Ce n'est pas parce qu'il est tout chaud, qu'il doit rester tout chaud!
It's not because he's all aroused that he should remain aroused!
The concept of "consent" has been excessively used in the media the last couple of years. We've tilted in the other extreme now at least theoretically: Some young men make short video consent notes before they engage in sexual activity with a woman.
We cringe at that. Whatever happened to good old dating and reading body language?
Actually, the internet happened, covid happened...much has happened. Furthermore, men have never been good at reading the body language of a woman. The conversation around consent must continue. However, it should not drive us to paranoia so that nobody wants to meet up or have contact anymore. But let me skip straight to the point. It isn't simply consent, but rather:
I could dive into the past to the very beginning of when my private space was invaded without my permission. I was around 9 years old or so. But I won't. What matters now is what continues to happen NOW, not 30+ years ago.
I was at a party recently, dressed as the character of a fetish Lolita. It was a provocative outfit and so was everybody else's. A beach club across borders: cocktails, sand and loud music. Much too loud to really "connect" with anyone other than by look or touch. There were all kinds of outfits floating about the place. From stark naked to some sort of goth Zootopia. The rules of engagement at such events are cast in stone and you need to know them before you enter full throttle on your carnal frenzy.
The scene is built around this one word: Control!
Self-control, session-control, sub-control
And yet, not everyone respects the deeper elements of a sub-culture. An unwanted kiss on the mouth...an unwelcome hand around the waist, or just too far below the belt. Boundaries are crossed by both genders, although yes, mostly by men, even towards other men. Much of it rides on the back of too much alcohol consumption; some on the desperation of prolonged loneliness and some by harder substances. I've seen it all play out...and on many occasions felt it.
As a woman, the only way to completely avoid being a victim is to put on your apron, stay home and bake a cake.
The rhetoric is simple:
"What were you thinking wearing that skirt, meeting that man?"
A friend once rightly commented that between men and women there will always be some kind of imbalance of emotion. One attracted to the other or both to each other.
"You may arouse him simply because you exist in that moment in front of him!" He smiled and took another sip of his beer.
"And yet!" He added seriously. "Just because he's all hot, doesn't mean he should stay all hot!" He ended with a frown.
I was wearing that skirt because I liked it, and met that man because I liked him: That should be an acceptable answer to the rhetoric.
If we begin to use innuendo and sub-text to judge human behaviour at all levels then we may as well just retreat back into our ancestral caves and forget all about social emancipation and evolution over the last couple of centuries.
You provoked me!
"No I didn't." She replied to his insisting texts, swallowing back the bitter taste of a miscalculated rendezvous. "You politely asked and I chose to oblige."
It's all too easy to shed responsibility when the finger is pointed steadfast between the eyes. Men feel threatened by being called out by stronger women and even more so by other, stronger men.
"No dude! Nobody provoked you! There was no femme fatale waving a red cape, taunting the bull in you!" I snapped. "She just gave you a hug, or a kiss, or a smile, because she liked you in that moment. She owed you nothing!"
"You just lost control."