Too drunk to fuck? – Exploring the boundaries between consensual and non-consensual sexual encounters under the influence of alcohol

In her project, Too drunk to fuck? – Exploring the boundaries between consensual and non-consensual sexual encounters under the influence of alcohol, Maria Hansen address the dilemmas that drunken sex may entail, like situations where it may be difficult to define what happened, but where expectations to gender, sex and alcohol influence the meaning-making process after the sexual encounter.

About the project

In debates concerning rape, especially when debating rape laws, consent is emphasised as the defining element distinguishing rape and sex. In some ways, this is a simplification. Consent is not necessarily objective nor static, but subjective and fluid as it relies on how the persons in question experience the situation before, during and possibly after the encounter. Consent and non-consent may fluctuate, possibly explaining why non-consensual sex sometimes is defined and experienced as rape, while other times it is not. This especially applies to drunken sexual encounters. In the Norwegian penal code incapacitation exclude consent, for the victim’s part and victims are not (ideally) held responsible for their actions. The offender, on the other hand is. Situations where one of the participants, or both, is black-out drunk can swing both ways in terms of deciding who is victim and who is offender, and how the encounter was experienced by the participants.

Objectives

The project address the dilemmas that drunken sex may entail, like situations where it may be difficult to define what happened, but where expectations to gender, sex and alcohol influence the meaning-making process after the sexual encounter. By exploring the boundaries between drunken sexual pleasures, horrors, and the situations leading up to these interactions, the project hopes to address a variety of drunken sexual experiences ranging from “just sex” to “bad sex” and rape. The project aims to explore and explain a recurring problem in research and theorisation of sexual violence: How can the same setting and the same actions be experienced completely different by different people? And what has gender got to do with it?

Financing

Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Oslo, 2019-2023

Published Mar. 25, 2019 3:17 PM - Last modified Mar. 25, 2019 3:17 PM