Apathy Jack writes:
So, this guy has ignited some debate on the issue of when-is-it-too-late-to-say-no?
Of course, it is never too late to say no.
I know at least one person who has decided, mid-coitus, that she’d rather be elsewhere, so put a stop to things. That sounds reasonable to me – certainly, I imagine the guy in question felt quite hard done by, but he knew the rules.
However, in the comments section here, some chap called Justin raises the point (to paraphrase): If someone asks Man X to stop mid thrust, is it rape if he finishes the thrust? (Not, in this specific example, because of malicious intent, more, I believe the point was, due to physics.)
It certainly should be a black and white case, but when you get to that level, it does become grayer: Once you take it as read that you can stop halfway through – and we do take that as read – you then have to start talking about timeframes. Obviously sooner is better, and equally as obviously we are dealing in time-spans of seconds or less here, but, as I say, while not completely gray, not completely black and white either...
I think we need to make it very clear that it is a bad idea to let people into your bed if you don’t intend to sleep with them. Of course, as Span points out in the above link, it’s a trust thing – you don’t imagine you’re going to get raped by the guy you kindly let crash in your bed. (Certainly my student who was in this situation a while back didn’t – but the rapist got a slap on the wrist and some community service because this naivete meant it was only kinda sorta rape – a rape-esque incident - in the eyes of the law.)
Part of me wants to say “Don’t trust him the moment he’s in your bed.” But the other part of me remembers a march against rape that happened back in my Uni days. A bunch of activists and I asked if we could help out. Not only was our offer turned down, we were told that we could not walk in the march, because, as men, we were potential rapists, therefore everything that the march stood opposed to.
That lack of trust – that implicit accusation that I was the worst sort of criminal simply because I have a chromosome in common with three billion-odd other humans – still sticks in my mind all these years later.
I also remember a friend of mine who passed out on a bed at a party, and woke up to find that he was having sex. Specifically: a young woman had pulled his pants down and climbed on, not caring that he was unconscious, until the motion woke him from whatever sort of dream you have in that situation.
Again, a gray area: I know a bunch of guys who would be thrilled at such fortune, or at least would take it as good anecdote fodder. This guy, however, while not being as traumatised as some of the female rape victims I’ve known, did take it very, very seriously, and saw it as a horrible violation.
Y’know, I’m completely out of answers for this one. Thoughts?