This is a comment by Alyssa Royse on the post “Nice Guys Commit Rape Too“.
“I think it’s smart to suggest there is a link between people drinking and shame / fear about not only their own sexuality, but sex in general. We are presented with such shame around sex, and such disembodied (and disempowered) representations of it, that accessing it, for many people, is an activity filled with fear. Alcohol numbs fear, plain and simple.
“I think it’s doubly hard for women because although the way in which main are praised for their sexuality is narrow and impersonal, they are at least ‘allowed’ to be sexual. Women, on the other hand are shamed for it. So yes, I frequently see behavior that looks to me like ‘taking the edge off’ by drinking or doing drugs. Society and self won’t give me permission to have the kind of sex that I want, but Johnnie Walker will.
“That’s sad, for a lot of very obvious reasons. But it’s also dangerous. Drinking does blur our judgement about what will be a physically and emotionally safe encounter. It does allow us to push our boundaries further than we may really want to. But it also often gets us the attention that we want, so we do it, and it snowballs.
“I am an advocate for sober sex, at least until a relationship is solidly established with respect, and non-verbal communication patterns.
“Do I think that a person who drinks too much is asking to and/or deserves to be raped? HELL NO TO THE NTH DEGREE. Do I think that it is a decision that makes them more vulnerable to harm and should be reconsidered? Yes. And that’s not victim blaming. That’s dealing with a mitigate-able underlying safety flaw. Obviously, being sober isn’t a coat of armor. (I was raped, at gunpoint, dressed and stone cold sober, sound asleep in my own bed by a stranger who broke in. I know that there are bad people who do bad things.) But it is a safety factor that can be important.
“Obviously, what we really need to do is get more comfortable with the diverse ways that our sexuality expresses itself, own our sexuality, and learn to talk about it. Because yes, these simmering undercurrents of fear and shame are a huge factor in why people drink and fuck. And fucked up fucking can get really fucked up, really fast.
“Definitely played a huge part in the story I told.”
Photo credit: Flickr / Kirti Poddar