A commenter on bluemilk’s Gray-rape thread [trigger warning link discusses rape cases in both post and comments] asked for examples where consent was given but one party ended up regretting the sex but it wasn’t rape. My initial, tongue in cheek, response was having enthusiastic consensual sex then finding out over breakfast that your political ideologies clashed. I mean waking up and discovering your partner had a huge Tony Abbott poster in their bedroom, or waking up to find your parter spitting at your Tony Abbott poster would both be pretty awful and may make you regret your liaison. I think there are plenty of situations were you previously gave enthusiastic consent, consent was not withdrawn but on reflection you regret your actions. Regret does not equal rape and I think that this being a grey area is over hyped. I’m basing all the situations below on people being in a state where they are able to give clear and enthusiastic consent and are not drunk or under the influence of any other substances or acting in ways that they would not usually act. This is not a definitive list.
Situation 1: Ex sex
It’s easy, you know each other, you pretty much know what you are going to get and maybe the sex was always good and it was other reasons that caused the breakup. Then afterwards you kick yourself for not making a clean break of it.
Situation 2: Dud sex
For whatever reason it doesn’t live up to your expectations. You had high hopes but it didn’t happen. Whoever said that sex was like pizza, even when it’s bad it’s good, hasn’t had really bad sex or really bad pizza. You regret choosing sex rather than pizza.
Situation 3: Your first time
Everyone is talking about it, seems like everyone but you is doing it, but when you finally do it it’s all over really fast or it’s messy or painful or the full trifecta and you find youself thinking ‘Is that it?’ and ‘what’s all the fuss about?’ Fortunately it often gets better, much better.
Situation 4: Guilt
You feel like you have let someone down by not waiting for marriage. It was fun at the time (and possibly again and again) but there is a residual guilty feeling that perhaps you should have waited for some reason and you kinda regret doing it.
Situation 5: The discovery
When you go to the loo you discover your sex buddy’s live in partner’s toothbrush or toiletries. So you feel like a heel because you were involved in them cheating, albeit unwittingly.
Situation 6: Workmate/friend sex
So you’ve been flirting for a while, maybe having coffee or lunch and you are both unattached so one day you decide ‘why not?’ Lots of people end up realising that a friend or colleague means more to them than they thought previously. So you do it and discover that unfortunately that spark just isn’t there for you. But at least you tried.
Of course you may feel no regret whatsoever in any of these situations. What do you think?
The featured image is of a Stormtrooper sitting at a table with his head in his hands. The text reads: ‘REGRET Those were the droids you were looking for’. I just like Star Wars okay?