Consent is not . . . well, I didn't have to club you and drag you back to my cave.
Consent is not . . . you are my student.
Consent is making certain that the other adult you are about to have sex with wants to have sex with you.
Notice: adult. Children and most teenagers cannot consent, and they especially cannot consent if you are their teacher, an adult in a position of power over them.
At that age, brains are not fully developed even if bodies are.
There are many decisions that we as a society have decided teenagers are not capable of making, even if we allow them to dictate all movies that come to theaters.
The fact that a teenager feels capable of making a decision does not mean that the teenager is actually capable, as anyone who has been a teenager or wrestled car keys away from a teenager will tell you.
And if you fail to get permission, because your partner is too young to consent, or too drunk, or any other reason - this is on you.
This should go without saying. But somehow, it doesn't.
This column first appeared on Petri's blog at washingtonpost.com /blogs/compost.