If you’re a woman, wild sexual behavior is downright fucking dangerous. Not only can you “get yourself” raped, but you’re also damn likely to find yourself blamed for it. After all, you should have known better. I’m over the whole thing. Start to finish. And I hereby declare my right to be wild and maintain my bodily autonomy… There are risks inherent in any behavior. Even if you never leave your house, you risk depression due to lack of sun and social interaction (never mind the risk of fire, gas explosion, electric shock, earthquake, falling down stairs, cutting yourself on a kitchen knife, or getting a splinter). But rape is not a risk inherent in partying or in “wild sexual behavior. I’ll repeat that: Rape is not a risk inherent in unregulated partying or sexual behavior. Need proof? Consider this: It’s not a risk for nearly half the population. I’ve never met a straight man who worried about being raped as he contemplated a night of debauchery. Vomiting in public? Yes. Getting rejected by sexual prospects? Sure. Getting in a fight? Maybe. Getting raped? Come on. It’s a risk for women because, to put it bluntly, simply being female is a risk factor for rape. Partying wouldn’t have anything to do with it if vast swaths of the social order weren’t constructed on the foundation of control over women’s sexuality.
Sure, there are plenty of ways drinking and/or sexing can be bad for you - any pleasure can be manipulated or abused for any number for reasons. But there’s nothing inherently wrong with either, and when you force women to choose safety over pleasure in ways men never have to (and when you shame them for choosing “wrong”), you teach women that their pleasure is not as important as men’s. And that’s a slippery slope we all need to stop sliding down.
Sex education should focus not just on the mechanics of heterosexual sex and how to keep it safe – important as these are – but on varieties of sex. Sex between girls, sex between boys; the importance of enthusiastic consent – in effect, discussion of how to have good sex rather than just safe sex. The fact that girls as well as boys enjoy sexual activity is important to emphasise. I’ll never forget overhearing a conversation on a bus where a boy was asking a female friend of mine, both around 18, why girls masturbated. That alone demonstrates to me the need for better education.