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Michigan Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

Hopefully, everyone knows nonconsensual sex like rape and sexual assault is illegal. But can consensual sexual activity get a person in trouble? These laws aren’t quite as well-known or publicized, but laws prohibiting certain types of consensual sexual activity can be equally or more strict than their nonconsensual counterparts. So here’s a short summary of prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Michigan, followed by a table summarizing the laws.

Sexual Activities Laws

State laws prohibit certain kinds of consensual sexual activity, usually acts considered to violate the social norms of the state. Therefore, these laws tend to change with the times. Michigan prohibited consensual sexual activity laws include provisions for disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and other regulations found in most other states. Michigan's anti-sodomy law remains on the books, although it was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and is therefore unenforceable (with respect to consenting, same-sex partners).

Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Michigan

The main provisions of Michigan's prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are listed in the following chart.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to

Same sex (ruled unconstitutional) or with any animal

Penalty for Sodomy

750.158 Crime against nature or sodomy: felony; not more than 15 years. Note: found unconstitutional by Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders

333.5129 If a defendant is bound over on a violation involving sexual penetration or exposure to bodily fluids, the court shall order testing. If a person is arrested and charged with prostitution-related violations, the court may order testing

Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

750.168 Disorderly conduct: misdemeanor
750.335 Lewd and lascivious cohabitation and gross lewdness: misdemeanor
750.335a Indecent exposure: misdemeanor
750.338 Gross indecency between male persons: felony
750.338a Gross indecency between female persons: felony
750.448 Soliciting and accosting: misdemeanor

Michigan prohibits indecent exposure, with the express exception of breastfeeding. Similarly, flashing someone your underwear is normally not considered indecent exposure. However, the Michigan statute reads “open or indecent exposure of his or her person or of the person of another,” so you’re probably better off erring on the side of caution before flashing anything to anyone.

Michigan Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources

As social attitudes change, state laws can as well. You can visit FindLaw's Sex Crimes section to learn more on this topic. You can also contact a Michigan criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime or would like to fully understand your rights.

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