Ron Jeremy Faces 250 Years in Prison for Rape Charges — Here’s My Take on Why it Matters
Consent and Identification are Paramount in Sexual Encounters
I’ll never forget her exasperated reply, her overt mixture of shock, disbelief, and even offendedness as I sat in a chair across from her in the hotel room we would later be having sex in. “What, do you not believe me?” She replied. I had just gotten done staring directly into her eyes and in the most polite-yet-firm way possible saying, “I’ll need to see your ID before anything happens. No offense, you just can’t be too careful.”
Her eyes widened and pupils dilated, mostly from the fact that she’s never quite been challenged in that way, I assume.
We had met on Tinder a few weeks prior. We knew we both exclusively wanted sex and nothing more. Honestly, I didn’t know her well enough to be taking a gamble with either my health or my freedom. I made it clear, no sex was happening until we exchanged information so I can assure myself that I wasn’t going to jail at some point in the future for whatever may happen.
“Wowwww,” she said, drawing out the vowel, “So it’s like that? Sure, no problem, here you go.” After the initial moment of disbelief and shock which might have appeared to be anger to some people, she smiled and plopped her identification card down on the table. Her grin was smug as she knew she was proving herself to be exactly as old as she said she was. Nineteen. She was telling the truth.
It’s not that I didn’t believe her. It’s just as I said, you can’t be too careful. The stakes are just too high to gamble with getting a rape charge in today’s climate and Ron Jeremy is proof of that. She and I ended up sharing a wonderful day and evening together subsequently full of wonderful, carefree sex that was great for both of us. It was all made better by the fact that, from that moment forward, she respected me a hell of a lot more because of my willingness to prioritize not sleeping with underage girls, making sure that anyone I had sex with was a grown, adult woman. This is how any sane woman should view this kind of standard being set by men.
They say women like brave men and I’ve found this to be invariably true. Women like men with the bravery to be responsible when they need to be.
There’s something despicable about a man who’s so hard up for sex he’s willing to sacrifice his principles to get it. There’s something wholly enraging about a man who’s willing to sleep with children for the exact same reason, out of desperation and selfishness.
As men, when we neglect to check and assure ourselves to the sufficient standards of evidence that would hold up in court, we sell ourselves short, we risk potentially victimizing young women, and we basically act as if it’s okay for us to destroy lives in order to avoid asking the hard question and risking the rejection of asking for ID before sex. Trust me, guys, ask. No woman in her right mind is going to be upset that you were trying to be safe about sex.
As the fallen-from-grace former porn star Ron Jeremy awaits trial for rape and a slew of other accusations, including accusations of having sex with a minor as young as fifteen years old, I can’t help but feel saddened for the victims, a frustration that men such as Jeremy exist, and most of all I find myself shaking my head as I reflect on all of the backlash and hateful emails I received from men last year pertaining to my work about sexual consent and yes, even checking IDs before sex. So many people out there think this isn’t serious.
Men were furious over my work. They consistently told me how horrible of a person I was, how stupid I was for falling into what they presumed were political games, and how unnecessary they thought consent actually is to obtain before sex. I hate to say I was right, but I was right.
Here Ron Jeremy faces a maximum of 250 years and had he heeded to the kind of advice I give in my articles, he wouldn’t be in this grim situation and many women wouldn’t be out there dealing with the consequences of his actions, up to and including the sometimes lifelong trauma of rape and sexual molestation.
Lives have been destroyed because Ron Jeremy couldn’t keep his dick in his pants and away from underage and unwilling girls and women he had no business having sex with (or arguably even being around). Like here in Florida, California’s age of consent is eighteen, among the highest in our nation, and he should’ve known better than to be gambling on a mere, “I promise I’m eighteen,” and leaving it at that. But then again, someone who was committing rapes and sexual assaults probably didn’t care in the first place.
But the takeaway is, dear reader who I presume to be innocent of such offenses, that there’s a lot of gradient space between where Ron Jeremy is right now and where you are. Where you are now, he was at one point, and eventually, things got way out of hand.
Mistakes may happen, misunderstandings may happen, and there’s just no way that we want to be in the hot-seat like he is, even if our own seat is somehow slightly less hot than his. It’s not a good place to be.
Nobody sets out to be a rapist; but is there really all that much difference between someone who affirmatively commits an intentional rape and someone who gets there anyways through negligence? If there is, I’m having trouble seeing it — and so will the courts.
I know I’m asking the guys to do the hard thing, but is it really that hard? I get it, asking for sex takes some getting used to, asking for consent is nerve-racking at first, and asking for ID is almost unheard of. But would we rather the opposite? I don’t think so.
And I can confirm that of all the many, many women I’ve asked for ID from before having sex with them, not one of them has ever turned me down over that — it’s literally never been the dealbreaker that it might feel like it’s going to be. Further, almost all of them, if not all of them later came up to me and volunteered to inform me that they were impressed!
They thought it was mature for a man to show he’s concerned for his own wellbeing enough to put sex on the shelf if need be to make sure his future is taken care of and to make sure he isn’t, I don’t know, raping women.
If you think verbal consent and open communication are difficult, relax, I’m here to reassure you that it’s not and that it gets much, much easier over time. Beyond this, it doesn’t just get easier to ask for sex…I’m convinced that asserting ourselves and being forthcoming and honest in our interpersonal interactions are all the same skills. It’s clearly communicating what’s going on in our inside worlds and making sure it matches the inside worlds of those around us, making sure we’re all on the same page. This is being well-adapted and responsible, vital skills that we should all strive to master.
The more honest we are about our sexual standards and our willingness to assure that only safe, legal sex is happening on our watch, the easier it’ll be to express when we have other negative feelings or uncertainty, or when we have a need that isn’t being met by a partner of ours. The list goes onward to infinity because being honest about how we feel and having integrity with our ethical principles are behaviors that, once learned, we can apply them as we need to. Honesty is a powerful tool that we can learn that will prove potent in the incalculable situations life may throw our way.
To me, the most important takeaway is that yes, sadly, there are a lot of Ron Jeremy type men out there in the world, assholes who don’t care at all about the feelings of women and are willing to use and abuse women to fulfill their own desires. But you know what? There are also a lot of men who end up in the exact same shoes as Ron Jeremy because of misunderstandings because they didn’t have the balls to ask a woman for ID and consent before what they thought was a totally consensual encounter took place — and turned out to be anything but.
You see, in the eyes of the courts, rape is rape. Understandably so. We don’t just get to stand before a judge and say, “Oh, I’m sorry I raped her, it was a total accident, my bad, Your Honor, I won’t do that again.” Trust me on this, that’s not going to work when the time comes. Someone’s life has already been destroyed. You can’t just take a rape back by pressing the undo button.
And I think if we men could balance the potential future repercussions of such misunderstandings…if we could truly close our eyes and put ourselves into an orange jumpsuit in a courtroom and bask for a moment in the feelings of terror and fear that we felt as we stare up at a judge who will ultimately decide our fate, us having no control whatsoever, and compare that with the feeling of being turned down because we asked for proof of age and consent, it seems to me it’d be a no-brainer.
Yes, getting shot down hurts and it’s especially weird when you get shot down just because you insist on having safe sex, but is it really worse than staring down the barrel of facing 250 years in prison because you weren’t proactive in making certain that the sex you were having was mutually consensual and perfectly legal? I think not.
Some bullet points to keep in mind:
- Always ask for ID when sleeping with a new partner and there is some ambiguity around whether or not the sex you’re having will be legal. Trust me, guys, you just want to get into the habit of this practice and overwhelmingly women will not only thank, but respect you for doing so.
- Always gain verbal consent for each step of the interaction. If you’re having vaginal sex and want to put a finger in her anus, ask first. If you’re having oral sex and want to take it up a notch to penetrative sex, ask first. And don’t start pushing on them and trying to force it as you ask, obtain the verbal consent before making any motions towards the change in sex you’re wanting.
- It’s better to be lonely and sexless while free than it is to be lonely and sexless in prison.
- It’s always going to be easier to ask for permission than it is to ask for forgiveness. Take that to the bank, treat it like the gospel, because it is. It’ll always be easier to ask a woman for consent than it is to ask a court for forgiveness.
- This isn’t just our asses on the line. We can really do a lot of damage to other people, human beings, people who have feelings, emotions, aspirations, and dreams, and not to mention families and lives of their own. Ruining someone else’s life is sort of a big deal and if you don’t think it is (because of this weird meme that says that men are supposed to be macho badasses who don’t care — which is a lie), just realize that it very much is a big deal and your life can just as easily be ruined in a similar way. Don’t believe me? Just ask Ron Jeremy how confident he feels in his future right now.
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