The New York Times runs a piece about Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia University, who carries a mattress with her all of the time as a protest against sexual assault on campus. She says she will continue to carry that mattress as long as her rapist attends the same school than her. Unfortunately, sexual assaults happen too often on campus. When I was in College, I remember there was a warning message hanging everywhere in my building against a rapist who was running errands around our building. Our university even put around the building and the campus ringing alarms people could easily trigger and which make a hell of a noise but are very dissuasive.
What strikes me in Emma Sulkowicz is her own experience with sexual assault. Her boyfriend abused her while they were having casual sex. I can’t imagine how awful it was.
Unfortunately, when we accept to have sex with someone, we become vulnerable, because we give him/her our trust. Nobody accepts to have sex with someone we don’t trust. But our trust can weaken with drugs or alcohol which impair our judgment.
In College, and later, alcohol and drugs can be easily found. There are countless occasions to get high or drunk. And most of us ends up having sex with random strangers or people who try to take an advantage of us. When I was in College, I remember that guy who always found his victim at the end of the night, because she was drunk and lonely. He wasn’t handsome. He was a bit scary, and I did my best to stay far away from him during parties. I also tried to stay lucid even if I drank a lot with my friends. But some of my friends recall their one night stands caused by this mix of alcohol and sometimes drugs. No one really was bragging about this. There’s nothing to be proud of in this situation.
Some of my friends admitted their one night stand was sometimes as drunk as they were, so they didn’t fear anything. Yet, one of them once told me she did run away when she realized where she was heading. She said the guy scared her.
And this was almost 15 years now.
Since then, more and more men, young men, watch porn movies that flood the internet. In those movies, women are just sluts who say yes to everything. Not a great guide for their sex life.
As Michel Houellebecq writes in his book, is this the sign of a declining civilization, where we only consume porn movies and swing parties? Our society is only living for desire, never fulfilled. We have forgotten how to love.
Is this the sign of a declining civilization when we have to fear the person we have sex with, and when we feel vulnerable in the bedroom?