Consent means fully conscious, voluntary acceptance and agreement. In other words, if threat, coercion, intoxication or violence is happening, consent does not exist. Any sexual act without consent is a crime.
Read more about consent, including information about legal definitions in California.
Consent is often thought of as a stamp of approval that must be acquired before engaging in sexual activity.
Alternatively, this video explores consent using the metaphor of wind. Dynamic, fluid, and fun: this perspective on consent enables us to see it not as a prerequisite, but rather as the driving force of all healthy sexual experiences, and an unlimited source of joy, excitement, and creativity.
In sex crime cases, California defines consent as "positive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will."
Consent is willful and positive cooperation in an act that encompasses voluntary action and knowledge of the nature of the act involved. Consent is specific to each individual act; having previously consented to an act does not imply continued consent.
Cooperation that is forced through direct or implied threats of violence is not consent, nor is cooperation that is solicited by fear.