmative.
- Reciprocal and Retractable.
- Every act. Every time.
You can read SSU's full definitions of consent, capacitation, and coercion in CSU Executive Orders 1096 & 1097.
Fully informed and freely given consent cannot truly be given if a person is incapacitated.
Incapacitation is the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments that prevent an individual from giving valid consent. A person may be permanently or temporarily incapacitated due to substances such as alcohol or drugs, severe emotional distress, a disability, they may be passed out or asleep, or they may be under the age of 18.
Incapacitation Due to Alcohol or Other Substances
Over 80% of all sexual assaults on college campuses involve alcohol by one or more persons. While persons can consume alcohol and consensually engage in sexual activity, there may come a point when a person is incapacitated and therefore is unable to give consent.
Here are some signs of incapacitation:
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Smell of alcohol on their breath
- Outrageous or unusual behavior
- Passed out, unconscious, or asleep
This list is not extensive. If you’re not sure if someone is capacitated and therefore able to consent to sexual activity, do not engage in any sexual activity.
It’s important to remember that a person can be conscious and still be incapacitated. Even if a person says “yes” to sexual activity while they’re incapacitated, if their partner proceeds, they are in violation of SSU’s sexual misconduct policy.
If you're planning on having sex with someone, make sure they are capacitated and able to consent. If they choose to drink to the point of incapacitation, don't engage in sexual activity.
If you're thinking of engaging in sexual activity with someone, monitor your alcohol consumption so your partner can ensure you’re capacitated.
Clear and Affirmative
Your partners must willfully communicate their consent to you through words or clear actions, while they are capacitated. The best way to know if someone has consented is to ask.
Consent must be always affirmative: freely and willfully given.
A person who is coerced, pressured, guilted, or threatened into sexual activity is not consenting. When a person is being coerced into saying “yes”, they’re not being given the option to say “no.”
- Coercion is unreasonable, inappropriate pressure to engage in sexual activity. Continued pressure to engage in sexual activity after the other person makes it clear that they do not want to engage in, want to stop, or do not want to go further with sexual activity can be coercion.
If you’re ever unsure, stop, check in with your partner, and don’t proceed unless you can ensure consent.
Reciprocal & Retractable
Every person involved in the sexual activity is responsible for ensuring they have consent from their partner.
This includes ensuring your partner is capacitated.
Consent may be retracted at any point before or during sexual activity.
If someone has retracted their consent, it is their partner’s responsibility to respect that decision and immediately stop sexual activity.
Every Act, Every Time
You need to ensure consent for every type of sexual activity before engaging in it.
Just because a person has consented to one act, does not mean they have consented to others. Always check in if you’re wanting to do something more than they have consented to.
You must ensure consent every time you engage in sexual activity.
Prior consent does not indicate future consent.
This applies to persons who have been engaging in sexual activity for years, for the first time, and anywhere in between; there are no exceptions.