nocutename
Berkeley, California
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May 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
How can it be "maintenance sex" if they aren't part of a couple?
She never says that she was in a relationship with this guy. It seems to me that they barely knew each other.
May 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
@52: I think he was a horny young guy who had been told by his culture to keep trying, that sometimes a "no" is a "yes" in disguise. He made a pass at his girlfriend's 14-year-old sister, I found out later. He grabbed his friend's girlfriend. I don't think it was about dominance over another man--I think it was simple horniness and a culture that told him rapists were violent criminals so of course he wasn't one and what he did wasn't rape and see? She had a good time or see? she really wanted it after all.
This was our world until about 20 years ago, and in many ways and in most places, it still is.
That's why women slut-shame more than men. That's why schools have dress codes for girls and not boys. The women are expected to be the gatekeepers and if sex happens, it means they weren't vigilant enough--unless it's violent rape, and even then, if the woman had been drinking or was dressed sexily, or was in any way not being a "good, pure, chaste" girl, she bears a portion of the guilt. That's why men haven't had to be taught not to rape by coercion. The only rape they recognized as rape was violent rape, jump-out-of-the-bushes-rape; the only rapists were monsters. If a girl really doesn't want sex, she'll shut it down; if he didn't hurt her and she didn't shut it down, she really wanted it after all. She just can't admit to it from the get-go.
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May 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: when you live in a culture where men are encouraged to try as hard as possible to have sex with whomever they can and women are told to monitor themselves because men can't monitor themselves, and when a noted sex and advice columnist tells a woman who was, as far as I can tell, coerced into letting a man she didn't want to have any kind of sex with, have sex with her, that if she doesn't want to be seen as pulling a dick move, she should reciprocate an orgasm by working to provide him satisfaction because etiquette says she owes him since it wasn't a "fear fuck," then you're looking at rape culture.

You have women, especially young women, stopping themselves from getting up and walking away. No one had to hurt her for that woman to end up having some kind of sex with a man we should all be regarding as a rapist. If you read my story and see my former friend as having raped me, there is no reason why you and I and Dan shouldn't see this man as having violated this woman's bodily autonomy.
To recap, she said, ""Basically, feeling coerced into sex by being given an orgasm . . . I made it really clear that . . . I was not interested in moving any further and after a few times of saying, 'no,' I relented and allowed him to give me a really great orgasm . . . I felt obligated to do the same for him, and I did. I didn't want to in the first place, but I felt like it would have been wrong if I'd gotten away with an orgasm and he didn't. . . I was wondering if this was a tactic?"
And here she is asking if she owed him something, and there Dan is saying, "yeah, kinda." And when I ask about it, both of you--a straight man and woman--talk about personal responsibility and having the power to walk away, and when I share my story, which explicitly asserts that I didn't fear violence, and could have walked away, you both try to soothe me by telling me that I was more physically restrained or dominated than I probably was. If rape means not taking "no" for an answer, one "no" should be all it takes. There should never be a repeated attempt. That "no" shouldn't be worn down to a "yes." Would either of you teach a son to do that?

In a society like the one we still live in, women can do the self-coercion all by themselves.
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May 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
@49: Oh Sportlandia, that story is so cute, really! It sounds like your expectations were reasonable, given the already-established relationship, and you asked for an explanation or tried one more time, then took her "no" for an answer in a way that I think probably did no ultimate harm to your relationship.
For what it's worth, I think when most women here "repeated asking" or "repeated attempts," etc., they are envisioning something a lot closer to my experience than to yours. There is nothing remotely wrong with what you did and it isn't in the least bit rapey.

But I want to make clear, to both you and Fichu, that I never felt scared. If I had gotten out of that car (which would have been hard, as you've both noted: he was much bigger than me and pretty much on top of me from the get-go, but still), he would have let things be. I am 100% positive that he wouldn't have choked me or stabbed me or beaten me. I wonder what would have happened had I screamed at the top of my voice. He probably would have been so startled that he would have stopped. I believe that he had been socialized to expect girls to "put up a bit of a fight," and that nice girls started out by saying "no," but that that "no" usually turned into a "yes," if you persisted. I don't think he saw himself as having done anything wrong, much less as rape. I bet if he remembers it at all, he remembers it as that time he had sex with me in my car, not that he coerced me into having sex. But for me to scream like that when I didn't feel physically threatened by violence was too much to ask of my young self especially when I thought of him as my friend.
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May 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.

When I was 18 or 19, a male friend of mine whom I had been visiting with at his apartment, walked me to my car--there was a man in the area who was assaulting women; his composite sketch was up on fliers everywhere. I asked my friend what I had asked before: "Could you walk me to my car so I don't get raped and murdered?" He wasn't my primary friend, whom I had been close with for years and years, but the friend's roommate. They lived like grownups, renting an apartment at a super-cool condo complex. My friends and I loved to go there because we felt like adults. The rest of us still lived with our parents. But though the one guy was my original friend, I knew his roommate well. We'd spent a lot of time together, going on ski trips and beach trips, playing touch football, listening to music cooking big spaghetti dinners together, having parties--all as a big group. He had been part of the group now for well over a year. I had stopped by to visit both my primary friend and him, bringing cookies I had baked for them both. My original friend had to leave for work, so the roommate-friend and I played a board game with his girlfriend, who then left, and I had to leave, too, so I asked him to walk me to my car.

When we got to the car, he asked if he could hear a song I had on the mixtape that I had in the car's cassette player. I might have asked if he wanted to hear it, actually. I can't remember; it was a long time ago. We sat in my parked car, in the middle of the afternoon, in the visitors' parking lot of his big apartment/condo complex. He tried to kiss me.

Surprised, since that was not the nature of our relationship and he had a girlfriend and there had never been anything flirtatious between us, I moved away. He tried again. This time I said, "hey, what are you doing?" I didn't kiss him. He began to try to grope me. I physically moved his hands. I said, "no;" I said, "stop." He said things like, "Oh, come on." "You're so pretty." "What's wrong?" "Why'd you wear that shirt, then?" His hands seemed to be everywhere. I tried reasoning with him: "You know I think of you as an older brother." Didn't stop him. "What about your girlfriend?" was met with, "She's not here; it's okay."

Nothing seemed to stop him, and then I felt like I had choice to make:
I could treat him as if he were a stranger in the dark--fight: try to gouge into his eyes, break his nose, kick him hard in the groin.
Or I could let him do what he was intent on doing and get the hell out of there.

I don't know or remember why I didn't think to get out of my own parked car and walk away. I'm sure he wouldn't have chased me down. I think it just didn't present itself as an option. But I was a good girl and he was a friend, and a lot of my hesitation came from the sheer disbelief that someone I had viewed as a friend would do this to me, would try to force me like this. I was so young; I was afraid of hurting his feelings. I was afraid he'd call me a prick-tease. I was afraid I'd be branded a frigid bitch, a prude. I didn't want to do anything ever that would make someone I considered a friend not like me anymore. I had never heard of any rape that sounded like this. I wasn't ready to treat him like a rapist, whom I would have resisted. So, paradoxically, I let him have sex with me. I couldn't treat a friend like a monster even as he showed me himself at his most monstrous. I acquiesced. I lay there and let him get it over with. He obviously saw it as a case of continuing to ask until he got the answer he wanted.

At the time, I was filled with self-loathing: why had I worn that shirt? I knew it showed off my breasts. So was this my fault, or at least partly my fault? I knew what violent rape was, and the term "date rape" was just beginning to gain currency. But date rape happened in the context of a date; this guy was my friend, not a date. We'd hung out many times over the past year or longer. I knew his girlfriend. He called me his "little sister." That didn't seem to me to fit the definition of date rape. He was a creep and I was partly responsible. That was my thinking.

I never spoke to him again. I made sure to never be alone with him again, and I found reasons to avoid going to that apartment when I wanted to hang out with his roommate, my original and primary friend. Several years after the incident, I heard the term "acquaintance rape," and it was as if a light had been turned on. I knew exactly what to call it.
30 years later, I finally told my original friend (whom I had lost touch with but reconnected to via Facebook) about this. He was appalled. But then he said that one of his long-ago girlfriends had once said that this guy had "made a handsy pass at her" in the kitchen when he, the boyfriend, had stepped out for a moment. He hadn't wanted to believe her--thought she must have misunderstood the gesture. Now, he said, he thought back to that other night about 25 years ago and was upset that he hadn't believed his girlfriend.

I don't see myself as either a victim or a survivor, but I do consider myself to have been raped. I do believe I bear no responsibility for that sex, even though I ultimately submitted to it. I don't consider that sex to be merely regretted sex. And I never thought he would hurt me. I had the power to walk away. But things are more complicated in real life than they are theoretically from the comfort of our own sage and safe positions.

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May 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
Fichu, I know you're addressing BDF not me, but I have to ask. What is your position on coerced sex? Can you ever imagine happening? I don't mean that you have to consider it rape--in fact, I don't always consider it to be rape, either. I remember once years ago you told a story of a woman who had sex that regretted having later. I can't recall if she'd been drunk when she'd had sex or if there was any other mitigating factor, but you said that she tried to downgrade (or maybe upgrade, depending on how you think of it) the regretted sex to rape.

I know you have categorized sex in at least these categories:
1) Sex with consent.
2) Regretted sex--consent was given but after the fact, one person feels guilty or ashamed or icky and either feels that they weren't really capable of giving true consent, or gave consent but now wished they hadn't.
3) Rape. The sex must be achieved by "force or credible threat of force."

Do you have any other categories?
Do you acknowledge that sometimes people feel coerced into sex. Does that fall under the umbrella of #2 for you? If so, do you think they should try to make that coerced sex as pleasurable for the person who is coercive as possible? Is that person owed anything in terms of sexual satisfaction?
I wish our language had different names for different categories of sex obtained without mutual enthusiasm and consent.
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May 22 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
@40: 19 seems pretty young to learn a lesson like that. My 19-year-old self was just getting started with self-destructive stuff.
May 22 nocutename commented on Sometimes I Think Donald Trump Is In a FemDom Relationship.
I think he was trying to pull her along to catch up. She was a bit behind. And she would have none of that, swatted his hand away, and strode forward faster on her own. I think it's about control and independence,
I have no sympathy for her--she knew what she was marrying. She made that choice and if she hates it bigly enough to forfeit the money, she could always leave. She probably thinks of his age, his preferred diet, his belief in not exercising, and figures she'll outlive him and be a rich widow, so she's still not willing to leave. Whatever. But, petty as it might be, I have to say I love anything that can be embarrassing to him.
May 22 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
Sportlandia, @35 you wrote: "at SOME point you need to have the fortitude to stand up for yourself, right? If you literally make the choice that having sex with somebody is easier than walking away, can you really hold someone else responsible for that? How is your partner supposed to tell the difference?"

I think that if I couldn't tell the difference between enthusiastic consent, or my partner either initiating sex or happily and eagerly responding to my initiated sexual advances and someone who lies there like a dead fish and if I couldn't tell the difference between initiating sex with either an already-established lover or a new potential lover, or trying to seduce someone and groping and being swatted away or rebuffed and whining or nagging or pressuring someone for sex, that is pretty indicative that
a) I am in sore need of some insight, respect, people-skills training, and therapy.
or
b) I live in a culture which encourages people (read that as male people) to be able to resort to absolutely any tactic whatsoever, including roofies and threats, to be able to stick their dicks into other people (whether male or female people).

In fact, I think that until very recently indeed, we lived in option b culture, and we still sometimes sojourn there.

Seriously, Dude, if you can't tell the difference between an enthusiastic real consent and a grudging "consent" achieved after repeated aggressive attempts, there is a problem (that is the universal, hypothetical "you," not the real personal "you"). No matter how much people delude themselves to justify their behavior, i suspect that on some level they would know the difference in real life.
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May 22 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Grindr Etiquette!.
@28, 29, etc. (rape v. coerced consent): Just to clarify, when I brought this up @14, I didn't mean that the caller had been raped; I did mean that Dan's response, that unless you are violently raped or consent because you fear you will be violently raped, you should give someone a reciprocal orgasm, because not doing so would be "dick move," represents a way of thinking that enables rape culture (you said "no," but you know you really wanted it--you even had an orgasm).

I think that there is something between sex that's had because you were coerced into it and rape, and it's not the same as someone merely being an "obnoxious jerk." Like most things, rape occurs on a continuum, from the attacker who springs out of the dark, weapon in hand, to violently assault his victim, to the guy who takes advantage of the too-drunk girl he encounters at the party, to the overly-obnoxiously persistent guy who won't take "no" for an answer--who gropes and grabs and pushes on despite obvious rejections until finally the other person acquiesces, even though she doesn't fear violence. That isn't "rape," exactly, but neither is it true consent. It's somewhat akin to being too drunk to give true consent, or the way we as a society believe that even if the 14-year-old says "yes" to the 30-year-old, that consent is not valid because there are forces at work that keep a person that young and in a relationship that imbalanced to be able to truly give meaningful consent. Having sex with that man under those circumstances is neither a pity fuck or a fear fuck, but it still an unwanted fuck, and not merely a "regretted the morning after" fuck. There should be discrete terms to differentiate between the various kinds of unwanted sex. For the record, I have always defined a "pity fuck" as a fuck given out of actual pity--as in feeling sorry for the person--not as a response to nagging. What I feel when I'm being nagged and groped is pretty far from pity. Maybe in addition to "pity fuck" and "fear fuck" we should add a few categories. I would nominate "irritated/exhausted/ground-down fuck" as one, but that name is cumbersome.

If someone grinds you down and wears your resistance down and perseveres in getting you to allow him to perform a sex act on you, you are free to refuse to perform a sex act on him with the goal to bring him to orgasm without it being considered a "dick move" if you don't. You owe that person nothing. Your reasons for acquiescing are not relevant--you don't have to be afraid you'll be violently assaulted to get to not be a dick for not trying to assist someone who has absolutely failed to respect your bodily autonomy.
THAT's where I believe Dan failed on that call.

But Fichu, the comparison of being coerced into sex with someone nagging you to let them have your car is absurd and inappropriate. And even if someone was nagged into letting you drive their car, pushing this to the point where you transfer title is ridiculous. No one coerced into sex declares herself the property of the person doing the coercing. The analogy is not apt.
And Sportlandia, sometimes "walking away" is still not an option (say this happens in your home or in a car miles from anywhere, etc.), without the requirement that you are afraid of retaliatory violence if you try. Sometimes the retaliation takes the form of slander or just being branded a prude. This is a compelling reason to just let him do it for many young women or girls actually. Or the argument that "everyone else" is doing it. Or that you won't be liked if you don't accede. Hopefully, we all mature to the point where those reasons are specious, but when people are young, they carry more weight.

Sportlandia, you ask if the world where someone who asks for sex is considered rape is a world where anyone actually wants to live, but I contend that
A) "Asking" for sex is not the same thing as coercing someone.
and
B) The world you described is not one in which anyone actually lives, but I am damn sick and tired of living in the one where women still have to prove their victim-status because the culture still sees anything short of violent assault to be a case of "blurred lines."

All that is entirely separate to the excellent point that Harriet_by_the-bullrushes makes @27, which is that it is ridonculous and petty to expect sex to be an exact tit-for-tat action every time and under all circumstances, even when it is clearly mutually consented-to sex. Life doesn't always work that way. A show of goodwill and a good faith effort when possible are all that's required.
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