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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Sex & consent

For obvious reasons these last couple of weeks, I've been examining my own assumptions about sex and consent. I also studied what women are writing and I talked to some wise women I know.

I think Megan McArdle nailed it.

There’s something else we notice, something that seems deeply connected to these demands for justice: These women express a feeling of overwhelming powerlessness, even though they are not being threatened, either physically or economically. How has the most empowered generation of women in all of human history come to feel less control over their bodies than their grandmothers did?

Let me propose a possible answer to this, suggested by a very smart social scientist of my acquaintance: They feel this way because we no longer have any moral language for talking about sex except consent. So when men do things that they feel are wrong -- such as aggressively pursuing casual sex without caring about the feelings of their female target -- we’re left flailing for some way to describe this as non-consensual, even when she agreed to the sex.

Under the old code, of course, we had ample condemnatory terms for men who slept with women carelessly, without much regard for their feelings: cads and rakes, bounders and boors. Those words have now decayed into archaism. Yet it seems to me that these are just the words that young women are reaching for, when instead they label things like mutually drunken encounters and horrible one-night stands as an abuse of power, a violation of consent--which is to say, as a crime, or something close to it. To which a lot of other people incredulously respond: now being a bad lover is a crime?

There are some codes of conduct and safeguarding policies out there (hat tip Yvonne Aburrow). However, the people who pay attention to these suggested rules aren't the ones you should worry about. There are also those bound by honor who will find these rules tiresome at best and insulting at worse. That doesn't even include some very un-PC topics.

Note - Ladies, if you think you can turn a "bad boy" around, you're almost certainly asking for trouble. If he really is a bad boy, he'll only pay attention to your feelings long enough to get into your pants. If he isn't a bad boy, he's playing you and you shouldn't trust what he says. If you don't put out, he'll find someone else who will. Probably in front of you so he can make you jealous. Believe me, I know.

Obviously men and women have very different views about sex. Men don't necessarily see sex as a commitment or as a relationship. And from the McArdle quote above, younger women don' t have a way to discuss sex except in binary. Either there is consent or not. Evidently sex for some has become a very mechanical act with very little emotional connection. Sex without the emotional connection is masturbation.

Maggie McNeil points out that consent has it's own issues.

I don't have an easy answer. I think there should be more romance and seduction before sex. I don't think the pick-up culture works or is particularly healthy. I think you should have something else to talk about before and after sex. And I would add my two main sex rules, consenting adults and you're off limits if you promised to be someone else's one-and-only.

I'm not done with this subject yet.
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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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