By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
We know what the law says. "Rape," as referred to by the California Penal Code, Section 261, includes: "Sexual intercourse where a person is prevented from resistingby any intoxicating or anesthetic substance or any controlled substance, and this condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the accused."
Fine-print readers will say that means no consent is possible when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under this strict construction, a buzzed 24-year-old data processor is just as off-limits as your 17-year-old neighbor: they both can beg and plead for your manhood, but if you give it to them, you're a rapist.
Of course, if no one ever had sex under the influence, the whole "go forth and multiply" thing never would have worked out. How would Lot have impregnated his daughters if they hadn't gotten him drunk first? (Genesis 19:33-36.) How would you have lost your virginity? Raise your hand if you would have lost it in a timely manner without alcohol.
Now just the guys.
That's what I thought.
While the law is all about black and white, the real world is varying shades of gray, with some pretty blue and green thrown in, just like the ocean on a stormy day. But I digress. If you're a man of the world, you've been faced with variations on the good vs. evil debate that challenged Larry "Pinto"Kroger (as played by Tom Hulce) in that existential classic of the '70s, Animal House. A woman who clearly wants you has passed out in mid-make out or even during sex. "Fuck her. Fuck her brains out," argued Pinto's evil side. "Suck her tits; squeeze her buns. You know she wants it. . . . Look at those gazongas. You'll never get a better chance."
Of course, like Pinto, your good side wins out because it's really an easy call when they're passed out. No gray there at all. You put them to bed, make sure they're on their side so they don't choke on their own spew, and sleep chastely on the couch. Hold their hair back if they do vomit, bring them aspirin and pizza in the morning, and hope they'll thank you later.
Someone more philosophically and ethically grounded than yours truly (is there a Jesuit seminarian punk rock philosopher with a photographic memory in the house?) will have to discern the difference along the moral continuum between raping someone after drugging them, fucking them while they're passed out, and buying just one more round for the drunk girls who are getting more and more friendly with each shot of Jägermeister. Of course we know the answer we don't want to hear: don't have sex with someone you wouldn't trust to drive your car. Don't have sex with someone (dare I say it) who wouldn't be doing this but for that nice bottle of Merlot or those two vodka tonics. For those of us who might rarely have first encounters without mutual lubrication, the ethical debate proves difficult.
Fucking dosers. Making me question the very nature of getting laid. Dosing is sexual terrorism. So be careful out there, but please, for the sake of my sex life, not John Ashcroft/Patriot Act careful. Because if we stop having one-night stands under the influence of consensually imbibed drugs and alcohol, the dosers win.