On this thing called "rape culture"

We have standards of intoxication at which point people are no longer capable of giving consent. And yes, if somebody is at that point they cannot give consent, and it is probably rape, whether or not either party can remember things.

And no, that is not ridiculous. That is a thing that everybody should work to avoid.

So no, people don't need to be stone cold sober. But no, being inebriated has limits.

I'm pretty sure I've traversed the whole "consent" concept from a legal perspective in this thread, but to revisit the topic quickly:

- my local crimes statute says consent is "freely and voluntarily given"

- person A knows the other person doesn't consent if (a) they know the other person doesn't consent (i.e. they are expressly rejected); (b) is reckless as to whether person B consents, or (c) has no reasonable grounds for believing person B consents. Oh, and intoxication (alcoholic or by some other drug) is no excuse for failing to obtain consent

- person B does not consent in circumstances where they are unconscious or asleep, threatened or coerced, unlawfully detained, or because of age or cognitive incapacity

- it is open to find that consent was not given if the person has sexual intercourse while "substantially intoxicated by alcohol or any drug"

Link to my local legislation here.

Would be interested if others can link their local legislation so we can compare the texts and see where any differences lie.

The challenge with obtaining and maintaining consent under the influence of alcohol or drugs is that consent is a continuous concept and if both parties are influenced then it becomes very difficult to establish whether Person A took reasonable steps to ascertain and continue to maintain consent throughout; conversely it is also difficult to prove the reverse i.e. that Person B at some point ceased consenting or never consented in the first place. The latter partly explains why rape/sexual assault convictions are relatively low given there are rarely witnesses to the crime other than the accused and the victim.

Jonman, at the risk of generalising and taking your comment out of context, you say that it's alright if it's not the second time when intoxicated. Even then that's not really a foolproof measure because trusting and consenting today may not be the same thing tomorrow or any other day. A husband can still rape a wife years after being married (and the converse applies too).

Safest way for all concerned - steer clear from alcohol and drugs if you are engaging in intercourse, or if you are going to mix them, then best to make sure you and the other party (parties) set a limit on what is imbibed or taken so that the "freely and voluntarily" aspect of consent is unambiguous.

The safest way all around is abstinence. We all know how realistic that ideology is.