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How Not To Be A Rapist

October 18, 2013

I was going to write a blog about ‘how not to be raped’ but as there is nothing a person can do to protect themselves from that because a rape survivor/victim is NEVER RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING RAPED, I thought this might be a bit more useful.

As my beloved Sooterkin™ says, “Don’t Rape!”

Simple, yet many rapists would claim they have not raped, and therefore the maxim does not apply to them.  So how does one avoid being a rapist?  I shall attempt a simple step-by-step guide – see if you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios or if you apply the suggestions in your life already.

1.Learn what freely-given informed consent means and use it in your sex life.  In brief, freely-given informed consent is not possible if:

  • Anyone is under any form of external duress directly related to the situation, for example pressure via emotional or physical violence or an abuse of a position of power (college professor and student/boss and employee).
  • All the information is not available to allow the individual to give freely-informed consent, i.e.  if any information exists which might alter the decision to give consent is deliberately withheld by the person seeking consent such as whether the potential sexual partner has a sexually transmitted disease or a partner with whom they do not have an open relationship.
  • One assumes a blanket assent to all forms of sexual action.
  • A person is very intoxicated on any substance.

Informed consent is:

  • Knowing and being confident in own sexual proclivities, desires, wants and needs.
  • Knowing what one is comfortable with.
  • Feeling one is in a safe environment.
  • Feeling positive that consent will be understood and accepted, and that refusal will also be understood and accepted.
  • The ability to say “yes”, to say “no”, and to say “maybe, but I want to know more first before I can decide” and to know that that decision will be respected and adhered to.

2. Don’t have sex with someone if they are very intoxicated, on any type of substance, even if they are BEGGING you.  Of course if you have an ongoing trusting relationship with them, drunken sex is a possible, but as a general rule and even in that situation, if they are unable legally to drive, they are unable to give freely informed consent.

3. If you are on a date with someone, you are not entitled to sex or any kind of sexual action.  ANY type of sexual action, in case I wasn’t clear enough.

4. Consent to kissing is not consent to touching is not consent to removing clothes is not consent to intimate touching is not consent to sex.  Obtain consent at each step.

5. Consent can be revoked at any time during sexual activity.  Do not continue.  You will be a rapist if you do, or at the very least guilty of sexual assault.   I repeat, you will have committed an illegal act of rape and/or sexual assault.

6. Flirting is not consent.  There is no such thing as a prick-tease; you are not entitled to access to anyone’s body.

7. Type of clothing worn does not give consent, and nor does nudity.

8. You cannot change a person’s sexuality by raping them – this is a homophobic hate crime as well as a rape/sexual assault.

9. You cannot change a person’s gender by raping them– this is a transphobic hate crime as well as a rape/sexual assault.

10. Homosexual men are not all voraciously sexual, and even those who do have large sexual appetites may not be attracted to you.  See ‘freely-given informed consent’ above.

11. If someone is not attracted in you, pushing yourself onto them will not make them like you.  It will make them fear you and will make you guilty of rape and/or sexual assault.

12. Paying for sexual activity does not mean you are entitled to free use of the sex-worker’s body.  If they say no at any time to any act, consent is removed and you will be guilty of rape and/or sexual assault if you carry on.

In short, you are not entitled to anyone else’s body.  EVER!

In all the victim-blaming dialogue that is thrown out there, i.e. what they were wearing, how drunk the victim was, their sexuality (if not hetero), their gender (if not cis), the time of night, locality they were in, all of this, there are many more people in exactly the same situation who were not raped.  The place/clothing/sexuality/gender/location/time and so on is not to blame.  The rapist is to blame.  End of.

In case you are still thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, according to the government crime statistics published in July 2013 rape offences increased by 2% over the last year and sexual offences increased by 1%, and that is just those which are reported*.  From 2009 to 2012 404,000 women and 72,000 men reported being sexually assaulted or raped.**

* http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/period-ending-march-2013/stb-crime–period-ending-march-2013.html#tab-Sexual-offences

** https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-overview-of-sexual-offending-in-england-and-wales

Finally, here is a handy little card you may want to print out and put in your pocket.  You never know, one day it may save you from committing a rape:

Read.Learn.Live By.

How not to screw up your life and someone else’s.

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From → Ideology

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