One thing that is very important when engaging in a sexual relationship with someone else is that you have their consent to do so. This is important even for couples who are in a relationship, but especially important for those who have no prior relationship. For instance, people who meet up at bars or social gatherings where drinking is common may have a short-term relationship based on that encounter, but they still need to make sure that they get consent.
Experts note that you shouldn’t think of consent as simply someone not saying “no” to your advances. They explicitly need to say yes and they need to be clear that they also want this type of physical relationship to continue. Someone who just doesn’t say no has not given their consent for that relationship.
Complications may arise after the fact
This can lead to some serious complications when alcohol use is involved in the encounter. For example:
- You may not remember if you asked for consent or not
- The other person may have an entirely different memory of how the encounter occurred
- Both of you may have a foggy memory if you were drinking heavily
- You may misinterpret things that they say or signals that they give you as consent when they actually are not
These are just a few examples of how things can go in a way you never expected. You may think that everything is fine until you find out that they’re accusing you of assault or nonconsensual relations.
What should you do if this happens?
If this does happen, you need to take it very seriously and look into all of your legal options. Even if you disagree with their statements that you didn’t get consent or that you did anything wrong, you need to know how to defend yourself against such serious allegations.