ONGOING, Enthusiastic Consent

I have some wacky notions about sex.

You know -- like . . . . The person who you are having sex should want to have sex with you.

Like . . . . . the whole time you're having sex.

Go ahead, call me crazy. I'm asking for a lot, I know.

Luckily, Australian MP Ann Bressington has got a solution for dealing with edgy sexual radicals such as myself:
In a response to proposed laws making it an offence to continue a sex act with a person who changes their mind about consent, Bressington suggested to Parliament that men should carry a sex contract to prevent being accused of rape. (emphasis mine)

. . . The proposed contract would also include details of the woman’s marital status, whether she has children and whether she consents to being taken to another location to engage in sexual activity.

“Perhaps this parliament could devise a contract which men could carry around in their pocket, next to their condoms,” quoted her, as saying during a speech to Parliament.

“There could be a waiver should a man meet up with a woman who has had a couple of drinks before they engage in sexual intercourse.

“The contract may contain the name and address of the women, with her driver’s license number, so that the man can see the signatures match, clauses that state that the woman has or has not been drinking or taking drugs licit or illicit and that she consents to foreplay,” she added.

Some of you may remember that I've brought up this notion of enthusiastic consent before, after a commenter at Shakesville said:
"unless a woman is chanting "Yes' over and over for hours without interruption . . . . any woman can then claim withdrawal of consent.
To which I replied:
"See, I've never really thought of it as a problem if my lover was chanting (or screaming) YES! YES! YES! "over and over for hours without interruption" during sex. ("Don't Stop!" and "Keep doing whatever it is you're doing!" also do not disturb me in the slightest.)"
But seriously -- why is it that whenever legislation comes up that might ameliorate the appallingly low rate of rape convictions, the first thing we hear is "But what about false allegations?!?!?"

Get real. Get informed. Here are some handy nauseating facts about rape/sexual assaults in the US:
There were 272,350 sexual assaults (64,080 were completed rapes) reported in 2006, according to the DOJ National Crime Victimization Survey (these numbers do not include victims 12 years or younger).

60% of rapes/sexual assaults not reported to the police.

If a rape is reported, there is a 50.8% chance of an arrest.
If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution
If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of conviction
If there is a felony coviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.

So, even in the 39% of attacks that are reported to the police, there is a 16.3% chance the rapist will end up in prison.

Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail -- 15 of 16 walk free.~
And in South Australia, the statistics are even worse:
Reporting Rate, 2002: Estimated at best at 31.3% (at worst, 8.9%)
Reported rapes in 2002: 628
Resulting Convictions: 11
Conviction Rate: 1.75% [Source]
Apparently, however, in the face of all this inconvenient "factiness", Bressington is worried about false allegations, rather than, you know . . . . . actually putting rapists in jail.

Leaving aside the asshattery of a woman who would require biannual drug testing for every student aged 8-12 (but who seems to feel just peachy about the increased possibility of them being raped, as long as they're not stoned) -- I want to talk more about ongoing enthusiastic consent.

During the many idiotic exchanges I've had with people about this concept, this contract crap has been brought up again and again. "What, do I have to have a signed permission slip?"

The problem with this leap to a "contract" as a solution to the issue of Ongoing Enthusiastic Consent is problematic at all sorts of levels (not the least of which is that it distinctly illuminates the misogyny inherent in treating sex as a commodity obtained from some kind of sex-dispenser, rather than a consensual act between two adult human beings), but even if you did use a contract in an attempt to handle the issue of sexual consent -- signing a contract doesn't relieve you of the responsibility of NOT COMMITTING a CRIME!

See, having sex with someone who doesn't want to have sex with you is a crime.

Yes, even if they came on to you.
Yes, even if they started having sex with you and then changed their mind (which is exactly what the Australian legislation seeks to address).
Yes, even if you are fully inserted and about to orgasm.

If your sex partner says: "Stop" and you continue, you are committing a crime.

Yes, even if you have a signed contract in your pocket, next to your condoms.

There now, that's simple, isn't it?

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