I think in the cases where it isn't legally considered rape, the words "violated" and "violation" work best. While they can be a synonym of rape, they're also broader.
I personally think that while there isn't a crime if there is no victim, there can be a victim without a criminal. It's definitely the case in, say, accidents. A hurricane destroys your house? You're a victim, there is no culprit. No human culprit, at least.
In that way, I think someone can be violated without a person being a conscious violator. Some cases of learning things after the fact can count. For instance, it would be traumatic to learn that someone who had sex with is actually a close biological relative. Or that they are a murderer. Or a variety of other things, including them being married.
I believe feeling violated is a very reasonable reaction to that kind of thing. However it's possible the other party did not want or plan it in any way. Even if they do, the violation isn't rape. It's the lying that surrounded the consensual sex.
So I also believe it's possible to be raped without the person who had sex with you being a rapist. To me, being a rapist implies consent and malevolence. In some cases, the person did not realise or know. I don't believe it's fair to claim the victim was not raped. However I don't believe it's fair to condemn the other person and call them a rapist, either. The most obvious case would be two people who both get drunk or high and have sex, both of them waking up to feel a range of negative emotions, including feeling raped. However they're not two rapists, they're just both victims there.
The problem then becomes the fact that when people feel bad, they like having someone to blame for it, they think it will help them move on. Sometimes though nobody did anything wrong and people still feel bad. It happens.
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
Frankly, I don't support the idea of being able to withdraw consent after the fact, at all.
I agree. It seems very important to me that consent may be withdrawn at any time during the act, but not after the fact. And if consent is withdrawn during the act, there is only rape if the other person keeps doing. The sex until then was consensual.
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
I was thinking about it this morning. Seems to me that even if the aggressor did take a second to ask "do you mind if I continue?" that someone who's so shocked and already feels it's too late to say no, is likely going to say "go ahead." If anything, the simple act of asking might make the person appear less aggressive and therefore even more likely to get explicit consent. So where does that leave us?
I'm definitely in support of teaching people (especially women, who seem to need it more on average) that they can say no, that it's a valid choice and that they do have a choice. I believe it's not the whole picture though. In the case you're talking about, there is little to do as it's already happened. The person asking mid-way is at least asking.
Personally, I think that conning someone out of sex is similar to other conning. If you call people and get them to give you their credit card numbers and you steal their identity, they're being foolish to fall into your traps, and there is a certain amount of responsibility on your part. That doesn't mean they were right to begin with. Just that they were taking advantage of you because you're vulnerable to that kind of scam.
And unfortunately, I think there are people who work the same way. They pick vulnerable partners they feel won't stand up for themselves and say no, so that they have sex with them and can feel like they're not rapists, in the same way the person who got your credit card number isn't a thief who stole your card.
I think there should be a huge focus on owning your body in sex education. How you can always say no, at any time, but also how you should respect someone's "no". Because I think a big reason why some people don't dare say no is that they don't feel it will help, and it could put them in a more dangerous situation if it upsets the other person and they get violent.
So yeah, pretty much work on both sides there. I know I can say no, but I also know not to start having sex with someone I find attractive out of the blue. There is also definitely an amount of body language that should be telling. If you're having sex with someone who looks horrified and isn't moving, and it's not part of your roleplay, they might not be asking you to stop, but seriously, if you don't realise something might be wrong there is a problem with you.
But if you're going "oh, yes" and enthusiastically participating in the sex act, and you actually really, really don't want to do it, there is a problem with you, too. And even if you decided to call it rape because of how shitty it makes you feel, the only person who raped you in that case is yourself.