It Ain’t Sex Unless It’s Pleasuring
“It isn’t sex unless you’ve had an orgasm” says Jessica Valenti on losing virginity.
I’d take that a step further and apply it to rape: It ain’t sex unless it’s pleasuring. That makes sex and rape two different things.
When words fail to make distinctions things can get fuzzy and merge together. In places like Korea no words distinguish between blue and green, leaving people unable to see a difference.
We may need to distinguish between sex and rape to stop confusing one with the other. Sex is about consensual, mutual pleasure. Rape is not.
The Steubenville rape, and reaction to it, has got me thinking about this.
A semi-conscious, non-responsive 16-year-old girl is digitally penetrated. So what happens? Someone films it. Next she’s photographed naked, gossiped about, joked about, and it’s all passed around on the web as the girl’s former friends, other students and local townsfolk defend the assailants.
Evan Westlake said he didn’t stop the assault, because,
It wasn’t violent. I didn’t know exactly what rape was. I thought it was forcing yourself on someone.
After a guilty verdict a defendant wails that his life is over. CNN, ABC and NBC seem sympathetic to the perpetrators, whose lives are forever ruined. Just sex gone bad? Bad decisions surrounding sex? It’s easy to make a mistake?
If sex were only thought of as consensual, mutual and pleasurable for all involved then maybe more people could see that entering a semi-conscious girl’s vagina is not sex, it is rape.
And if a woman or girl were raped, or lost her virginity through rape, maybe she’d feel a lot better if she redefined “sex” and “virginity loss” in terms of pleasuring sex, not mere penetration.
I’ve always felt uncomfortable thinking of sex and rape as being different forms of the same thing.
It ain’t sex unless it’s consensual.
It ain’t sex unless it’s mutual.
It ain’t sex unless it’s pleasurable.
It ain’t sex unless everyone feels good afterwards.
And real men love sex, but real men don’t rape.
Posted on March 20, 2013, in feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged feminism, psychology, rape and sexual assault, sex and sexuality, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.