Rape, “she never said no,” “he crossed the line”? Help make “consent” crystal clear, for people you know and maybe succeeding generations too.
Prompted by this and subsequent comments
about the responsibility of men as well as women for reducing rape risks, please contribute your thoughts and experiences regarding the following questions about what men and women can do to 1. make consent crystal clear, and 2. create an atmosphere where even less-than-honorable men do right, out of peer pressure, or to be cool.
Part 1: how to make consent unmistakeable, in the heat of the moment?
Part 2a: would making Part 1 issues a common, ordinary, or at least necessary topic of discussion, between fathers & sons, mothers & daughters, siblings, and friends of both sexes, help reduce rape risks? (For parents at least, like the “So here's where babies really come from” talk – uncomfortable, but part of being a responsible parent.)
2b. If yes, how to introduce such issues - especially between guys and their buddies?
Men, Part 1:
What have you concluded about “How do I know for sure she's ok with it? How can I make sure I don't cross the line?”
Examples: In situations where she said 'no' and I backed off some but not entirely, what gave me the idea that she was ok with me continuing but more slowly?
How would I tell the difference between a woman changing her mind from 'no' to 'yes', vs. a woman stopping fighting but still not wanting it?
How can I be sure I know when it's ok to go from making out to boob-groping to heavy petting to all the way?
In situations where she changed her mind from 'yes' to 'no', what gave me the understanding that I needed to back off?
If there were times when she wanted me to get a bit rough (holding her wrists, using a tight grip, or otherwise being forceful), how did I know for sure she wanted it that way?
If there was a time when I (or a friend) thought the line was bright and I (or a friend) honest-to-God thought I (he) was on the right side of it, but later found out she thought I (he) had crossed it...what contributed to the confusion?
Women, Part I:
What have you concluded about "How can I be sure that I am clear about my desires? How can I be clear about where the line is?”
Examples: In situations where I changed my mind from 'no' to 'yes', how did I communicate this to my partner?
When I (or a friend) changed my (her) mind from 'yes' to 'no', or when I (or a friend) was ok with making out but nothing else and my (her) partner was pushing to go further, how did I (she) express resistance and how did it work?
If there were times when I (or a friend) never said 'no' so it wasn't legally rape, but neither was it my (or her) decision, how did those situations unfold?
Both parties, Part I: Would it make things crystal clear, especially for younger or more inexperienced guys, or for older guys with new partners, to make sure they incorporate a phrase like “Is going all the way [or whatever] something you want?” into sexual banter?
It seems to me that it would be extremely helpful for as many people as possible to talk about these things, expecially between guys, and as often as we hear that “Women should do such-and-such to reduce the risk of stranger rape”. Help to create a culture where communication is crystal clear, both men and women can reduce the risk of people they care about being involved in damaging situations, and people who are sexual asshats constantly face messages that their behaviour is unacceptable and will incur unpleasant consequences.
To discourage misunderstandings about anybody blaming anybody else for anything, if you comment on another poster's story, please frame responses in terms of what you would pray your sons and daughters would do/say in such a situation. (or at least, NOT “Poster XXX should or could have done/said blah blah blah.”)