You know what they say about stopped clocks – they’re right twice a day. The same is true with MRAs, though it happens a bit less frequently. Consider a Spearhead guest post from a while back titled Caveat Amator: Strategies for Men Before, During and After False Allegations, recently brought to my attention by Manboobzer extraordinaire Ami Angelwings, whose Escher Girls blog you should totally go look at.
The post, by Ken Kupstis, is mostly a bunch of standard-issue MRA hysteria about false allegations and evil false alleging ladies, complete with a bunch of possibly dubious legal advice.
But mixed in with the paranoia there’s some advice that is actually quite sensible and that, if followed, will not so much help men avoid false rape accusations as help keep them from raping women.
In the section of the post dealing with that supremely fraught all-caps moment BEFORE HAVING SEX WITH A WOMAN, Kupstis recommends that men stop and ask themselves a few questions:
Is she SOBER? Very inebriated women may claim to want or even demand sex, but it may be wise to see if “that was the alcohol talking”.
Good advice! Fact is, seriously inebriated people cannot consent to sex! If you have sex with someone who’s wasted (or unconscious), that is actually rape, and you may well find yourself the target of a real rape accusastion – nothing false about it.
Has she verbally consented to sex? It is better to ask “Do you want to make love?” and receive a positive response then to merely assume she’s consenting to sex via body language.
Also good! Consent should be crystal clear. People who actually do want to have sex with you will not be offended if you ask to make sure! If you’re worried that someone will say no if you ask them directly, you should not be having sex with that person! If you ask and they do say no, respect that no. If your idea of “seduction” means pawing at and pressuring a woman until she gives in, you’re not a master of seduction. You’re a rapist.
Does she display or claim enthusiasm for BDSM (bondage and sadomasochism) activities? As exciting as it may seem, do not permit a barely-known woman to handcuff you to anything (that you can’t break loose from on your own)!
Also good advice! Don’t let someone you barely know anything about put you in handcuffs! (No ethical BDSMer will try to pressure you into anything like this.) Here’s the thing: Because of the inherent dangers of bondage and whipping and other such activities, BDSM has the potential to go very, very wrong very, very fast. BDSMers know this.
And that’s why the BDSM community has set in place safeguards to try to prevent this from happening — essentially codifying an explicit bunch of rules and practices to make sure that everyone involved in a BDSM session has consented at every step of the way. (This can sometimes mean literally filling out a checklist before the start of a session.) The slogan? “Safe, Sane and Consensual.”
Which is a pretty good slogan for sex in general. As sex blogger Clarisse Thorn notes, even those who would never dream of trying anything kinky can learn a lot from the ways in which the BDSM deals with the issue of consent — and incorporate this into their own sex lives. (Even the checklists, if you so desire!)
Kupstis continues on with this theme:
Does she claim to ‘like it rough’? Even if so, that claim does not obligate you to play rough. No matter how insistent she may be, you should not bruise or break the skin.
Also good advice. You are not obliged to “play rough” with a partner if you don’t want to. (That’s how sexual consent works: everyone has veto power, at any point in time.) And you shouldn’t leave bruises, not with a first time partner and not unless you know they’re ok with that. Plenty of BDSM submissives don’t mind, and in some cases actually like bruises. But you need to ask first. See my comments about BDSM above.
During foreplay, or before or during coitus, does she ‘tense up’, act frightened or apprehensive? Does she cry? If so, she may have been previously raped or molested. Her sex drive still exists, but she may psychologically equate sex with pain, servitude or dishonor.
If a woman “tenses up,” seems scared, or otherwise freaks out during sex, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Aside from the reasons already listed, there are any number of other things that might cause someone to react like this. For example, you could be raping her. (Did you remember that bit above about getting clear consent?) Or, even if she did consent at first, she may have changed her mind (consent is an ongoing thing, and anyone can remove consent at any point for any reason). Or you may be hurting her. The list goes on.
Whatever the reason, STOP AT ONCE, comfort her (don’t confront her), and try to figure out what is going on. (This all applies regardless of gender and/or sexual oriantation.)
Other advice in the Spearhead piece doesn’t really bear on the rape issue, but is simple common sense:
Are you using Birth Control? Note that while she may claim to be using birth control, it does not automatically mean that she is…she may normally be on birth control but has forgotten to take it, or is experiencing a false period, or is using a form of birth control with a lower rate of effectiveness. Most of these factors have not legally excused men for having to pay child support, although they should.
Using birth control is good! If you are having sex with someone you don’t know well, you should use a condom, no matter what birth control they are using (or say that they are using).
Do you know her FULL NAME? (Thousands of men have only needed to hear “Hi, I’m Bambi”, and it’s good enough for them.)
Another good question to ask yourself! (Though admittedly some of us have probably broken this rule once or twice.) Knowing a bit about your sexual partner is always good!
Also, if she’s named Bambi, ask her if she’s an entomologist, because entomologists are cool.
My favorite Spearhead comment for this article comes from intp:
Geez. After reading this article I’d rather play catch with a beaker of nitroglycerine than get near a woman.
How about this? Until all the Communists, corrupting our institutions in the West, have been identified and expelled or executed just avoid women in the West.
Treat Western Women like the malignant cancer they have become.
Intp, I FULLY SUPPORT THIS STRATEGY FOR YOU. At least the part about you avoiding women (not so much the executions thing). Stay far, far away from women. And the rest of us, too, while you’re at it.
Oh, and in case anyone is keeping score, intp’s comment (including the murder) got two dozen upvotes and no downvotes from the Spearhead crowd.