by Stevie Hall*
Whether its commercials, music, movies, ads in magazines, stores, the Super Bowl, or just a personal attribute, sex is the number one seller that grabs one’s attention. With the media embedding the pros of sex in the minds of the college generation, one can only hope they know “a whole lotta love” can get them in a whole lotta trouble.
Let’s talk about sexting; the act of sending sexually intended messages or photographs to another person, usually through cell phones. Is that illegal? Not always, but if you send the picture to others (and your distribution creates or contributes to emotional distress), or the picture is of someone under 18, your sexting can result in criminal charges or a civil law suit. This can affect future jobs, relationships – even your liberty. Whether you are a boy involved with a girl, a girl involved with a boy, a boy involved with another boy, or a girl involved with another girl the 18 and under limit still applies.
Did you know a person (boy or girl) under influence of any kind can NOT consent to sexual intercourse? This may apply even if they have had ONE beer. You can actually be charged with sexual assault (aka rape) if you attempt to sleep with someone who is drunk or high. Equally, if you are under the influence yourself, you’re not exempt from this law. If you have sex with someone who is drunk, you can be accused of a FELONY.
On the same note, if you try to sleep or “hook-up” with someone, and you are rejected – STOP pursing them immediately. In most cases their gesture, however minimal or blunt it may be, simply means “No.” Examples include, but not limited to: “I like you but…,” “Maybe later,” “You/I’ve been drinking,” or just silence. These are prime examples of a person saying no, and not saying “try harder,” even if it’s your girl/boyfriend, close friend, or stranger. Let’s say you’re dancing at Shenanigans…the law STILL applies. If they seem uncomfortable with you holding them so close, you grabbing their behind, or even if they playfully pushed you away but kept dancing, you should stop pursing them – or potentially face an assault charge, when it seems as though you “intentionally or knowingly” caused “offensive or provocative” contact with another.
The above scenarios are just a few examples of how relevant the law is to sexual activity and the college generation. Simple mistakes you may think are innocent can get you in trouble easily. Think before you send that picture, hook up with the cutie at the party, or grab someone close on the dance floor. You may have more than just “a good time” in store for you.