How To NOT Rape People

by Nicole Owens
A person walking in a dark underground tunnel with graffiti
Chen Jing Qing / EyeEm / Getty

Hey there! Are you trying to figure out how not to rape people? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In light of the recent events consisting of sexual assault in Hollywood, it has made me realize that these types of events are probably way more common than most people think. We only hear about the high-profile ones. We don’t hear about Ben down the street who has been harassing and assaulting god knows how many men or women over the span of a decade, do we? Nope. We only hear about the ones who make headlines.

So, to help some of you who seem to be confused about what is appropriate versus inappropriate, I am going to spell it out for you. I promise to make it clear, concise, and to the point. This should be easy to follow. If this leaves you confused, you’re probably a douchebag who needs to seek professional help immediately, but feel free to email me and I’ll explain further.

Rule 1: Keep your hands to yourself.

I know, I know. This old rule? Actually, this is one of the first rules I teach kids when they’re toddlers. Toddlers follow this rule better than some of you. It’s something you’ve probably heard a million times. But I just think if we reiterate it, maaaybe it will stick this time. You see, touching other people without their consent is bad.

For example: If you see someone with a nice ass, you cannot grab it. If you see someone with nice hair, you cannot approach them from behind and smell it. If you notice someone with boobs that you find interesting, you cannot touch them. Just keep you hands to yourself. That’s all.

I mean, if you think about it, so much of this disgustingly creepy stuff that has been going on could have easily been avoided if the men who have been accused had just followed this first rule. Just stop thinking you have any right whatsoever to grab or touch anyone without their consent. Okay? Okay.

I wish I could stop here. I wish this one little rule was enough to stop all the assaults. But it just so happens that some men are even more fucked up and they can actually embody inappropriateness without even touching people! (I’m looking at you, Louis C.K.)

Rule 2: Do not take your penis out of your pants.

Okay, so obviously this rule can be broken in the right situation — like a consenting private engagement. But asking a random girl, or group of girls for that matter, if you can take your penis out and masturbate? Not okay. Never okay. It’s gross. It’s inappropriate. It makes us really uncomfortable. (Side note: Stop sending unsolicited dick pics. It’s right up there with whipping it out for random people.)

It is also not okay to take out and/or touch your penis in public. This is illegal. I wish I had a dollar for every woman I’ve talked to who has seen a man masturbating or showing off his bare genitals in public. I have no idea why men do this. Almost every woman I know has publicly witnessed a penis flasher/masturbator. Please stop doing this. It’s gross. And super-fucking weird. And traumatizing.

Rule 3: Do not give anyone drugs that they have not consented to.

I don’t even know why I have to say this. It should be common knowledge. Just to be clear, you cannot drug people so they’ll have sex with you. You cannot feed them copious amounts of alcohol so they’ll have sex with you. This is rape. I’m sorry. I hate to be a party pooper, but I’m being honest. Let’s stop doing that. Don’t be a rapist.

Rule 4: Do not use your money, power, physicality, or social status to bully others into thinking they have to sleep with you.

It is not better for anyone’s career to sleep with someone who is higher up on the proverbial food chain. Making people think that this is the way to the top is archaic, misogynistic, and abusive. Stop doing this.

Rule 5: Do not have sex with someone who is less than 100% coherent.

This also goes for people who do not have the emotional IQ for giving consent: children, animals, elderly.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP. Stop emotionally, physically, and chemically forcing people to have sex with you.

Okay, for all you slow mother-bleepers, let’s recap:

1. Keep your hands to yourself.

2. Keep your penis in your pants. 3. Do not drug anyone. 4. Do not use intimidation to get people to sleep with you. 5. Don’t have sex with anyone who is unable to give explicit consent.

As a nation, we should be ashamed of ourselves. We’ve long created a culture in which victim blaming has been at the forefront. We have hidden and shamed and paid everyone off — which left all the other victims in the shadows, alone and afraid.

Let’s use these recent incidents to teach our young people that no one is entitled to anyone else. You are the keeper of your own body. Consent and respect must be taught, modeled, and emphasized early if change is going to happen.

Let’s make it happen.