Please


Sex is not quite like tea. It’s a lot more viscous.

Teach your children that consent training is not enough. Because there are bad actors out there. As well as good people who may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or who may not hear what you are saying.

Certain activities are low risk — meeting for coffee. Other activities are medium risk — for example, an invitation to watch a movie together may turn into Netflix n’ Chill. Two activities — getting in bed and getting naked with someone — should always be considered high risk. That’s the problem with this video.

It is charming and funny, and also kind of wrong.

It assumes a world where everybody listens to what you say. But how often does that happen in real life? If we lived in that world, Russia wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine. If we lived in that world, you could drop your wallet on the ground and always get your money back.

Yes, it describes the legal standard. And yes, you absolutely have the right to change your mind about wanting to have sex — at any time. You may have luck pressing charges after the fact, or you may decide that you don’t want to. But you really, really don’t want to get raped.

Here’s what happens after you experience sexual trauma:

  • You can’t stop thinking about the events — every hour and every day.
  • You experience related symptoms such as irritability, insomnia, fatigue, inability to concentrate, depression, numbness, and anxiety.
  • You have trouble enjoying sex with other people.
  • You constantly blame yourself, thinking back to everything you could have done or said differently.

This happened to me. It took me three years to get over it. And by “over it,” I mean that while I still think about the events a lot, they don’t trigger much emotion. It’s a part of my story now. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I have gotten a really harsh reaction in the past from sharing this perspective. People have accused me of “blaming the victim.” But learning basic principles of risk assessment and taking adequate precautions make you less likely to be a victim. How can that be a bad thing for feminists?

So if you feel ready for sex, that’s great! Go for it. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, that’s fine too. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you lose your ability to choose.

“Please,” a blog post by Rose Cheval, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The work may be viewed in its entirety at https://rosecheval.wordpress.com/2022/04/03/please/

Facts

It’s the Fourth of July. Had a beer and some wings with a friend. Stopped off briefly at strip club (his idea). That’s what freedom means to me. Freedom, Portland style.

These are a few of the things that have happened to me since January 2021:

Had my car stolen.

Had all but two video files erased from my cell phone.

Had my apartment broken into. Nothing valuable was taken (no cash, credit cards, or jewelry). Several items were damaged or removed, and items of my clothing were vandalized with an unknown black, tarlike substance.

The power cord for my pfSense Internet firewall appliance was also removed.

This should have been no big deal, as I had my cell phone hotspot as a backup. Not to mention it should have been possible to just use the cable modem in place of a router, in a pinch.

Inexplicably, for several weeks I could not log onto any Internet connection requiring WPA authentication–not the mobile hotspot and not my home network running off the cable modem–from any of my computers. For about ten hours I could still access my home wifi network via my Chromebook. Then that connection also ceased working, just like the others. I could still use Xfinity public, unsecured wifi, but it would boot me off every hour or so.

I could no longer use the Lyft or Uber apps from my mobile phone. Since I had no vehicle, I had to rely on taxicabs to get around.

Had my personal Facebook account accessed by an unknown party and new photos and text accompanying a post added without my permission.

Had our company’s advertising rep at Facebook cancel an appointment and cut off contact completely, without explanation, less than six weeks before our planned campaign launch date. We had hoped to reach over a million people on the service for our nonprofit campaign.

A little-known but public subdomain belonging to our dev partner was hacked and defaced in early 2021.

When I got back from Charlotte, NC in mid-March, I noticed that I could listen to music on my BOSE headphones while inside my apartment. However, as soon as soon as I stepped outside (presumably when I switched networks), the headphones would stop working and the music would blare embarrassingly from my cell phone’s tinny speakers.

At around the same time all this was happening, the key for my work PMB (a private post office box) stopped working. When I went to the counter to ask for a new one, the owner looked at me very strangely and asked me, “What is it that you do for a living?”

Later that summer I asked him why my key had to be replaced and he said his copy of the key had broken off in the lock. Not sure why he wouldn’t have mentioned that at the time.

That’s about all.

Lots of other health stuff and some really unfortunate interpersonal stuff, but I’m not going to get into that here.

I’m not even going to speculate on what this all means and who might be responsible.

I did eventually get my car back, possibly because my insurance company put pressure on the Portland PD to do some basic police work. Whatever, no complaints.

I’m not really political. Not in the Biden era. Privacy and civil liberties are somebody else’s battle. Climate change is the most immediate crisis, and marching in the streets isn’t going to change anything. Not even the actions of any one government can do much on their own.