How far do you go when a girl says no?: 'A chap knows whether a woman wants sex or not.' Or does he? James Rampton talks to men about date rape

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Pete, a publisher, is married and in his thirties.

On four or five occasions, I've got beyond any reasonable doubt with a girl and she has said 'no'. It wouldn't have taken any great physical effort to do it, but it just wasn't worth it.

Once, I spent the entire night snogging with a girl. We were both pissed and naked, and doing everything but make love. I was trying every which way - sweet-talking and cajoling - but she wouldn't go the whole way. In the initial stages, I thought I could persuade her otherwise - you always do.

Later on, I could easily have pinned her arms back, but I couldn't see the point as I don't think she would've enjoyed it. She wanted to have a good time, but there was a limit.

Earlier at the disco she had said, 'I'll come back home with you, but I'm not on the Pill,' and I imagined I was getting the green light. So I tried the 'johnny' machine in the loo at the disco, but it was empty. When we got back, I motioned to my flatmate, but he didn't have any either. I even tried raiding his secret drawer - but, again, no luck.

There's always a further step, but she didn't want to go up that step. Even when you're drunk, you know what 'no' means. Men who claim otherwise are just not telling the truth. You know when you reach that stage, there's no point in trying. If you finally know you're not going to get it, it's not worth using the ultimate sanction of brute force, it just causes so much extra hassle. So I just rolled over and went to sleep.

All the same, if we had done it, she wouldn't have had a leg to stand on, because she'd consented to everything but that. No one could claim that she was innocent. I don't think she'd have much of a case in front of a jury. But we'd had a really good time that evening at the disco, it had been a flirtatious pursuit, and it would've compromised the whole thing. Also, there's something inside you that makes you want people to like you. In a sense, it was selfish. I wasn't thinking of her, just her reaction to me.

Mark, an accountant, is single and in his twenties.

When I was a student, sex was the main topic of conversation. We were learning about everything, and sexuality was a very important part of it. All people talked about was who was sleeping with whom - and there was a lot of it about. Some blokes who felt left out of it even formed a Virgins' Group, nailing Virgin Records bags above their beds. They were only allowed to take them down once they'd scored.

Though we were obsessed with sex, that didn't mean we were all rapists. One of my friends was date-raped in her first term at college - and that caused a shock because it's the sort of thing that mars the rest of your time there. It was after a student bop, and this rugby type just forced the final stages. She told a few of her mates, and it got around. Everyone considered him a bit of a twisted specimen, anyway.

But there was no feminist crusade to get him tried. People thought it was none of their business. And she would never have considered prosecuting him; she couldn't face the hassle of going to court. Anyway, I suppose he would have laughed it off, denied it, or accused her of getting carried away.

You're branded if you make an issue out of it. You just want to fit in and get on with your life. Also, she had got off with him, so maybe she thought she'd led him on and felt stupid about it. But that was a couple of years ago and perhaps now she might be more prepared to prosecute as she wouldn't feel such a lone voice.

Brian, a salesman, is married and in his forties.

I once ended up in bed with a girl, but she said, 'No, I don't want to do it on the first date.' I tried and tried and tried, but she refused. But the next morning, at about five, the sun was streaming through the curtains and I started caressing her. She didn't stir or open her eyes, and I gave her one. She just pretended nothing had happened. It was as if she didn't want

to admit to having reneged on her responsibilities.

Andy is unemployed, single and in his twenties.

I don't see why it's the man who is always labelled a predator. Ever heard the expression 'that woman is dressed to kill'? Women don't have to put themselves in such a situation. They have a lot more control than they would have if they were jumped on by some pervy in the street.

Tony, a teacher, is single and in his thirties.

I'm quite sure that there are incidents where a woman thinks she has been raped and he thinks he's simply had sex. In situations where drink or drugs are involved, there can be a genuine misunderstanding. It's impossible to bring that to trial.

With the whole legal circus, it's impossible to know what happened and prosecute successfully. It's so nebulous and both parties think they're right. You just can't judge. So it's not very helpful to have these categories.

Bill, a solicitor, is single and in his thirties.

People talk a lot about thin lines and grey areas, but it's pretty clear, isn't it? A chap knows whether a girl wants it or not. Just because foreplay occurs, it does not mean that the man has to be like a shark who has smelt blood.

Some names have been changed.

Comments