Talking about rape and sexual violence is very difficult. It is a very sensitive topic and people quickly become wrapped up in their own biases and pain when the subject crops up. This is of course to be expected, because anyone who has been a victim of rape is going to have their own emotional connection to the issue that influences the perception from which they approach it.
I for one, have been accused of being too emotional and biased in the favour of the rape victim whenever the topic comes up. I’ve been told that I’m actually close minded about rape and I often view it in just black and white.
Well, Guilty as charged✋✋✋.
As far as I’m concerned, it is either consensual sex, or it is rape.
But for the purpose of this discourse, I’ll attempt to tone my emotions down and be as open-minded and unbiased as possible.
Following the past few rape cases that invaded our social media timelines, I have come to realize that people are either ignorant of what rape is or they just do not care.
So, I’ll start by defining the few key words.
Rape, Consent, Seduction.
Rape – Rape is unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim. (www.dictionary.com)
Consent – Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. (www.urbandictionary.com)
In relation to sex, consent is basically an agreement between two participants to engage in sexual activity.
However, only adults can consent to sex. According to the law, the age of consent is 18.
If you are 18 and above and you have sex with a person below the age of 18, it is known as Statutory Rape.
I mean if you are 18 and you have sex with a 17-year-old(it doesn’t matter whether the both of you are willing participants), it’s called Statutory Rape by the law.
Because any person below the age of 18 is recognized as a minor and a minor does not have the legal capacity to give consent.
Seduction: In social science, seduction is the process of deliberately enticing a person to engage.
Seduction, seen negatively, involves temptation, and enticement, often sexual in nature, to lead someone astray into a behavioural choice they would not have made if they are not in a state of sexual arousal.
Seen positively, seduction is a synonym for the act of charming someone by appealing to the senses, often with the goal of reducing unfounded fears and leading to their ‘sexual emancipation’. (Urban Dictionary).
In simpler terms, seduction is the process of persuading someone to do something they would not have ordinarily done by being very attractive and appealing to refuse.
From the above definitions, I think it should be very easy to deduce the difference between rape and seduction. There is a thin line between rape and seduction.The magic word is Consent.
Seduction basically involves convincing someone to give consent to sex. Seduction when it is successful leads to consensual sex, whilst Rape on the other hand is the crime of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their consent.
I’m examining this angle because of a question a friend asked me recently.
If a guy doesn’t want to have sex and you seduce him into a state of arousal and you both have sex, is it rape?
Nope. As long as we are both willing participants, it is not rape.
If my man isn’t really in the mood for sex and I go put on a sexy lingerie, do a lap dance for him and he gets horny enough to want to have sex with me, it is a successful seduction.
But if during the course of seduction he still says no for reasons best known to him and I ignore him, set myself on his D and ride him till we both cum, it has crossed the line to rape.
What am I really trying to say?
That a male rape victim had an erection or a female rape victim got wet during the event doesn’t make the crime any less than rape. Our bodies sometimes betray us. It doesn’t in any way translate to the victim wanting or enjoying the rape.
The crime of rape is complete upon penetration. If he/she starts enjoying it after you take him/ her without consent, it is still rape.
Whenever we talk of rape, I observe that a lot of people are very close minded and insensitive.As far as a lot of people are concerned, a rapist is that ugly guy on the prowl, lying in wait in a dark lonely street for its victim. And so, they feel that if the rape didn’t occur in the street then it probably isn’t rape. And when it does happen on the street, the next thing you’ll hear is “But why was she walking on such a dark street at that time of the night?”.
The truth is that many people do not even know what rape is. They think it is only when beating and violent force is applied.
Thing is, in our society there used to be some level of secrecy about sex. Because of the age-long taboo nature of sex, it was usually not discussed and people had to dance around the topic to get their messages across.
Directly asking for sex and directly consenting to sex was frowned at. Women feigned offence when directly asked for sex as they felt that the men who do so considered them as being loose.
As a woman, you were supposed to put on a bit of a struggle before consenting to sex, to give the appearance of being ‘decent’.
So men didn’t verbally ask decent women for sex and decent women didn’t willingly consent to sex.
That was how we were raised.
A man makes physical advances to a lady and she pretends to resist it before giving in, and then goes ahead to pretend not to have enjoyed it. Yes, for women, sex was not meant to be engaged in for pleasure.
Hence, some of our men have this notion that when women say no to sex, they actually mean yes. They feel like the women actually want it and they are just pretending to appear decent. And so, they forcefully take it. That is rape. No means No.
Some even argue about rape fantasies.
One of my guys said that his ex was into rape fantasies, and if he didn’t come on to her like he was about to forcefully rape her, she wouldn’t enjoy the sex.
That is different. You can call it playacting or whatever you will, but he had her consent to play rough.
Let us go back to the topic of consent.
• Consent can be verbally given and it can also be non-verbal. It can be given through body-language or through what some people call green light.
How then do you confirm that you are reading the signals right?
That, my dear, is a very grey area you have to carefully observe, if not, you cross the line to being a rapist.
• Consent is mutual. Both parties have to agree.
•Consent isn’t all-encompassing. Consenting to oral sex is different from consenting to penal penetration.
• Consent can be withdrawn at any point in time.
Even if a girl removes her pant and bra herself, even if she gives a guy a hot and wet blow job, even if she wears the condom for the guy by herself, and just at the point of penetration she says she is no longer interested in sex, he should stop.
If he forces his way, it is rape.
If a girl consents to penetration and during the course of intercourse she screams stop, you ought to stop. One more thrust after she says stop is rape.
• An intoxicated person cannot give consent. If you invite someone over and give him/her a drink laced with drugs or you get them drunk till they are totally knocked out and have your way with them, it is rape.
• Provocation is not a defense of rape, but might be indicative of consent. If however, you read the signal wrong and she says no, it becomes rape when you forcefully take her.
• Visitation is not a yes. That a lady consents to visit you at home or even decides to sleep over at your place does not give you an entitlement to her vagina.
• A lady’s mode of dressing does not mean yes. My cloth is not an invitation to sex.
The worst part of it all is when he forcefully penetrates her and thrusts, he would not spend more than 5 minutes. Just imagine, a few minutes pleasure for the rapist, and a lifetime of psychological trauma for the rape victim.
Bottom line is, No means no.
P.S Eneke the bird says that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, it has learnt to fly without perching. Yorubas say that ko oju ma ri ibi, gbogbo ara logun e. Make person eye no see evil, na the whole full bodi person take dey avoid am.
We have this embarrassing culture of victim shaming in our society. The rapist is given the benefit of the doubt whilst the victim is blamed and shamed.
Ladies, Please avoid compromising situations. Times have changed and No now means don’t follow him to his house if you are not ready to ‘do the do’. Rape is now so trivialized, you hear people say “But why did you follow him?” or “Why were you dressed so provocatively?”.
In saner climes, this admonition would not be necessary, but we are in Nigeria, where we have such a low statistic of rape convictions.
To avoid stories that touch, biko stay out of harm’s way. Too many psycho’s and enablers out here. At the end of the day, it is you that will be victimized and humiliated by retarded enablers in our society, and not the rapist. Stay safe.
Photo📷 Credit: Pininterest
What is consent to you? Do you believe consent must always be verbal? And if not, how do you express a non-verbal consent? What do you consider as ‘signals and green light’ when it comes to consensual sex?
Do share your thoughts with me. You know how I look forward to hearing from you.