Real-deal consent requires clear, open and honest communication. And if we're going ahead and actually being sexual together in some way, that also means an ongoing, nuanced and pretty highly situational process of communication, not just one or two super-quick, super-basic exchanges.
Not only is communication as a process essential to keeping it consensual, it's a big part of sex actually being any good for everyone involved.
My boyfriend and I have been together for several years, and I feel like generally we have a good sex life. When we first started, I faked a lot of orgasms, because I often wasn't getting enough natural lubrication to finish, a lot of which I think is because I'm on the pill....
What should you do when someone says no to or otherwise refuses or declines your romantic or sexual gestures or asks Accept it and stop making those gestures or asks. That's the right answer every single time: just accept someone's no and then back right off.
Asking or otherwise pressing over and over isn't the right answer. "Not giving up" (which often looks a whole lot like harassment) isn't the right answer. Trying to get them to change their mind isn't the right answer. Trying to get them to change their mind through their friends or family also isn't the right answer. And while it should be obvious, we so sadly know that it isn't: no kind of violence is ever the right answer.
What would the world look like if we made a habit of thinking about personal boundaries in our everyday lives?