It didn’t take long waking up Tuesday before i noticed my Facebook feed was absolutely blown up with a single capitalized word: Billiards. The nickname of a local pub, Louisville Billiards Club, would appear to have been dipped eyes-high in some sort of scandalous gossip.
I soon found out that what had transpired was something most unusual: a woman had sex inside the establishment with an apparent six men, not including the ones who took the videos. From all witness accounts, the woman was clearly consenting to the acts and indeed appeared to be the ringleader of it. While some might consider such a concept shameful, i have little more to say about someone else’s exploits than a shrug and a “go get em”. My only concern with sex is that all parties involved are grown adults capable of consenting to the act.
“There is something broken in a society when an intoxicated woman is more publicly shamed for having sex with six strange men, than six men are for having sex with a clearly intoxicated strange woman.”
And then the more troubling details came to light; according to reports from witnesses and the rickety train of relayed information, this woman was very intoxicated. To the point that she had been bothering other patrons with little self-awareness of that fact. Every account said that either when she arrived at the bar or very shortly after, she was noticeably drunk, and it was clearly impeding some level of better judgment she might have had sober. There was also a distinct possibility that she didn’t know exactly what went into her drinks that night- Louisville has suffered a rash of roofieing cases lately; myself included. I was lucky enough to be surrounded with friends and make it home unharmed and alive, but I feel a little less safe in every bar I set foot in now. I’m far from being the only one in town- after I publicized being roofied at Diamond Pub, throngs of messages hit my inbox relaying similar experiences at nearby bars.
Upon these details of the Billiards incident coming to light, I began to become little by little more disturbed by the incident, and the public’s reaction to it. People were very quick to admonish the girl for getting drunk and having group sex, but it was crickets and tumbleweed about the six men who saw no problem having group sex with a woman who clearly wasn’t in her right mind. People were quick to brush their involvement under the rug because the woman had, according to some accounts, said aloud she wanted it. That somehow both justified the men’s actions and made the woman’s unforgivable, in the court of public opinion.
“I feel a little less safe in every bar I set foot in now.”
Why is there this sense of praise and “atta boy” surrounding six dudes, not all of whom could have possibly been as intoxicated as their female sex partner, at least one of whom had to have qualified as sober, for having sex with an extremely intoxicated woman who clearly wasn’t in the mind to be doing much critical thinking at all? Such as: are these men I’m about to have group sex with wearing condoms? Carrying STDs? Predatory perverts who will cross the line when it stops being fun for me? If a tattoo shop wouldn’t give her a tattoo in that state of mind, why are you responding to her sexual advances (and perhaps making some of your own)?
Legality is often the way people decide which side they’re on with things, but it clearly wasn’t the case here. It’s not legal to have group sex with a severely intoxicated person, even if they say they want it. That doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on the court of public opinion; the video had been posted multiple times on Facebook and may have at one point been on Worldstar Hip Hop, according to local sources…
Never mind that the video is clear documentation of a crime; people are all but destroying the woman and all but crowning the involved men Kings of Sex. But all legality aside, let’s break this down for what it really is: Gross People Being Gross. If a noticeably wasted person comes up to you at the bar and tries to fuck you in the bathroom, give them a fucking calling card. Tell them they can hit you up when they haven’t been drinking the contents of an entire bar. If they still want it sober, and you’re willing to give it to them, let the dicking commence. I don’t understand what’s so hard about this concept- aside from the reality that people choose to ignore doing the right thing in favor of taking advantage of an opportunity.
Folks, there will be a great smattering of opportunity you can take in life. Not all of it you should take. There’s a little something I think America has altogether forgotten called Basic Human Decency. Hold doors for people, don’t cut in line, don’t take handicap parking spots if you’re not handicapped, don’t take sexual advantage of people who are intoxicated into the IQ of a middle schooler. Being a blind and callous opportunist is an ugly thing to be.
People can be hurt even by the things they think they want. A teenager who sleeps with an adult authority figure might think they want it at the time, but grow up to the harsh realization that they were used by an adult from a position of power. A drunk girl might think group sex in the bathroom of a public establishment is a good idea, but may later realize none of the men who took her up on it are even remotely trustworthy. You don’t even know if alcohol is all that’s entered a person’s system; you don’t know if someone slipped something in their drink while they were distracted.
What people say they want in the moment, and what is actually good and right, are very often two separate things- and just because “she said yes at the time” doesn’t mean you’re clear from the label of being A Shitty Human Being; or a sexual assailant. Maybe one of the male participants out there is reading this. I hope you feel the sting of being informed you’re A Shitty Human Being if you are reading this.
And if you are the woman in the video out there reading this, please reach out. We want your side of the story. We want to hold you up where others are dragging you down. We want to be your support, if you need it. We are not the current court of public opinion- we are the ones opposing it.
I feel very strongly that there is something broken in a society when an intoxicated woman is more publicly shamed for having sex with six strange men, than six men are for having sex with a clearly intoxicated strange woman. American culture is desperate for femme sexuality, but shames it whenever it arrives. It ignores the real sins of men to shame women for the arbitrary violations of respectability politics, and holds women to a stricter standard for sexual behavior than it does men. We’re more upset that a woman may have decided to have sex with multiple men, than we are about the notion that those men were taking advantage of an illegal opportunity. We’re more eager to film a spectacle and slut-shame the only woman involved, than we are to even question the men involved. Much less try to destroy their lives and reputations, as the world is trying to do to the woman in the Billiards video.
Our priorities are fucked, folks. Pun intended.
Intelli-G, Over and Out.
Intelli-G is a Georgian expat in Louisville, a pillar of the Little Local Bass Music Engine That Could, an activist, and a producer of strange music. You can contact them at email@example.com, or have a listen to their sounds at soundcloud.com/intelli-g.