Panorama

Sex, Drugs, & Rock’n’Roll

As a part of my re-launch, I promised a little more rouge. In my true personal style, I’m not dipping my toes in first; I’m diving head first into three topics that I feel strongly about.


WARNING: This post is going have a decent amount of sensitive material. I’m going to talk about uncomfortable topics. You may or may not agree with my perspectives because they’re not going to be the typical opinions you may expect. If at any point something strikes a wrong nerve with you or hits a hard place, please feel free to exit! 


Sex. Drugs. Rock’n’Roll. Ah. The most controversial topics of all. I’m sure by now you’ve heard this phrase before. I used to despise this saying, but with time I grew to understand it. Whether you or I like it or not, life is often governed by sex and drugs. Sex births life and love. Drugs determine your health and death, either prolonging your life with medicine or shortening it through detrimental damage. Both can bring happiness into your life as well as tear it to pieces. As for Rock’n’Roll, whatever that may be for you, it plays the soundtrack to your story.

SEX

It seems like all we hear about these days and talk about these days revolves around sex. “Sex sells. Sex kills. Sex pleases. Sex criminalizes. Sex inspires. Sex offends.”

It does it all.

Sex is such a controversial topic because it is an intimate interaction that as been publicized by media, religion, and health over time. It is an intimate interaction that has become a part of cultures over time. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion about whether making sex a casual topic of conversation is a good change in society or not. Personally, I’ve grown to like it. It dissipates the negative aura around it, especially for women, and increases awareness for women who have many questions they’re scared to ask.

There are only two problems I have when it come to talking about sex:

  1. when the truth is not fully expressed and rather skewed to give someone a poor image or accuse someone of a sexual harassment/assault act that they may not have committed
  2. when the person speaking is extremely and openly derogatory to the partner or partner’s gender for absolutely no real reason other than to pump up their own image

Why don’t we start with some definitions:

Sexual Harassment: the overarching umbrella term that includes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, any verbal or physical or behavioral conduct of unwarranted sexual behavior

Sexual Assault: intentional sexual (including oral/anal) contact characterized by force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, zero consent or a victim who cannot consent, includes any groping or attempts to rape

“Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the accused’s use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent.”

Rape: falls under sexual assault, the forced penetration of one into another without consent

So, let’s talk about sexual harassment. Let’s talk about sexual assault. Let’s talk about rape. Uncomfortable, right? It’s uncomfortable because it happens too often and is never going to be addressed in a way that satisfies every victim or supporter of victims. With that, there are THREE main points I want to get across.

POINT #1

In most reported and known situations, males are usually the ones who assault females or other less dominating males. That by no means is saying a woman cannot assault a man or another woman. In fact, this statistic makes me livid.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure all the men and women fighting for gender equality or fighting as “feminists” want all people to be treated equal regardless of gender. But can anyone explain why everyone usually takes the side of the woman if the situation has a lot of gray areas or missing pieces of information? Statistically speaking, it’s probably the safer bet. But at the same time, I’ve seen my fair share of women who advance towards men in ways that the men did not ask for, do not want, and are not comfortable with. When said women take it too far whether it’s physically groping or trying to perform sexual acts on the men, people just excuse her as “too drunk” or “thirsty” or “loose.” If guys complain about it to guys, you’re bound to hear someone say “It’s a girl with boobs and an ass! Even if you don’t want to tap that, why are you complaining that she’s hitting on you?”

On the flip side, if a very drunk and “thirsty” male were to do this to a girl, he would receive an overwhelming amount of accusations for assault or harassment, more than a girl would even if he did not even make physical contact! You would also never hear girls excuse his behavior by saying “But he’s so hot, and I heard he has a big dick! Why are you complaining that he’s trying to hook up with you?”

People need to be careful about how they assign roles or accusations to certain genders. Overall, women may be weaker and have more difficulty defending themselves strictly due to biology and genetics. But that doesn’t mean we get a free pass if we do the same thing to a man that would get the man in some serious trouble.

Stop letting women get away with it just because they have a vagina. Stop letting men take 100% of the blame just because they’re bigger and have a dick.

POINT #2

In this section, I will tell a short story.

Before I start, I feel the need to preface my argument below with this to avoid anyone telling me “I don’t understand because I don’t know what it feels like.” Unfortunately, I’ve helped two friends through serious rape cases and have experienced three annoying scarring experiences of sexual assault and one case of rape in the past four years. Personally, I came out fine because I have my own ways of dealing with the aftermath and moving forward. I avoided as much legal charges as possible and turned a new leaf. I refuse to let my offenders take away my ability to enjoy sex or rob me of peace of mind.

Note that not everyone deals with these situations the way I do, so respect each woman and her own path of healing.

Remember how I mentioned that males are often the typical offenders? Let’s pick up from there.

There is blatant sexual assault and rape cases which show clear sign of struggle, no consent, and force. We’ll get to that after. But then, there is a very large gray area which is where the statistic that “most offenders are people you know” evolves from. Think about it: you’re at some party or bar and both you and a guy you know are pretty drunk. Naturally, your body language is slower and physically “friendlier” than if you were sober. It’s almost on instinct that people will think you’re flirting back, especially if things escalate after. You giggle from the attention and maybe don’t mind a little makeout session, but you are definitely unsure of whether you want things to escalate.

Hours and number of drinks pass. Both of you are pretty wasted. Not completely blacked out, but definitely not thinking the most logically. One thing leads to another and the next thing you know, something happens. The next morning you wake up next to him and wonder how things got so far.

Did you actually agree to it? Did he even ask? Did you guys use protection?

You realize it happened because you were so drunk you didn’t even register what was happening at the time. Maybe the sex was fun, but it wasn’t what sober you wanted to happen last night. You leave feeling gross and confused. You avoid this person and start growing anxious or uncomfortable around him. You don’t know what to do because you don’t want to burn any bridges between your friend groups or cause drama, but you’re pretty sure he should have known you were too drunk to make that choice. Or should he have? What indications would wasted-him need to have looked for to know? You were flirty back right? But you didn’t want it… So how did that happen?

Sounds familiar, huh.

It’s sad to say that a lot of people I know, myself included, have been in this type of situation one too many times. While everyone handles it differently, there is a dangerous bridge to cross here. I’m all about holding people responsible for their actions, but it’s quite difficult if there was miscommunication due to intoxication.

I have spoken to enough of my guy friends to know that a lot of times they are hurt by girls accusing them of something they genuinely did not intend to do. While I always tell them they should program it in their heads to repeatedly ask the girl for permission no matter what, it can be something forgotten if the girl seems to be reciprocating back. I know it’s possible to ingrain it in your head, since I’ve had experiences where the very wasted guy has even been able to do. But I also understand that sometimes it’s hard for them to know how drunk a girl is, especially if she’s the type who doesn’t show it as obviously as others.

This situation sucks. There is no right or wrong answer. Every person has to deal with it separately and in a way that suits their emotional needs the best. The only advice I can give a woman who is struggling in this place is DO NOT LABEL SOMETHING AS ASSAULT OR RAPE UNLESS YOU ARE SURE IT IS. For every person who falsely magnifies their experience or falsely accuses rape, every next victim has a harder time seeking justice. If you choose to seek justice for an action, you must make sure your reports are accurate and all perspectives are considered. False accusations can ruin a person’s life.

Like I said before, most people will side with the woman, so please be a true and honest person when you claim an act. Don’t just accuse. Educate. Don’t hurt another victim’s chances of finding justice by being dishonest with your claims. Don’t just accuse them of harassment. Educate them so they don’t do it again.

If you can, seek counseling to help sort out your thoughts and emotions and find a solution that suits you the most. Everyone’s level of pain and emotional scarring from these unfortunate situations are different. Just remember that the worst thing you can do is turn your pain and confusion into an traumatic and over amplified situation that ends up hurting everyone a lot more than helping.

POINT #3

Slut shaming is so last season. Don’t let one person ruin your sexual spirit. Own it un-apologetically. As long as you are safe (physically and emotionally) and not using sex to cover up something/fill in an emotional gap, be free in what you do and who you do ;).

DRUGS

Ah, one of my favorites and least favorites. Drugs are everywhere. If you’ve taken any medication before or drink your morning cup of coffee, you’ve consumed a drug. Drugs are great! They can help you cure illnesses or decrease your pain or fever. Drugs can help lessen your allergy symptoms and return you to your daily routine. Drugs help those who need focus aid actually function enough to take care of their responsibilities. Drugs can heal.

But drugs can also kill.

When you build friendships or even relationships off of drugs, even something as simple as marijuana, you often take longer to build a genuine bond with these people. Sometimes, the only bond you guys have is through your drug use. But if you start off a friendship or relationship without drug use and drug use enters at some point, it becomes a dangerous road towards loss. The activities and fun memories you initially build can be replaced by doing drugs, eventually draining the friendship or relationship of meaning.

It sounds taboo. It sounds like it’s straight out of a health class video. But it’s not. In the last couple of years, I lost a friendship that was one of the most important to me in my entire life. I was essentially replaced with drugs in a relationship. No matter what happened, whether it was a good memory or a big fight, drugs were allowed to make it better instead of me. This type of loss takes a huge toll on a person, which I’m sure I will go into at some point under my Amour section. For now, just know that being replaced with a temporary high can make you feel like you’re the most worthless and unnecessary thing in the world. All you can do is watch from afar and pray that one day that person will want to save themselves.

Be careful what you do, who you do it with, and how much. You should be full of life, not emptied by it.

ROCK’N’ROLL

It’s your life. It’s your soundtrack. So drum to your own beat. Run to your own rhythm. Rock’n’Roll your own way. Don’t let anyone stop you from expressing yourself, just like the rockstars didn’t. I’m so damn tired of hearing people try so hard to put up an image or be a certain image. The second I stopped caring about everyone else and asked myself what I wanted, regardless of social proof, I became happier and gained more praise and respect than ever before. So stop thinking! Listen to Nike and Just Do It.

I hope you are having a great week, and I’ll see you next time on a lighter note. Au revoir, mes chéries!

 

-E.

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