I think that One degree has a point but is not stating it as elegantly as you would like.
If we pause and look at two young people just learning the "ways of love and sex" then that alone is a mitigation of the rules that we would hold someone in their mid 20's to. If, for example, an inexperienced young woman touches her boyfriend's penis thinking that he would like it, she should not be held accountable for sexual assault when she is 50. It is a non-issue. A young man touches a woman's breast while they are kissing in the car should not call him to account in his 50's unless the girl says no and he persists.
Do we really want to take spontaneity out of sex? Do we really want to stop and have "the talk" before every encounter? I think not.
Society will tell us that we all know what a boy is doing when he tries to get his girlfriend to come to his room in private. Somehow we are shocked and appalled when she follows him and then years later complains that he tried to have sex with her and she didn't want to.
Maybe we ought to raise the age of consent to 45 for women. This discussion seems to imagine no time in their lives when they are responsible for sexual outcomes.
Now before some pea brain goes off about forcible rape, please note that I did not say it is ever OK to proceed when a woman clearly says no. Or a man for that matter.
I brought this issue up earlier. One degree has agreed with me that there is real danger in trivializing rape by applying it to very minor encounters.
We live in a world where not everyone is spot on their game all of the time. We also live with a society which, in many parts of the world (and the US not excluded) the expectation is that the man be the "aggressor". Poor word but apt. What might be the case in Boston may not be the case in West Virginia.
Do we want a campaign worldwide to pull this social meme down and replace it with some Spock-like contractual protocol every time we wish to be intimate? I hope not.
We teach our kids to understand that no means no. It may not mean never but it means no, now.
We teach our kids (and recalcitrant adults) that the marketplace is never an OK place to initiate sexual advances. That it is never OK for a boss to make a pass at a subordinate. (What Bill Clinton did was not wrong because he did not have consent. It was wrong because he was in a position of power over Monica adding the fact that they were at work.)
Verbally asking for consent is okay. It may be unromantic, but for people who have trouble with non-verbal cues, the chances of spontaneous and non-awkward romance are slim anyway.
This is a cop out. There are no "experts" in non verbal cues. It should be the both people's responsibility to firmly say NO if things go to fast or their limits are exceeded. It is not OK to "let someone go to far without protesting" , agonize about it for 40 years then bring it up.
Finally. What people are thinking in the heat of the moment is not always the way they will feel a year down the road. Or even in the morning for that matter. Both of them should be taught to understand this. They should be taught to take responsibility for their own action or inaction. And just maybe we should teach women to forgive themselves rather than blame someone else for their actions.
Now potential pea brain. Did I anywhere say it is OK to proceed after someone says NO? I did not.
We live in a time when "Stop shooting our Kids" is considered a liberal talking point.
Ronald Reagan was surrounded by Secret Service agents when he was shot. If he had an armed math teacher?
We go high. They lock up children in cages.