Foreplay is supposed to hurt, yeah?

Guess what: porn has a bad effect on teenage boys’ ideas about sex.

High school rapists are so influenced by pornography and so lacking in sex education, they think their victims’ tears are “part of foreplay,” says Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism campaign.

Bates shared this shocking finding at the Edinburgh Book Festival, as she warned of an epidemic of sexual assault in British schoolyards — where a rape a day occurs during term time. In the three years to 2015, 600 rapes in U.K. schools were reported to police, according to the Times of London.

Due to schools’ lack of sufficient policies for dealing with the problem, victims of assault are then being returned to classrooms with their attackers. The ongoing absence of mandated sex and relationship lessons — which Bates thinks should begin before students reach their older teen years — also means there are no correctives for the “misogynistic and dehumanizing” nature of pornography that can be easily accessed online. And with schools using guidance formulated 20 years ago, “for all these people experiencing online porn and sexting there is absolutely no advice at all,” Bates said.

“I went to a school recently where they had a rape case involving a 14-year-old boy and a teacher had said to him, ‘Why didn’t you stop when she was crying?’ and he looked straight back at her, quite bewildered, and said, ‘Because it is normal for girls to cry during sex,’” Bates recalled.

Well, it’s normal for girls to cry if you stab them or pinch them hard or yank their hair out, too, but is that a reason to keep doing it? I’m having a hard time understanding the thinking here. If she’s crying she’s not happy; that’s not “during sex” it’s “while I’m hurting her.” If she’s crying, how about stop whatever you’re doing and ask her why? How about treat her like a person not an orgasm-dispenser?

What is the matter with people? (Porn, is clearly one answer, but there’s still the problem of thinking “that other person who isn’t me is crying, good-oh, I’ll keep doing more of the same.”)

“I go into schools and talk to children around that age all the time who think that crying is part of foreplay because they have seen so much online porn that normalises violence and treats women in a way that is incredibly misogynistic and dehumanising.”

I guess it’s just hopelessly naïve to think sex should be erotic rather than dehumanizing.

7 Responses to “Foreplay is supposed to hurt, yeah?”