Drunken sex

(16 Posts)
TheAwfulDaughter Mon 02-Jun-14 01:07:20

This is a point that is coming up a lot in some of my feministy social circles, and I'd really like to discuss it further on here.

We all know that a woman is drunk she cannot give consent. If there is no consent, it is rape. That is a fact.

However, when we think about all of the lovely drunken shags we have had with both boyfriends, occasional lovers and one night stand participants- where we would have been legally incapacitated to give consent, surely this would be considered rape according to the fact that I have stated above? Am I being raped after we neck a 3 bottles of wine in front of a box set, or after me and my boyfriend get in from a boozy night out?

We explored the context of pre-existing consent, particularly within partner relationships, but realised that this was horribly murky waters especially when marital rape is rife.

What do you think about this?

I'm very sorry if this sounds trivial, but it's something that really keeps coming up. Especially when you try to explain the concept of rape through no capacity to give consent to people who don't really seem to get it, or will go on to tell you that that girl should have been drinking or in his hotel room anyway. If you so much as say 'A drunk woman cannot give consent', you will have 'So what, when two people have one night stand after a night out- that is always rape?' in response.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 02-Jun-14 01:14:34

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2093807-Can-anyone-help-me-get-my-head-round-this-alleged-rape?msgid=all Hope that link works, had to edit it a bit to take out my bookmark. It's not a trivial concern but is the subject of a current thread, where the issue is being discussed quite thoroughly.

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 02-Jun-14 01:16:30

(It works smile )

TheAwfulDaughter Mon 02-Jun-14 01:25:29

I'll keep an eye on that thread, Thanks OldLady!

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 02-Jun-14 01:29:55

You're welcome. It's a very complex subject, actually, not trivial at all. I hope it helps you gain some insights.

calmet Mon 02-Jun-14 07:28:29

There is a big difference between tipsy, and being too incapicitated to give consent. Legally, it is the latter state where you can't give consent. Men have been prosecuted for rape where the woman is virtually comatose because of alcohol, is carried, has to be undressed. If you can't have sex with someone who is drunk without undressing them because they are too drunk to do it themselves, they can't give consent. If you were both too drunk to undress without help, you just wouldn't have sex.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Mon 02-Jun-14 12:06:52

I think there's a difference between being drunk and being out of control, really. Like a pp said, if a women isn't capable of undressing herself/fully participating, that's rape. But of you're still in control of yourself, and decide to have sex, that's fine.

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 02-Jun-14 12:50:12

I think the line is crossed when unable to enthusiastically participate.

As someone who has had quite a lot of drunk sex in the past, I think a lot of the time i't not rape because the man involved isn't a rapist. Nice, non-rapist men will stop if it doesn't appear to be enjoyable for the woman, or if she asks them to stop, or if she pukes or passes out.

Another key factor is: if the man is buying all the drinks and encouraging the woman to drink more and get drunk then that's quite often rapist behaviour, particularly if the man is coaxing or pestering the woman to drink more than she wishes to.

WilsonFrickett Wed 04-Jun-14 00:10:54

I think, personally, it's so hard to articulate. I definitely know when I was assaulted (drunk) but that feels 100% different from all the drunk shags and ONS I've ever had. But if you were to ask me to articulate the difference I couldn't. Hopefully the men involved could though? Does that make sense? One was a horrible prick, the others were able to know that I had consented and were normally equally pissed.

I think it is one of those things that appears so clear cut, but there's often nuance. Bottom line, if you don't think you have consent, you stop - that's what I'm teaching my DS.

I really do think that the difference is in the man's attitude ie whether or not he is a rapist. A decent man might feel a bit narked if the woman he is in bed with is too drunk to have sex with him if she had earlier indicated (or indeed said outright) that she wanted to do so, but a decent man rolls over and goes to sleep, perhaps hoping that they are both clear enough of their hangovers to have sex in the morning. He doesn't just stick his dick on her on the grounds that she probably won't notice.

I think it's quite important to remember than not all men are rapists on the grounds that rapists want people to think that they are. Rapists find the idea that it's a woman's responsibility not to get raped an excellent getting-away-with-rape too. They also like to believe that what they do is just what 'all' men do and (again) no blame should attach to them.

Itsmynamechange Wed 04-Jun-14 11:40:35

When my husband and I were first together we went to a friend's party & I had a few drinks, DH didn't because he was driving. I was taking meds at the time which altered my ability to process alcohol so those few drinks got me pretty smashed DH didn't realise just how drunk I had become.

Because of my previous partner's behaviour I had been conditioned to some pretty nasty things so in my drunken state I initiated sex and my DH (then new bf) went along with it as I had initiated it though afterwards he did say he was uncomfortable with me being tipsy and him sober.

He stopped as soon as he realised I didn't actually want sex (I.e. vvv quickly as he obviously was paying attention to me/my enjoyment rather than using me as a glory hole) and he was very upset that a) I would think he would force me to have sex with him, b) that he would want me to have sex with him when I was as drunk as I was as that wasn't right as far as he was concerned.

It lead to quite the row (our first and worst in over a decade) as he felt used but we worked through it as it was then we both realised just how conditioned I had been by my Xp. (Offer sex when you think he might take it anyway to have some semblance of control). I hope this post isn't too garbled and makes sense.

Chopsypie Wed 04-Jun-14 11:58:34

This is an issue I've often thought about. My DH will cheerfully admit he likes it when I come home drunk as he knows we will very likely have sex. This isn't because he pressures me, but because I will wake him up on purpose and initiate sex. I'm happy with what happens, as is he, but the argument that you cant consent when drunk (especially when one party is sober) makes me uneasy.
Because I do consent, but I don't know where I would draw the line for others.

I think enthusiastic consent is very much key, but I've seen people argue that even that isn't enough if drunk.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 21:29:37

It isn't "drunk" or "tipsy", chopsy - it's being drunk beyond the capacity to make a decision.

TeiTetua Wed 04-Jun-14 22:56:40

That's so easy to say, and just about impossible to determine when the situation happens. Look at the description of the event in the "Can anyone help me get my head round this alleged rape" thread:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2093807-Can-anyone-help-me-get-my-head-round-this-alleged-rape

Should the people who witnessed this have tried to stop it--and because they didn't, was a serious crime committed there? If the two people involved had been told that they were "drunk beyond the capacity to make a decision" I wonder how they would have reacted. We've all heard of taking away someone's car keys; perhaps there should be an equivalent for sex.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 04-Jun-14 23:03:50

Yy Tei, and I'm on that thread.

But my response to chopsy will be similar to one of my responses on that thread - if both sides agree that there was consent (as she and her husband do when she wakes him up pissed) then no rape or assault has taken place: where there is consent by both, it is simply impossible.

Determining whether one party should be found guilty of rape or assault first requires a belief from someone that he/she has been raped/assaulted, then if it came to court, that court could test the reasonableness of the defendant's belief in that consent.

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