Consent and dating
- Listen carefully. Take the time to hear what a potential romantic partner is saying. If you feel they are not being direct or giving you a "mixed message," ask for clarification.
- Body language can be misinterpreted and can differ from partner to partner. It's always a good idea to get a verbal "yes," and supplement that with the other nonverbal cues.
- Don't fall for the common stereotype that when a partner says "No" they really mean "Yes." "No" means "No." If someone says "No" to sexual contact, believe them and stop immediately.
- Remember that date rape is a crime. It is never acceptable to use force in sexual situations, no matter what the circumstances.
- Don't make assumptions about a potential romantic partner's behavior. Don't automatically assume that someone wants to have sex just because they drink heavily, dress provocatively, or agree to go to your room. Don't assume that just because a partner has had sex with you previously they are willing to have sex with you again. Also don't assume that just because a partner consents to kissing or other sexual intimacies they are willing to have sexual intercourse.
- Be aware that having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent is rape. Do not engage in sexual contact with someone who is drugged, intoxicated, passed out, incapable of saying "No," or unaware of what is happening around them.
- Know your sexual intentions and limits. You have the right to say "No" to any unwanted sexual contact. If you are uncertain about what you want, ask the individual to respect your feelings.
- Communicate your limits firmly and directly. If you are not interested in sexual contact, say "No” and try not to give mixed messages. Back up your words with a firm tone of voice and clear body language.
- Don't assume that your date will automatically know how you feel, or will eventually "get the message" without verbally expressing your feelings.
- Remember that some people think that drinking heavily, dressing provocatively, or going to a potential partner’s room indicates a willingness to have sex. Be especially careful to communicate your limits and intentions clearly in such situations.
- Listen to your gut feelings. If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place.
- Don't be afraid to "make waves" if you feel threatened. If you feel you are being pressured or coerced into sexual activity against your will, don't hesitate to state your feelings and attempt to get out of the situation. Better a few minutes of social awkwardness or embarrassment than the trauma of sexual assault.
If someone has made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe on a date, let us know by reporting the profile and selecting the "Assault/ Abusive/ Violent" option. Our moderation team will look into your report quickly. Alternatively, you can email us via this form.