As can be found in numerous places, "consent" is a fairly specific term and has various pre-conditions, such that it cannot be given whilst, for example, extremely drunk, under the influence of significantly mind-affecting drugs, or under the legal age of consent (varies by location).

However, there are plenty of scenarios when a person could be in one of those conditions (and thus unable to give consent), but can express that they want to have sex.

Such an expression would not be 'consent', and would not be grounds for another person to have sex with this person. But it feels like a concept that will have come up enough that it might have a formal term to refer to it.

Is there a term for expressing a desire to have sex whilst not capable of legally consenting?

1 Answer 1


As much as possible, you've answered your own question.

"Incapacitated" is the normal word to describe the state were a person's mental faculties are insufficiently reliable for their words or actions to have legal effect.

There is not a legal term to specifically describe the lack of capacity to consent to sex, nor for statements of consent to sex while incapacitated.

  • Obviously asking you to cite evidence of the absence of a term would be impossible. Is it safe to assume from your LawSE rep that you're a professional in the legal industry who would be pretty certain to know about such a term if it existed?
    – Brondahl
    Nov 29, 2021 at 10:22
  • 1
    I'd recommend against assuming people with high reputation here are legal professionals; very few of us are. But yes, if such a term were widely used by legal professionals in the United States, I would expect that I would have heard it by now.
    – bdb484
    Nov 29, 2021 at 13:43

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