Responding to a Response

The Bro Bible once ran an article:

10 Signs Of How ‘Down To F**k’ A Girl Is…Just From What She’s Wearing

The article was removed from the Bro Bible after an article from the Huffington Post-Women went viral on facebook.  The Huffington Post’s article spread like glitter at a Ke$ha concert.  It was called:

“How To Tell If A Woman Is Down To Have Sex With You”

The Post’s article was the following:


A woman’s clothing or jewelry or level of intoxication can’t tell you anything about whether she’s ‘down to f**k.’ Only she can.

End. Of. Story.”

I’m going to just dismiss The Bro Bible.  Outside of practically embodying some of the most negative ethos of rape culture, there is only one true source for bro wisdom.  The ass-hats responsible for the Bro Bible’s post are easy enough to shrug away.  The Huffington Post, on the other hand, got under my skin and I wanted to address their article.

Firstly, let me do that thing where I check my privilege.  As a white, educated, mostly-employed, vaguely-heterosexual male; I’ve got more privilege than Gaston has biceps.  That being said, I know many people would dismiss my opinions on women’s consent.  As a rebuff of the Bro Bible, the Post squashed them so bad that the article was pulled.  However, I do feel like The Post is also guilty of publishing a misleading idea about what is and is not consent.

Of course, no means no.  But there is a library of other tells that also mean no.  Sometimes, even “yes” means no.

A common enough issue is that consent is indeterminate in shape and varies depending on the consenter.  While asking if you can touch could mean standing consent for everything from cunnilingus to scat-play with one partner, asking if you can touch could very well mean just touching with another.  And while it may seem tedious to have to ask:
“Miss, may I kiss you?” “Miss, may I fondle your breasts?” “Miss, I’d like to kiss your breasts now, is that okay?”
Doing this still isn’t as tedious as a consent debacle.  Especially when it’s your first time with a partner, it’s fantastically better to get too much consent than not enough.

Another obvious scenario when verbal consent isn’t actually consent is when alcohol is involved.  But I would amend that to include any scenario where a potential sexual partner doesn’t have their head on straight.  This extends to judgement-impairing drugs like Adderall, Molly, and 4Loko.  Just because they give you consent, doesn’t mean you should take it.

If you ask first and they say something like “As surely as the lizard queens have bestowed their many succulent powers unto me, I will usher you into the garden of sexual delights”.  Obviously, you shouldn’t let them.  But if you even get the feeling that someone is a little off, it’s your responsibility to not take them to the bedroom.  Not because you might go to jail.  Statistically speaking, you probably wouldn’t go to jail if you raped a stone-cold sober person.  We don’t take intoxicated people to the bedroom because to do so would be taking advantage of a fellow human being, which is fundamentally damaging to the self.

Granted, you might be going to bed with someone who is plastered drunk, but also your spouse of some years.  In that case, assumed consent is a safer bet.  This ties in to the next problem with getting verbal consent.  Do you know them well enough that you trust their consent?  While you may feel like you know, it’s impossible to tell for certain.  You can have more faith in a person’s verbal consent based on your experiences with them.

This is a big reason I really fail to have try to never have sex on the first date.  When I’m first meeting someone, it’s hard for me to understand them well enough to know they really want me.  This is a very unfortunate symptom of living in a world where women are cultured to not say no.  Plenty of girls are pressured from a young age to be people pleasers first.  People pleasers have a very hard time saying no.  For a lot of them, they imagine saying yes to something they don’t want is easier than refusing it.

Our world has become a hot mess because we’ve created a culture where women are commonly the gatekeepers of sex, and rarely the initiators.  This monkeywrenches the gears because the people who most often start the action are most often the worst judges of it.  This is like letting the Indy 500 get started by one of the race car drivers…chosen at random, wearing a blindfold, and using a gun loaded with live ammunition.  So guys, we’ve got to tread carefully.

Personally, I feel the Huffington Post got it wrong.  Not as wrong as the Bro Bible, but here’s a real answer to the question.

How to tell if a woman wants to have sex with you: You can never be 100% sure.  Tough luck, dudes.

Obviously, ask first.  Ask early.  Ask often.  But whenever things are getting physical, you’re rolling the dice.  You’re putting a lot of yours on the table, including your reputation as a man who respects women.  Your putting a lot of hers on the table when you roll the dice too.  Don’t get me wrong, the prize is worth the gamble…as long as the odds are good.

Good odds come from things like getting enthusiastic verbal consent.  Good odds come from things like getting enthusiastic verbal consent two or three times.  Good odds come from a partner you trust, and one who trusts you too.  Good odds come from things like safewords, and sobriety, and ignoring the advice of people who tell you consent comes solely from anything…including affirmation.

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