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Capacity to Consent
A legal term that refers to someone’s ability to understand and make decisions. This can refer to receiving medical services or agreeing to sexual behaviors with a partner.

For example, a five year old would not have the capacity to consent to a medical service since they don’t have the knowledge to understand what was going to happen. Likewise, a person who is unconscious does not have the ability to make decisions about sexual behaviors.

Age of Consent
The age when a person is legally able to consent to sexual behaviors. It varies from state to state, but ranges between 14 and 18 years of age. For more information on the age of consent in your state, check out the Sex in the States section of our Web site.

Consent
When a person agrees to a certain action or behavior. A person, in order to consent, must have the capacity to consent, which means they are not mentally disabled, under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are of legal age to be able to consent.

Crush
A slang term for having romantic feelings for another person.

Guardian (Legal Guardian)
A person who has the legal responsibility for providing care for a person who is a minor (a person under 18).

Intimacy
Feelings of closeness and trust with another person.

Love
A powerful, positive feeling towards another. There are many different kinds of love.

Minor
A person who is not old enough to be an adult under state law. The age varies by state. In most states, you are a minor if you are 17 years or younger. That means that in most states you are an adult if you are 18 or older.

Monogamy
Having only one sexual or romantic partner at a time.

Platonic
A term to describe relationship that does not include romance or sex; a non-sexual friendship.

Sexuality
Sexuality is a broad term that refers to far more than sexual behaviors and body parts. It also refers to how people feel about themselves and being with others, how they see their gender and sexual identities, and how they interact with other people.

Spooning
When two people lie on their sides, both facing the same direction, and either wrap their arms around each other for intimacy or to sleep, or as a position for sexual intercourse.

The Bases
A slang expression that uses baseball to describe how far two people have gone sexually. Typically, first base refers to kissing, second based refers to touching above the waist, sloppy second refers to touching above the waist with the mouth, third base refers to touching each other’s genitals or oral sex and fourth base or a home run refers to vaginal sex. Depending on where a person lives, the bases may be defined differently from that.