I believe I like sex as much as anyone. One of our kids always jokes; “Thanks for being my Dad, I know, it was your pleasure”, and he’s right. From my early 20s to early 40s I lived through the sexual revolution, much of which was fueled by the availability of The Pill. Before that, like so many of my generation I was sexually active as a teenager; well, as sexually active as opportunities allowed.
I have heard most dirty jokes from the cute to the disgusting, but I guess I missed out completely on this new phenomenon I call the Obnoxious Revolution – sex by intimidation. Not a day seems to go by without another story about grabbing, groping or … Surprise, I’m naked!
Whatever happened to romanticism and the sexual signals that went along with it? I know that the rules have changed, but short of prostitution, which is strictly a business deal, it’s not a meat market. There should be some level of mutual desire even for one-time relationships and that is almost always the case when those involved are on an approximately equal footing.
Things are different when the power relationship is significantly unequal. The transgressors are not so busy that they lack the time to determine if any sexual interest is mutual, it is merely a raw power play; “look what my power allows me to do to you.” Since almost all of the accusations have involved men in prominent positions I believe it is more about the use of power than it is about sex; essentially, the taking by force.
This is not about sexual morality, it’s about intimidation. Those wielding the power were holding a gun to the head of the victims; we see the exact same situation with employers, coaches and clergy. Do you want this job or this promotion or do you want to stay on the team? Besides, I am important and no one will believe you.
That is why the aggressors did not bother with romance, persuasion or looking for hints, they could be as obnoxious as they wanted, the victims did not believe they had much of a choice.