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Exploring Hypothetical TeA/Consent Scenario and Curious


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Okay- don't get any wrong ideas, here. I'm reading Grisham's The Associate and it has the wheels turning on this subject. The central bad deed in this story is an allegation of rape in which two frat boys engaged in TeA with a girl who was probably unconscious for part of the episode. Additional backstory is that this TeA à trois had ocurred a day earlier as well, minus the unconscious aspect, so, not entirely far-fetched that consent was/would have been given for a repeat.

 

So, we, the population, know that according to the Tea-Drinker's Guide To Consent, there are two relevant points: 1) "unconscious people don't want tea"; and 2) "you cannot assume that your friend, who wanted tea previously, still wants tea today." Both relevant.

 

Here's what I'm pondering, though: is the expectation supposed to be that two drunken/high young males, who have precedent on enjoying tea with this particular friend, now that she seems to have faded from awareness, should realize that Tea can no longer be reasonably assumed consentual? That, inebriated though they may be, the onus is upon them to back up the cup of tea, and...errr...dump it out elsewhere? Also, if it was a not-unfamiliar teA for three and second male has not begun having his cup yet but young woman is in la-la land, is the expectation that this also-inebriated young man must realize that the offer of tea is no longer on the table and he will have to take a raincheck?

 

"We" have been telling young women that there is no onus upon her to not get smashed; that getting smashed is no excuse for her to be violated (and it isn't of course), but then does this unwittingly shift the onus on the males, that they had certainly better not get smashed in any location where things could be misconstrued or that they simply may be doing something they have already previously done, but not coherant enough to realize that the offer of tea has been withdrawn and it is time to take their marbles and go home? Have we now said it is the responsibility of the male(s) to realize that their tea-partner is no longer coherant enough to willingly consume tea and so now, even though their own judgement may be impaired, they should be aware that the tea possibilities have closed for the evening? Is this not an unfair burden to then shift upon the males?

 

Discuss.

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Well, getting smashed is kind of stupid for either gender.

 

I know that's not exactly what you were asking.

No, I completely agree...I'm not much of a drinker myself and I would caution both my daughter and my sons against it, but I'm partly eondering if, when DS gets this caution, I should add a layer of, "...and also, if you are too drunk or high to really understand what's going on, you could be accused of rape, at which point, your future is shuttered."

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Okay- don't get any wrong ideas, here. I'm reading Grisham's The Associate and it has the wheels turning on this subject. The central bad deed in this story is an allegation of rape in which two frat boys engaged in TeA with a girl who was probably unconscious for part of the episode. Additional backstory is that this TeA à trois had ocurred a day earlier as well, minus the unconscious aspect, so, not entirely far-fetched that consent was/would have been given for a repeat.

 

So, we, the population, know that according to the Tea-Drinker's Guide To Consent, there are two relevant points: 1) "unconscious people don't want tea"; and 2) "you cannot assume that your friend, who wanted tea previously, still wants tea today." Both relevant.

 

Here's what I'm pondering, though: is the expectation supposed to be that two drunken/high young males, who have precedent on enjoying tea with this particular friend, now that she seems to have faded from awareness, should realize that Tea can no longer be reasonably assumed consentual? That, inebriated though they may be, the onus is upon them to back up the cup of tea, and...errr...dump it out elsewhere? Also, if it was a not-unfamiliar teA for three and second male has not begun having his cup yet but young woman is in la-la land, is the expectation that this also-inebriated young man must realize that the offer of tea is no longer on the table and he will have to take a raincheck?

 

"We" have been telling young women that there is no onus upon her to not get smashed; that getting smashed is no excuse for her to be violated (and it isn't of course), but then does this unwittingly shift the onus on the males, that they had certainly better not get smashed in any location where things could be misconstrued or that they simply may be doing something they have already previously done, but not coherant enough to realize that the offer of tea has been withdrawn and it is time to take their marbles and go home? Have we now said it is the responsibility of the male(s) to realize that their tea-partner is no longer coherant enough to willingly consume tea and so now, even though their own judgement may be impaired, they should be aware that the tea possibilities have closed for the evening? Is this not an unfair burden to then shift upon the males?

 

Discuss.

Here is the thing..let's say two women are drunk and not in their right minds. They go to a male they had a tea a three with earlier that day. He is pretty out of it, but, they manage something. They stir his tea and play with his tea and maybe do whatever else with his cup, his spoon, and his whatever.

 

Is this rape? 

 

There are 3 drunk people in this story. Why should the male figures be held more accountable? It feels like a huge step back for women's rights to say women who are drunk cannot make their own decisions and they cannot even be held accountable for getting drunk in the first place, but men who are drunk are dirty and bad, bad, bad and should be punished and held accountable. WOMEN cannot be held accountable for what they do, getting drunk or having drunken tea, but MEN are smarter and more capable and should be held accountable. Think of it that way.

 

Gender equality has a long way to go. 

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Here is the thing..let's say two women are drunk and not in their right minds. They go to a male they had a tea a three with earlier that day. He is pretty out of it, but, they manage something. They stir his tea and play with his tea and maybe do whatever else with his cup, his spoon, and his whatever.

 

Is this rape?

 

There are 3 drunk people in this story. Why should the male figures be held more accountable? It feels like a huge step back for women's rights to say women who are drunk cannot make their own decisions and they cannot even be held accountable for getting drunk in the first place, but men who are drunk are dirty and bad, bad, bad and should be punished and held accountable. WOMEN cannot be held accountable for what they do, getting drunk or having drunken tea, but MEN are smarter and more capable and should be held accountable. Think of it that way.

 

Gender equality has a long way to go.

I was also thinking of this scenario as well; it was only the length of my OP that made me decide not to add this scenario as well.

 

I do think it would be rape, but the main social element is that men very rarely say they were used for tea against their wishes or consent. I don't know if there is even a single instance where a male claimed he was assaulted for tea against his wishes, at least, that went to prosecution.

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Tough question. I think that legally, if rationality reigned, the problem at hand would be that two were conscious and one not therefore putting the onus on the not passed out individuals to back off since they are still cognizant.

Right, but remember, the by-stander is also drunk and/or high, so...I mean, I hate to use the term "unfair," but why is it the responsibility of the less compromised, though still compromised individual to come to his (or her) senses say, "Woah! Consent may no longer be certain, therefore my Tea is dumped out for the time being." That just seems like an unfair thing to expect of the judgement-impaired merely because he (or she) is less impaired.

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Here is the thing..let's say two women are drunk and not in their right minds. They go to a male they had a tea a three with earlier that day. He is pretty out of it, but, they manage something. They stir his tea and play with his tea and maybe do whatever else with his cup, his spoon, and his whatever.

 

Is this rape?

 

There are 3 drunk people in this story. Why should the male figures be held more accountable? It feels like a huge step back for women's rights to say women who are drunk cannot make their own decisions and they cannot even be held accountable for getting drunk in the first place, but men who are drunk are dirty and bad, bad, bad and should be punished and held accountable. WOMEN cannot be held accountable for what they do, getting drunk or having drunken tea, but MEN are smarter and more capable and should be held accountable. Think of it that way.

 

Gender equality has a long way to go.

Maybe not rape because no penetration occurred but sexual assault yes. And the dude should be able to go to police and be taken seriously.

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No, I completely agree...I'm not much of a drinker myself and I would caution both my daughter and my sons against it, but I'm partly eondering if, when DS gets this caution, I should add a layer of, "...and also, if you are too drunk or high to really understand what's going on, you could be accused of rape, at which point, your future is shuttered."

 

Yes, I add that caution in conversations with ds. I'm very blunt with him. If that sparks a little thought of wait, Mom said... if he might be in said situation, I'd be okay with that. I used to drink a lot and there were a lot of "advice from mom voices""  in my head even when I was pretty plastered. My mom had no clue how much I drank at that time either, so she WAS speaking hypothetically. Most of my escapades into drunkenness involved being around people I trusted and had my back, both male and female, including a couple of guys who were not afraid to intervene if needed. 

 

I worry about a lot of kids his age and drunk sex, not just out of your mind passed out assault, but consensual sex that turns badly for whatever reason. 

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Well if we're talking unconscious as in knocked out, not making any movements or utterances or moving her eyes, then it's on the guy since he's more aware than she is.  Guys need to be taught that you don't have sex (or finish already initiated sex) with an unconscious woman.

 

But if we're talking "blacked out," then I'm not willing to put it on the guy to know that though she looks, sounds, and acts like she's consenting, she really isn't.  I think our girls need to be taught that choosing to drink too much can make them do things they will regret later.  I don't think we should teach girls that being drunk lets them do something they can prosecute a guy for later.

 

My strong preference for both sexes would be to follow the underage drinking laws, and when it's legal to drink, don't get stupid drunk.  And use your brain while sober to plan fun times that are also safe times.  But I have no particular reason to think my kids will listen to me when I'm not around.  And if my daughter gets herself in deeper than intended, it's not fair for me to assume it was someone else's fault.  (Easy for me to say since my kids are only 9yo.)

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Here is the thing..let's say two women are drunk and not in their right minds. They go to a male they had a tea a three with earlier that day. He is pretty out of it, but, they manage something. They stir his tea and play with his tea and maybe do whatever else with his cup, his spoon, and his whatever.

 

Is this rape? 

 

There are 3 drunk people in this story. Why should the male figures be held more accountable? It feels like a huge step back for women's rights to say women who are drunk cannot make their own decisions and they cannot even be held accountable for getting drunk in the first place, but men who are drunk are dirty and bad, bad, bad and should be punished and held accountable. WOMEN cannot be held accountable for what they do, getting drunk or having drunken tea, but MEN are smarter and more capable and should be held accountable. Think of it that way.

 

Gender equality has a long way to go. 

 

I don't think it is about who is male and who is female. Gender has nothing to do with guilt. Whoever is conscious and making decisions for an unconscious person is responsible. Male or female doesn't matter. If you get so messed up by drinking that you make decisions regarding the bodies of unconscious people without realizing it or without caring, then you need to be responsible to not drink to that level. 

 

There is a difference between someone who gets drunk and passes out (they are unconscious, therefore not taking actions) and someone who is doing something to someone else.  Male or female should not matter!

 

For instance: If you know that at 2 beers you can still parent just fine, but at 3 beers you start yelling at your kids and at 4 beers you beat them- then never drink more than 2 beers while around kids. 

 

If you know that at 4 beers you can't tell if someone is awake or asleep, alive or dead etc. then stop at 3 beers or have a designated chaperone.

 

(numbers here are totally arbitrary)

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Well for me it would hinge on WHEN the participant became unconscious. If the two guys and the girl are merrily going along drinking their teA, and the prior drinks overwhelm one of the group, I would assume that since consent was given prior to that person being overwhelmed it still applies. Now if they started drinking teA AFTER a member of the group became overwhelmed, then that would be forced teA.

 

But honestly it is a he said she said situation and very hard to confirm consent. 

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I don't think it's at all an unfair onus to put on people in general (throwing out the gender assumptions) to understand that unconscious means someone can't consent, even when they, themselves, are impaired. I mean, think of all the things we expect people not to do even though they're impaired. And when they do them anyway (drive, walk off cliffs, graffiti walls, commit breaking and entering...) we punish them accordingly and shake our heads.

Edited by Farrar
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IMHO, in that situation, the boys/men are in the wrong. The onus is on them not to become so inebriated that they commit a crime. Just like if they were drunk/high but still got in a car and killed someone . . . or thought, "Oh, I want that bike over there, so I'll just take it . . ." Some things make sense when you are inebriated but are not right or legal . . . Whether they intend harm or not, they did it. Unless, I suppose, they luck out and the woman isn't bothered when she wakes up. 

 

FWIW, one thing I told my son was "sex or drinking, but not both at the same time" . . . same goes with sex and driving and driving and drinking. All fine activities (within certain limits) but they are mutually exclusive, IMHO. 

 

To me, the only exceptions to the great tea/consent theory are between long-term committed partners who have explicitly agreed upon such "assumed consent". If my dh & I trust each other enough to have  TeA no matter the state of intoxication . . . then that's our business. He has to trust that I won't cry "rape" and I have to trust that he won't do something I wouldn't have wanted . . .

 

So, unless one trusts their freedom and life to their sexual partner, I think following the great tea analogy is the way to go. In my mind, that's what I'd expect/suggest/instruct any single people to do. (And any married people in rocky relationships or in relationships with an unstable spouse, too!)

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Well for me it would hinge on WHEN the participant became unconscious. If the two guys and the girl are merrily going along drinking their teA, and the prior drinks overwhelm one of the group, I would assume that since consent was given prior to that person being overwhelmed it still applies. Now if they started drinking teA AFTER a member of the group became overwhelmed, then that would be forced teA.

 

But honestly it is a he said she said situation and very hard to confirm consent. 

 

That is a dangerous philosophy. Unless they started with a plan and road map and established all ground rules before starting while all are conscious, then how do you know what was ok and not?  If passed out person is female, maybe she would have been fine with vag!nal, but not @nal, and wouldnt want or@l- do the awake parties know this? If passed out person is male, maybe all he would have consented to was 0ral and nothing else, but the ladies thought that was just a stepping stone to more things that he's not ok with. Maybe in their drunkenness they want to stick things in places he does not want! How do they know that if he is not conscious to say "yeah, I like that" or "nah, I'm not into that."

Edited by jewellsmommy
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FWIW, one thing I told my son was "sex or drinking, but not both at the same time" . . . same goes with sex and driving and driving and drinking. All fine activities (within certain limits) but they are mutually exclusive, IMHO. 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely a good guideline to live by.

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Well for me it would hinge on WHEN the participant became unconscious. If the two guys and the girl are merrily going along drinking their teA, and the prior drinks overwhelm one of the group, I would assume that since consent was given prior to that person being overwhelmed it still applies. Now if they started drinking teA AFTER a member of the group became overwhelmed, then that would be forced teA.

 

But honestly it is a he said she said situation and very hard to confirm consent. 

 

Nope. Doesn't work.

 

A threesome is presumably a pretty complicated interaction. (I've never done that, lol, but I can imagine it!) Even sex with just two people has many variations. There are things one is willing to do one day, but not another. In one mood, but not in another. Certainly some acts could even be injurious if the participants were not fully conscious and able to adjust positions, indicate comfort, etc. I'm imagining that such an adventurous trio might be trying all sorts of acts . . . and for SURE some of them could be painful or injurious if not done right.

 

If all participants say YES, then it's a GO until not all of them can continue to express themselves. If you can't say NO, then you can't consent. Consent isn't a once-and-done. It is a continuous thing.

 

Sorry, but folks will just have to accept certain limits and be willing and ready to stop at any moment when all participants can no longer consent or choose not to. 

 

Frankly, it seems shocking to me that someone would want to encourage/support (by saying it is OK) sexual contact that was not MUTUALLY pleasurable. Consciousness would seem to me to be a minimum requirement for pleasurable sex. 

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How are you supposed to know if someone is just unconscious, no big deal or unconscious with alcohol poisoning and needs immediate medical assistance? Because it seems like that should be your primary concern if your partner passes out during sex.

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If a man is so drunk he can't assess if the other person is conscious or not, I tend to assume he's not likely to be physically capable of brewing much of anything. Maybe there are exceptions but most of the men I hear saying "but I was drunk too" seem to remember what happened so they *were not unconscious*.

 

Two drunk but actively consenting partners is not rape. There's a difference between drunk and unconscious though. Two totally unconcious people can't brew teA.

 

Of course women and men who use men for their own sexual gratification when the man is out of it due to substance use or inebriation should be held responsible for their actions. They have committed a sexual assualt. The law has not always or everywhere caught up to the reality, but that doesn't make sexually assaulting a man right. It's not ok just because he's male.

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How are you supposed to know if someone is just unconscious, no big deal or unconscious with alcohol poisoning and needs immediate medical assistance? Because it seems like that should be your primary concern if your partner passes out during sex.

Exactly. Nobody should want sex more than making sure a non-awake, no responsive partner is ok and going to wake up in the morning. People do die from overdoses and alcohol poisoning.

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Right, but remember, the by-stander is also drunk and/or high, so...I mean, I hate to use the term "unfair," but why is it the responsibility of the less compromised, though still compromised individual to come to his (or her) senses say, "Woah! Consent may no longer be certain, therefore my Tea is dumped out for the time being." That just seems like an unfair thing to expect of the judgement-impaired merely because he (or she) is less impaired.

Is it though? I don't have much experience being drunk. But I do recall once I was literally falling down drunk and out of town/away from my husband. I was at a conference and I'd had a lot to drink. 30 something year olds shouldn't match their young 20 something colleagues shot for shot. We ended up stumbling out of the bar and literally falling into a cab. We knew to leave the rental car and come back for it the next day. I couldn't even recall where to tell the cab to take us, we all had to piece it together. When we got out of the cab, my colleague and I had to hold on to each other and a railing to make it to our (separate rooms). There was a lot of stumbling and fumbling on the way. I was cognizant though that I needed to wake up in the morning. I calculated that the chances of my doing were slim, that if I just relied on an alarm I'd sleep till the afternoon the next day. I called my husband (the conference was almost all the way across the country) and explained I was falling down drunk and asked if he could please call me in the morning over and over until I woke up. He agreed and told me to drink two glasses of water and take a combo of Advil and Tylenol before I went to sleep and then again when I woke up. I was barely able to reach my bathroom to get said items but I did. I had made some pretty crazy choices, said and done some crazy silly things (singing in a piano bar was one of those things) and fallen over. Repeatedly. But I wasn't unable to mentally calculate that I needed help to wake up or to make a game plan for how to manage to be semi functional the next day. For the record I was functional the next day but was still drunk until at least lunch. I just knew to stay on script, speak very little and wear sun glasses.

 

A drunk rather than passed out person still has the ability to make some choices. A passed out person is, um, passed out.

Edited by LucyStoner
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Not all sex is straight, additionally. Lesbians need to know about consent too. So do gay boys, and bi kids and blah blah blah.

 

I don't know what the legal definition of rape would be in the situation outlined above, but yes, women can ignore consent. And that is wrong at the very least.

 

On base, in the bathrooms on display for all ages, posters which remind you that drunk people cannot consent?  The passed out person on the bed is a man, and the supposed "predator" is also a man.  Just in case people were wondering if the messages being sent out from the military were simply M-F...waiting on the female-female posters to show up, though.

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I'm fairly horrified at the idea that *anyone* would think that someone starting/continuing to have sex with someone who is passed out/non responsive *for any reason*, whether or not alcohol was involved, would be ok.

 

Yes, even if consent was given. When your partner passes out you are not owed the right to keep using their body for your pleasure. That's so unbelievably sick I can't even fathom how that sounds ok at all.

 

Also the assumption that she would automatically consent because she gave consent earlier in the day is a false premise too. I could be ok with having tea with my DH in the morning but that doesn't mean I'm automatically going to say yes in the evening, there are tons of reasons I could say no (or yes, but neither is a given).

 

I mean... If I misjudged my alcohol and was *passed out* drunk and DH decided to use me in that way anyway I'd be furious, and hurt and feel totally disgusted and betrayed. And that's with someone I'm happily married to, in a relationship where prioritizing the needs and wants of each other is a high priority for us.

 

Would others really be ok with that happening to them?

 

I think yes means yes consent is important and I think hashing out what that looks like is good. I just don't see how someone being unconscious is possibly part of a "can/did they give consent during that episode" conversation.

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I'm fairly horrified at the idea that *anyone* would think that someone starting/continuing to have sex with someone who is passed out/non responsive *for any reason*, whether or not alcohol was involved, would be ok.

 

Yes, even if consent was given. When your partner passes out you are not owed the right to keep using their body for your pleasure. That's so unbelievably sick I can't even fathom how that sounds ok at all.

 

Also the assumption that she would automatically consent because she gave consent earlier in the day is a false premise too. I could be ok with having tea with my DH in the morning but that doesn't mean I'm automatically going to say yes in the evening, there are tons of reasons I could say no (or yes, but neither is a given).

 

I mean... If I misjudged my alcohol and was *passed out* drunk and DH decided to use me in that way anyway I'd be furious, and hurt and feel totally disgusted and betrayed. And that's with someone I'm happily married to, in a relationship where prioritizing the needs and wants of each other is a high priority for us.

 

Would others really be ok with that happening to them?

 

I think yes means yes consent is important and I think hashing out what that looks like is good. I just don't see how someone being unconscious is possibly part of a "can/did they give consent during that episode" conversation.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying it's "ok." I'm trying to parse through the scenario in a work of fiction to say, "Yes, this was rape. Even five years later, if she wants to pursue legal action against these young men, she should." Obviously, it's not cut-and-dry, because it would be a crappy novel if the reader was too confidently certain what the outcome should be.

 

The more I think about it, the more certain I am that all our older children need this as a thourough warning. Don't get smashed. The potential repurcussions in numerous scenarios can devastate your life in inumerable ways. Like this one, for example.

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Are you planning to tell your kids not to get behind the wheel after heavy drinking because they might be accused of drunk driving? The accusation is not the problem here, the action is.

I hear you. It's a good point.

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No, I completely agree...I'm not much of a drinker myself and I would caution both my daughter and my sons against it, but I'm partly eondering if, when DS gets this caution, I should add a layer of, "...and also, if you are too drunk or high to really understand what's going on, you could be accused of rape, at which point, your future is shuttered."

I talk with both my older boys about consent, the dangers of drinking and alcohol induced hook ups and how they should be the ones staying sober, etc. We talk about a lot of the stupid/dangerous things that can happen with the binge drinking/drug using/hook up culture

 

I also made them both read this. http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a33751/occidental-justice-case/ And I made them watch the 30 in 30 show about the Duke lacrosse team.

My hope is that they really get an idea of how dangerous it is to put yourself in certain situations and also to understand that people do things while drunk that they might massively regret when sober.

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I think the drunk driving connection is a good one. Similar to saying "never drive while intoxicated", the message should be never have sex while intoxicated. Just never. Two drunk people in the car doesn't make it okay. Another drink person driving their own car doesn't make it ok. It's always wrong to drive after drinking, even if you think you're ok, or you need to do it, etc. So it's never ok to have tea after you've had alcohol. Your judgement is not good and you could cause irreparable harm to any number of people. Don't drink wine and then have tea.

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Sorry that you're drunk and your judgment is impaired; that is not the fault of the person who can't consent.

 

If you don't have consent, don't do it. It doesn't matter what your sex or the sex of your partner is.

 

Consent is a two-way street. Both people must consent. If one hasn't, or can't, then don't do it.

 

Consent is not ongoing. Yesterday's consent is not today's consent.

 

 

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I don't think it's at all an unfair onus to put on people in general (throwing out the gender assumptions) to understand that unconscious means someone can't consent, even when they, themselves, are impaired. I mean, think of all the things we expect people not to do even though they're impaired. And when they do them anyway (drive, walk off cliffs, graffiti walls, commit breaking and entering...) we punish them accordingly and shake our heads.

Very true. Being drunk does not exempt one from responsibility for beating someone, stealing, making death threats, whatever so it naturally follows that the conscious individual still bears responsibility to not rape an unconcious person regardless of some sort of implied consent prior.

 

I think that in this culture the messages concerning consent and sexually murky situations have been very poor. What we should be telling young people is "Do not engage in behavior that leads to impaired judgment because you are still legally if not morally responsible for what you do to others while impaired."

 

I sat observing in court last month and heard many a defendent claim drunk or high as an excuse only to hear the judge say in legalese, "So What?"

 

Some states and counties may be more lenient. But in that local court, too bad so sad was the response. The judge did however, where nothing really bad happened, send several to rehab which I thought was more fitting than jail. None of these defendents were being sentenced for assaults or sex crimes. Most of it was DUI and committing petty and stupid while under the influence. I think there was one resisting arrest and a breaking and entering of a relative's garage in order to steal a t.v. I have a feeling this particular, no nonsense judge would have spanked the legal pants off someone for trying to use drunk as an excuse for sexual assault. He just did not seem like the type to entertain such a plea.

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Also knowing someone could be blackout drunk but not passed out? Yeah, just don't have tea at all when drinking is involved.

 

This is what I think about. Sometimes it seems as if people think a person goes from mildly tipsy but in full control of themselves, to full-on unconscious. There is an area in between in which people may be very drunk, judgment is impaired, and mixed or confusing signals can be sent (and missed).

 

Usually, in these threads, it seems to come down to:  female can get as drunk as she wants, to the point of blackout/not knowing what she is doing or even passing out; male has to maintain full control to determine her ability to consent and respond to any changes.

 

I agree that having sex with a passed-out person is icky.  I can also imagine people so drunk that one may not notice immediately that the other is passed out, if things got started (with consent) before the person passed out.   I'm not saying that's OK, just saying I can imagine it, based on some of my  own experiences when drinking heavily or seeing others who are drinking heavily. 

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Where I think there is a double-standard is that if two people, a male and a female, are both drunk, and have drunkenly consensual sex, that it appears that she can claim incapacity to consent and that it was rape but he could not. It's either not rape if there was drunken consent or it's mutual rape. If I get drunk and get in the car and consent to drive, I am held responsible, kwim? If I get drunk and consent to hit someone, I am charged with assault, and being drunk doesn't get me off the hook. We are still evolving in our standards of gender equality. 

Edited by Laurie4b
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Where I think there is a double-standard is that if two people, a male and a female, are both drunk, and have drunkenly consensual sex, that it appears that she can claim incapacity to consent and that it was rape but he could not. It's either not rape if there was drunken consent or it's mutual rape. If I get drunk and get in the car and consent to drive, I am held responsible, kwim? If I get drunk and consent to hit someone, I am charged with assault, and being drunk doesn't get me off the hook. We are still evolving in our standards of gender equality.

Yes, this is the essence of where I'm feeling it's "unfair." Thanks for putting your finger on it. I think there's something really sh!tty about this possibility, even though I would prefer none of my children are so intoxicated that they are involved in indescriminant tea in which consent is questionable. I am more concerned that my sons could suffer criminal fallout if the female declares she was unable to give consent and he carried on anyway.

 

There is some responsibility upon the female to not get so incoherant she can't be certain what even happened, or at least, to have a buddy system in place so she is not vulnerable.

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Maybe you're really asking another question... not, is this rape (we all, thankfully agree that it is) but... are these mitigating (or aggravating) factors? She previously consented, they were drunk.

 

I don't know the law but I would guess that if she previously consented, it might be a mitigating factor - they had reasons to believe she would consent again. But I can't imagine her being passed out is better or worse than if she were awake and vocally objecting - both are horrible, just different horrible. I don't think them being drunk can mitigate what they did either. Judgment is impaired, but they chose to impair it - not like if they had a mental handicap or something.

 

I think there's really two things... yeah, dear kids, don't get that smashed, especially without someone who's not drinking or not drinking much to help watch over you. Aside from raping or being raped, you could commit other crimes that could lead to your death or others or just to terrible other consequences. Drinking impairs judgment to the extent that you could really mess up your life.

 

But also, decades ago, we had trouble convincing drunk people not to get behind the wheel. And people said similar things - they were impaired so they made dumb decisions. But then society engaged in a two pronged attack - education and much, much stiffer penalties and checks by police. And boom, now drunk driving is universally condemned and it's much less common. The people who might choose to do it are still impaired, but it's been drilled into them over and over not to do it and why it's so dangerous and wrong. So even though they're drunk, many fewer people chose to drive. It's more ingrained, more automatic. It's beyond messed up that *rape* isn't like that in our minds, but, just honestly speaking, I don't think it is. We still think, oh, impaired people, blah blah blah. If we could convince everyone to understand consent better, such that it's so ingrained that we get it on some level even when we're drunk, that would also go a long way to helping.

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I mean... If I misjudged my alcohol and was *passed out* drunk and DH decided to use me in that way anyway I'd be furious, and hurt and feel totally disgusted and betrayed. And that's with someone I'm happily married to, in a relationship where prioritizing the needs and wants of each other is a high priority for us.

 

Would others really be ok with that happening to them?

 

I think yes means yes consent is important and I think hashing out what that looks like is good. I just don't see how someone being unconscious is possibly part of a "can/did they give consent during that episode" conversation.

 

 I can testify that some people find that sort of thing "hot". 

 

That said, as I posted above, unless you know and trust your partner so well that you'd trust them with your life and freedom, having any sort of sexual contact with a passed out person is a very bad idea. 

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I keep trying to find examples that take gender roles out of it.

 

What if a group of friends are taking turns buying rounds, and one of them puts his head down on the table and starts to snore. If you can't wake him up when it's his turn is it okay to take cash out of his wallet to buy the next round?

I had a friend once who got really inebriated and insisted, insisted on giving the bartender a $100 tip. I mean, he insulted our DD (who was trying to stop him from doing this) to the point where she threw up her hands and let him do what he was going to do (she would not have done this if he was trying to drive, fwiw, the consequences were not the same). The bartender tried to refuse, but my friend put on his sober face and told her in no uncertain terms that he was of sound mind and wanted to reward her for her fantastic service. He would not scratch off the $100 from the tip line, he signed the receipt and made the decision to give her the money. He acted very sure of himself and put on a sober front to convince those who didn't know him that he was capable of deciding this. Most of us were also too drunk to discourage him.

 

He was not unconscious, but he made a very harmful (to him) decision and did not remember the next day how he arrived at his conclusion to give that bartender $100. He would not have given it to her if he had been sober. He did not remember his enthusiasm, nor his calculated acting job. And he was very upset as he absolutely did not have $100 to spare in this way.

 

Now assume that bartender was someone wanting to have tea with this guy. And the $100 was his consent.

 

That scenario, combined with discussions on these threads, is why I have come to the conclusion that sex should not happen under any circumstances while either party is drunk. It should be the same as driving: don't do it, ever. Id the other person is drunk, if you are drunk, tea should never happen. One of the other or both people are unable to give full consent and either person could ruin the other's life with tea that they wouldn't drink sober. I have seen too many cases where the issue is not an unconscious person being robbed, but a drunk person doing something they would absolutely not do sober and trying to convince everyone around them that they are capable of sound decision making.

Edited by JodiSue
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Maybe you're really asking another question... not, is this rape (we all, thankfully agree that it is) but... are these mitigating (or aggravating) factors? She previously consented, they were drunk.

 

I don't know the law but I would guess that if she previously consented, it might be a mitigating factor - they had reasons to believe she would consent again. But I can't imagine her being passed out is better or worse than if she were awake and vocally objecting - both are horrible, just different horrible. I don't think them being drunk can mitigate what they did either. Judgment is impaired, but they chose to impair it - not like if they had a mental handicap or something.

 

I think there's really two things... yeah, dear kids, don't get that smashed, especially without someone who's not drinking or not drinking much to help watch over you. Aside from raping or being raped, you could commit other crimes that could lead to your death or others or just to terrible other consequences. Drinking impairs judgment to the extent that you could really mess up your life.

 

But also, decades ago, we had trouble convincing drunk people not to get behind the wheel. And people said similar things - they were impaired so they made dumb decisions. But then society engaged in a two pronged attack - education and much, much stiffer penalties and checks by police. And boom, now drunk driving is universally condemned and it's much less common. The people who might choose to do it are still impaired, but it's been drilled into them over and over not to do it and why it's so dangerous and wrong. So even though they're drunk, many fewer people chose to drive. It's more ingrained, more automatic. It's beyond messed up that *rape* isn't like that in our minds, but, just honestly speaking, I don't think it is. We still think, oh, impaired people, blah blah blah. If we could convince everyone to understand consent better, such that it's so ingrained that we get it on some level even when we're drunk, that would also go a long way to helping.

Very good points.

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Where I think there is a double-standard is that if two people, a male and a female, are both drunk, and have drunkenly consensual sex, that it appears that she can claim incapacity to consent and that it was rape but he could not. It's either not rape if there was drunken consent or it's mutual rape. If I get drunk and get in the car and consent to drive, I am held responsible, kwim? If I get drunk and consent to hit someone, I am charged with assault, and being drunk doesn't get me off the hook. We are still evolving in our standards of gender equality. 

 

What about the threesome example from the book? If one of the men had passed out, and then the other two carried on, doing all sorts of things to that passed out male . . . Say Male-Male an*l s*x, that plenty of M-F-M threesomes do . . . Or M-M oral . . . To me, in that situation, both the conscious male and female would be guilty of rape. Those examples might be more obvious to those of us with traditional M-F exclusive relationships . . . But, to me, the same responsibility for not raping falls on all participants. If someone is not conscious, they can't consent. 

 

The reason that the responsibility often seems to unfairly fall on the male is because, in general, in traditional M-F sex acts, an unconscious male can't participate since he is traditionally required to have an erection and actively participate, whereas a female can "participate" simply by being the passive recipient. Bear in mind that there are plenty of sex acts in all sorts of relationships (including M-F ones) that don't follow this norm. Perhaps imagining them might help you understand why responsibility typically falls on males in the circumstances of mutual intoxication. 

 

So, yes, anticipating "typical" inexperienced young-person sexual interactions in M-F relations, I teach my (straight) son that he bears the risk and responsibility of preventing the possibility of a misunderstanding that leads to him raping someone. And, I also teach my (straight) daughters specifically that just because a boy/man isn't a horrible person in general does not mean that they might not violate her if she (and/or he) is highly inebriated. Additionally, I highlight the increased risk of making regrettable or even devastating choices while under the influence -- disease, pregnancy, unwanted sex, even criminal sex. In all cases, I emphasize that sex & inebriation are mutually exclusive, and that they are responsible for maintaining their self-control and for always erring on the side of respect and safety -- just wait until you've both sobered up, and then get back to it, IMHO. 

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I guess it is similar to cases of someone getting drunk and they kill someone with their car.  They are often not treated as harshly.  It's said not to be premeditated and that they made bad decisions based in part on their altered state.  To that I say it's BS.  You get piss drunk without a plan for how you are getting home you have premeditated possibly hurting or killing someone.  So yes the onus is on anyone to not get piss drunk in a situation where they could hurt someone. 

 

 

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I think there are two things here - what is rape LEGALLY, and what is rape MORALLY.  While it's wise to consider one's legal position, I think the more important issue is the moral one.  And from a moral perspective it is crystal clear - having sex with someone who has a decent chance of regretting it later, and/or having sex with someone you don't know well enough to be able to get a clear picture or make a fairly accurate guess of how they are really feeling during the sex, or how they are likely to after, is morally wrong.  This covers a whole lot of scenarios, intoxicated or not.  Just because something isn't legally rape, or is vague enough to be difficult or impossible to litigate, DOES NOT MEAN that it wasn't rape.

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I think there are two things here - what is rape LEGALLY, and what is rape MORALLY. While it's wise to consider one's legal position, I think the more important issue is the moral one. And from a moral perspective it is crystal clear - having sex with someone who has a decent chance of regretting it later, and/or having sex with someone you don't know well enough to be able to get a clear picture or make a fairly accurate guess of how they are really feeling during the sex, or how they are likely to after, is morally wrong. This covers a whole lot of scenarios, intoxicated or not. Just because something isn't legally rape, or is vague enough to be difficult or impossible to litigate, DOES NOT MEAN that it wasn't rape.

These kinds of considerations are the ones that are difficult to take into account if the person who is supposed to make them is also inebriated.

 

I agree with what you state above, and it is pretty cut and dry if one person is sober or if one person is unconscious. It is legally and morally trickier if both parties are sh*tfaced.

 

I mean, I would see it as morally wrong for two impaired people to have sex (or two strangers, for that matter). Absolutely those things are immoral. Because how do you know one of them won't, as you state above, regret their decision after the fact? And the other impaired person would just be completely unable to discern this type of thing. You say it's morally crystal clear that someone would know if the other person would "have a decent chance of regretting it later" and that is morally clear that is rape. Which is why no one should have sex impaired, or have sex with someone they don't know well enough to be able to pick out that nuance. But some would say that is not a sex positive attitude.

 

Add to that there are a lot of people who regret hookups that would not see themselves as having been raped, either in a legal or moral sense.

Edited by JodiSue
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I think the drunk driving connection is a good one. Similar to saying "never drive while intoxicated", the message should be never have sex while intoxicated. Just never. Two drunk people in the car doesn't make it okay. Another drink person driving their own car doesn't make it ok. It's always wrong to drive after drinking, even if you think you're ok, or you need to do it, etc. So it's never ok to have tea after you've had alcohol. Your judgement is not good and you could cause irreparable harm to any number of people. Don't drink wine and then have tea.

 

So when my DH and I went out to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and I made the mistake of drinking on an empty stomach while we were waiting for our table to be ready and continuing to drink with our meal (we took a taxi), then we should've just skipped TeA later that night because I was drunk? Driving while intoxicated poses an inherent risk to public safety. A couple in a committed relationship having TeA while one (or both) are intoxicated doesn't.

 

Now it is risky to have TeA outside of a committed relationship regardless of whether or not alcohol is involved.

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I wouldn't go so far as to say never enjoy alcohol and sex at the same time.  That's a lifestyle for some consenting adults, assuming there is a relationship of trust.  And most people are well enough aware to know right/wrong even when they are inebriated.

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These kinds of considerations are the ones that are difficult to take into account if the person who is supposed to make them is also inebriated.

 

I agree with what you state above, and it is pretty cut and dry if one person is sober or if one person is unconscious. It is legally and morally trickier if both parties are sh*tfaced.

 

I mean, I would see it as morally wrong for two impaired people to have sex (or two strangers, for that matter). Absolutely those things are immoral. Because how do you know one of them won't, as you state above, regret their decision after the fact? And the other impaired person would just be completely unable to discern this type of thing. You say it's morally crystal clear that someone would know if the other person would "have a decent chance of regretting it later" and that is morally clear that is rape. Which is why no one should have sex impaired, or have sex with someone they don't know well enough to be able to pick out that nuance. But some would say that is not a sex positive attitude.

 

Add to that there are a lot of people who regret hookups that would not see themselves as having been raped, either in a legal or moral sense.

 

I see what you're saying, but I think that being very careful of one's partner's preferences/feelings/desires/consent is very sex-positive, even when practically speaking it means you end up with less sex.  If you are too wasted to discern your partner(s)'s preferences/feelings/desires/consent, you're too wasted for sex - from a moral perspective, from an emotional perspective, as well as potentially from a legal perspective.  And generally speaking, if you are on the right side of things morally, you are considerably less likely to find yourself on the wrong side of things legally.

Edited by justasque
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I'm not 100% convinced someone who is very drunk (and out of their mind) can even enjoy sex.  Stuff just doesn't quite work right.  I'm inclined to think its lowered inhibition on the part of the men in many of these situations, but not that they have no clue as to what they are doing.  And if they were THAT drunk, sex wouldn't be very good or even possible.  So it becomes an exaggerated excuse.  Of course maybe different people are different? 

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I wouldn't go so far as to say never enjoy alcohol and sex at the same time. That's a lifestyle for some consenting adults, assuming there is a relationship of trust. And most people are well enough aware to know right/wrong even when they are inebriated.

I assumed we were talking about more casual scenarios/encounters. Like what the PP was talking about where a drunk person is trying to figure out if the drunk person they are having tea with might regret it later. That is pretty nuanced understanding of a person and their desires and values and personality. My proposed solution is: don't have sex while intoxicated with an intoxicated person, because there's no way to know if a drunk person (or a stranger) will regret it in the morning. If the pp is saying that is morally (if not legally) raping someone, then it needs to just...not happen in the first place. If that's the standard we apply (regret = moral rape), then it has to be accounted for.

Edited by JodiSue
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I see what you're saying, but I think that being very careful of one's partner's preferences/feelings/desires/consent is very sex-positive, even when practically speaking it means you end up with less sex. If you are too wasted to discern your partner(s)'s preferences/feelings/desires/consent, you're too wasted for sex - from a moral perspective, from an emotional perspective, as well as potentially from a legal perspective. And generally speaking, if you are on the right side of things morally, you are considerably less likely to find yourself on the wrong side of things legally.

I agree with this. But, I can't ignore that many people get drunk in order to lose their inhibitions so they will feel more free to disregard boundaries they might otherwise have in place. And with that, a lot of consideration of who might regret what later simply goes out the window. It shouldn't, but it does, and that's not just limited to tea.

Edited by JodiSue
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I think there are two things here - what is rape LEGALLY, and what is rape MORALLY. While it's wise to consider one's legal position, I think the more important issue is the moral one. And from a moral perspective it is crystal clear - having sex with someone who has a decent chance of regretting it later, and/or having sex with someone you don't know well enough to be able to get a clear picture or make a fairly accurate guess of how they are really feeling during the sex, or how they are likely to after, is morally wrong. This covers a whole lot of scenarios, intoxicated or not. Just because something isn't legally rape, or is vague enough to be difficult or impossible to litigate, DOES NOT MEAN that it wasn't rape.

Well, I agree with you, but in the scenario from the novel, these three had previously met up for consentual tea for three, the day before. So, it's not insane to imagine that when she was coherant and indicating she was okay with a repeat, it would have followed she would not be expected to regret it when her consciousness flagged during the proceedings. IOW, it's certainly easy to see how the frat boys, having done this before sober, and with her having begun the evening coherant, and also with their own judgement on the ropes, could fail to go, "well, now. It seems our friend is no longer involved in the fun so I guess we'll pick this up at another time." I'm not saying it is impossible for the frat boys to draw that conclusion, but I can see why this might ocurr to them too late.

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