As part of the push to complete posts I started but didn’t finish I bring you a reflection about an encounter I had recently.
“Tea and Consent” was a big part of the way I educated No 1 Son and The Unicorn about sex and consent. For me teaching my Young People about consent was more important than teaching them about STI’s or giving them guidance about when is a good time to have sex. For a few years “Drunk people don’t want tea was a mantra that embedded the idea of informed consent.
In my lifestyle consent is important. Swinging events, parties and clubs can be chaotic. People find themselves in situations that have only ever existed in their fantasies. Standard boundaries around monogamy are thrown out of the window. “Normal” ideas about what is acceptable behaviour are challenged and can become confused. To make things even more complicated every single person has a different set of expectations and ideas about how certain situations will play out. On the surface safety, in particular safe sex, seems to be a pretty standard expectation but again there are differences in expectations and plans don’t always become reality. Alcohol is a big part of the mix. Many people drink to relax and “get more in the mood” especially if they are new or nervous. But sometimes it is hard to pace yourself and the line between relaxed and social and too intoxicated to make a properly informed decision is hard to see and even harder to avoid crossing.
Recently we observed an interaction between two couples, Mr and Mrs A and Mr and Mrs B. Both professed to be experienced. You would think that being experienced their communication would be clear and their respect for other people would follow suit. You would think. Mrs A was hot. Walk in the room and get instant attention from everyone hot. She also proceeded to drink a fair bit. The jury is out about how much Mr A drank but I suspect he was the more responsible one of the duo.
Mr and Mrs B were fairly restrained. Mr B was also irritatingly opinionated about “lack of action” “people being conservative” yada, yada. He didn’t respond to being challenged by an older, more confident and some would say less attractive woman but when Mrs A walked into the room he was all over her. Mr Jones and I decided to depart before he irritated me even more and I said something I would truly regret.
As we were standing in the bar chatting to some friends we were surprised by Mrs A rushing up to us frantically proclaiming that Mr A was outside “losing his shit” because Mr B had been fucking her without a condom. One of the staff departed to deal with the situation as Mrs B arrived and started proclaiming that she hated this kind of drama. That people who don’t have their relationship sorted should really not come to places like this et cetera ET CETERA.
She is right. Drama like that has no place in a swing club. People who don’t communicate well in their relationship and have a good understanding of where the other is at really shouldn’t be swinging. Public arguments make everyone feel awkward and they rarely solve any problems. But the flip side of things was not being considered here. Mrs A was drunk and this man had taken the opportunity to have sex with one of the most attractive women in the room. I am certain he didn’t ask her if it was OK to not use a condom. Because, given the way things had panned out she would have told him that isn’t part of their rules. If he didn’t want to ask the default should have been to wear one. That is the standard procedure. Anyone who has been around as much as they were proclaiming to be should know that.
Was the drama justified? Not really. Drama never is. Were his actions acceptable behaviour? Definitely not. He didn’t ask for or consider her feelings or consent. He didn’t consider her drunkenness as a sign that she could not give enthusiastic, clear and informed consent. In a lot of ways he deserved the reaction he got.