Consent and Drinking

For an interactive tool to help you navigate consent while drinking, check out

Consent is an affirmative, unabmiguous, and conscious decision to participate

At this point, you've established consent with your partner(s) and are ready to begin the sexual encounter. Does that mean anything goes now? No! Remember that consent is ongoing and can be revoked at any time. You and your partner(s) have the right to change your minds about wanting to engage in sexual activity, and since you have been drinking, it is even more important to keep checking in with yourself and your partner(s) to make sure everyone is on the same page about what is happening -- and what might happen next.

Keep checking in with yourself by asking:

  1. Do I feel safe?
  2. Am I enjoying this?
  3. Am I comfortable?
  4. Am I being respected?

Keep checking in with your partner(s) by asking them (for example):

  1. Does this feel good?
  2. Are you okay?
  3. Do you like that?
  4. Can I touch your ______?
  5. What would you like to do next?

The only way to make sure an activity is okay with your partner(s) is to ask them. One study found that 78% of college students tend to overestimate their partner’s comfort during hookups (Reiber &a Garcia, 2010), so use your words! Relying on your partner(s) to give you physical cues that they are into what is happening (i.e. eye contact, moaning, biting their own bottom lip) is not the best way to gauge their comfort. Remember that consent is unambiguous, meaning it must be clear. Moaning can imply pleasure, for example, but it can also imply pain.



UC Davis Sexual Violence Prevention and Response

SHCS Sexual Assault Health Topic

Sexual Communication