Common College Convo: What is Consent?

It seems like now a days we always hear everyone asking "What is consent? How is it defined?" The Merriam Webster dictionary defines consent as “permission for something to happen or be done.” But since there seems to always be confusion on what consent is, specifically regarding sexual health, I'm here to help break it down - letter by letter.

  • C: Conscious - Both parties must be awake and aware, before AND during a sexual encounter

  • O: Okay? - Verbal confirmation should be given to know that it is okay to continue. Silence does NOT mean “yes.”

  • N: Not Forced or Pressured - Consent is voluntary, you should not feel as though you were guilted or pressured to engage in sexual acts

  • S: Sober - Someone who is intoxicated whether that be from alcohol or drugs, CAN NOT consent because of their state of mind

  • E: Enthusiastic - Sex is supposed to be fun and pleasurable for both people, so consent should be enthusiastic, NOT silent or forced.

  • N: Non-Ambiguous - Consent cannot be misinterpreted, it is a clear “Yes." Anything else means no. 

  • T: Taken Away - Consent CAN be taken away at any time during an interaction, regardless how far you have gotten. If someone is uncomfortable that means it's time to stop. 

Consent is the line between sex and sexual assault. It is crucial that we, as a part of society, understand and comprehend it.


If you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted, we've listed resources below to help you better understand your options. Always know that you are not alone.

National Resources:

Sexual Assault Hotline - (1-800) 656-4673

Online Chat

Law by State Database


ASU Resources:

Counseling Services

Dating & Domestic Violence Resources

LGBTQIA+ Resources

Medical Resources

Reporting Resources

Safety Resources

Additional Support

Other Resources of Interest