Rape culture and hookup culture are two sides of the same coin

The only constraint the libertine culture is willing to place on students’ behaviors is “consent.” As I’ve written before, this is a wholly inadequate standard to judge licit and illicit sex. Among other reasons, this is because “consent” based on a false view of human sexuality is uninformed, and thus really isn’t consent at all.

But there’s another problem here. We’re told that sex is an unmitigated good, right up until the second consent is withheld, at which point it becomes an unmitigated evil. This is at best confusing, at worst profoundly incoherent.

If sex has no inherent meaning, no significance other than what we assign it, how ought we to go about policing ourselves—and why should we? Short of a clear “No,” at what point should we ask ourselves if we’re going too far, if maybe we ought to slow down? What justification do we need to pursue any sexual whim, other than the mere presence of desire? We don’t have any reason to question ourselves, because any impulse we might have is made not only valid, but good, simply because we have it.

How our behavior might affect our partners is a moot point. We can’t possibly guess what kind of meaning they might assign a sexual encounter, if it’s all subjective. And it’s really none of our business, anyway. This is about self-expression and satisfaction. So let me do my thing while you do yours. The fact that we happen to be doing it with and to each other is merely incidental.