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Why the dating agreement works...

October 17, 2014
Posted at 9:43 pm

...and California's Yes Means Yes law (probably) won't.

I don't follow the news. I sometimes, however, have it forced upon me with words like "Devon Layne: Social Pioneer." This is followed by a link to one of the many articles extolling or criticizing the new California law that says that in essence, not saying no is not the equivalent of permission.

Or as the dating agreement says: "I will always receive the explicit consent of my partner(s) before engaging in any potentially sexual activity and will respond in compliance with their wishes." You'd think I'd be all over blessing the new California law, wouldn't you?

And I do think it is right. Men are sexual predators. Yes, some women, too. Yes, I know I can't make blanket statements like that. But in general, men date to have sex. The purpose of a date--hell, the purpose of a handshake--is to get the cock in a wet orifice. And if a woman says "No," it is assumed that it only means no for this particular attempt and another attempt in ten minutes might not be objected to. You just have to warm her up a little more. Or wear her down. Women deal with this in every male-female interaction and in many female-female interactions. It's a fact of life.

So the California law is a good thing. I just don't think it will work. And here is why:

The Agreement in LNDtH is among peers. At their instigation. It sets mutually respected boundaries within which couples or more can play, explore, and push the boundaries. The key element is that it is mutually agreed upon among kids who share a common frame of reference, have pretty much supportive parents, trust each other, and are willing to play by the rules. In spite of some racial and economic diversity, these kids are socially within the same strata in their school.

The State of California law covers people of all ages, economic strata, races, cultural heritages, and religions. It takes a specific philosophy thought up by and applicable to a specific social class and legislates it to apply to everyone in the State.

It is the 21st century equivalent of prohibition.

While a group may agree to rules that apply to them and which they expect others to accept if they want to go out with them, a State cannot legislate any form of morality. Why not just live under Sharia Law? Why would we think that is any less appropriate than enforcing our western middle class and largely white viewpoint on the rest of our society?

It has been speculated that dating and other social interactions will decrease as a result of the law. Maybe. I doubt that anyone will die a virgin because of it, but they might just give up. Even within the dating group, the rules are modified with time. Within an established group, you don't need permission for a friendly kiss when appropriate. While playing in a swimming pool, you can touch any exposed skin. You don't have to ask permission to kiss if you are sleeping together. The law doesn't allow for modification of the rules.

Sadly, that is why I think it will fail.