The Legal Ramifications of 'No' Meaning 'Yes' - OZY | A Modern Media Company

The Legal Ramifications of 'No' Meaning 'Yes'

The Legal Ramifications of 'No' Meaning 'Yes'

By Eugene S. Robinson


OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”

By Eugene S. Robinson

How to Avoid Jail Time

EUGENE, SIR: Hey, here’s a sex question. I’ll tell it as it was told to me: “So I go for a drink with a woman I met online, and within 30 minutes of meeting she’s saying she likes ‘rough sex,’ ‘to be forced’ and ’violence.’ We talk further, set boundaries and a safe word, and go back to her apartment. Good fun is had by all. There was a moment when she was screaming, ‘No! Please don’t!’ I’m into it; I know she’s into it. But what happens if her neighbors call the police? I don’t really know her. Maybe she’s crazy. Maybe this is how I go to prison.” My question: What, if any, precautions does my friend need to take in this kind of situation? — Suzy P.

Dear Ms. Pachanga!Well, if it takes place at her place, her neighbors are probably well used to whatever deal has been bubbling up and through her walls for just about as long as she’s lived there, so no fear. But I’m guessing part of your friend’s query is the macro issue, specifically on the harder/sadder side, about how to protect yourself from a worst-case scenario playing out to the dude’s detriment. In a crucial crunch — he’s been arrested and dragged out of the apartment naked — he can always point to the internet record of their preliminary chats as way of offering exculpatory evidence. That combined with any video evidence of said assignation seems to be a pretty solid defense against the insanity offense. 

But the best course of action in this case is and remains: Try not to have sex with strangers who you strongly suspect might ruin your life. Good advice under any/many circumstances. Also, and this by way of practical applications if you’re into “scenes,” is to remember how much of a serious issue control is. If he’s driving this car, he needs to be a vigilant driver. In the “reality” they’re playing out, it might be normal for him to gag her, so gagging her both in “reality” and in reality would be a move that makes sense (see also: face down on the bed). Music as a masking agent also works. If she lives in a condo, realize that the floor plan from unit to unit is probably similar, so if he’s there at night maybe shift from whatever room abuts the neighbors’ bedroom.

See how much fun it is trying to figure out how to stay out of jail?


Lowest-Common Hygiene Denominators

EUGENE, SIR: Is it common to become extra picky about boning details as you get older? Example: smelly feet, ashy elbows and bad breath? When I was younger I was a savage and never cared. — Balam M.

Dear Blam Blam: I swear to G-d if I think too long about how you were handling business when you were younger, I’m going to not be able to stop laughing, so let’s just skate on by the stink feet, ashen elbowing and halitosis, and get to some real talk. Specifically, that there is no such thing as “extra” picky when it comes to issues of personal hygiene, and so the issue is less what’s wrong with you now and more what was going on with you then?

Let’s call it youthful exuberance. You’re just so happy to be in the game that the details are not doing you in; you’re just glad to be playing. But when you get used to playing? It’s also OK to get used to a reasonable base level of clean. And while I have said that nothing that’s human should be foreign to us, I’d also add a proviso about only having sex with people who are trying. Which covers foot washing, moisturizing and toothbrushing. Unless not doing those things is part of a kink, in which case you are obliged to disclose to a potential partner. 

To answer your question directly, your sense of smell, for example, does change as you get older. It gets less sharp. Which might account for why you’re more sensitive about smells: an incipient paranoia about all of the olfactory horror that awaits you with every breath. Same with declining vision. You see less well, so you’re more worried about what you could be seeing. In regard to ashen extremities? I got nothing. Hope the above is enough to help. If not, write back.

Sex + Cash or Sex for Cash?

EUGENE, SIR: How is sex such easy money? — Fran

Dear Talking Mule: I used to be friends with a sex worker, and one of the most shocking things she ever said to me was, “I was shocked that people would actually pay for it.”

The “it” in this instance was sexual contact. I laughed and said that that really wasn’t so shocking from my vantage point. But over the years her take ate away at me as I started to understand it for the philosophical trick of the eye that it was.

I mean the best sex might involve both partners being totally and fully engaged in the act of sexual congress. When we look at worst-case sex scenarios, we see one partner fully engaged and one partner totally not engaged. Some have argued that rape is a nonsexual sex act because it’s primarily an expression of power and its handmaiden violence.

I’d say this is a distinction without a difference because the reality is, and this underscored what my friend was really saying, if your partner is absent despite what the purchaser thinks they have bought, what they’ve really bought was access to the body of someone who is thinking about the rent or, in the best case, for you to finish and leave.

Is that sex or the simulacrum of sex? If the former, it doesn’t sound very easy to me. If the latter, it’s both too much and not enough. 

Ice-T said pimping wasn’t easy, and I strongly suspect neither is prostitution.

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