The following is inspired by this post by I Blame the Patriarchy.
Unlike the discussion on the post, I make no claims as to all women being victims, and all men being oppressors. In fact, in the following story I have no desire to blame anyone, or more accurately, I have a desire to place blame on both parties (this concerns one man).
Both he and I were well aware of the risks of sex, and were both trying to be conscious of the messages we grew up with. Different messages tailored for our different 23rd chromosomes. And both of us tried and failed to overcome those messages.
Do the messages place one party at an advantage over the other? Yes. Does it hurt the billions of people who do not have the privilege or support to tackle this inequity? Yes. Does this make the majority of hetero sex rape? No. Is it reason for pause and to examine the meaning of consent? Yes. Can this new ideal of consent from equal positions be legislated or even morally mandated? I don't see a way to do so without treading on a host of other hard fought for rights.
At the end of the day, this has to be a personal journey for both parties to respect themselves and each other in a relationship. I realize that from an activist perspective, that is a cop-out stance. But I don't see another way.
To every time I gave in a little
Because the condom was out of reach
Or my time of month was deemed safe.
To the discussion about using protection
In polyamorous love-making
That concluded in the negative,
Followed by the decision to doff my earings
Because they might poke someone.
I drink to your memory.