26 College Students on What They Took As ‘Yes’ for Sex

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An informal poll of current college students on how they knew their partners wanted to have sex.

“She didn’t say no when I touched her and progressed to her more intimate areas.” —University of Miami 2017

“She grabbed my shirt and led me away from the crowd we were in.” —Colorado College 2017

“When he is making enthusiastic sounds.” —Bard 2016

“When she touched my penis.” —Penn State 2016

“Being pushed on a bed, thrown a condom, and climbed on top of.” —Knox 2015

“She took off her shirt and put her hand in my pants.” —Oberlin 2017

“If he reaches for the condom.” —University of Miami 2019

“It’s all about aggression, if she unbuttons your pants or touches you sexually first.” —Bard 2019

“When she reaches for the condom herself.” —University of Miami 2017

“She undressed.” —Pratt 2019

“She has to say ‘yes’ and be reasonably sober. I’m black, can’t take no risk.” —University of Miami 2016

“She took my clothes off.” —University of Miami 2017

“He started undressing both of us.” —Grinnell 2016

“Directing my penis toward vaginal cavities.” —Bard 2018

“She took off her underwear.” —University of Rochester 2017

“She initiated everything, from making out to putting me inside of her.” —University of Rochester 2018

“I knew when she removed her bra.” —University of Michigan 2016

“When my boyfriend asks me if I want to have sex, and I say yes.” —Montana State University 2016

“You can just naturally tell if they want to go further because they will.” —Georgetown 2017

“She grabs X part of body and pulls it towards Y part.” —Bard 2017

“We were already in a relationship, so I just assumed it was consensual.” —University of Rochester 2016

“I don’t know if I would ever feel comfortable participating in a sexual experience that is completely nonverbal: If I push a limit, it is always coupled by my asking how they are receiving my action.” —Bennington 2016

“Her getting the condom for me, mutual sexual touching, undressing each other completely, her actually putting my unit inside of her.” —Colorado College 2017

“He took his pants off.” —West Virginia University 2016

“He didn’t say no to being undressed.” —Georgia Institute of Technology 2016

“When she does sexy things back to me, like kiss hard and touch me.” —Georgetown 2016

*This article appears in the October 19, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.