Where do we draw the line?

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Early on, we’re warned of the big red line that defines the crossing point between consensual and nonconsensual sex. We know that crossing this line is bad, and with it comes consequences: both legal and moral. We know that if someone tries to cross that line with us, our emergency sirens should go off. In many instances, it’s very easy to understand the difference between right and wrong; or, at least it should be (I’m looking at you, Brock Turner’s dad).

But in a politically correct world, we’re not taught about the areas that toe the line. There is a difference between a tipsy hookup and inebriated rape. Although UNO’s official stance is that consent cannot be given when alcohol becomes involved, most rational people would agree there is an ethical difference between having sex with a person who has had one or two and someone who is black-out drunk and literally cannot stand up.

We are in college, and one-night stands involving alcohol are inevitable. But please be careful when making these choices. The influence of alcohol has been proven to lead to atypical partner choice but also to post-sex regret.

UNO is 100 percent correct, Louisiana law defines nonconsensual sex occurring “if the victim is of an abnormal condition of the mind due to intoxicating agents, where the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.”

And although “no” does mean “NO”, nonconsensual sex doesn’t always involve verbal resistance, especially under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It can involve subtle physical resistance, changing of conversation, or a million other methods. Consent requires communication in a world where most communication rarely happens face-to-face.

It’s normal to need a little liquid courage for the initial stages of flirting, but once you’re past that, consider taking a step back. If you’ve hit it off with someone, you likely don’t need more alcohol, and you certainly don’t have to force the other person to take the next step with you.

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