can a party involved in a sexual intercourse suddenly withdraw consent?

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StephanieRR | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Here's how consent works in regards to sex, as far as I can understand it:

If person A agrees to have sex with person B, but then decides against it and withdraws consent before the sex takes place, person B would be committing a crime if (s)he continued to attempt sexual acts without that express, informed consent. It is entirely possible to withdraw consent before sex takes place.

Person B would also be doing something illegal if (s)he continued to engage in sex after person A said, "Stop," during sex, because whether it's disappointing or not, person A is fully within his/her rights to withdraw consent during sex.

However, if person A expressly consents to sex with person B, then walks away, person A can't withdraw consent for the sex that has already taken place. Attempts to do that could effectively get person A in trouble, as consent is such a legally significant thing and holding that there was a wronged, unconsenting party in a sexual act that originally had mutual consent could be considered framing person B for a crime they did not commit.

Finally, if person A consents to having sex with person B, and they have sex, person B does not have automatic permission to have sex with person A for the rest of their lives. Person A is always allowed to withdraw consent for any future sexual acts.

Here is a link to the Sexual Assault Violence Prevention (SAVP) page about consent: http://savp.vassar.edu/facts/consent.html

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