oral sex

But It Wasn't Rape

Trigger Warning for description of rape.

Lydia Cuomo was waiting for her principal to pick her up and take her to her first day of teaching at a Bronx charter school when a drunk off-duty cop pulled a gun on her and forced her to submit to oral and anal sex. He was later convicted—but not of rape, which New York law defines as forced vaginal intercourse only.

Now Cuomo, 26, is fighting back. She’s lending her voice to a legislative effort to change state law to put forced oral and anal sex under New York’s rape statute.

“I feel like essentially I had a silver platter of a rape case,” she told the Daily News. “I had witnesses, I had DNA, I had my own testimony, I had two cops. I had them saying, ‘We admit he sexually assaulted you,’ and I didn’t get the verdict I needed the first time, and that just highlights to me the problem in the system.”

Now, to be clear, Cuomo’s assailant has been sentenced to a combined 85 years to life in prison, so justice has more or less been served. But allowing a narrow definition like this to stand seems like begging for future rapists to go unpunished because their crimes don’t really qualify as “rape”.

Relax: Only Half Our High School Kids Fornicate

The New York Times covers a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that shows slightly less than half of teens aged 15–19 engaging in either vaginal or oral sex:

“There’s been a perception for many years that there’s some kind of epidemic of oral sex among teens,” said Leslie Kantor, vice president for education of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who was not involved in the study. “If nothing else, this data provides a realistic sense of the numbers.”

This cautious celebration seems out of place to people with more traditional morals. While I firmly believe pre-marital sex is not the end of the world, it’s also not the spiritual ideal. Also, though I don’t have children, I’m guessing most people—Christian or not—don’t want their 17-year-olds to be sexually active yet.

More encouragingly, the study reveals that the numbers for teens engaging in oral sex are going down and that for the most part, kids are starting to engage in oral sex about the same time they begin vaginal intercourse. Dr. John Santelli of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health thinks this is because they’re performing both acts with the same partner:

“I think what kids do is get involved in a relationship,” he said, “then at some point decide they’re ready to initiate vaginal sex, then probably engage in a whole repertoire of behaviors with that same partner.”

Via Jezebel.