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Friday, November 30, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Rape Date

Posted by on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back when the book is finished. —Dan

Originally published March 29, 2009:

I met this girl on an "adult" website. We exchanged a few e-mails, then we chatted over IM twice, just the basic small talk, before exchanging numbers. It was on the phone that she told me about her rape fantasy: She has always fantasized about being kidnapped by a stranger from a public place, held in a dark room over the weekend, and forced to do whatever her captor wants.

That sounds hot, but I wouldn't do it without at least meeting first. Safety first. So the idea now is to meet at a bar, have a drink, and then go back to my place and enact a date-rape scene. Not quite her ultimate fantasy, but it just so happens to be one of my all-time fantasies. We're both turned on by the idea that we will be near-strangers.

Now here comes the problem: What if she is some wacko who will call the cops on me/blackmail me and say it was actual rape? Can I protect myself from this somehow? We never talked about it over IM, just on the phone. This is one of the boxes I would like to check before I die, but I want to be safe about it. Help!

To Rape Or Not To Rape

I'm tempted to advise you—and others with similar fantasies (not all of them men, not all of them straight)—to Google "Oliver Jovanovic" and then move on to the next question. But there's the digital divide to consider: Not all aspiring date-rape fetishists have access to the interwebs.

Oliver Jovanovic was a graduate student at Columbia University when he met a woman named Jamie Rzucek on the interwebs way, way back in 1996. The two bonded over a shared interest in bondage and torture, and they met up for an evening of consensual sex that included bondage and torture. After it was all over, Rzucek went to the police and Jovanovic was arrested, prosecuted, found guilty, and given 15 years to life. He spent almost two years in prison—during which time he was brutally assaulted—before he was released on appeal and ultimately kinda, sorta exonerated.

Guess what got Jovanovic out of prison? E-mails that had been improperly excluded by the judge during the first trial. The e-mails showed that Rzucek had not only consented to engage in bondage and S&M, but that she had touched base with Jovanovic after the fact to tell him how exhilarated she was.

The lesson for you, TRONTR, is to get it in goddamn writing. Negotiate this scene via e-mail, keep copies of those e-mails, and agree in advance—via e-mail—on a safe word that, if uttered, brings the action to a screeching halt. I'd also suggest that you—with her consent—make a digital audio recording of the encounter. Then you wouldn't just have e-mails proving she consented going in, TRONTR, but a digital recording that proved you stopped whatever it was you were doing if she used her safe word and retracted her consent during the encounter.

Making a digital audio recording of the encounter means you won't have photos or video to share over the interwebs, which should appeal to her if she is concerned about privacy. And using the magic of the World Wide Interwebs, you can simultaneously record this encounter on your computer and remotely on hers. That should give her some assurance that you won't take advantage of her written consent to a consensual rape-role-play scenario as a cover to actually rape her, i.e., to do things she hasn't consented to or to ignore her if she removes her consent during the act, because then she'd have proof that you ignored her safe word and kept going after she withdrew her consent.


Comments (10) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I'm not intimately familiar with the case, but I think it's equally probable that the woman did withdraw consent, was raped, but didn't want to bring up the prior BDSM talk because anything she said after that fact would be meaningless because a jury would see her as a slut that had irrevocably given over consent.

The audio recording is a good idea and a good way to remove that kind of ambiguity.
Posted by cpt. tim on November 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Of course, given the increasing tendency in American courts to exclude anything that helps the defendant, or refuse to sanction officers or prosecutors who "lose" exculpatory information one should ponder whether self-preservation might be the better part of arousal.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
@1: Or she sent him an email afterwards saying she was "exhilarated" by the experience, and that it was "so overpoweringly delicious." (From the Wiki page on this case)

I'm not intimately familiar with the case either, but it would at least seem weird that she would say that in an email to him if she had withdrawn consent during the event.
Posted by Gloria on November 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
a couple of years in prison is a great way for a guy to explore rape fantasies
Posted by HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA on November 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
GhostDog 5
So, I think that Dan's advice is well reasoned and helpful.

However, what I have learned from this is that some fantasies are just way too much work for my taste. Oi. And I thought having to learn to tie proper knots was a high barrier to entry. I stand corrected.
Posted by GhostDog on November 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 6
@1: At least from Dan's retelling (I didn't go google-hunting on this one), it seems that she sent enthusiastic emails about the encounter *after* it happened, which implies that the encounter was consensual.
Posted by Hover Dog on November 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
#3: If it was after then yeah, that's pretty damning. Some people have claimed that because a raped person was friendly with the rapist after the case, they must not have been raped (a lot of people are trying to come to terms with the event and convince themselves they weren't raped.) But I don't know how many of those people would write glowing reviews.
Posted by cpt. tim on November 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
JensR 8
IM, people still use that somewhere?
Posted by JensR on November 30, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Any man who'd make a woman's kidnap/rape fantasy come true deserves to be in prison. Not for the kink, but for the felony stupidity.
Posted by Mister G on December 1, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Christampa 10
@9 - I'll have to tell Nicole that we need to stop our fantasy games, then. Truth be told though, the only reason I consented to it at all was so that I could put a bag over her face before I did anything to her. Jesus, that makeup she wears is hideous. She's pretty good at just lying there and taking it, though.
Posted by Christampa on December 1, 2012 at 11:25 PM · Report this

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