They need to tell you!
Lately, a lot of ads, videos, and discussions have been focused on the idea of consent. What is it, when it's necessary (spoiler alert: always), and how to clear up confusion regarding it. So let's break down this video from Planned Parenthood, shall we?
Consent means an ENTHUSIASTIC yes!
If someone is cringing away, stating they're uncomfortable, asking to slow down, or freezing up, it means that it's time to stop. If someone is asleep, intoxicated, or otherwise unable to say YES, it means that it's time to stop. Consent means that everyone is awake and excited about what's going on. Anything else is rape, and it's not okay.
No pressure or intimidation allowed!
If someone is being threatened, manipulated, or coerced into anything sexual, it's not consent. If someone is saying 'yes' for any reason other than 'I want to do this', it's not consent. Consent is an honest choice. If that freedom to make that choice has been taken away, it's rape, and it's not okay.
We're not entitled to anyone else's body.
It doesn't matter what someone is wearing, where they work, what they look like, what they've done before, or what others think of them. What matters is their right to their own body and what happens to it. Any violation of that is rape, and it's not okay.
How can you be sure?
ASK!!! Even if it's someone you know really well. Even if you've done this before. Even if you really, really want to keep going. It's your responsibility to ask. You can say something like "can I touch you here", "do you like it when I do that", or "how about we try this?". Don't make demands. Don't throw a fit if the answer is no. Don't try to negotiate when someone has expressed a limit. This isn't just about having better sex: it's about not violating another person's body. Doing so is rape. It's breaking the law and really hurting another human being. Do the right thing. Check in. Make consent a part of your sexual life.