How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

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Iulus Cofield
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:04 pm UTC

I understand the concept of the "yes education", but I couldn't begin to know whether or not it would be better or worse.

But that podcast about dates and putting out lit up something in my head. I think a lot of people have a very unhealthy transactionary view of relationships. In that (isto) view, sex is expected from women in the same way that paying for dates is expected of men. And it's seems to be thought that if I woman doesn't want to have sex with the man, she should refuse to go on dates at all. One thing that could be done actively to change this is to insist on going Dutch. It is a small thing and many people do this already, but perhaps it will help in a small way.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:05 pm UTC

The quote I took is from a section where Gert Hekma is talking about gender assumptions about sex: that guys will want sex and women want love, or have to be convinced to get into sex, or in some other way are just less interested in sex than men are. Hekma kinda slides sideways into this idea that teaching people to say "yes" will also be helpful at keeping people from doing things they don't like, and I just love the idea, and possibly took it farther than Hekma meant it.

The idea is not to tell people to say "yes" to everything: the idea is to teach people how to decide what they want and give enthusiastic consent. The idea is to distinguish between what someone else might want you to do, and what you want to do. The idea is to increase the importance of consent, not to assume consent. Everyone is going to be interested in different things, and focusing on when and how to say "yes" highlights those individual differences. It gets rid of universal assumptions by encouraging people to be specific about what they want to do, who they want to do it with, and when they want to do it.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Beardhammer » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:14 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I understand the concept of the "yes education", but I couldn't begin to know whether or not it would be better or worse.

But that podcast about dates and putting out lit up something in my head. I think a lot of people have a very unhealthy transactionary view of relationships. In that (isto) view, sex is expected from women in the same way that paying for dates is expected of men. And it's seems to be thought that if I woman doesn't want to have sex with the man, she should refuse to go on dates at all. One thing that could be done actively to change this is to insist on going Dutch. It is a small thing and many people do this already, but perhaps it will help in a small way.


Or she could just get a free meal and send him home with a box of Kleenex.

Turn it on its head - what happens if the girl insists on paying for everything? What is the guy supposed to provide in response? :P

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:17 am UTC

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:24 am UTC

Yes, simply an attempt to be good company.

A date is not a transaction. A date in the early stages of a relationship is a chance for people to decide if they want to pursue that relationship, and if so, in what manner. You are free to suggest going Dutch, the other person paying or you paying. Depending on the response to that, you can decide if you want to go ahead, call it off, or make another offer. And please don't try to say that society expects the man to pay. That may be true, but a social expectation is not a personal promise, you are free to try to find a mutually acceptable alternative way.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:08 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:A date is not a transaction.


Can't say this enough.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby setzer777 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:19 pm UTC

So while we're on the subject, do you think that it is always harmful to treat sex as a transaction or one-sided gain? I'm thinking the full range from prostitution to "do X and I'll have sex with you" (or in a more subtle variation "you should feel grateful that I "gave you" sex).

It could also be that it's okay to "sell" sex but not okay to "buy" sex (as in it reflects a harmful mentality in the buyer but might be a reasonable strategy for the seller.)

Personally, I consider all such exchanges as toxic, but I don't know if I can generalize that to all people.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

If people want to make something a transaction, I don't really see a reason to stop them in the abstract if both parties desire such (but there is a can of worms that gets open with regards to coercion).

It just shouldn't be the default assumption.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

afuzzyduck wrote:ITS MEANT TO BE FLUTTERSHY BUT I JUST SEE AAERIELE! CURSE YOU FORA!

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:40 pm UTC

I like prostitution and other transactions for sex. My problem with "treating" (guys buying a meal and a costly date in exchange for sex) is the gendered assumption that the guy is the one with the money and the desire for sex. Right now I'm trying to find something I can exchange for the sex I get with one of my boyfriends. He's a really picky eater, so my usual system of bringing home cooked food (I like how it both uses and inverts gender expectations) in exchange for sex isn't working. I brought this up, and he's coming up with (fun!) things I can give him in return for getting sex. I'm trying to be a "buyer" in a system of exchange for sex, because I'm such a greedy nymphomaniac with this particular boyfriend that I always want more sex than he does. I'm also sexually submissive and want him to take control and sometimes do a lot of work to get me off, so it's pretty obvious that I'm the one who is "getting" the sex, even though he really enjoys himself.

A friend of friend is sexually turned on by being a prostitute, by the exchange of money for sex. For a while there, she just couldn't get turned on unless money was involved, but when money was involved she really, really enjoyed it.

None of this promotes rape or other problems: it's people doing things that work for them, and finding individual-specific ways to make things work.

I think that exempting sex from exchange seriously devalues it, and contributes to tying sex to other things, like love, which can end up being a much more emotionally poisonous exchange.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby A_pathetic_lizardmnan » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

I think that you're probably right that treating sex as transactionary is probably a large part of the problem. In fact, I think that view is probably harmful to everyone involved in such a "transaction" to treat it as a zero-sum game. For the woman, the problems with a transactionary, zero-sum view is obvious: she must be "giving" sex, which implies she comes out behind if she has sex and ahead if she doesn't. My reasoning for why it could also be negative for the man is that if the man's goal is "I want sex, how can I get it from her," he will probably be unsatisfied if he doesn't get it, even if the date is something he would have otherwise enjoyed. The sex will probably also be less enjoyable if he doesn't feel an emotional connection to his partner. There have been several studies that show that patrons of prostitutes try to create an emotional connection, which implies that these people know that they want more than just sex, and are really paying for a situation without the risk of failure. This means that the idea that a man is a failure if he doesn't have sex is probably contributing to the transactionary view of dating: men value not being failures, and will get angry if they invest time and resources into that goal but don't get anything they "should" value out of it.
I doubt that it's always harmful to treat sex as transactionary, but I can only think of one situation that it is not harmful to treat sex as transactionary. This situation is fully consensual sex work of the informed kind such as working in a strip club or as a prostitute as a personal choice to have the monetary benefits of a highly risky but highly lucrative job, rather than that being the only choice they have. This would allow an outlet for men who truly do just want sex (they do exist, but are not common) to have it. Hiring a prostitute is viewed as "cheating" in terms of "manliness success" (as unpopular as the idea may be around here, that idea will persist much longer than rape culture has to), so that method won't be used as much by people seeking to show how successful they are as men. If any man can have sex just by virtue of having money, that will probably devalue sex as a final goal in our society. Unfortunately, I think we, as a society, have a bit of a way to go before we can be confident that prostitution is not the only way out of poverty for the people practicing it, so that solution may not be a desirable one now. Then again, some would argue that it's better to have a way out of poverty, what are peoples' opinions here on the subject?

Note: I could be wrong that gender roles will stay entrenched in our society for at least one or two more generations, but based on the precedents of civil rights and women's rights, that does seem to be a likely idea.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:32 pm UTC

Beardhammer wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:I understand the concept of the "yes education", but I couldn't begin to know whether or not it would be better or worse.

But that podcast about dates and putting out lit up something in my head. I think a lot of people have a very unhealthy transactionary view of relationships. In that (isto) view, sex is expected from women in the same way that paying for dates is expected of men. And it's seems to be thought that if I woman doesn't want to have sex with the man, she should refuse to go on dates at all. One thing that could be done actively to change this is to insist on going Dutch. It is a small thing and many people do this already, but perhaps it will help in a small way.


Or she could just get a free meal and send him home with a box of Kleenex.

Turn it on its head - what happens if the girl insists on paying for everything? What is the guy supposed to provide in response? :P


Sex. If the expectation of who is supposed to pay is reversed, then the expectation of who is supposed to "put out" is reversed. It doesn't fix the problem, nor does the box of kleenex. It doesn't send a message of "this is not a transaction".


Aaeriele wrote:
Plasma Man wrote:A date is not a transaction.


Can't say this enough.


Aaeriele wrote:If people want to make something a transaction, I don't really see a reason to stop them in the abstract if both parties desire such (but there is a can of worms that gets open with regards to coercion).

It just shouldn't be the default assumption.


Yes. Yes. Yes.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Beardhammer » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:45 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Sex. If the expectation of who is supposed to pay is reversed, then the expectation of who is supposed to "put out" is reversed. It doesn't fix the problem, nor does the box of kleenex. It doesn't send a message of "this is not a transaction".


It was a rhetorical, sarcastic question.

Aaeriele wrote:
Plasma Man wrote:A date is not a transaction.


Can't say this enough.


Oh, really? Then what would you call it? A mutual exchange of time, money, and energy? A reconnaissance operation for the express purpose of obtaining access codes and procedures for accessing the hidden vault?

I don't really see how viewing a date as a "transaction" contributes to rape (more specifically, date rape.) Both parties are there for something - if they don't discuss what they're there for, that's an example of not knowing what you want, and that leads to bad things on both sides of the divide, even if nothing sexual results from it. If the guy is going on the date solely for the purpose of getting some tail, and the girl's not interested in that (or not on the first date, at any rate), shouldn't that be something that's discussed beforehand? Certainly before the drinks, maybe even before the date happens in the first place.

Note, I'm not trying to put all the blame or responsibility on the girl here. It's equally important for the guy to speak the hell up about exactly what he's wanting from this date, and not using something like "oh I'm just really looking for a friend and stuff and someone I can hang out with and stuff" in place of "I want to bend you backwards over a table." Granted, dating usually results from physical attraction in part, so it's reasonable to assume both parties are interested in that sort of thing somewhere down the line, but I think it's important for both people to state exactly what their wants and needs are before it even gets started. I guess that's a rather clinical way of looking at things, but can you really argue that either person would be worse-off if this was standard practice?

As an aside, I think stopping date rape is a lot more feasible than stopping violent/random rapes. Both can be stopped, but stopping date rape is something that could possibly happen during our lifetimes if it was catapulted into the public view. I think a lot of people (mainly guys), especially college-age ones, think that it's okay to take a girl out for drinks, then essentially pressure her into putting out, regardless of what she wants. This needs to be clearly defined as rape, and prosecuted accordingly. There are very few guys out there that would voluntarily choose to describe themselves as rapists, and I think making the mainstream aware of the fact that this sort of behavior is rape will go a long way towards reducing the incidence of date rape. Violent rapes ("sexual assaults" might be a more accurate term) would be harder to crack down on, simply because you can't really do a lot about the ones that go Mr. Hyde at random and run off and rape someone until after it's happened.

EDIT: Going with the "reducing date rape" concept, I also think it's important for women to understand they aren't being evil, hateful, misbegotten freaks for refusing to put out. I imagine most of the women here on these forums already know that, but it seems that the "average woman" maybe doesn't, or maybe doesn't fully believe it's okay for them to say no and be aggressive about that no if it's required. Then again, I'm a large, physically capable middle-class white male. I'm about as privileged as privileged gets in this country, minus not being rich, so maybe I'm misunderstanding the mentality of the average young woman.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

Beardhammer wrote:Oh, really? Then what would you call it?

A date? Socialization?

Beardhammer wrote:I don't really see how viewing a date as a "transaction" contributes to rape (more specifically, date rape.) Both parties are there for something - if they don't discuss what they're there for, that's an example of not knowing what you want, and that leads to bad things on both sides of the divide, even if nothing sexual results from it. If the guy is going on the date solely for the purpose of getting some tail, and the girl's not interested in that (or not on the first date, at any rate), shouldn't that be something that's discussed beforehand? Certainly before the drinks, maybe even before the date happens in the first place.

The problem with viewing something as a transaction is that such inherently frames it in a context of entitlement: "I did X, therefore I am entitled to Y". That's not how a date works, however - if you buy someone dinner, you aren't entitled to sex. Even if initially the person you bought dinner was up for sex afterwards, if they change their mind two bites in, that doesn't mean you get to either take back the dinner or demand the sex.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

afuzzyduck wrote:ITS MEANT TO BE FLUTTERSHY BUT I JUST SEE AAERIELE! CURSE YOU FORA!

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

Pretty much what Aaeriele said.

Beardhammer wrote:Going with the "reducing date rape" concept, I also think it's important for women to understand they aren't being evil, hateful, misbegotten freaks for refusing to put out. I imagine most of the women here on these forums already know that, but it seems that the "average woman" maybe doesn't, or maybe doesn't fully believe it's okay for them to say no and be aggressive about that no if it's required.

You got it right, there. But reducing the "transaction and entitlement" framework of a date goes to help reduce date rape or unhappy, unwanted sex. The woman's mentality here is "but he bought me dinner, I'd be a bitch if I didn't give him something in return."
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:23 pm UTC

Viewing a date as an attempted transaction, as long as all people in the date agree to the attempt at the transaction, and agree that this is an attempted, not a promised, transaction, does have to promote rape or other negative consequences. Transactions are not signed contracts. A contract is a promised transaction, but not all transactions have to be promised ahead of time. So many of you seem to be really worried about consent when sex is viewed as transactional. But when sex is a transaction, it's a transaction that can be cancelled by either party at any point until it's over. Yes, when you want a transaction, when someone decides not to complete the transaction, the transaction has failed. But that's OK. Not all dates turn out as planned: that's why we date first instead of instead of getting married the first time we meet, why we save the varsity-level kink for after someone has shown us that they are trustworthy.

I should reiterate that the expectation that the guy should be buying and the gal should give sex is awful, and must be gotten rid of. I always pay my own way on a first date, and I will continue to do that. But I'm actually really happy to be able to treat a guy in exchange for the sex that I want. It's the hegemonic gender expectations, not something inherent to transactions, that is a problem with treating culture.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

Enuja, I think the issue with transaction that we are having is the concurrent rider of entitlement or expectation. You and your partners have figured out that a failed transaction should be accepted with grace, but generally when it happens in larger society, people feel cheated out of something that they feel they have a right to. And that's the problem.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:31 pm UTC

I don't think anyone is saying that a mutually agreed upon transactional relationship is bad, but the default expectation that it will be one as you are also denouncing. If someone approached me and said, "I will buy you dinner if you will engage in sexual activities afterwords" and I agree there's no problem. If someone buys me dinner without mentioning sex and afterwards I'm like, "Thanks for a great time. I'm gonna go home now," and they are all like "Y U no bone me?!" that's a major problem and is what a lot of people seem to do.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I don't think anyone is saying that a mutually agreed upon transactional relationship is bad
Au contraire.
setzer777 wrote:So while we're on the subject, do you think that it is always harmful to treat sex as a transaction or one-sided gain?
...
Personally, I consider all such exchanges as toxic, but I don't know if I can generalize that to all people.
A_pathetic_lizardmnan wrote:I think that you're probably right that treating sex as transactionary is probably a large part of the problem.
...
I doubt that it's always harmful to treat sex as transactionary, but I can only think of one situation that it is not harmful to treat sex as transactionary. This situation is fully consensual sex work of the informed kind such as working in a strip club or as a prostitute as a personal choice to have the monetary benefits of a highly risky but highly lucrative job, rather than that being the only choice they have.
Aaeriele wrote:The problem with viewing something as a transaction is that such inherently frames it in a context of entitlement: "I did X, therefore I am entitled to Y".
It's extreme positions against the possibility of a mutually agreed upon transactional approach that I'm arguing against.

podbaydoor wrote:Enuja, I think the issue with transaction that we are having is the concurrent rider of entitlement or expectation.
I agree that entitlement has got to go, but I don't think entitlement is an inherent part of a transactional approach to sex. And I don't agree that the expectation of sex has to be a problem, or has to promote rape. As long as both people are expecting sex, and both people are willing to be disappointed, the expectation can be a good thing. Because being able to find other people who also expect sex on a first date will keep from putting pressure on those who don't want sex on the first date, communicating that expectation before the date is actually something that will reduce instead of promote rape.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

Enuja, did you miss my earlier post?

Aaeriele wrote:If people want to make something a transaction, I don't really see a reason to stop them in the abstract if both parties desire such (but there is a can of worms that gets open with regards to coercion).

It just shouldn't be the default assumption.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

afuzzyduck wrote:ITS MEANT TO BE FLUTTERSHY BUT I JUST SEE AAERIELE! CURSE YOU FORA!

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

People can change their minds as they argue, I can forget who said what, and what I quoted above uses the word "inherently", which is what I'm arguing against. And your earlier post, which you quote above, does argue that transactions lead to coercion, or greatly increases the risk of coercion, or something, which I disagree with. Maybe I shouldn't have characterized your (and other people's) positions as "extreme", but, to me, if you think there is inherently something wrong or risky with a transactional approach, then you've got an extreme position against the transactional approach.

You and I completely agree that the major problems are the default assumption that sex is a transaction, and that men want sex more than their partners and so should have to pay for it. I'm just not focusing on that, because everyone in this thread agrees on that point.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:45 pm UTC

But any transaction does inherently have a sense of entitlement, not just sexual transactions. When I buy anything I feel entitled to receive what I expected, if I do not I take my sense of entitlement of the relevant person to complain to and demand a refund or replacement. Again, that's not a bad thing when all parties understand it is indeed a transaction.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:17 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:People can change their minds as they argue, I can forget who said what, and what I quoted above uses the word "inherently", which is what I'm arguing against. And your earlier post, which you quote above, does argue that transactions lead to coercion, or greatly increases the risk of coercion, or something, which I disagree with. Maybe I shouldn't have characterized your (and other people's) positions as "extreme", but, to me, if you think there is inherently something wrong or risky with a transactional approach, then you've got an extreme position against the transactional approach.


I did not say there was anything "inherently wrong" with a transactional approach.

I used "inherently" because it is referring to the implications that the average person on the street takes out of "transaction". In pretty much every other context of our current society, a transaction implies something that is either done completely, or not done at all - when you make a transaction with a merchant, you pay them money in exchange for a service or good, and they are not entitled to keep your money if they do not provide you the service or good.

When you say "transaction" that is going to frame the matter in a sense of entitlement unless you explicitly state otherwise. You said:

Enuja wrote: I don't think entitlement is an inherent part of a transactional approach to sex


and you're right that it doesn't have to be, but the thing is, most people don't have a concept of what you mean by "a transactional approach to sex" - they don't have the extra context of knowing you and how the approach you're talking about works. So when they see "transactional approach", they're going to read entitlement into that, because of the meaning that the word "transaction" has in our current lexicon.



The reference to coercion was not stating that coercion is always present or that transactions lead to coercion, simply that when engaging in transactional models, there's always the question of how to figure out whether or not someone is actually okay with it.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

afuzzyduck wrote:ITS MEANT TO BE FLUTTERSHY BUT I JUST SEE AAERIELE! CURSE YOU FORA!

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:42 pm UTC

"Transactions" encompass more than just public business. Lending your friend sugar with the expectation of getting some flour is a transaction. Putting your kid in a time-out for screaming at you is a transaction. Going with your spouse to an art gallery in exchange for your previous visit to a truck show is a transaction. Yes, a long term transactional relationship will break down if one person continually doesn't fulfill their end of a transaction, and a transactional relationship probably won't start if the first transaction doesn't work. Transactional relationships certainly can included entitlement, but entitlement is different from expectation, and making something transactional doesn't inherently add entitlement.

Aaeriele wrote:but the thing is, most people don't have a concept of what you mean by "a transactional approach to sex"
But I'm not the one who came up with this terminology, or asked this question! Iulus Cofield brought up and the terminiology and Setzer777 asked the thread what we thought of the idea. This discussion is entirely occurring on this thread, and I'm defending "transactional" approaches to sex as presented and defined in this thread. So even if my argument only makes sense in the context of this thread, that's fine. This thread is where I'm participating in this discussion.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:54 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:"Transactions" encompass more than just public business. Lending your friend sugar with the expectation of getting some flour is a transaction. Putting your kid in a time-out for screaming at you is a transaction. Going with your spouse to an art gallery in exchange for your previous visit to a truck show is a transaction.

That is not the meaning that the average person on the street associates with the word "transaction".

Enuja wrote:But I'm not the one who came up with this terminology, or asked this question! Iulus Cofield brought up and the terminiology and Setzer777 asked the thread what we thought of the idea. This discussion is entirely occurring on this thread, and I'm defending "transactional" approaches to sex as presented and defined in this thread. So even if my argument only makes sense in the context of this thread, that's fine. This thread is where I'm participating in this discussion.

My point is that I think what Iulus was referring to with his statement regarding an "unhealthy transactionary view of relationships" is the one that the average person on the street would ascribe to that term - one that involves entitlement. I think your interpretation of the meaning of "transactional" is not syncing with the meaning being used by some of the other posters in this thread.

I think your meaning is completely legitimate, as is your point that for your definition of transactional, there need not be entitlement involved, I just don't think that your meaning is the same meaning as others here are using, which is resulting in some confusion.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:50 am UTC

We all agree that a sense of entitlement is rape promoting, therefore talking about whether a "transactional" approach to sex (Party A gets more out of the sex than Party B, so Party A gives Party B some other benefit in exchange for the sex) can occur without Party A being entitled to sex from Party B seems on topic. But arguing about whether the definition of a "transactional" approach to sex explicitly includes entitlement seems off topic to me. If you won't call something transactional unless it includes entitlement, then we are really talking about the problems of entitlement, which we all agree on, and don't need to argue. In other words, if your definition of transactional includes entitlement, then we simply have different definitions and therefore don't have anything relevant to this thread to argue about.

I'm interested if anyone sees problems other than entitlement to a transactional approach to sex (sezter777 seems to, but hasn't gone into a lot of details). I'm also interested in any arguments that my definition of transactional sex (if someone has a better name for this idea, please suggest it) would always lead to party A having or feeling an entitlement to get sex from B. However this is all getting pretty darn specific and theoretical, so if you all think I'm getting off topic, I'd be happy to drop it.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Beardhammer » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:04 am UTC

Enuja wrote:I'm interested if anyone sees problems other than entitlement to a transactional approach to sex (sezter777 seems to, but hasn't gone into a lot of details). I'm also interested in any arguments that my definition of transactional sex (if someone has a better name for this idea, please suggest it) would always lead to party A having or feeling an entitlement to get sex from B. However this is all getting pretty darn specific and theoretical, so if you all think I'm getting off topic, I'd be happy to drop it.


As someone that pretty much takes an objective, "transactional" view of relationships (not just love, which I don't care for, but ANY relationships - coworkers, friends, even family) - or, at least, tries to whenever possible - I probably predictably think relationships/dating/whatever term we'd like to use would be simpler (and safer) if people did take a more transactional approach to it.

Instead of random naive college guy going "Ooh! I know! I'll buy her dinner and her drinks and pay her cover! She'll obviously sleep with me if I do this!" while random naive college girl is thinking "Hey he's pretty cute but I don't think I want to go that far on a first date," and so on, without it being discussed or understood, people would simply talk about exactly what they want out of their interaction with the other person. If the guy is largely just interested in getting some tail and isn't interested in an evening that doesn't lead to it, then I think it'd save everyone a lot of grief if they just said so. The girls that are interested in that sort of thing will know what they're getting into (and can, in an amusing image, haggle over what they'd consider a fair trade), while the ones that aren't know to stay away or, at the least, postpone the date until both parties can reach an agreement.

I realize that's not exactly a practical viewpoint, especially given the behavior the young and/or naive tend to have (like any young 20something guy can think about anything else when he's getting all hot and bothered by the cute girl from chemistry class), but it does seem like things would be a lot better for both parties if they did replaced implications and assumptions with discussions and, for lack of a better term, facts. Hell, maybe we need to start training kids from puberty to do this with shock training... (No! You made an ASSUMPTION! BAD HUMAN! *ZAP*)

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aaeriele » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:But arguing about whether the definition of a "transactional" approach to sex explicitly includes entitlement seems off topic to me. If you won't call something transactional unless it includes entitlement, then we are really talking about the problems of entitlement, which we all agree on, and don't need to argue. In other words, if your definition of transactional includes entitlement, then we simply have different definitions and therefore don't have anything relevant to this thread to argue about.


I'm not saying it has to include entitlement - I'm just saying we need to clarify the terminology here (which it seems we have now done), and then discuss from there. The reason I brought it up in the first place is that I think some of the people you quoted as "against transactional approaches" were really "against transactional-with-implied-entitlement approaches" because that's how they were using the term. Does that make sense?
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby setzer777 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:42 pm UTC

It seems to me that if you are going with an explicitly transactional view of sex, then there is a legitimate sense of entitlement that goes with that. If a john pays a prostitute $500 for sex, and then she decides she doesn't want to have sex with him, he's absolutely entitled to get his $500 back. Likewise, if someone explicitly agrees to a trade of "buying dinner" for sex, and then decides not to have sex, they owe the person the money for the dinner (for gifts without defined monetary value I'd say they owe them as close an approximation to the original gift as possible, or need to honestly estimate the monetary value of the gift and pay them that). To do otherwise would be just as bad as having sex with someone first and then refusing to give whatever benefit you promised in return (of course in that case you can't "return" the sex).

Of course this can become sticky if the person is unable to pay back/return the gift but doesn't want to have sex with the person.


Enuja wrote:I'm interested if anyone sees problems other than entitlement to a transactional approach to sex (sezter777 seems to, but hasn't gone into a lot of details). I'm also interested in any arguments that my definition of transactional sex (if someone has a better name for this idea, please suggest it) would always lead to party A having or feeling an entitlement to get sex from B. However this is all getting pretty darn specific and theoretical, so if you all think I'm getting off topic, I'd be happy to drop it.


Upon reflection I'd have to say that I don't think the idea of transactional sex is bad in the abstract. The big problem I have with it in this culture is that it turns sex into a commodity and assigns a "market value" to sex, and in our culture that means assigning a very high value to sex from a woman and a very low value to sex from a man. In my mind this has multiple negative consequences: 1. It basically tells men that sex with them isn't worth much, 2. It promotes the idea that sex is a one-sided affair in which a woman gives a man pleasure (because whatever pleasure she's getting from him isn't worth any money), 3. It gives implicit permission for men to be totally selfish in bed because they've already payed for the sex, so they don't have to give the additional payment (which isn't worth much anyway) of pleasuring her.

Of course even in this culture these objections mostly just apply to heterosexual sex.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:02 pm UTC

Beardhammer, you and I obviously agree.

Yes, Aaeriele, that makes sense and I think you've cleared up the confusion.

setzer777, both prostitution and stripping (and, of course, the transition from legal stripping to illegal prostitution) involve a huge amount of up-selling. A prostitute will charge for her company at dinner, or to come over to a guy's house, and then charge more for a specific sex act. If a John gives a prostitute money for a specific sex act and the prostitute changes her mind, then, yes, she should give back the money. But that doesn't entitle the John to sex: he just gets his money back. You are entitled to something from someone if you own that person (as in coverture marriage, which was why rape was legally impossible in marriage until recently), but, unless it's a slavery transaction, giving your end of a proposed transaction does not entitle you to the payback of the proposed transaction.

Unlike money, neither dinners nor sex can be returned. Yes, a transaction where one person gave what they'd intended to give and the other person didn't is a failed transaction. But the decision not to give the sex trumps the previous expectation: each party to the transaction is a separate person, with the rights to do many things, including failing the transaction. If Party A decides that going to the truck show just isn't going to work after Party B went to the art gallery, the people will either drop the issue as a failed transaction or come up with something else that Party A is willing to do to pay back Party B. If Party A in a Good, Giving and Game couple agreed to be the receiving partner in anal sex in exchange for being the giving partner in anal sex, but being the receiving partner in anal sex just didn't work for Party B, the couple may split up, or try to figure out what went wrong with anal sex, or decide that the attempt counted as fulfilling the transaction, or come up with something else Party B could do for Party B, but Party B's decision not be the receiving partner in anal sex counts and matters and isn't diminished by the transactional nature of the attempt.

setzer777, I agree with your last paragraph, except that I think selfishness in sex can actually make the sex better for both partners, but, clearly, certain types of selfishness is sex in certain circumstances can make the sex much worse for one of the sex partners, so, in context I totally agree.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:07 am UTC

I think we are in agreement. Just to clarify though, I think that once the recipient of a non-returnable benefit (in the context of an explicit transaction) reneges on their half of the deal, they are morally indebted to make it up to the benefactor in some way acceptable to them (whether that's the monetary value of the benefit, a similar benefit given in return, etc.) If they make no attempt to do so, the benefactor has a legitimate grievance against them in my opinion.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Enuja » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:15 am UTC

I think the only moral obligation about transactions is to not lie about your own estimate of your willingness and ability to fulfill your end of the transaction. I don't think there is any moral fault with finding out after a transaction is half-way completed that you doing your end won't work for you. I think it's nice to come up with some alternative transaction, or to apologize, but not at all necessary.* When my spouse and I went on a walk, with the agreement that we'd play a set of tennis at every tennis court we came across (I wanted to walk, he wanted to play tennis, this was a transactional compromise), but we came across many more tennis courts than I'd expected and I started to feel exhausted and unhappy, I didn't feel guilty or the need to make anything up when I reneged on playing a set at the fourth and fifth and sixth tennis courts. My spouse and I stopped trying to play tennis together, because I'm just not into it enough for him, but he didn't have a legitimate grievance against me: he was just disappointed (and, I, too, was disappointed that I don't like tennis enough to play with him, because if I did it would be a great thing to do together). The same exact thing is true for sex: if someone thinks that they will be into you, and eat a meal you buy in a planned exchange for sex, but then realize that they just aren't attracted enough to you to have sex with you, you have no legitimate grievance against them. You can be legitimately disappointed, but they don't owe you anything.

*Of course, there are some subsets of agreed-upon transactions, including legal business contracts, where you do owe the other party something. But not all transactions are like that, and transactional sex in a relationship is not like that.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:02 am UTC

I can see where you are coming from, but if someone accepts one half of the transaction with no intention of ever fulfilling their half, they have done a serious wrong. And on the surface there's no way to tell if someone is honest with their intentions.

I think that what makes me uncomfortable is that some things (including sexual and emotional intimacy) are so valuable to people that it's easy to take advantage of them by offering those things. Suppose I meet a lonely person and agree to hang out with them and be their friend if they do me X material favor. Then afterwards I "realize" that I don't have it in me to be their friend. Their desperation makes it easy to take advantage of them. Or suppose one person offers a committed relationship in exchange for sex, but then "realizes" after the sex that they don't really want to be with the person or even see them again.

Obviously there will always be users, but I feel like an effective way of countering it is to advise people to stick to those not requiring payment in return for intimacy, and to let them know that real intimacy comes from mutual desire for it.

Edit: And to tie this in with the original topic a bit more: I knew a guy who had a breakup, but stayed friends with the ex - in fact he was her only friend and she was going through a rough time emotionally. He told her that the only way that he would continue to support her at all or be her friend was if she got back together with him. She got back with him (and kept having sex with him), even though she didn't truly want to - but she was so desperate for that support that she made that trade. In my mind that kind of desperation that makes commodifying physical or emotional intimacy a problem.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Beardhammer » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:19 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:I can see where you are coming from, but if someone accepts one half of the transaction with no intention of ever fulfilling their half, they have done a serious wrong. And on the surface there's no way to tell if someone is honest with their intentions.

I think that what makes me uncomfortable is that some things (including sexual and emotional intimacy) are so valuable to people that it's easy to take advantage of them by offering those things. Suppose I meet a lonely person and agree to hang out with them and be their friend if they do me X material favor. Then afterwards I "realize" that I don't have it in me to be their friend. Their desperation makes it easy to take advantage of them. Or suppose one person offers a committed relationship in exchange for sex, but then "realizes" after the sex that they don't really want to be with the person or even see them again.

Obviously there will always be users, but I feel like an effective way of countering it is to advise people to stick to those not requiring payment in return for intimacy, and to let them know that real intimacy comes from mutual desire for it.

Edit: And to tie this in with the original topic a bit more: I knew a guy who had a breakup, but stayed friends with the ex - in fact he was her only friend and she was going through a rough time emotionally. He told her that the only way that he would continue to support her at all or be her friend was if she got back together with him. She got back with him (and kept having sex with him), even though she didn't truly want to - but she was so desperate for that support that she made that trade. In my mind that kind of desperation that makes commodifying physical or emotional intimacy a problem.


That's up to the individuals involved, not some kind of outside agency. Putting things on billboards or internet ads telling people to do or not do something isn't really gonna work - we can see how well those idiotic "Truth is my anti-drug" things work.

The weak (physically or emotionally or both) will be taken advantage of by the strong. That's pretty much the natural progression of things. If they don't like it, then they should probably focus on becoming strong themselves. It's not that easy, or as cut-and-dry, but hopefully you get the general idea. You don't go into a grocery store and say you'll pay someone some nebulous amount of money for a given item, and you don't see a clothing store go "Hey this shirt costs kinda a lot" instead of putting stickers on everything with specific prices. So why behave that way if you're wanting to take a transactional view of a relationship? If you don't want a transactional view, then it's irrelevant since both parties are presumably giving and taking of their own accord, rather than what amounts to a pre-arranged agreement.

Saying you want a "deep and fulfilling relationship" in exchange for putting out is something like giving a jeweler a chunk of charcoal and telling them to turn it into a diamond, and paying them in advance for the service - it's not exactly an intelligent course of action, and you shouldn't be surprised when you get ripped off.

I think we're on a tangent about semantics, anyway. I just think it's smarter for people to, ironically, stop thinking with their hearts (or in the case of a lot of guys, their dicks) and start thinking with their heads when it comes to relationships.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby setzer777 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:58 am UTC

Beardhammer:

I'm not getting into widespread social policy. Each of us now can individually influence the people we speak to and advise on an everyday basis. That is enough to make it worthwhile to discuss the best course of action, whether or not it could be effectively mandated through billboards. I also think it's worthwhile to pursue even if we can't ultimately prevent the "strong from taking advantage of the weak" (after all, some could say the same thing about trying to prevent rape at all).

My main concern actually was with the fuzzy kind of transactions Enuja was talking about, not with explicit prostitution. I think that when it comes to things as deeply valuable to people as physical and emotional intimacy*, it is best one way or the other: specific price tags where you can legitimately claim fraud if the person does not deliver their end (or return your money), or things freely given, where you you can't truly be cheated out of something.

*My instinct is to say that is actually impossible to truly sell emotional intimacy in the same fashion as sex, but I'm not sure of that.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Beardhammer » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:20 am UTC

setzer777 wrote: My main concern actually was with the fuzzy kind of transactions Enuja was talking about, not with explicit prostitution. I think that when it comes to things as deeply valuable to people as physical and emotional intimacy*, it is best one way or the other: specific price tags where you can legitimately claim fraud if the person does not deliver their end (or return your money), or things freely given, where you you can't truly be cheated out of something.

*My instinct is to say that is actually impossible to truly sell emotional intimacy in the same fashion as sex, but I'm not sure of that.


Agreed on all points. I don't really see a method of placing a hard value on emotional attachment since it's so inherently subjective. You could pay someone to tell you they love you and adore you, but that wouldn't make it true or fulfilling.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

Beardhammer wrote:
Enuja wrote:I'm interested if anyone sees problems other than entitlement to a transactional approach to sex (sezter777 seems to, but hasn't gone into a lot of details). I'm also interested in any arguments that my definition of transactional sex (if someone has a better name for this idea, please suggest it) would always lead to party A having or feeling an entitlement to get sex from B. However this is all getting pretty darn specific and theoretical, so if you all think I'm getting off topic, I'd be happy to drop it.


As someone that pretty much takes an objective, "transactional" view of relationships (not just love, which I don't care for, but ANY relationships - coworkers, friends, even family) - or, at least, tries to whenever possible - I probably predictably think relationships/dating/whatever term we'd like to use would be simpler (and safer) if people did take a more transactional approach to it.

Instead of random naive college guy going "Ooh! I know! I'll buy her dinner and her drinks and pay her cover! She'll obviously sleep with me if I do this!" while random naive college girl is thinking "Hey he's pretty cute but I don't think I want to go that far on a first date," and so on, without it being discussed or understood, people would simply talk about exactly what they want out of their interaction with the other person. If the guy is largely just interested in getting some tail and isn't interested in an evening that doesn't lead to it, then I think it'd save everyone a lot of grief if they just said so. The girls that are interested in that sort of thing will know what they're getting into (and can, in an amusing image, haggle over what they'd consider a fair trade), while the ones that aren't know to stay away or, at the least, postpone the date until both parties can reach an agreement.

I realize that's not exactly a practical viewpoint, especially given the behavior the young and/or naive tend to have (like any young 20something guy can think about anything else when he's getting all hot and bothered by the cute girl from chemistry class), but it does seem like things would be a lot better for both parties if they did replaced implications and assumptions with discussions and, for lack of a better term, facts. Hell, maybe we need to start training kids from puberty to do this with shock training... (No! You made an ASSUMPTION! BAD HUMAN! *ZAP*)


It doesn't work like that.

I want to introduce this video by Steven Pinker to bring out a point about the impracticality of direct conversation in social transactions.

http://fora.tv/2011/02/04/Steven_Pinker ... man_Nature

(particularly relevant is the bit around 10:15ish)

That is, I could plainly state my purpose of "I'm interested in fucking mainly. Are you?" to someone, and yet if they would otherwise be interested in the same, we are socialized to react in certain ways to the method of expression and not just the content. Whereas I could be previously deemed as attractive, I could come off as creepy or crude. Maybe selfish.

We have to consider the social context. The real world applications of these ideas. Currently, transactional approaches are encouraged to be veiled under some other pretense.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Beardhammer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

Just reaffirms my belief in that our society is a load of crap and we should probably just burn it all down and rebuild it from the ground up.

Really interesting video, though. Thanks!

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Griffin » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

Maybe I'm wrong here, but...
I was under the impression dates were (sometimes, not always, they can serve a variety of purposes) the social cover given to discussing the terms and likelihood of later exchanges, and exactly what it is each party wants to and is willing to exchange, rather than being the item that is exchanged itself. Sometimes they decide what they want isn't what they thought they'd want - maybe this guy would be a fun sailing partner, but I don't want to sleep with him, you know? So it becomes a discussion about whether or not he'd want to do something like that instead, and maybe we won't come to any common ground. That's how things work. (Plus they can be pretty fun in their own right - often a date will be its own reward, even if the parties don't agree on any further transactions! Those who date just for socialization understand this quite well.)

Similar to business lunches, where the prospective business representative treats the client for the opportunity to discuss a potential arrangement, but without an obligation for the client to accept. Going on such a lunch doesn't (or shouldn't) entail any obligation on the part of the client - the rep simply pays because they know they probably want you (less risk for time commitment) while such sureness is unlikely to exist on the clients part. (and for a whole host of other reasons, but still.) There shouldn't be any sense of entitlement, because the transaction you are paying for is exactly the one you are getting - the opportunity to discuss and see if your interests can be mutually beneficial.

The idea that a woman owes a man something (beyond her time spent listening to his proposals) is pretty absurd, and if that's really common now, those guys need to grow up and get over their sense of entitlement.

All that being said, I haven't dated in quite a well, and never did date much, for the same reason I hate business lunches. And when I did date, it was with the knowledge that we'd be using it as an opportunity to check compatibility, but with a mutual and explicit understanding of what the outcome would be if we were both satisfied.

Is my understanding of what dating is/supposed to be way off base here? Because that seems to be how it works for all my friends too, and I got to be honest, I don't see a whole lot wrong with it.
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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby Aetius » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

Having just ended a lease, the thought occurred to me of a "sexcurity deposit." At the outset of the date one party (the one not expected to pay) puts down a deposit, say the cost of going dutch on this particular outing. If sex occurs, the deposit is returned, if not, the deposit is forfeit. It does seem kinda silly and strange, but it does succeed in thoroughly undermining the entitlement element while not ignoring the reality that many relationships are transactional. One can decide to have sex or not, with the only thing at risk being a small amount equivalent to what you would have been responsible for anyway (namely feeding and entertaining yourself for that evening).

Although I think the chances of this becoming widespread are about the same as Barney Stinson's "lemon law."

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I'm not saying you're wrong in your analysis, but your analogy puts men in the role of a company and women in the role of a client, which is a model that is less and less viable as the genders equalize.

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Re: How to Stop People From Becoming Rapists

Postby setzer777 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

I think a big step in the right direction would be for more men to feel like they are worthwhile enough as physical beings that sex with them is its own reward. Obviously transactions are always going to happen, but it's a good goal to try to get more men to feel desirable and not like they have to buy intimacy. Of course sometimes the brick wall of reality intervenes, but my impression is that right now there are men who buy into the transaction idea even though there are plenty of women who would desire sex with them for its own sake.

Edit: Of course some people prefer financial transactions for whatever reason. I'm talking about men who think that material transactions are their only option when that is not the case.
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