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January 11, 2015

Is saying "no" enough? Uncomfortable sexual encounters......

Susan Dominus/NY Times

I was scanning the news online and read this story by Susan Dominos about an uncomfortable sexual encounter she had in college.  Go ahead....I'll wait while you read it.

Well, what did you think?  I was rather horrified.  Why is using "Hey, we're in a red zone" instead of "no" seems silly and pointless and stupid.  And if you think I've never been in that same situation, I would sadly have to tell you I have.  I don't feel like going over the details, but I'm willing to bet that many women (especially in their late teens and twenties, like I was) have been in that same situation. I would have chalked it up to a lack of "parental training".  I know my own Mother (whom I love dearly ~ it's not her fault, she just didn't know) never sat me down and told me what to do if I found myself in a sexual encounter that I didn't want.  I never had a daughter, and after two boys, I ended my fertility (I had seen the results of "lets keep trying until we get a boy/girl mentality ~ case in point, my cousin has 4 girls before they quit).  But if I had a daughter I would have given her some advice on how to say NO in a way that makes it clear.  And reminded her that saying NO should not label her in a nasty way by others that hear the story later, because at that age range, everyone talks about everything.  You think boys don't talk?  Hmmm, I guess you don't remember high school or those early college years.

The best advice would be ~ don't put yourself in that situation to begin with.  Not very realistic, but needs to be discussed.  But, explaining how easy it is to find yourself there ~ drunk or high or whatever ~ and now you feel like you've spent the evening leading some guy on, even if you realize you are under the influence and not in control of yourself.  The next thing you know you're naked, he's naked, and there's no doubt how that's gonna end.  The following day you review what happened, and like Susan, you just don't talk about it.  Who's at fault?  Everyone.  He is and you are, and hopefully you decide that you'll never put yourself in that situation again, ever.  To unequivocally blame the guy in this scenario is unfair since they were in the same state of inebriation that you were, and weren't thinking either.  Since when do we women expect men to have a higher developed sense of self control, when we can't even say "NO!".

Susan does seem to imply that the guy in question kept her red cup full so that he could take advantage of her later.  In my case, everyone was loaded, and there was no "plan", shit just happened.  But I don't believe that developing a new "phrase" is going to change the outcome.  

Love, 365


  1. I've always felt that a girl should not only know how to say NO NO NO but to enforce that 'no' with physical means if necessary. To be untroubled by the idea of hitting below the belt if necessary. To scream. Whatever she has to do.

    I also felt that a girl should be as free to explore her sexuality as a boy. So they both damn well got educated. How to protect themselves from diseases, pregnancy or other sex issues. And how to avoid situations where 'no' is no longer a realistic option.

    I don't think a woman is asking for it by getting drunk, but she should know her chances of being assaulted are going to go WAY up. And yes, she shares part of the blame if that happens.

    1. I never had to resort to violence...after said experience, I simply never let myself be in that position (you know, everyone thinks you're getting as loaded as they are, but it's the same drink you had when offered the first one, slowly nursed over the course of hours). I agree, we are finally free to explore and enjoy the physical side, our sexuality, and hopefully we are informed on how to make it a safe exploration.
      I know this is a far cry from my usual post. The article by Ms. Dominus prompted me to comment. And I thank you for yours!


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