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.
Consent. In this one little word lies the difference between our thinking of women as (1) chattel, property to be owned as opposed to (2) humans equal to men and their potential partners in life. The "killer app" of the 21st century, to reference Niall Ferguson, author of "The West and All the Rest," is gender equality. Consent is a natural and logical consequence of gender equality. And the cultural failure to truly embrace the notion of consent is why some nations will remain poor,