polimicks (polimicks) wrote,

How Not to Rape Someone: Tips for the other side.

Women are surrounded by media and communications telling us how not to get raped. Women's magazines, helpful chain emails, tv shows, Aunt Gladys, all of these things constantly bombard us with helpful hints. Don't drink, don't go anywhere alone, don't go out after dark, don't, don't, don't... Live in a little metal box that has food pushed in through a narrow slit, and don't ever, ever, ever contact anyone of either gender anywhere ever again.

That last bit, that's roughly what these helpful tips amount to. I mean, for those of us who have to LIVE in the WORLD and want to see PEOPLE on occasion, a lot of the advice is just not practical. Not to mention, it puts the onus for avoiding rape on the victim, and not on the perpetrator, which is where it fucking well belongs.

So here are my non-gender, non-orientation specific guidelines for not raping people, because just as men can be raped, women can be rapists.

1. No means NO. That's it. If the person you are with says no, Stop. Right then. Immediately. I don't care where in the process or act you are. I don't care what's where. Stop. It isn't hard.*

2. Do not perform sex acts on anyone who can't consent. If someone is asleep, unconscious, too inebriated to know what is going on regardless of whether it is from illness, injury, drugs (of any legality), alcohol, or mental disease or defect, and you perform a sex act on them, it is rape. Really, it is.

3. Do not coerce sex from someone. This means if someone is somewhere with you, and they cannot leave without your cooperation, and you won't let them out unless they put out, that is rape... and kidnapping. If you have a weapon or if you are much stronger and you tell them that you are going to get what you want and their choices are acquiesce or get hurt while you do it, that is rape, even if you make them say "Yes" first. If you are someone's boss and you give them a choice of sex or getting fired, that is rape and sexual harassment.

Really, that's about it. I think those three things cover everything. Listen to no, don't fuck unconscious people, and don't "offer" a false choice. Basically, don't be a dickhead. That's it. Respect the wishes of the person you are with and you shouldn't have to worry about this.

This also means none of that "I know you're not into it right now, but let me keep going you'll like it" and not stopping regardless of what your partner says.

And for your own personal protection: Do not have sex with anyone under the age of consent, because regardless of how into it or enthusiastic they are, it is statutory rape and you can be charged even if your underage partner doesn't cooperate. I know that some people are mature enough and decide to have sex sooner than society thinks they should. But I also know that an awful lot of people aren't mature enough, and don't actually decide to have sex then, and the statutory rape laws are there to protect them from predators. Unfortunately, that's the way it is.

*Unless the word "no" is a negotiated part of a BDSM scene, and in that case you had best have another safeword. Perhaps, "lawyer." Also, if you stop and they get all pouty because "they didn't mean it" do one of two things: A. Run because they are a bad relationship waiting to happen, Or B. Explain that "no" is a very specific word with a very specific meaning and that they shouldn't use it if they don't mean it. There are other words for "I like that," "I don't like that," "Slow down." Suggest that the person in question learn to use them.

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