First of all, I think it’s important to know that I am male. With that in mind, there is really only one clear way to give consent: saying “yes” to a question regarding the desire for sex. However, how often does one really ask for sex? In reality, sexual consent and foreplay is about flirtation, guesswork, and interpreting signals. Granted, a lingering kiss does not necessarily equal consent – but it does suggest a lead into it. Are we to assume consent only comes at the moment before sex? This seems naive to me – a better way to think about it is when does someone stop the interaction. The assumption within the heat of a sexual encounter is always going to be “yes” – it’s how we are built, we have a desire to copulate. We also have a brain that can override that desire, and thus, if desire is assumed to be a base constant, then the only appropriate way to give consent is “not to say no”. If a girl or a guy says no, the consent is denied.
The moderators of this page feel it necessary to add that consent is best embodied by saying “yes” explicitly, and not by “not saying no”.