Then you just had sex.
A Ennis

The absence of a “no” does not imply consent. If a person is unconscious, they cannot give consent. This is unambiguous.

I’ve mostly been just trying to work through the more constructive responses here, but I’m responding to this A McEnnis because I’m afraid that the part of my piece you quoted — “What if I’m feeling too vulnerable to say no?” — was actually a little ambiguous. To clarify a little: in this situation, if I voice consent, even if it’s unenthusiastic, that’s not rape. I’m not saying that men should learn to be mind-readers. But it still contributes to rape culture, and it doesn’t fit with my view of what I want a healthy sexual interaction to be.

On the other hand, if I’m feeling too vulnerable to say no and freeze up or become non-responsive, then I believe that it still rape.

Basic consent is the bare minimum, the lowest bar for decency/legality. But we ought to be aiming for enthusiastic consent, always. That’s the point I was trying to make here.

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