An Open Letter to the Rapey Frat Brother and the “How to Get Laid” Generation

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About Jamie Utt

Jamie Utt is a diversity and inclusion consultant and sexual violence prevention educator based in Minneapolis, MN. He lives with his loving partner and his funtastic dog, Chloe. He blogs weekly at Change From Within. Learn more about his work at JamieUtt.com.

Comments

  1. Wonderful job, Jamie. Very powerful stuff. Thanks for being so damn good at this.

  2. Seriously, the best sex I’ve had is with people whom I’ve had the most conversations about sex with prior to ever hopping into bed with them. And then keep talking about it even once in bed with them. Like, how can anyone think that talking about sexual fantasies and what-not isn’t sexy? It’s essentially real-life sexting.

  3. 1. Ask her a bit about herself

    He did: If not, choose one of the following: where are you living, where are you from, have you been here before, how are classes going, or where all have you been tonight.

    2. Ask your newfound friend if they’d like to come with you to go get a drink.

    He did: First, introduce yourself and get their name, ask if they are having a good time, and then ask if they want anything to drink. If they say yes, walk them to the bar and tell them what we have to drink.

    3. Ask her if she’d like to dance

    He did: Midnight or after, if you have been talking for awhile and they’ve had a couple drinks, ask if they want to dance. [...] DANCING IS FUN!!!!! Always try to dance. If she does not want to dance and is with friends, say “aw thats no fun” (or something like that) and then ask one of her friends.

    4. ask her if she’d be interested in leaving with you

    He did: Escalate (ask them to dance, or ask them to go up to your room or find a couch, depending on what kind of party)

    5. Ask where she’d like to go

    He did: see answer to number four.

    6. If it looks like you might hook up, make sure you check in along the way.

    He did: If she starts putting her hair over her ear, THAT MEANS SHE WANTS A KISS. Therefore, try to give her a kiss on the cheek. They usually like that and nothing really should ebcome [sic] of it. In the case, go for the neck kiss. If for some reason they aren’t down for a cheek kiss, just dance through it or say you are going to get another drink and see if they want one.

    7. Ask what they’d like in the future

    That one he did not do, however, there is nothing wrong with a one-night-stand.

    And respect what she wants.

    Even if the man only wants a one-night-stand and she wants something more?

    Follow the 7 A’s of Hooking Up, and I promise your sex will be better and you and your partner will have a much better night. Oh, and you won’t rape anyone.

    Given that your rules are the same as his, technically he would rape someone if he followed your rules.

    I want to see you and all of my brothers and sisters have the kind of amazing, mind-blowing, sex positive experiences that are possible if we leave behind this toxic, rapebait bullshit.

    That seems unlikely. A more accurate statement would be that you want to see all your sisters have those experiences. There is nothing in your comments that suggests or implies any concern for your “brothers”, either in terms of their enjoyment, well-being, or potential exploitation.

    GMP Moderator: I removed that last line because of the provoking stance behind it. It’s one thing to disagree but its another to try to goad people into arguments.

    • Brushing the hair over an ear can also mean she has a tickle, it does not mean she is asking for anything

    • You’re kind of missing a couple of things here.

      First, the critical difference between the two rulesets is that the original is pretty explicitly and exclusively about getting sex, whereas Jamie’s is about actually getting to know a person and forming an attachment to them that doesn’t necessarily have to do with sex, since that’s generally a less shitty way to approach human relations. (I mean, if you really, really want sex and nothing else, okay, but a) you’re missing out on a lot, b) you should be prepared to meet a lot of people who want more than that and c) you have no right to pursue strings-free sex at their expense.)

      Second, you have (willfully or otherwise) omitted some pointers from the original that contradict Jamie’s approach. I’m talking about little gems like “send them out of your room and on their way when you are finished” (which reads as “throw your sexual partners away like trash”) and of course, “If anything ever fails, go get more alcohol.” That’s the key difference right there: in Jaime’s approach, getting a “no” at any point means “back off,” not “try again.” Yes, this means you have to deal with being rejected sometimes. Sorry, but that’s life. (Oh, and by the by, watching for her to tuck her hair behind her ear does not constitute asking for a kiss, it constitutes a stupid over-analysis of a common gesture. Only a verbal request constitutes asking, in any situation.)

      Finally, if you only want a one-night stand and she wants something more, “respecting what she wants” in that case constitutes politely informing her that you can’t give her what she wants, and then not taking what you want from her anyway. (You did check about this before trying to hook up, right? Because you can avoid a hell of a lot of drama by doing that.) Respecting people’s wishes doesn’t always mean giving them what they want, but it does mean not running roughshod over their feelings for your own benefit.

      • Seth, you’re missing a couple of things too. The differences you’re pointing out between the E’s and the A’s aren’t the difference between rape and consexual sex. Just because you’re trying to get laid doesn’t make you a rapist, and that’s actually a really terrible conflation to make. People absolutely have the right to pursue strings-free sex, in fact both men and women do it all the time, because this is a free society and people have the right to say no. If you ignore another person’s freedom to choose (which the original letter never advises), THEN it becomes a problem.

        Additionally, there’s nothing wrong with trying again after being rejected. Do you know how many couples began as a guy being rejected the first time and then trying again, only for something better to happen afterward? Sure, it’s not cool to get a girl drunk just to get her to have sex with you when she otherwise wouldn’t, and I’ll admit the letter does begin to enter that territory which is morally questionable. But there’s still a difference between persistence, which many women like, and “rape,” which everyone on the side of this article seems to feel comfortable throwing around so lightly.

        • As a woman who has been raped, I’ll have you know that persistence is NOT sexy and it is rapey of you to assume that most women like it when their “I’m not into this” is disrespected. Consent is enthusiastic, if a woman is not into something, persisting and/or convincing her lead to RAPE.

      • Megalodon says:

        Finally, if you only want a one-night stand and she wants something more, “respecting what she wants” in that case constitutes politely informing her that you can’t give her what she wants, and then not taking what you want from her anyway.

        All well and good. But at what point in the interaction should the male person have to issue this warning and disclaimer? When copulation appears to be imminent? At the first act of physical contact? At the very first encounter between the persons? I imagine that some female persons do not want to waste time interacting with a person if that person intends to discard them once has achieved the objective of copulation. So to spare the female person wasted time and expense, perhaps male persons should have to give some compulsory warning and disclaimer at the very first introduction. It could go something like this: I AM ONLY INTERESTED IN COPULATION WITH YOU AND HAVE NO INTEREST IN ANY OTHER ASSOCIATION OR INTERACTION WITH YOU BEYOND THAT OBJECTIVE. PROCEED AT YOUR DISCRETION.

        whereas Jamie’s is about actually getting to know a person and forming an attachment to them that doesn’t necessarily have to do with sex, since that’s generally a less shitty way to approach human relations.

        So if a female person is just looking for sexual and physical gratification and has no current interest in connubial or committed relationships, then she has a “shitty way to approach human relations.” That sort of sounds like “slut shaming.”

        b) you should be prepared to meet a lot of people who want more than that and c) you have no right to pursue strings-free sex at their expense

        Presumably he would encounter people “who want more than that” and should not those people announce their intentions as well, so that there are not misunderstandings or conflicting expectations? Why should their intention be the normative one that is presumed as the default? Why should he have to make his intention explicit while theirs can be presumed? And your part (c) assumes that sex is the “expense” and that a relationship or non-physical association is the reward or payoff that the “expense” of sex was supposed to pay for. But that is not how it works for all people. Some people view the “relationship” or other social investment as the “expense” and the sex as the reward or payoff. And when they spend time and social investment on an association that yields no sex, they consider that to be a waste “at their expense.”

        So perhaps there should be a corollary disclosure to complement the one from “one night stand” seekers. I imagine that some male persons do not want to seek to copulate with persons if the other person feels entitled to a relationship to accompany the copulation (or as compensation for the copulation). So to spare the female person wasted time and expense, and to spare the male persons the anguish of dealing with an irate, misled partner, then perhaps female persons “who want more” than one night stands should have to give some compulsory warning and disclaimer at the very first introduction. It could go something like this: I AM NOT INTERESTED IN COPULATION UNLESS IT IS ACCOMPANIED AND FOLLOWED BY PROTRACTED NON-SEXUAL CONJUGAL SOCIALIZATION AND INTERACTION. PROCEED AT YOUR DISCRETION.

        But then again, I also imagine that some male persons do not want to “waste” time and social investment interacting with a female person if that person never intends to copulate with them. Maybe another disclosure is in order. So to spare the male person wasted time and expense, then perhaps female persons should have to another compulsory warning and disclaimer at the very first introduction. It could go something like this: I AM NOT INTERESTED IN COPULATION WITH YOU AND NO COLLATERAL ASSOCIATION OR INTERACTION WITH YOU WILL CHANGE MY DISPOSITION. PROCEED AT YOUR DISCRETION.

        These kinds of disclaimers would presumably increase honesty and transparency within fraternization and relations and would reduce waste, deceptions, misunderstandings, and frustrations.

        • Seriously, folks, do you all just not talk to the the people you’re interested in having sex with or something? It is not nearly as complicated (nor as clinical) as you’re making it sound.

          Yes, before having sex with someone new I mention “I’m not interested in one night stands,” just to make sure that’s clear. And then if the other person says, “Oh I thought this was going to be a one-nighter,” I then make a decision about whether I’m going to make an exception or not. And then when I say “Naw, sorry not interested,” I expect the person I was with to respect that and let it go.

          And all along the way, I keep communicating how I’m feeling and ask how the other person is feeling about the relationship and about each other and about whatever sexual act we are engaging in or wish to engage in…

          And hey isn’t it kind of hilarious (read: ridiculous) how the ‘overcommunicative’ woman constantly talking about where a relationship is and where it’s going and all that is totally lambasted and treated as a complete joke. Except, wait…really the key to a healthy relationship (whether one night or longer) is COMMUNICATION!

          • Megalodon says:

            Seriously, folks, do you all just not talk to the the people you’re interested in having sex with or something?

            Did you mean to include another “not” in that question? I would assume people talk to other people for many reasons, sometimes for lecherous reasons, and sometimes for other reasons. Though if people were to give certain sexual disclaimers at the outset of each encounter, I am guessing that some people will end and terminate the encounter at that point because they see no reason or interest in continuing. And so that will be one less person that they talk to.

            Yes, before having sex with someone new I mention “I’m not interested in one night stands,” just to make sure that’s clear. And then if the other person says, “Oh I thought this was going to be a one-nighter. I then make a decision about whether I’m going to make an exception or not

            Very good. But why wait until the sexual activity is imminent? Why not make the disclosure at the very beginning of the first meeting? That way, the person has not “wasted” time and social investment on an encounter that will not yield the desired result or which carries unwanted claims and expectations. And the other person does not have to make a possibly burdensome or regrettable decision at the spur of the moment.

            And then when I say “Naw, sorry not interested,” I expect the person I was with to respect that and let it go.

            What do you mean by “let it go”? Hopefully the other person will not react in irate fashion, but when it becomes clear that the desired outcome will not happen, the other person may simply depart and have no further interest in interacting. They may also eject the other person from their premises and avoid them in the future.

            And hey isn’t it kind of hilarious (read: ridiculous) how the ‘overcommunicative’ woman constantly talking about where a relationship is and where it’s going and all that is totally lambasted and treated as a complete joke.

            Yes, it is hilarious and ridiculous. But the person who forms the basis of that stereotype can be ridiculous in her own right. Because a lot of times, this “overcommunicative” woman is not actually communicating with her partner about the relationship, she is often “communicating” with her friends and acquaintances about the relationship, as a way of complaint and commiseration, not communication. That is one of the things that makes the caricature funny. And there is also the stereotype that once a relationship requires explicit verbal correction and grievance from one partner, the relationship is already dying and attempts at “communication” are just its death throes. Not always true, but sometimes true.

            Except, wait…really the key to a healthy relationship (whether one night or longer) is COMMUNICATION!

            Maybe. Except, sometimes such verbal utterances and missives are a method of demand and dominance that only masquerades as communication, because it is not always a two-way street, as communication is supposed to be.

            • You know, a lot of what I’m getting from you (and a lot of other people who keep talking about communication and consent as though it’s impossible to negotiate)…is a general theme of:

              “Sometimes people lie about what they want. Sometimes people manipulate others via communication.”

              And that’s ridiculous to use an a reason/excuse to either A: not ask at all, or B: not respect whatever the person you are communicating with tells you, or C: Act as though you can never know whether the other person really wants to have sex, so you might as well not bother.

              Yes, folks…every single interaction you have with an individual will be different because (newsflash) we are all individuals. That’s the whole point of Jamie’s letter, really…you gotta have whatever conversations with the individuals you want to have sex with which will establish boundaries…that can (and probably will) mean different conversations with each person.

              And yes, by all means, it is absolutely the BEST idea to have a lot of conversations about sex with someone well before you ever hop into bed (or whatever) with them. A conversation about sex without the imminent pressure of whether or not you’re going to actually have it, is excellent.

            • Megalodon says:

              And that’s ridiculous to use an a reason/excuse to either A: not ask at all, or B: not respect whatever the person you are communicating with tells you, or C: Act as though you can never know whether the other person really wants to have sex, so you might as well not bother.

              I started off by encouraging the use of certain explicit disclaimers when persons encounter each other so as to reduce misunderstandings.

              But considering the stakes involved and the importance of avoiding sexual assault, I think that particular “reason/excuse” is a rather compelling one. You yourself said that avoiding the commission of sexual assault is certainly more important than any one person’s achievement of gratification.

              And yes, by all means, it is absolutely the BEST idea to have a lot of conversations about sex with someone well before you ever hop into bed (or whatever) with them. A conversation about sex without the imminent pressure of whether or not you’re going to actually have it, is excellent.

              That sounds like advice that is more relevant to your own situation, based upon the anecdotes and conundrums that you presented as examples.

  4. The moral of the story? It’s never good to widely share your misogynistic sensibilities, but it is always okay to be one in private…(fraternity) women always swoon over that stuff…

    Masculinity in chaos and oblivious to what counts for etiquette…

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2013/10/georgia-tech-frat-brother-sends-mass-email-score-rape-bait/ 

  5. Yes Jamie
    A warm hug from me.

    Sometimes all it takes is these romantic ,respectful words:
    ” will you let me make love to you tonight ?”

    • Jonathan G says:

      I, for one, refuse to ask that question. It supports the awful notion that sex is something that women “let” men do. Sex should be a collaborative effort or, for me, it just ain’t worth it. But it seems a lot of women think that way, which feeds into the attitude at issue here, that men have to go get it.

    • Theorema Egregium says:

      No, he is right.

      Even among modern, independent (and not egotistical) women the notion persists that the way sex should happen is that they lie back and enjoy the pleasure of the man working his ass off to give them an orgasm, without offering any help whatsoever. His own pleasure is what he can snatch in between on his own. For him, sex is characterized by “duty”.

      It is rather ironic how that state of affairs seems to be the exact opposite of what the popular myth says. But nevertheless, it is how I experienced it with every woman I had a long-time relationship with (the women I hooked up with were quite different, interestingly). We talked about it and eventually it got better and after some time sex became the give and take it is supposed to be, but in the meantime I shook my head in puzzlement. For example, I am getting a bit tired of having to teach women I am together with about masturbation because it basically “never occured to them” that that could be done and would be fun. And that men like to be touched.

      Clearly it is only a matter of how girls are brought up and taught. If I have a daughter one day I will do my very best to make sure that the notion that love is something a man “makes to her” never enters her head. It will save her future partner(s) and herself a lot of grief.

      • Oh for goodness sake…in this world which still stigmatises women masturbating, with all sorts of ‘jokes’ about women having to fake an orgasm, and which STILL prioritises vaginal intercourse as the THE sex act…you suggest that we have privileged women’s pleasure during sex?

        The belief that women are meant to sit back and do nothing during sex has fuck all to do with their pleasure…it’s absolutely all about the belief that sex begins when a man gets an erection, the act involves him thrusting, and then ends once he’s orgasmed. It’s rooted in the belief that women actually don’t enjoy sex, but rather it’s something they put up with.

        So perhaps the phrasing of “let me make love to you,” is problematic in the way it still places the man in the active role and the woman in a more passive role…but it’s a damn sight better than not talking about it at all, first.

        • The belief that women are meant to sit back and do nothing during sex has fuck all to do with their pleasure…it’s absolutely all about the belief that sex begins when a man gets an erection, the act involves him thrusting, and then ends once he’s orgasmed. It’s rooted in the belief that women actually don’t enjoy sex, but rather it’s something they put up with.
          Not quite. I’m not saying that messages you talk about here don’t happen but at the same there actually is an element of “if you don’t rock her world, you failed” going on as well.

          • There is A LOT of the “if you don’t rock her world you failed” going on. I’ve seen guys competing over how many times they can get a girl to go in a single night and how long they can last. You don’t want to be the guy who blows his load in the first 30 seconds, can’t seem to get up, or can’t make his girl’s toes curl.

            You can’t please your woman? You’re less of a man and you better watch out because soon some other guy will.

            I’ve seen what you’re talking about too Heather, that mentality is still alive and well, and at the same time there is a lot of pressure on men to not just have sex, but to be able to perform.

          • And yet you’ll notice, Danny, that even when talking about the aspects of mainstream conceptions of sex which do seem to focus on women’s pleasure….it’s still about what that woman’s pleasure SAYS ABOUT THE MAN. Thus women faking orgasms…specifically thus women faking orgasms during vaginal penetration (with a penis). We don’t give a shit about whether women actually orgasm…we care about whether the man thinks he made the woman orgasm.

            • I agree that as a society we don’t do a good job of teaching women how to take ownership of their own sexual pleasure and how to be involved in a good sexual experience. We should.

              That said, if we didn’t care about the woman’s pleasure why would she feel need to fake it in the first place? If the woman’s pleasure doesn’t matter then why pretend? Why is it that treating erectile dysfunction is a multi-billion dollar business? Because there is a narrative, a strong one, that a man’s worth is directly tied up with whether or not he can please a woman.

              Maybe this perspective didn’t exist 30 or 40 years ago, but today it is very prevalent. There is often a sense that if you can’t perform you’re worthless and that she’ll quickly find someone else who can — yes this narrative doesn’t give women any responsibility for her sexual enjoyment with that specific man, but it recognizes her full agency to ditch one partner and find another. The narrative basically describes the man’s ability to pleasure a woman as being little more than a woman buying a new appliance: you don’t like that model throw it away and go pick out a new one.

            • “That said, if we didn’t care about the woman’s pleasure why would she feel need to fake it in the first place?”

              I think you are missing my point. This hypothetical woman fakes it because her pleasure matters ONLY so far as it either affirms (or denies) her partner’s masculinity. A woman’s pleasure does not matter in of itself. If her pleasure was the top priority in a sexual encounter, she’d never fake it because sex wouldn’t be finished/complete/done properly unless she authentically felt pleasure. But her pleasure isn’t top priority…a man’s belief that he is causing her to feel pleasure is top priority, and there is a huge difference there. It takes an internal experience (a woman feels pleasure) and places value on it only so far as it can be externalised and attributed to another person (in this case the hypothetical man).

              Treating erectile disfunction is a billion dollar business because we have focused very much on vaginal intercourse as THE sex act…and that sex without using a penis is somehow not really sex. Plus, hello, erectile disfunction is all about a guy being unable to get hard and ejaculate…trust me when I tell you that there are a whole lot of ways to ensure a woman’s pleasure without a hard dick. If the top priority of sexual encounters was a woman’s pleasure, whether or not the man’s penis worked would actually be of very little importance.

        • Theorema Egregium says:

          One thing I have been learning in the last years is that there are different sorts of mentalities and cultures existing at the same time.

          Among rapey frat brothers and their ilk your description (which I had termed “the popular myth” will be most likely appropriate — I am SO glad I grew up in an enligthened part of Europe and never had to be exposed to that rotten, toxic U.S. college culture. So in that part of the population female pleasure is certainly not privileged. You are right about that. But neither is male pleasure, when you look closely. What IS privileged is male aggression.

          Among people who have a certain amount of enlightenment (my environment, I do not mingle with frat rapists or people who still live in the 60s in their heads) my description is more common, I think. It is where we have started to address the problem of the lack of attention to female pleasure but not the other half yet. Thus “let me make love to you,” is indeed an improvement, but still not nearly enough. As men have been identified as the problem “modern” sex-ed now tells women to care about themselves and men to care about women. We can do better than that. Let’s go all the way, why don’t we? After we escaped hell, why settle in purgatory?

          • Hank Vandenburgh says:

            Actually I remember the 60s as being pretty mutually consensual, pretty democratic, and mutually empowering for both sexes. (Yes I know about all the myths that they weren’t feminist enough – but what I saw leadership from both sexes, at least in California.) They weren’t especially “fratty” either. I think a “discourse” of victimization has replaced that. I do think those things had to come out as well as sexual liberation, but the victimization discourse is or should be the minor moment, the sexual liberation the major moment.

      • Hi theorema
        This is your personal experience sexually with women:
        ✺”Even among modern, independent (and not egotistical) women the notion persists that the way sex should happen is that they lie back and enjoy the pleasure of the man working his ass off to give them an orgasm, without offering any help whatsoever. His own pleasure is what he can snatch in between on his own. For him, sex is characterized by “duty”.

        It is rather ironic how that state of affairs seems to be the exact opposite of what the popular myth says. But nevertheless, it is how I experienced it with every woman I had a long-time relationship with (the women I hooked up with were quite different, interestingly).”✺

        May I ask where you live, and what social group you find your partners in?
        Is it possible that this is the usual pattern for American women’s lovemaking !
        It is hard to belive this happens in 2013 ,it sounds like 1813.
        I am not ironical , I am curious . It sounds totally unbelievable !

        • Theorema Egregium says:

          Well, I will not give a lot of details out of respect for the persons involved (one of which is my current girlfriend and probably future wife).

          All three of them are from middle resp. eastern Europe, in their mid 20s, from a solid middle-class, secular Christian background with university education. My background is the same. Two of them did not have any sexual experience before me, and the third’s experiences were mostly bad.

          All in all it looks like my “sample” of women seems to be a statistical outlier. Part of the strangeness certainly stems from my own neurotic tendency to put women’s pleasure first out of misplaced feelings of guilt (which comes from my mother) and not to articulate my own wishes clearly enough. As always, open talk will be the cure and we are now working on it — in fact we are already having progress. But the fact those women knew nothing about masturbation and always claimed to have no secret wishes and fantasies WHATSOEVER (which has made it difficult for me to discuss MY wishes on a quid-pro-quo basis) still stands as a puzzling observation. And it is NOT a matter of simply low sex drive; in fact it was at a comfortably high level with all of them.

          P.S. Don’t get me wrong, our sex is good, and all three women always maintained they were perfectly happy and would not wish for more. It’s just that I feel like it could be a lot better still; mostly for me, but for her also.

  6. Thank you for this thoughtful, compassionate response. Also, you rightly acknowledge that this guy’s twisted and ugly ideas about sexuality didn’t come out of nowhere but are learned from his culture. I hope the young man who wrote the letter (and everyone who read it) stops to take your words of wisdom to heart.

  7. AnonymousDog says:

    Like just about everyone else who’s ever handed out dating ‘advice’, you assume that your listeners are encountering a constant stream of potential partners. Not everyone lives there.

    • I’m not assuming that at all. I am simply saying that no matter how many “potential partners” a person comes across, getting people drunk and running your hands all over their body without consent in hopes of “getting laid” is unacceptable.

      • Jonathan G says:

        But Jamie, it’s not a secret what goes on at these parties, and the girls can see what goes on out on the dance floor before joining in. They have plenty of other social opportunities on campus and off. Yet they choose to keep going back to those parties to hang out with those guys. I see it happen. I overhear them talking on campus. They make an informed decision to participate, and it sounds like even the kid who wrote the email would respect their decision to opt out.

        So in what possible way is it “without consent?”

        • so going to a frat party means a woman gives up her rights to not be treated like meat?

          • Chelsea Cristene says:

            Bingo. Why is it the girls’ responsibility to avoid these parties altogether rather than the boys’ responsibility to behave in a decent manner?

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              This is simply rape-apologism. Next step is “don’t drink alcohol, ladies, ever!” and after that, “Don’t leave the house without a trusted male with you, ladies, or you may get raped!” and after that we’ve got situations where a woman is raped and actually receives 100 lashes for being out of the house without a male relative. That actually JUST happened. Not in the US, but it’s all a slippery slope.

              It’s the rapist’s job not to rape. It is NEVER the other way around.

            • Jonathan G says:

              That’s not fair, Joanna. What if I extrapolated your argument to say that pedestrians shouldn’t have to look both ways before crossing the street, because it’s motorists’ duty by law to yield to them? I’d find myself a grave man, post haste.

            • It is the motorists’ duty by law to yield to pedestrians, even if they aren’t looking.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              I prefer to look at both sides before crossing the street. And actually, you are supposed to look before crossing. Dont be a fool into believing that a driver can brake or avoid you. Sometimes it isnt enough time.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              I agree 100% Joanna, but I like to add the advice to avoid meeting or going to a party with sinister people (follow your gut feeling) be their men or women. Preventing is always better than curing.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              There’s a combination of things that have to happen – people need to be smart and make smart choices because there are predators out there (and bad drivers) who are going to hurt them no matter what we teach them.

              However, if someone makes a choice to drink, wear a crop top, go out without their brother with them, it is NEVER their fault if they are raped.

              Teaching people NOT to rape is crucial to preventing and ending rape. Equally important is teaching people not to allow rapists to get away with rape (criminal justice system, colleges, high schools, parents, friends, colleagues, partygoers) and to stop making rape a joke or just a part of life. Society has a responsibility to end this “blurred lines” culture by teaching consent.

              Yeah, we need to follow our gut and carry pepper spray. But even more importantly, we need to teach people not to rape so that the pepper spray stay in our pockets.

              It’s not an either-or for preparation. It’s a both-and. But the responsibility of who caused the rape is only, and always, on the rapist.

        • Do you know how many car accidents there are every year? How many serious injuries and fatalities result from those accidents? Do you still drive?

          Mind, that’s a poor analogy for a multitude of reasons…but the point stands that simply saying “they know the risk,” doesn’t mean they consent to whatever happens to them. You know the risk of getting into a car, but I bet you still do it…and not because you’re consenting to the possibility of getting into a fatal car accident.

          • Jonathan G says:

            Oh, for Pete’s sake, what about this analogy: The guy walking down the tracks didn’t consent to get flattened by a train, either. But everybody’s gonna blame him for walking on the tracks.

            Or a better analogy: If I get dressed up all spiffy and go wandering around Englewood late at night and flashing stacks of cash, that’s my right, and nobody’s got a right to accost me. To assault me and/or take my money would be criminal, and we should hold criminals to account and punish ‘em. But I’m not gonna get any sympathy from anybody, because if I go there, and I do that, I’ve got to expect that assault and robbery is a very likely outcome. Is that mugging-apologia, or is that a realistic appraisal that some bad circumstances exist in the world and that a well-developed sense of self-preservation should cause me to avoid them? What’s more, I think that most people understand that chiding my astounding lack of sense is not letting any criminals off the hook or apologizing for their behavior. We’d all still know that what they do is bad.

            So, back to the topic, can anybody answer my question of what it is that college-age women get out of attending frat parties that they can’t get anywhere else, that makes it worth enduring the allegedly “rapey” behavior of aggressive men at those parties? I haven’t been; is that where the only weekly knitting circle, book club, or “Breaking Bad” finale-watching party is going on? (Sorry, I had to indulge in a little sarcasm.) I’m confused, because what I understand from direct observation of the things college-aged women say and do, the aggressive male behavior is precisely why they go! In sum, I can’t quite understand how somebody who makes an affirmative effort to attend a party, fully-informed of what she’ll encounter there, and going there for that reason, is somehow a victim. Yes, if a guy does something she does not consent to, and/or actually rapes her, she’s a victim, but even assuming that only 1 in 10 rapes get reported, that’s still very rare around here.

            It’s funny that you bring up cars, Heather, because I’ve brought up this analogy before on this site. As a matter of fact, no, I don’t drive. I have deliberately structured my life so that I can get around by bicycle everywhere I need to go. You wanna talk victim blaming, talk bikes. Like Mark Ellis’ comment on this article. You hear it all the time, such as comments to the effect that bicyclists should stay off the roads in winter, because it’s slippery and drivers might lose control and hit them.

            Heh, get that! Cars are dangerously uncontrollable in the winter, so bicyclists should get off the road!

            • And here is where analogies with cars and cash break down…

              You have a shit ton more control over what you do with your body (i.e. whether you rape or don’t rape someone) than you do a huge hunk of metal that is separate from your body (i.e. a car). And flashing cash or expensive stuff is ENTIRELY different to simply existing in my own damn body. My body is not property. Cash is property. Cash and cars and a nice watch and all that are external to my self…they are separate from me and taking them from me is not a violation of my self. If I am raped, no piece of property has been taken from me…rather instead I have had my right to bodily autonomy violated.

              Which is why I pointed out “that’s a poor analogy for a multitude of reasons.”

            • wellokaythen says:

              Ooh, I’m not so sure about the man walking on the tracks analogy. Is the woman going to a party the same as a man walking on RR tracks? That means the rapist isthe train? so, he’s just on a one-track, unstoppable journey, at the mercy of the physics of inertia, doing what he is supposed to do and all of society wants him to do, like a train on a track. Ick.

            • K8Fontaine says:

              Johnathan, I feel like you answer your own question by suggesting that a college-aged woman going to a college party would be indicative of an “astounding lack of sense” on her part, on par with walking down the railroad tracks while a train approaches head-on. The original email implied that, if a woman doesn’t want to have sex with you, just keep plying her with booze and “escalating” until she either changes her mind or winds up too intoxicated to know what her mind wants. Drinking leads to drunkenness. Drinking leads to hangovers. Drinking should not necessarily lead to sex that you would not consent to sober (which isn’t to say that every drunken sexual encounter is rape). The most basic barometer to determine whether or not a woman or women in general are being treated fairly is to invert genders: if a man goes to a frat party and gets drunk, sure, he might wake up with a penis drawn on his face with sharpie, but odds are, no one will actually try to sodomize him while he’s intoxicated. And if a man, after waking up the next morning, realized that someone *had* in fact taken his intoxication as an invitation to violate him rectally, he is unlikely to feel like, “well, that’s what I get for going to a party and accepting a drink.” So how far must a person’s “well-developed sense of preservation” extend, when it comes to keeping strangers from taking liberties with your body? Can I leave the house? Can I have a drink at my book club meeting? Can I have a drink at my book club meeting if there are men in my book club? Is there some middle ground for a college-aged woman between “knitter” and “rape-bait?” It is not such a slippery slope from your argument that any woman who is motivated to attend frat parties displays an astounding lack of sense and a poorly developed sense of self-preservation, to the very real situations that Joanna points out, in which women are not allowed on the streets accept in the company of a male relative (which, frankly, still doesn’t guarantee she won’t get raped).

        • So if a female college student goes to a frat house, it’s like visiting wild animals in the zoo and consenting to being put in the same cage? Frat brothers are expected to behave like wild animals?

  8. Lindsay C says:

    From a female who appreciates men like you, I think I speak for pretty much all women when I say THANK YOU for writing this. This is the only time in recent memory that this silly trend of “open letters” is actually merited, because this rapey douchebag poor excuse for a human needs to be outed and shamed. This should be required reading for every single college-aged guy.

  9. This is great advice. But not for college-aged men.

    • because college aged men require rubbing their boners on things?

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Benefit of the doubt for Raegus here, maybe that means that this sort of education needs to start even earlier – middle school and high school.

        And I agree.

  10. Where do these kind of messages come from? The messages that lead to letters like this? Which we know isn’t unique to simply this faternity.

    I remember being in 7th grade and the popular boys running around trying to unhook the girls’ bras. The girls never said anything because they didn’t want to be seen as “uncool”. And I am sure the boys ran under some of the same pressure. But as I got older, I was always curious where that attitude came from. And who came up with that idea to run around and snap our bras. These were teh same boys we grew up with since Kindergarden. But then it turned into snapping our bras, talking about our bodies or calling certain girls sluts for having the same sex the boys where having. I always wondered at what point did girls turn from playmates to conquests.

    To me, these attitudes may start very young. And they start from our culture and are inhereited by the children, who grow to young men and women in high school, to college and beyond.

    So how do we fix it? That’s what I want to know. How do we teach a different narrative? A healthy one? And who should teach it? Other men? Other women?

  11. Hey Jamie!
    I saw/met you for the first time at a HOBY seminar a few years ago–anyways, as always, powerful and insightful words from you. I go to Syracuse University, a classic “party school” where the number one problem I have seen is young men who, when faced with the combination of poor self confidence and our “get laid quick” generation find themselves transforming into something they’re not.
    You’re so right–just playing it cool and showing that you have a genuine interest in me an getting to know me is a much more surefire way to get into my pants than trying to get me to down shots and then dragging me back to your room like a caveman.

    Anywho, great stuff Jamie, keep up the good work!

  12. I think you’re extremely inaccurate with “Ask if you can kiss her. Ask if you can remove your clothing or hers. Ask. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Consent doesn’t have to be plastic and boring. The single sexiest question someone can be asked is, “Tell me what you want.””

    Have you actually talked to women about whether they want a guy to ask permission before going for a first kiss or removing any clothing? I think you’ll find most women find that behavior weak and to be a real turn-off. And “tell me what you want” is asking a woman to LEAD the sexual interaction. Do you really think women want the role of leading in these things?

    I think while your motives are sincere, you don’t understand the male/female dating dynamic. Do you even date women?

    • scarbunkle says:

      Actual woman here, Dan. Appropriately phrased, yes. I do want to be asked. Ask in a witty enough way, and the asking will actually make me way more enthusiastic about a hookup.

      And as much as culture leads you to believe, we do want to take an assertive role in sex. Some women want to fully take over the sexual interaction. For others, well, “tell me what you want” is a great cue–it gives us the option to lay out boundaries, suggest some things we enjoy, and then relax and enjoy it. We don’t like guesswork.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Jamie wrote about that in the article linked a the bottom of this one.

        YES we want to be asked. Say, “I’ve been thinking about kissing you, in fact it’s sort of been driving me crazy. Would it be okay if I did?” and if she’s into you, she’s gonna be into that or some variation.

        Once you’re engaged in making out, you can do something like touch the bottom of her shirt, smile and say “May I?” and wait for a “yes” or probably, at that point, a “YES! Please!”

        There’s a risk she’ll say “no” but isn’t it better to hear “no” than to hear “don’t touch me!” or “WHY did you think you could kiss me?” or to rape somebody or sexual violate them? I’d rather hear “no” for sure.

        • YES we want to be asked.

          That is good to hear. But when you say “we,” are you referring to all female identified persons?
          You know that rule is often repeated “Women are Not a Monolith!” And doesn’t that rule apply even when advocating for a good cause? I am sure that lots of female persons do indeed want prior incremental verbal consent verification for all escalations throughout the transaction. But when you start using the unqualified “we” when making such pronouncements, aren’t you committing the gender “monolith” fallacy?

          • “That is good to hear. But when you say “we,” are you referring to all female identified persons?”

            Nope, she’s referring to all people. Some people want to be asked in rather specific ways, I’ll grant you…but no one wants to actually be sexually assaulted. Absolutely everyone (unless they are suffering from some sort of mental illness) wants to have sex with someone who has first obtained consent in some way. Even so-called “rape fantasies” because they very act of having negotiated a “rape fantasy” means that it is actually no longer rape, because consent has been given.

            I have a friend who has this fantasy of basically being a “kept man” where his boyfriend will just surprise-fuck him around the house. But that fantasy would only work because that is what my friend wants, and because his boyfriend would know that is what my friend wants…because they’d have talked about it beforehand.

            • And before someone comes in here and says “oh but I know this one chick who always thought that guys should just know and hated it when men asked”…well yes, there are 7 billion people on the planet, so of course you can’t really say anything absolute about people.

              However, even when you’ve got people who think that the other person “should just know,” they STILL want to be ‘asked,’ they just think that the ‘asking’ is all being done non-vocally and that they’re giving out the right signals and all that. That goes hand in hand with the nonsense we’re all fed about how we’re not meant to talk about sex.

              And wouldn’t you rather err on the side of caution, rather than err on the side of getting laid? Yes, it’s possible you’ll come across a “he should just know” person…but wouldn’t you rather risk NOT having sex with someone who think that, than risk raping someone who really prefers it if you explicitly ask?

              Or to let Louis CK explain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4hNaFkbZYU

            • Megalodon says:

              And wouldn’t you rather err on the side of caution, rather than err on the side of getting laid? Yes, it’s possible you’ll come across a “he should just know” person…but wouldn’t you rather risk NOT having sex with someone who think that, than risk raping someone who really prefers it if you explicitly ask?

              Well, of course avoidance of rape is more important than achieving copulation. And if it should not be left to chance, then implicit and unspoken consent is grossly insufficient. Every act, segment, increment, and transition must be explicitly and separately negotiated and consented to beforehand.

            • Right, see now I’m reading what you say and I think you mean that to be an outrageous statement…but basically, yeah…everything does need to be negotiated first. Mind, negotiating consent in a longer-term relationship is quite different to negotiating in a one-night stand. As time goes on, you both become more aware of what boundaries exist, what each other likes, etc…so a simple “let’s get freaky,” can be sufficient if you and your partner(s) understand what ‘freaky’ means, exactly.

              Consent seriously isn’t difficult. It’s all about making sure everyone is on the same page. That’s all…just making sure that you and the person (people) you’re with are all totally into it. Even if you’re talking a strict sub/dom situation…the dom will still check in and tell the sub what they’re about to do, thus giving the sub the ability to say ‘no’ if s/he really really doesn’t want to do something.

              I mean, look folks…we’ve got sexting and cyber sex so clearly talking about sex IS actually quite sexy. There’s no reason to stop talking about it once you’re in the same room with the person you’re having sex with.

            • Megalodon says:

              but basically, yeah…everything does need to be negotiated first

              Alright then. Then explicit and verbal prior consent of the example Schroeder gave should be the minimum requirement for every sexual transaction in whatever context. Implicit or non-verbal consent should be condemned as insufficient.

              Mind, negotiating consent in a longer-term relationship is quite different to negotiating in a one-night stand.

              I do not see why. Relationship and familiarity do not give one person any sexual rights, entitlements, or expectations over another person. A person has no more sexual entitlement to his/her spouse than he/she has with any stranger. Every single sexual transaction and every component of that transaction has to be negotiated and consented to anew, whether it is between people who have never met or people married for sixty years. A person who touches the genitals of a spouse while that spouse is sleeping commits sexual assault, same as a person who gropes a stranger on a bus.

              As time goes on, you both become more aware of what boundaries exist, what each other likes, etc…

              No, not necessarily. Never underestimate the kind of alienation and estrangement people can maintain towards each other despite being in close physical proximity for long periods of time. And never underestimate how boundaries change and new ones form. The persons might both initially agree to engage in certain actions. But then one person no longer wishes to do so, but never voices an objection because of fear of consequences and recrimination from the other person(s), fears which may nor may not be valid.

              Consent seriously isn’t difficult. It’s all about making sure everyone is on the same page. That’s all…just making sure that you and the person (people) you’re with are all totally into it.

              “Totally into it?” What about couples and families in which one person views copulation as something to suffer? Something that is unappealing to him/her, but he/she suffers through due to a sense of obligation to the other person(s). That probably describes more than a fair number of pairings and unions. Do they all constitute ongoing sexual assault?

              Even if you’re talking a strict sub/dom situation…the dom will still check in and tell the sub what they’re about to do, thus giving the sub the ability to say ‘no’ if s/he really really doesn’t want to do something.

              Yes, that is the party line for the BDSM public relations campaign, and an admirable principle it is. But we have more than a few stories about dominant types who are keen to circumvent and evade consent. They use instruments like open-ended “slave contracts” in which the submissive agrees to submit to whatever the dominant chooses to inflict, but the dominant refuses to disclose details of what he/she will inflict, or practices like discouraging submissives from choosing “safe words” or restraining/gagging a submissive so that he/she cannot verbally object or protest. That way, the errant dominant can fall back on some kind of plausible deniability that he/she didn’t understand the objection or did not think the objection was genuine.

              http://www.salon.com/2012/06/03/a_bdsm_blacklist/
              http://www.salon.com/2012/01/29/real_abuse_in_bdsm/

              I mean, look folks…we’ve got sexting and cyber sex so clearly talking about sex IS actually quite sexy.

              Um, no not always. When a physician discusses how to insert an IUD or diaphragm, or a person shows how to put a condom onto a vegetable, or a person asks why there is blood in his venereal discharge, or a urology or gynecology professor is describing certain spasms and expulsions of the sexual process, lots of people find that clinical, tedious, or foolish. Not titillating. It is like the difference between talking about skydiving and talking about all the safety preparations for skydiving. Though both would be about the same activity, the first is a discussion about the thrill, gratification (and danger) of an intense activity. The second is a discussion about precaution, protection, and safety for that activity. Even when a discussion relates to something people normally find engaging and enjoyable, when it veers to precaution, protection, and harm prevention for that activity, people may not find it as “sexy.” Not saying such discussion is unnecessary, but it is not necessarily going to be as “sexy” as discussion of indulging in whatever acts themselves.

            • Hoooooly moly. So, first, let’s stop referring to sex as a “sexual transaction.” Unless we’re talking about prostitution…there is no ‘transaction.’ It’s play, expression of emotion, a communicative act, etc…but it isn’t a ‘transaction.’

              Second, as I said, the reason consent within a long-term relationship CAN look different is because of familiarity. Of course boundaries change, which is why the lines of communication need to be kept open. If you and your partner(s) are out of sync, then obviously more explicit discussions of consent and sex are needed. If you are more in sync, then there is less need for explicit discussions before every instance of sexual intercourse. For example, if I and my partner(s) have talked about me waking him/her up by groping her and s/he has consented to me doing that, then it’s not sexual assault if that’s what I do…and it’s incumbent upon him/her to say something if that boundary has changed. And it’s incumbent upon me if I do wake him/her up by groping him/her to respect it and then talk about it if his/her reaction to me doing that somehow changes.

              “What about couples and families in which one person views copulation as something to suffer?”

              Holy crap, then you don’t freaking do it! I have a myriad of kinks and some partners are into many of them, and some partners are into none of them…and for goodness sake, if one of my partners isn’t into the same kink I am, I don’t freaking do it. And if I ended up dating someone who was totally asexual, I would NEVER expect him/her to have sex with me just to please me, and suffer through it. How the hell am I going to get any pleasure out of sex knowing that the person I’m having sex with hates it?!

              As for abuse of BDSM relationships…well yes and there’s abuse in vanilla relationships too. The abuse isn’t inherent in a BDSM relationship. But even something open-ended can be done without abuse. So I tie someone up and don’t tell him/her what I’m going to do…but we have previously discussed what s/he would like me to do when tied up and so I respect the boundaries that person has drawn, because I am not a horrible person. Meanwhile, a horrible person might not respect that…because horrible people exist and are horrible.

              As for that last bit about how talking about inserting an IUD and urology isn’t sexy…well no shit, but talking about inserting an IUD and talking about urology AREN’T TALKING ABOUT SEX. Hell, even demonstrating how to put a condom on a cucumber isn’t really talking about sex, unless you’re doing so as part of a bit of kink. Not everything that involves the genital area is necessarily sexual in nature, mate.

              And you can definitely make a conversation about protection totally sexy.

            • Megalodon says:

              So, first, let’s stop referring to sex as a “sexual transaction.” Unless we’re talking about prostitution…there is no ‘transaction.’ It’s play, expression of emotion, a communicative act, etc…but it isn’t a ‘transaction.’

              No, that is what it is, and that is what I shall call it. I refer to it as “transaction” because it is limited encounter in which activity is performed and exchanged and then terminates. That describes most social encounters, not just prostitution. When two kids play catch, that too is a transaction. They meet for this encounter, engage in a designated activity, and then the encounter terminates upon the decision or one or both of the participants. And one participant cannot force the actions of the other. They may or may not engage in another transaction in the future. Even persons in a long time “relationship” engage in discreet and separable transactions, because contrary to propaganda, relationships are not one unending sexual episode. And when one transaction ends, a subsequent one must be negotiated and consented to in order to happen.

              if I and my partner(s) have talked about me waking him/her up by groping her and s/he has consented to me doing that, then it’s not sexual assault if that’s what I do

              Just because the other person consented to and permitted the practice in the past does not mean it remains indefinitely acceptable to the other person. What was acceptable or invited one day may be an unwanted and unforeseen transgression the next day, depending upon the person’s disposition.

              and it’s incumbent upon him/her to say something if that boundary has changed

              Ah, but this is putting the burden of refusal on the other person, which I thought was frowned upon. I thought it was the burden of the seeking or entreating party to negotiate and obtain consent beforehand, not on the other party to protest and object. Isn’t that the problem at issue when people claim innocence by saying “she didn’t say no” or “she didn’t resist.” How does “she didn’t say no” become a valid excuse just because one is in a “relationship” with the person who failed to say “no”?

              And it’s incumbent upon me if I do wake him/her up by groping him/her to respect it and then talk about it if his/her reaction to me doing that somehow changes.

              But it would be too late by then. You would have already committed the possibly unwanted act. I thought you are not supposed to wait to discuss the boundary and division until after you have violated it?

              Holy crap, then you don’t freaking do it!

              But what if they do not voice their objection out of fear of offending or angering the other person? And as you said, it is “incumbent upon him/her to say something,” so if they are concealing their displeasure for the sake of the other person’s sensibility, at what point can the other person learn not to “freaking do it”?

              How the hell am I going to get any pleasure out of sex knowing that the person I’m having sex with hates it?!

              I suppose it is good that some people care about the gratification of the other person in the transaction. But some people do not give a damn. Not that they would rape another person, but once they obtain consent (however begrudging), they don’t care how much the other person may be hating it.

              As for abuse of BDSM relationships…well yes and there’s abuse in vanilla relationships too.

              I know. I cited the examples to counter your suggestion that BDSM associations are some kind of superior, enlightened realm where consent and autonomy are sacred cows.

              well no shit, but talking about inserting an IUD and talking about urology AREN’T TALKING ABOUT SEX

              It is a discussion of sex, despite your capital letters. When a urologist clinically describes the spasms of certain organs during ejaculatory actions, or a gynecologist describes the contractions and deformations a uterus does during orgasm, those are discussions of sex, despite how clinical and detached they may be. When a patient describes painful intercourse to his/her physician, that is a discussion of sex, despite how squeamish and awkward it may be.

              Not everything that involves the genital area is necessarily sexual in nature, mate.

              Those examples are to disprove the notion that any discussion of sexual subject matter must be enjoyable and titillating for those talking. But even accepting your premise that those clinical digressions are not “talking about sex,” then discussion of consent may not actually be “talking about sex” either, even though it discusses what persons intend to do and are permitted to do with “genital areas.” Talking of consent can be classified as just some solemn and somber discussion of precautions and threatened legal recriminations.

              And you can definitely make a conversation about protection totally sexy.

              If people want to make an effort, let them. But that is not the same as your suggestion that people should find “conversations about protection” and consent as naturally titillating and attractive as “sexting” and sexual entreaties.

            • Right-o, so I’m just replying to this bit…here is a definition of transaction via Merriam Webster.

              “an occurrence in which goods, services, or money are passed from one person, account, etc., to another.”

              If that is how you perceive sex, then there is a problem, mate. Sex is a shared experience, not an exchange of “goods, services or money.” I have sex WITH a person…I interact WITH that person.

            • Megalodon says:

              Right-o, so I’m just replying to this bit…here is a definition of transaction via Merriam Webster.

              “an occurrence in which goods, services, or money are passed from one person, account, etc., to another.”

              And I do not read the terms “goods” and “services” as being exclusively commercial or pecuniary in nature. One may consider copulation to be a “service” and one may consider sexual culmination, conjugal and emotional proximity to be intangible “goods.” And it’s not as if commercial and pecuniary matters never overlap with matters of copulation and intimacy (even when it is not prostitution).

              And anyway, here is a definition from the Oxford online dictionary:

              an exchange or interaction between people

              http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/transaction?q=transaction

              And come to think of it, the terms you keep using to describe people’s conduct in determining consensual relations are “negotiate” or “negotiation.” And how does the dictionary define those words?

              Negotiation:

              mutual discussion and arrangement of the terms of a TRANSACTION or agreement: the negotiation of a treaty.

              http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/negotiation

              Negotiate:

              to deal or bargain with another or others, as in the preparation of a treaty or contract or in preliminaries to a business deal.

              to manage; TRANSACT; conduct: He negotiated an important business deal.

              http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/negotiate

            • Megalodon says:

              If that is how you perceive sex, then there is a problem, mate. Sex is a shared experience, not an exchange of “goods, services or money.” I have sex WITH a person…I interact WITH that person.

              You may find it discomfiting, but that is probably the safe and “sober” way of perceiving copulation, for all parties concerned. The author of this post is warning against the pernicious effect of inebriation during copulation. Emotional indulgence and intensity can be their own form of inebriation and danger.

              I have sex WITH a person…I interact WITH that person.

              Why do you capitalize the word WITH? That part of the transaction is not in dispute. The WITH part is constant, whether it is a business, personal, or sexual transaction. You sign contracts WITH a person, you exchange money WITH a person…you fight WITH a person. Those are all “shared experiences” but not necessarily pleasant ones. The fact that a transaction is WITH a person does not necessarily mean it is a matter of tenderness and sentiment.

            • “Not that they would rape another person, but once they obtain consent (however begrudging), they don’t care how much the other person may be hating it.”

              That is rape! Consent is not a one-time “once you say yes then you can’t take it back” sort of thing. If someone says “yes” and then indicates that they are not enjoying the experience, it’s time to stop and for the person who was enjoying it to ASK what is going on.

              “Those examples are to disprove the notion that any discussion of sexual subject matter must be enjoyable and titillating for those talking.”

              I get the feeling you’re not quite reading what I’m writing…because I didn’t say ANY discussion of sex is necessarily sexy…I said it CAN be.

              “I cited the examples to counter your suggestion that BDSM associations are some kind of superior.”

              I also didn’t suggest that…I was actually saying that EVEN in a rather extreme case of a sub/dom relationship, a dom is expected to check in and make sure the sub is still consenting to what’s happening. Because that’s how much communication and consent matters.

              As for why I capitalise WITH…because (regardless of whether it’s tender or sentimental or straight-up-lust-filled) the difference between an interaction with someone, versus a transaction is the focus. When I buy something the point is the thing I am buying…when I sit in a classroom, even, the point is to learn the thing that is being taught. Sex, on the other hand, is not the point of having sex…if orgasm were the point I could just masturbate. The point of sex is to experience a night (or lifetime, whatever) with another, individual human being.

              The restaurant metaphor works pretty well here, really. Why do you go out to eat with a group of friends? Not to consume food…you can do that at home. You do it to interact with people…you don’t sit around a table and eat as a form of social transaction…it is interaction. It is to be in a place with other people.

              Same with sex…and THAT is the “safe and sober” way to think about sex. Not as a transaction…not in clinical terms…but as an experience with another human being.

            • Megalodon says:

              That is rape! Consent is not a one-time “once you say yes then you can’t take it back” sort of thing. If someone says “yes” and then indicates that they are not enjoying the experience, it’s time to stop and for the person who was enjoying it to ASK what is going on.

              I am not saying consent is a one-time “no take back” thing. If the other person rescinds consent, then it should stop. However, even if the other person is visibly not enjoying the activity, it does not necessarily mean that consent has been rescinded. If the other person is doing things like frowning, grimacing, cringing, or making other visible signs of displeasure, I suppose a conscientious person may ask what is wrong or if he/she should stop. And the suffering person may respond, “Do not worry about me. You can keep doing it.” Some people might stop out of concern, but some people might accept this continued consent and proceed. As long as the other person says yes, they may not give a damn whether the other person enjoys it or not. And if a person is supposed to cease the activity when the other person expresses suffering and displeasure, how would any BDSM transaction be possible?

              I didn’t say ANY discussion of sex is necessarily sexy…I said it CAN be.

              You seemed to suggest that because people enjoy doing things like sexting and making verbal sexual entreaties, they should also find discussions of sexual consent and boundaries to be appealing and enjoyable. And I pointed out that such discussions are not necessarily as attractive or titillating as the other verbal sexual exchanges you used as the comparison example. Yes, such consent and boundary discussions CAN possibly be “sexy” for some people, but not all people find it naturally appealing to discuss restrictions and prohibitions and the dire consequences of violating them.

              a dom is expected to check in and make sure the sub is still consenting to what’s happening. Because that’s how much communication and consent matters.

              Yes, that is supposed to be the expectation. But considering how ubiquitous sexual assault is, I cannot be sure what percentage of BDSM transactions comply with consent requirements. Sounds like a subject for statistical study.

              When I buy something the point is the thing I am buying…when I sit in a classroom, even, the point is to learn the thing that is being taught.

              Says you. It is not necessarily “either/or.” Some people may find the classroom environment and socialization as equally important (or even more important) than the subject matter being taught. Some people may go to buy something, but maybe getting out of their house and walking about is just as important as buying the item in question, or even more important.

              Sex, on the other hand, is not the point of having sex…if orgasm were the point I could just masturbate. The point of sex is to experience a night (or lifetime, whatever) with another, individual human being.

              You do not decide and decree for all people what the point and significance of copulation is for them. You are grafting some kind of normative, conjugal, connubial purpose onto copulation and declaring that if it does not involve this experiential bonding process, then it is not valid “sex.” I am sure some people share that quasi-sentimental definition and attitude about the process, but many do not. For some, it really is just a base and crude act for physical gratification with no other significance. They may take care to obtain consent from any other person, but they may not have any interest in any kind of emotional or conjugal bond with the other person, even for the duration of the transaction. In fact, some people may have sexual partners whom they find to be socially and emotionally repellent, and whose company they only suffer for sexual purposes, and nothing more. And when it is over, they may depart without a word.

              You say that if orgasm were the point, a person can “just masturbate.” But why do people who masturbate purchase things like vibrators or fleshlights, when they could just use their hands and fingers? Why obtain pornography when they could just use their imaginations? Why go to a lewd establishment featuring real people if they could just watch videos? For some reason, people who are chiefly interested in self-gratification go to apparently additional effort and expense to achieve that gratification, even though they could accomplish it more simply with just their own limbs. Maybe using another actual person for their own gratification increases their gratification. They may take care to obtain the persons’ consent before using their bodies for that purpose, but the other persons are just serving the purpose of living fleshlight or living vibrator so far as they are concerned.

              The restaurant metaphor works pretty well here, really. Why do you go out to eat with a group of friends? Not to consume food…you can do that at home.

              Some group dinner excursions are not as convivial and sometimes the members of the group do end up eating his/her own serving and not exchanging much. And sometimes people go out to eat by themselves. And sometimes that is because they do not want to prepare their own food, or are not capable of cooking for themselves, etc.

              You do it to interact with people…you don’t sit around a table and eat as a form of social transaction…it is interaction. It is to be in a place with other people.

              Haven’t you heard of business lunches and dinners in which people use a restaurant setting to discuss and negotiate a monetary deal? The social setting is sometimes just an accoutrement or background for the particular business at hand, not the primary objective of the “transaction.”

              Same with sex…and THAT is the “safe and sober” way to think about sex. Not as a transaction…not in clinical terms…but as an experience with another human being.

              A prostate exam is also an experience with another human being, but I am sure that is not the kind of “experience” you meant. It seems you are using “experience” with some kind of intimate and sentimental connotation. And something that is intimate and sentimental is not “safe and sober” because such impulses can compromise and endanger dispassionate judgment and awareness. Thinking about something “in clinical terms” has the better chance of maintaining and safeguarding the rights and interests of the parties’ involved, which are obviously more important than physical gratification and/or emotional intensity. Sentimentalizing the “experience” can produce additional incentives which can conflict with the boundaries and interests of the other participant(s). Not that it always leads to that result, but it is an additional risk factor and therefore not safer.

            • k8fontaine says:

              Is it just me, or does this Megalodon character bear a striking resemblance to Ignatius J. Reilly? Sorry, off-topic…

            • Megalodon says:

              Nope, she’s referring to all people.

              Claiming to speak for all people sounds like even more of a “monolith” fallacy than claiming to speak for all female persons.

              no one wants to actually be sexually assaulted. Absolutely everyone (unless they are suffering from some sort of mental illness) wants to have sex with someone who has first obtained consent in some way

              But she did not posit an example of general consent. When speaking as “we,” she used the example of a suitor asking if he can kiss the other person, asking if he can put his hand in a certain location, asking permission for each and every increment and escalation of the transaction and waiting for a verbal “yes” before proceeding. That would seem to rule out unspoken, discerned, or implicit consent as uncertain and insufficient.

              But that fantasy would only work because that is what my friend wants, and because his boyfriend would know that is what my friend wants…because they’d have talked about it beforehand.

              Talking about it “beforehand” does not necessarily solve the problem. I had one acquaintance who said she liked it if her consort copulated with her body while she was asleep or unconscious and that she enjoyed waking up while those sexual things were in progress and already being done to her. She talked about it “beforehand,” but she was not awake or conscious when the other person commenced the sexual act, so she could and did not “consent” in the standard sense of the word. Nor would she be conscious or capable of changing her mind because she would have been unconscious if and when her consort took up her “offer.”

              If a person tells somebody beforehand that he can copulate with her body if she becomes intoxicated and unconscious, would that actually satisfy the requirements of consent?

            • “If a person tells somebody beforehand that he can copulate with her body if she becomes intoxicated and unconscious, would that actually satisfy the requirements of consent?”

              I go with yes and no. If she were sober and mentally healthy enough to make that decision at the time that she told someone they could have sex with her after she gets too drunk to make that decision…then that totally satisfies the requirements of consent.

              HOWEVER now that she’s so intoxicated she can’t consent, she’s no longer able to withdraw it if she changes her mind. Mind, there’s a kink for having sex while passed out (like your friend)…so this question, though quite extreme, isn’t completely unheard of. The thing is, in order to engage in this sort of scene ethically…you’d first have to have had a crap ton of very explicit and detailed conversations about it.

              It is delicate and it is really freaking incumbent on the dom in this sort of situation to pay attention to what the sub wants. If she wakes up and pushes the dom off, then it’s his responsibility to completely stop the scene and back he hell off.

            • Megalodon says:

              I go with yes and no. If she were sober and mentally healthy enough to make that decision at the time that she told someone they could have sex with her after she gets too drunk to make that decision…then that totally satisfies the requirements of consent.

              They didn’t think so on this discussion board, as Daran found out when he recounted some delightful episode of intoxicated copulation that he had apparently pre-negotiated with his consort before she consumed alcohol.

              http://amptoons.com/blog/2006/11/26/searching-for-proof-of-resistance-to-rape/

            • Aaaaaaan your point with that? That someone disagreed with me? Yeah, of course, because as I SAID that specific instance is a very delicate and complex one. But most of the time we are not talking about the very specific example of pre-negotiated sex with someone who is passed out.

              Most of the time…and in Jamie’s article…we’re talking about people who are either completely sober or people who are intoxicated (without having ever had a conversation about consent while sober).

            • Megalodon says:

              Aaaaaaan your point with that? That someone disagreed with me?

              Exactly? Whose determinations and rulings are authoritative in these putative consent scenarios? If some “consent’ advocates say some situation is rape and other “consent” advocates say it is not, that is not a minor quibble. This is the risk of committing sexual assault.

              Most of the time…and in Jamie’s article…we’re talking about people who are either completely sober or people who are intoxicated (without having ever had a conversation about consent while sober).

              And how many rapes or non-rapes can occur within those marginal cases that fall outside of your stereotypical scenarios? Surely one assault is one too many.

            • You want strict, hard and fast rules, apparently. So for me to say, THIS act is always sexual assault…THIS act is never sexual assault…if you just follow THESE STEPS you will never be accused of sexual assault.

              But that’s like the relationship advice lists which give you simple rules you’re meant to follow on dates…they don’t actually work because people are individuals with all sorts of individual differences in desire.

              In the simplest terms, sexual assault and rape occurs when one person does something sexual in nature to the other person’s body that the other person doesn’t want. (I’m not necessarily talking legally because US law regarding rape is still kinda screwed up in a lot of ways)…

              But, okay so…how do you know what sort of sexual contact the other person wants? You ASK. The end. That’s it. What sexual contact is wanted will be different for different people…because of course it will. And sometimes a person will be completely fine with one person engaging in a particular sex act with them, but not okay with another person engaging in that same sex act.

              Maybe you’re fine with hypothetical-Jill grabbing your crotch on the dance floor, but not okay with hypothetical-Jane grabbing your crotch on the dance floor. And the way Jill and Jane should figure that out is by ASKING and then respecting your wishes, even if they don’t understand why. And maybe you’re fine with hypothetical-Jill grabbing your crotch on the dance floor, but not okay with hypothetical-Jill making out with you on the dance floor. So then how does hypothetical-Jill know where that line is? She ASKS and then respects whatever lines you draw. And maybe you were fine with hypothetical-Jill grabbing your crotch earlier in the night, but now you’re getting kind of uncomfortable with it so you tell her to stop. So she should respect that and stops, even if she doesn’t understand why you’ve changed your mind.

              And if hypothetical-Jane and Jill don’t respect those lines it’s sexual assault. And if they don’t bother to ask, that’s sexual assault.

            • Megalodon says:

              You want strict, hard and fast rules, apparently.

              Um, well, aren’t hard and fast rules necessary and appropriate for something as grave and egregious as sexual assault? We are usually told that sexual assault is a clear cut thing, that consent should not be a difficult concept to understand, and that notions like “gray rape” are a pernicious canard. If these admonitions are true, the rules and understandings about sexual assault should be strict, hard, and fast.

              But, okay so…how do you know what sort of sexual contact the other person wants? You ASK. The end. That’s it.

              No, it is not. You inserted the complication about long term associations and the fact that persons in relationships stop repeatedly asking for permission for every stage of each sexual interaction due to familiarity and being accustomed. You said that if one participant no longer wishes to consent to any one act, it is now incumbent upon that person to voice an objection, which seems to be putting the burden on one person to mount resistance rather than on the other person to always secure affirmative consent before proceeding.

              And even if the person asks and receives an affirmative response, that is not always sufficient. The person giving the affirmative response may be compromised, perhaps by alcohol or other substances, or may just be psychologically unstable. Or the person may have only given an affirmative response because some factor or consequence makes her think that if she does not voice consent, she may suffer bad consequences.

              And it is not as if “asking” is itself cost free. Sexually soliciting another person can itself constitute an act of sexual harassment and transgression, even if there is no physical contact and even if the soliciting person fully honors the refusal.

            • Women are individuals. I seriously think that perhaps an inability to fully internalise this is part of the problem. Individual women are individual people and so you have to ASK and then LISTEN to each individual woman you want to have sex with. You know, that whole thing called communication…active listening…etc. You cannot list hard and fast rules for all sexual encounters because you are not having all your sexual encounters with the exact same person every single time…and even if you are, people can change…because people are individuals…so thus you ASK and LISTEN. (Yeah I added the listening part because apparently that wasn’t implied).

              And if you’re unsure of whether someone who seems to have maybe said yes but maybe was only trying not to be mean about wanting to say no…then just don’t have sex with them. It won’t kill you.

            • Megalodon says:

              Women are individuals. I seriously think that perhaps an inability to fully internalise this is part of the problem.

              Is that supposed to be some kind of insinuation or accusation?

              A person can internalize the fact that other persons are individuals with their own subjectivities, interests, rights, etc. That does not therefore mean one can accurately discern and determine all those things about other persons and selves. You keep saying that “women are individuals.” Yes, they are. And some individuals of any gender sometimes do active things like lie, deceive, mislead, conceal, obfuscate, etc., so that their true interests and motives cannot be discerned. And supposedly some people’s minds and consciousness are deformed and colonized by power relations that you cannot discern between their true authentic interests and whatever society programmed them to comply with.

              And if you’re unsure of whether someone who seems to have maybe said yes but maybe was only trying not to be mean about wanting to say no…then just don’t have sex with them.

              If we are to believe that patriarchy and heteronormativity are deeply ingrained and inculcated into human psychology, then the only safe option is not to copulate with anyone or anything, because there is no guarantee that any kind of consent can be genuine or authentic, and that putative “consent” may always be the product of hierarchical social conditioning.

              It won’t kill you.

              Who said anything about anything killing anybody?

        • @Joanna Schroeder:
          YES we want to be asked. Say, “I’ve been thinking about kissing you, in fact it’s sort of been driving me crazy. Would it be okay if I did?” and if she’s into you, she’s gonna be into that or some variation.

          Once you’re engaged in making out, you can do something like touch the bottom of her shirt, smile and say “May I?” and wait for a “yes” or probably, at that point, a “YES! Please!”

          I have a question on this:
          If I get to the point of making out, and touch the bottom of her shirt and smile, does it really make a difference whether I say “May I?” or not, as long as she knows what I’m doing and keep smiling back at me?

    • Hi Dan

      Another actual woman here.
      Yes I want to be asked, and it does not make a man weak.
      Maybe it is the other way around , that weak men are the once that refuse to ask?

      • “Maybe it is the other way around , that weak men are the once that refuse to ask?”

        Bingo! It’s the insecure and weak ones who are so worried about a woman actually saying no who refuse to ask.

        • Bingo! It’s the insecure and weak ones who are so worried about a woman actually saying no who refuse to ask.

          Probably some, but not all. Some people are sincerely and authentically arrogant enough to believe that they do not have to ask because they cannot fathom that anybody would want to refuse them (in many matters, not just lecherous ones).

          There is this whole trend of saying that assertive and imposing behavior must really indicate weakness and that deferential behavior must really indicate strength. For example, the notion that bullies are insecure and weak people on the inside. I supposed some bullies are like that, but…not all of them. Lots of bullies have quite a positive and secure self-concept, and dominating and imposing upon other people is just a credit to their self-concept, in their minds.

          http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/pdfs/fcs505.pdf
          http://www.education.com/reference/article/bullying-victim-children-school/

          So while some domineering and transgressing people may indeed be “insecure and weak,” some are not. And while I am sure many people who take care to ask are indeed “secure and strong,” some are probably not. Positive self-concept and respectful behavior towards others do not always correlate.

    • Have you actually talked to women about whether they want a guy to ask permission before going for a first kiss or removing any clothing? I think you’ll find most women find that behavior weak and to be a real turn-off. And “tell me what you want” is asking a woman to LEAD the sexual interaction. Do you really think women want the role of leading in these things?
      I think the problem is there is enough of a split that you may not be able to say that how “most women” feel about asking.

      While its easy to just say that its weak on the part of guys to ask its also worth considering that after hearing a lot of women say that “he should just know” its no wonder a guy wouldn’t ask.

      I don’t think its just they are afraid of a “no” but that they are, through lived and heard experience, are afraid of being told they were wrong to ask in the first place (regardless if the answer would have bee no or not).

    • I’m glad we have all these real women here saying how much they want the guy to ask. I really wish those real women had been around when I was in college and literally got laughed at by several women when I asked. I really wish those real women had been those girls’ friends instead of the ones that gossiped and made fun of the fact that I had asked.

      I get that there is more than one way to ask and that there are witty ways to ask, but when you’re a teenager or college-aged kid just starting to date you don’t have enough experience to understand that kind of nuance. And the prevailing advice from both my male and female friends was pretty consistent: Of course you don’t ask to kiss her.

      Let’s add in a bit of human psychology into the mix and that human beings when given a yes or no question tend to lean to “no” because of decreased risk (using an assumed no is an old-school sales technique because it helps to mitigate the automatic, low-risk, no response. ex: is there any reason you wouldn’t want to buy this product?)

      Your chance of getting a “no” due to reaction is increased when you ask and when you add in the prevailing social idea that those who ask are socially incapable – yeah unless you’re really witty, clever, or happen to be with the right woman, asking is the riskier course of action for the man.

  13. Just make sure she is SOBER first. Because then she does not have the capacity to consent. Then it is rape.

  14. Hi Dan

    Another actual woman here.
    Yes I want to be asked, and it does not make a man weak.
    Maybe it is the other way around , that weak men are the ones that refuse to ask?

  15. I’m a little sick of these pieces.

    On the one hand, no, there is nothing wrong with the consent scheme suggested here. Obviously we’d be better off if partners communicated more, etc.

    But on the other hand, why is the entire responsibility for consent foisted upon men?

    As a man, what taught me more about how “consent” works, reading articles like this, or the fact that in a decade of active sexual activity no woman has ever asked me even ONCE if I consented to what she was about to do?

    This might be a radical suggestion, but isn’t it even remotely possible that men would care more about consent if we lived in a society that was interested in getting consent from men?

    It’s honestly difficult for me to view consent as anything other than female privilege – I’m never asked if I consent to sexual activity, many states still have legal statutes written in a manner that assumes I automatically consent to sexual activity, and yet I am prohibited from myself initiating any sexual activity with a woman unless I get consent first. How does that not look like female privilege? It’s clear who holds the privilege, and it’s not me: I have no ability to deny consent.

    Under this regime, asking men to care more about consent is like asking someone who is destitute to care about the marginal tax rate on the 1%. Hearing that the difference between a 35% tax rate and a 39% tax rate is “a lot of money” only serves to reinforce how little money you have when you are poor. Likewise, hearing about everything men are expected to do in order to secure consent really just serves to remind me that women don’t ever have to do anything in our society to secure consent from men.

    Perhaps when we teach women that they need to get consent from men, we’ll begin to see men value consent more.

    • Hi Mike L

      ✺” I’m never asked if I consent to sexual activity”✺
      Speak up Mike :)
      Tell your woman that from now on,you want to be asked…..

      • Iben,

        I respect where you are coming from, but this statement misses the point. It’s like asking women who are subjected to street harassment to go up to the individual men involved and say “Hey, from now on, please don’t catcall at me.” Clearly that’s something of an unworkable solution to catcalling.

        Likewise, telling men that the problem of men never being asked for consent can be solved by talking to women “one on one” after they are already in relationships is an unworkable solution.

    • “But on the other hand, why is the entire responsibility for consent foisted upon men?”

      It isn’t. It really really isn’t. But this is IN RESPONSE to something written by a guy talking about having sex with women without asking for consent first. And that original list was written in a culture which has conceptualised sex as something men do (and take) to and from women…something always initiated by men.

      It’s all well and good to emphasise that women need to obtain consent too, certainly…but we don’t live in a culture which has conceptualised sex as something that women initiate…and more importantly, the original letter that Jamie’s article is responding to is ALL ABOUT sex as something a man initiates.

      So it’s a bit of a derailing, really…you’re asking why this article which is about one specific aspect of consent isn’t talking about another aspect of consent. Not all articles can talk about everything. The whole thing is very cis and heteronormative, but that’s because the letter to which Jamie is responding is ALSO cis and heteronormative.

      • It’s not derailing in the slightest, even if it might be what you don’t want to hear.

        Jamie begins his article by asking a series of questions about how we arrived at this point. This seems to be a likely answer. Jamie wants to know how we got here, and the answer is clear: women played a part and it needs to be discussed.

  16. I liked the article; I’m grateful for men in the world like Jamie who are interested and invested in helping their brothers sort out the confusing cultural messages about sex, consent and communication. Surely there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dating and sex, but from my perspective, especially if you rephrase to make the advice entirely ungendered, this is as good of a rule of thumb as one can hope for, and CERTAINLY preferable to the rules of thumb from the original frat email.

    I just wish I’d never scrolled down to read the comments.

  17. @Joanna Schroeder:
    YES we want to be asked. Say, “I’ve been thinking about kissing you, in fact it’s sort of been driving me crazy. Would it be okay if I did?” and if she’s into you, she’s gonna be into that or some variation.

    Once you’re engaged in making out, you can do something like touch the bottom of her shirt, smile and say “May I?” and wait for a “yes” or probably, at that point, a “YES! Please!”

    I have a question on this:
    If I get to the point of making out, and touch the bottom of her shirt and smile, does it really make a difference whether I say “May I?” or not, as long as she knows what I’m doing and keep smiling back at me?
    Because something like this is what I, and i think most other guys, think about when we hear about “non-verbal consent”.

    And I have just had one too many woman answer questions like this with a smirky “Aren’t you supposed to know that…?” or something to the like.

    • Here’s Louis CK explaining how it’s definitely better to make sure you have consent than to just go for it in case they prefer you’re more vague: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4hNaFkbZYU

      More explicitly and verbally asking is better, unless you are familiar enough with the other person that you can read their non-verbal communication well…and even then…better to err on the side of caution and risk not getting laid.

  18. Hi Megalondon
    You ask:
    “Finally, if you only want a one-night stand and she wants something
    more, “respecting what she wants” in that case constitutes politely
    informing her that you can’t give her what she wants, and then not
    taking what you want from her anyway. All well and good. But at what point in the interaction should the male person have to
    issue this warning and disclaimer? When copulation appears to be imminent? At the first
    act of physical contact?”

    If you invite her home with the intent to have causal sex, then tell her.
    If you inform her before you have sex and not afterwards.
    And you inform her before you start to make out.

    Lots of men have no problem here, they are honest from the start and still get laid but you try to male fun of this advice as if it is ridiculous .

    • Basically, yeah…exactly….what iben said.

    • Megalodon says:

      If you invite her home with the intent to have causal sex, then tell her.
      If you inform her before you have sex and not afterwards.
      And you inform her before you start to make out.

      How much time and interaction has been spent before the person solicits the other person to return to his/her dwelling for lecherous purposes? If the person waits until that point of invitation in order to disclose their specific carnal intentions, the other person might have wasted hours or the entire social occasion due to mistaken expectations of the other person’s intentions. If she had known that the other person was only interested in “casual sex” or a “one night stand” from the outset, she might have decided not to have wasted any time interacting with that person and interacted elsewhere. Disclosing those intentions from the very first introduction (instead of waiting to the point of sexual entreaty) would eliminate that risk and problem.

      Lots of men have no problem here, they are honest from the start and still get laid but you try to male fun of this advice as if it is ridiculous

      I do not dispute that “honest” persons can achieve the same objective. I do not know of any studies or experiments which compare the success rates of honesty and deception in achieving copulation, so this is all a theoretical and academic consideration. I have advocated greater and explicit honesty and disclosure within these transactions and have suggested template procedures for achieving it. Some of you even seem to agree with that, despite taking issue with the formal and clinical phrasing. If you are agreeing with the advice in general and in principle but think it may sound ridiculous, that is not my concern.

      • Hi Megallondon

        The conversation between you and HeatherN is long . Obviously I missed where you decribe how you think it should be done.
        May I ask if you can repeat how and when a man best can communicate to his paertener that this is a one night stand ?

        • Ideally before anyone initiates anything even remotely sexual…I mean before a kiss even, really. Earlier, the better, I say. Make sure everyone is clear on what everyone’s expectations/desires are right from the beginning. But, yeah, obviously that doesn’t always happen…so AT THE LEAST it’s up to everyone to make sure everyone else knows what they expect before having sex. (And by sex, I mean a wide definition…not only vaginal intercourse). Definitely before you do the whole “want to come back to my place,” thing.

          • And I just now realise you addressed that to Megallondon, not me…lol.

            Aaanyway, I’ve made the whole question of consent really really simple. Check it out, everyone:

            http://radicalcentristblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/how-to-avoid-sexual-assault/

            • Hi HeatherN

              We are all part of this conversation.
              It is my hope that people can have sex,make love without hurting each other.

              I can not understand why it is so difficult .

            • Megalodon says:

              I’ve made the whole question of consent really really simple.

              Strange that you claim that the question of consent is “really really simple” and yet you mock and rebuff persons who want “strict, hard and fast rules” about avoiding sexual assault and verifying consent.

            • First, I’m not mocking. Frustrated, yes. Mocking, no.

              But more importantly…”making the question simple” doesn’t necessarily mean creating “strict, hard and fast rules.” You’ll notice my little infographic there doesn’t actually create a list of rules or anything…what it does is pose a simple question which is also open enough that it can account for the fact that every individual is different.

            • Megalodon says:

              ”making the question simple” doesn’t necessarily mean creating “strict, hard and fast rules.”

              They do not mean the same thing, but a person might think that some definite rule(s) should be able to follow out of something that is definitively “simple.”

              You’ll notice my little infographic there doesn’t actually create a list of rules or anything

              No, just simple commands like “Ask,” “Stop,” and “Play Safe” with emphatic color and lettering.

              what it does is pose a simple question which is also open enough that it can account for the fact that every individual is different

              If the question just opens up the Pandora’s Box of all possible vagaries of human subjectivity, it might cease to be a “simple” matter.

            • Look, I’ll tell you what I taught the high school kids when I taught sex ed…if you’re unable to have a conversation about sex, you probably shouldn’t be having sex.

              If you are unable (or unwilling) to communicate with the person you want to have sex with, to the point where you understand what s/he wants and doesn’t want and is able to know when s/he is “into it” versus just trying to be nice by going along to get along….if you can’t reach the point where you can distinguish between that, then you should be having sex with each other. Simples.

            • Megalodon says:

              if you’re unable to have a conversation about sex, you probably shouldn’t be having sex

              More context, please. You mean conversation and discussion about sex in general, or conversation about sex with the targeted person? Middle school and even elementary school children probably have conversations about sex and all the disgusting things that they heard that adults do or glimpsed from pornography.

              If you are unable (or unwilling) to communicate with the person you want to have sex with, to the point where you understand what s/he wants and doesn’t want and is able to know when s/he is “into it”

              As you keep saying, humans are individuals, and some can be convincing liars and some can put on convincing inauthentic appearances for the sake of external considerations. No person can understand or know definitively whether those external utterances from another actually concord with the internal desires. What should the threshold percentage of certainty be? Or is just going to be some kind of “you know it when you see it” demarcation? Like we use for determining obscenity? It just seems many people are willing to make assumptions and risk committing egregious violations.

              if you can’t reach the point where you can distinguish between that, then you should be having sex with each other. Simples.

              Did you mean to put a “not” in that sentence?

        • Megalodon says:

          May I ask if you can repeat how and when a man best can communicate to his paertener that this is a one night stand ?

          Whatever person of whatever gender should say it at the very first introduction. And I wrote a template for this disclosure for the person to use:

          I AM ONLY INTERESTED IN COPULATION WITH YOU AND HAVE NO INTEREST IN ANY OTHER ASSOCIATION OR INTERACTION WITH YOU BEYOND THAT OBJECTIVE. PROCEED AT YOUR DISCRETION.

          And I there are other form disclosures for other people with other sexual/non-sexual intentions.

      • Hi Megalondon

        You write:
        ✺”Disclosing those intentions from the very first introduction (instead of waiting to the point of sexual ) would eliminate that risk and problem.”✺

        Are you afraid of wasting a woman’s time,or your own time?
        If you want to meet women strictly for causal sex, and not waste your precious minutes on talk with women that look for a boyfriend,the why not try Craig’s list , a sex club or the Internet ?
        If you start a conversation with a women declaring you are out looking for a partner for the night, may give results, but most women will see that as a man that acts is too fast and are too direct . But iyou can always try,and see what happens. It is better than being a sleazy PUA.

        Most cultures have different arenas for different kinds of happenings between men and women. If you want to hook up for the night and not talk,then find the places where this happens just like gay men have places for sex,maybe heterosexual have places like that as well? Sex clubs?
        I know noting about sex clubs,but are told there are many of them. Somehow I imagine that everybody that walks into a sex club wants sex that night and don’t go there to find a partner for long term relationships.
        But you still have to ask for consent .

        • Megalodon says:

          Are you afraid of wasting a woman’s time,or your own time?

          Neither, because I have no personal involvement in such situations, and no time or interest of mine is at stake. But I would assume neither person in such a transaction wants to waste their time on a situation that will not yield the desired outcome. Some persons do not want to expend time on somebody who only wants “casual sex,” and some persons do not want to expend time on somebody who will not copulate with them. Even if they have disparate goals, I imagine people do not want to waste time on a situation that will not deliver what they want. And that probably applies to many situations, not just sexual ones.

          If you want to meet women strictly for causal sex, and not waste your precious minutes on talk with women that look for a boyfriend,the why not try Craig’s list , a sex club or the Internet ?

          I’m not trying to meet people for any kind of sex. For the record, such places you suggest are probably perilous and dangerous. The world of sexual interaction is already fraught with dangers and horrors, even without the enabling anonymity of the internet. Things like Craig’s List exponentially increase the danger, for all parties in such transactions. Just ask Philip Markoff’s victims, or people beaten, robbed, and murdered by thieves posing as online “hookups.” Whatever you mean by “sex clubs,” those establishments sound sordid and foreboding too, and they are probably of dubious legality in the United States.

          If you start a conversation with a women declaring you are out looking for a partner for the night, may give results, but most women will see that as a man that acts is too fast and are too direct.

          Well, I suppose that is a loss and burden that lecherous persons will have to suffer. Repelling people because of an upfront disclosure is a small price to pay for reducing misunderstandings, deceptions, and rape.

          It is better than being a sleazy PUA.

          I would think the most “sleazy” thing about PUA’s is that they may try to mislead and deceive people in pursuit of their goals. But if regular people are not making these disclosures from the outset while seeking sexual transactions, I fail to see why a PUA is any more “sleazy” than them.

          Most cultures have different arenas for different kinds of happenings between men and women. If you want to hook up for the night and not talk,then find the places where this happens just like gay men have places for sex,maybe heterosexual have places like that as well?

          And whatever people are free to seek out such places if they like, though they probably incur the higher risk of diseases, arrest, and violent crime. I heard that they attempted to make a heterosexual version of “Grindr” and called it “Blendr” but that it is performing poorly.

          Sex clubs? I know noting about sex clubs,but are told there are many of them. Somehow I imagine that everybody that walks into a sex club wants sex that night and don’t go there to find a partner for long term relationships.

          I have only heard the term used on tv sometimes, when the news refers to some place raided by the police, or on episodes of “Law & Order” when the detectives are investigating the sordid life of a murder victim.

          • Hi Megalodon
            You write:
            ✺”I’m not trying to meet people for any kind of sex”✺
            Well. Then lets end this conversation and leave the problem to those that want to meet people for having sex. ( with consent ).

            • Megalodon says:

              Then lets end this conversation and leave the problem to those that want to meet people for having sex.

              No rule saying you have to continue a conversation. But discussion of a subject is not necessarily reserved only for those who have personal experience or involvement with the subject.

            • Hi Megalodon
              We can agree on that.
              The main thing is that clear rules about consent can prevent rapes,and gray zones rapes.

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