Yes, we are in the midst of a culture shift as it pertains to human sexuality. And while there may not be a comprehensive rulebook to guide us on this journey, I would argue that there are simple, practically fool-proof rules to help.
And the first among them: Use your words.
Using your words and asking for explicit consent — to hold someone’s hand, for a hug, if you’d like to call a colleague after hours and chat about non-work stuff — is the surest, easiest, safest way to ensure you’re on the same page. In the past, we have often relied on more nuanced approaches, but I think the time for that methodology has passed.
Read more of my thoughts on the topic of explicit consent in this column, which first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.