Talking Consent: Is a Drunk, High, or Buzzed “Yes” Still a “Yes”?

By: Hadeel

Party culture has been a constant thing throughout history – going out with a couple of your friends to someone’s party and having a blast, but as much as party culture is fun and relaxing to some people it does have dangers. But out of all the dangers of party culture, let’s talk about consent. Is a drunk, high, or buzzed “yes” really a “yes”?

I personally think that anything sexual should be avoided in these situations since you sometimes aren’t really conscious of what’s really happening- due to that consent is pretty tricky in this situation. If you are the person asking for consent try asking for it before the other person gets high or drunk, but while they are in their haze phase it’s better to avoid. If you are the person being asked for their consent to try to give it out or refuse before getting under influence. You need to make sure both parties are on board and have consciously agreed.

But if you do end up having to ask or be asked for consent while under the influence then here are some things that you should know/do.

  • No always means no

No means no. Silence means no. A mixed response means no. Even a yes doesn’t always mean a yes. You know the saying “Drunk words, sober thoughts”? Yeah, it’s not always the case- in fact when it comes to consent while high or drunk it’s actually more difficult, just because they’re intoxicated or high doesn’t mean that all their answers come from within or that they truly want to do this or say that. If the person being asked says yes, but is unstable on their feet, unable to focus, look like they’re way too intoxicated or high, and or are sleepy/tired looking even if they insist it’s a yes, it’s better to avoid. If you know them try to call a mutual friend and help them or just leave them alone.

  • Try to communicate

Consent is all about both sides agreeing and there being an understanding and clear communication of the situation. If the other person is too intoxicated or high to voice their consent clearly then you should stop. If they voiced their consent but you still have doubts try asking them again in a clear way, the response will determine what you should do next. If it’s a no then stop and leave, even if they said yes before, you should stop. But if they said yes and are slightly but surely coming down from their high then be sure to use protection.

  • Be safe

Safety is always important hence it’s really important to use protection even if they’re your partner/significant other. As shown in many books and movies that include party and hookup culture, it’s never fun or reassuring waking up not knowing if you used protection or not, even if you are on birth control pills, it’s always good to be extra safe.

The hookup and party culture are both amazing things when you are informed of how to be safely involved in both of them. Because as much as it seems simple to go out and party or to hookup with someone, if both are not done safely they can lead to big circumstances. A small mistake, honest or not, can lead you into a huge mess because rape is not a joke, especially when it comes to law. A yes while intoxicated might not be a yes in the eyes of law. Cause you know, it’s all fun and games until someone ends up in jail.

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