No means NO. We get it! We really do! This is the easy part to understand.
But what about the girl who we make advances on and she accepts, kisses back, gropes us back, and seems to enjoy the intimacy – but then later claims she was forced? What?! These are the things we are worried about.
We are worried about how we can navigate those murky waters while keeping the romance that you so desperately desire alive. We worry about if we should now bring legal documents of consent to each and every hook up. What’s worse, we worry if we should have been doing it all along.
There is an ever growing movement among women that is turning the old “buyer’s remorse” – the regret that occasionally comes after having intimate relations (including just a kiss) with someone that you just didn’t click very well with, who you didn’t really like that much, or that was bad in bed – into new accusations of sexual misconduct. What used to be an awkward “hey” in the hallway has now become a story of being taken advantage of and unwanted sexual advances even though consent was mutual at the time.
When did yes stop meaning yes?
It’s a difficult question to answer and one that is made further so because of my own experiences. What about that young lady who I hooked up with that was just…bad? What about the girl who cheated on me? What about the girl who got really clingy way too fast and I had to break it off with her? Do any of these women now think that I assaulted them, many years after the fact, even though it was consensual at the time?
The answer to all of this is celibacy. Just don’t ever have sex until marriage.
The realistic answer to this is maybe to just be more selective and denounce hook-up culture. And I’ll be the first to admit that this solution is almost as hard as the first one. Sex is a wonderful and fun experience that few of us are likely to ever give up on.
The reality is that we will never know what’s going through someone’s mind unless they tell us, and even then it may be too late to repair any lost trust or feelings of vulnerability.
And it’s most likely not the “players” that will suffer wrongful allegations. It’s the regular guys who literally can’t tell when their own girlfriends are angry at them. These poor males who are completely inept at picking up the extremely subtle clues that women give off.
Any guy can hear “no!” and realize he should stop doing what he’s doing. But a girl barely tensing up as you kiss her after she already leaned in for a kiss previously? Or the girl who moans as you start to get intimate, but then lays there fairly motionless? Was that just a bad kiss? Did you bite her lip? Is she a girl who likes to focus on the pleasure of the experience and not move much? Or are you overstepping your bounds and about to face criminal charges?
That right there is enough to cripple most regular men from approaching any women. Maybe that’s what the third wave, militant lesbian, man hating feminists want. Maybe they actually want all the women to themselves! It’s all part of a conspiracy I tell you!
Or maybe it’s just that men are far less nuanced than women and for decades (at least) women have been chalking bad experiences up to simple bad experiences with guys they don’t like. But now they don’t feel like they have to! They can have that Instagram-perfect relationship with that handsome man who’s perfectly romantic in every way! They’ve seen it be possible online.
Women are being emboldened to take charge of their sexual history now rather than their sexual destiny as was preached in the previous four decades of western civilization. The victor gets to rewrite history, and in this case the victor is determined by the court of public opinion. It’s the modern stockades for you, young man, if you are deemed to have stepped out of line.
And why is it that this seems to be such a major deal in the USA and nowhere else in western nations? Are we somehow MORE patriarchal than Poland or Russia? That’s preposterous!
It honestly seems like a fair amount of people believe that the majority of white men are sitting around in small groups plotting their next molestation, rape, and cover up event. And the white men who aren’t included in those meetings? Well they are bravely standing up to defend their brethren from any jail time.
Don’t get me wrong, injustice does occur. The tale of Brock Turner is testament to that. Every man I know agrees that he should’ve done the full sentence of 14 years at a minimum. The guy is a creep and the only solace we can take from that story is that at least he is infamous now and has to register on the sex offender lists.
But then there’s injustice the other way as well and men have often been the target of these injustices. So where do we draw the line? How do we handle this complex issue?
We have to hope and trust that our next generation will be better than us. We have to hope that the virtues of integrity and honesty will stand strong in the people of this nation and the world. We have to engage each other and listen and come to understandings. Life is never easy. And now love and intimacy isn’t either.