Talk and listen before and during sex

When we were younger, our parents taught us, “No means no,” especially when it deals with sex.

But what about when she says “Yes” and then says “No” or “Stop”?

We’re not talking about the, “Her mouth said no, but her eyes said yes,” crap.

What happens when a man and woman, or anyone for that matter, start having sex and then one of the partners changes his or her mind and the other person doesn’t stop.

Is that rape?

Well, the answer might be yes, but you’ll have to check a map to make sure you’re in the right state.

Time Magazine recently reported that some states are passing legislation to give women the right to change their minds during sex and, if their partner doesn’t stop, they can call it rape. But some states, such as Maryland and North Carolina, have laws that state if a women says yes in the first place, it isn’t rape.

Essentially, these states have put a time limit on rape. If the woman doesn’t say no at the right time, her partner doesn’t have to stop. That’s a pretty horrific thought.

Now, we realize these states most likely aren’t trying to take away women’s rights to change their minds. They are probably just trying to set legal standards for rape, which is very important. However, these laws shouldn’t try to streamline rape cases to make them easier for courts to decide. Each rape must be heard on a case-by-case basis.

It’s outrageous that the Maryland Court of Special Appeals wrote, “It was the act of penetration that was the essence of the crime of rape; after this initial infringement upon the responsible male’s interest in a woman’s sexual and reproductive functions, any further injury was considered to be less consequential. The damage was done.”

The words on a sheet of paper certainly won’t take away a woman’s feeling of violation because, technically, it doesn’t count as rape. Sex is a deeply personal act that shouldn’t happen unless both partners are ready and willing.

We realize there is a difference between the violence of sexual assault and a woman changing her mind. If a woman tells her partner to stop, that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter if she wanted to at first; if either partner is unwilling to have sex, then it shouldn’t happen, no matter how passionate the moment.

In the Time article, Mel Feit, executive director for the National Center for Men, argued that there is a certain point of arousal when a man cannot stop his actions. That is an insult to men everywhere. Men are fully capable of controlling themselves; they are not animals.

To decrease the chances of rape, or even a partner realizing he or she might be making a mistake, it’s important to have open communication about sex. If you are going to have it, you should be able to talk about it. It doesn’t have to be awkward, weird or gross if both partners are mature enough and ready for an intimate relationship.

Sex is supposed to be an act of love, not one of hate, power or confusion.

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.