In the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about the #metoo movement. Or, rather, the whole country and I have been thinking about #metoo for considerably longer than a few weeks. But one story in particular caught my attention as an example of how the complexities of casual sex can mean that women lose out. A young woman, “Grace,” shared her story of a date with Aziz Ansari in which she felt pressured by his persistent sexual advances. Despite his saying that he didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable, and her verbal and nonverbal cues that she wanted to disengage, he continued to initiate sex until she reciprocated.
What happened to Grace was terrible. We can agree that it’s terrible, I hope. It’s awful to have a nonconsensual sexual experience because your consent wasn’t freely given and fully embodied. Coaxing someone into doing something sexual they’re not excited about is wrong, even if it doesn’t rise to the level of the egregious offenses of serial predators like Harvey Weinsten or Larry Nassar.
I am a developmental researcher focusing on relationships and health in adolescence and young adulthood. My goal is to enable people to have healthy, fulfilling sexual relationships.