Should bad sex ever end up in court?
They met on Tinder and had sex on their second date. Now this student doctor has a criminal record for groping his lover too hard. What he did was wrong but NEITHER emerges with any dignity from this tawdry tale
As if we needed any more grim revelations in the week of Harvey Weinstein’s exposure, another perfect storm of depressing modern sexual attitudes has broken on us. It’s enough to make anyone sew up their pyjamas for good or, at the very least, wish the human race could reproduce peacefully, like amoebas. Or geraniums.
A court room in Jersey this week found 37-year-old medical student, Philip Queree, guilty of sexual assault. Queree, who has now been placed on the sex Offenders’ Register for five years, was given community service and must pay £2,000 costs. He is appealing, but the facts of the case are gloomy enough.
For Queree was convicted of indecent assault after squeezing a woman’s breasts too hard while the couple had consensual sex. He met the woman, who worked in the medical world, on Tinder, the dating app.
Now, even the lousiest internet sites for meeting new partners can be of use, and there may well be some who have found lasting and honest love on this platform.
But those of us who prefer actually meeting people, or at least conversing online, tend to wince at the idea that a quick snapshot on a cold, flat screen is enough to let you decide who you want to date.
swipe right — phwoaaahhrr! — for Yes. swipe left — Ugh! — for No. You would hope that most people outgrew that simplistic attitude towards the opposite sex around the time they stopped lusting after Justin Bieber or cutting out pictures of Taylor swift for their bedroom wall.
That two adults, working in the highly sociable and humane field of healthcare would entrust their intimate relationships to Tinder rings the first alarm bell.
At least, I suppose, they waited for the second date to have sex. After all, a recent U.s. survey found that over half the respondents considered it fine to have full intercourse on the first meeting with a stranger you had chosen from a photo on the internet. But even a second date is pretty quick work.
A survey by another dating site OKCupid makes it painfully clear, though not surprising, that men are far keener on this speedy conclusion of matters than women are. Yet they often get their way: and that, I suspect, indicates a sad neediness in women. Plenty are afraid that if they don’t ‘put out’ as fast as possible they’ll be swiped off left for ever in the man’s opinion. Accusations such as ‘frigid’ fill them with terror.
so courtship, romance, promise, commitment, shy earnest kisses — all that goes out of the bedroom window. Just get on with it. It’s ‘only’ sex.
WHICH brings us to the offence itself, confirmed in court as sexual assault. The hapless pair settled down to what we used to call lovemaking. They were both willing. But she says he grabbed her breasts forcefully, so much so that it hurt. so ‘at first she said nothing’. Oh, that neediness! That female anxiety not to offend the master race!
Men do, of course, offend easily if their bedroom manners are criticised, which helps to explain why powerful men like Harvey Weinstein get away with it so long before women dare complain.
In the case which came to court, the woman merely moved to save her breasts, whereon he did it again: she says she actually cried from the pain, and complained that he was rough. All the same, her statement said, she ‘wanted to continue’. so they did. And it happened again. And — after a shower — before they parted she tried to talk about it. But he stormed out.
The sad thing is that neither of them seem to have had much respect for one another, or for the act of love: not a smidgeon of affection, or appreciation, or human kindness comes off this horrid tale. she texted him, imploring him to return and explain why he was such a thug in the bedroom yet so charming in normal life. But as he wouldn’t talk about it, she hauled in the law and made a complaint. And he is now sentenced for assault.
I suppose in some ways you could say that it was brave of the victim — although as usual she keeps her anonymity while his reputation and medical hopes are in tatters.
You could say it was brave to admit that she kept on mating with a near-stranger even though he had already made her cry and given her bruises that produced ‘difficulty lifting her arm’. But even if it was brave, it was also vengeful. Not every bad night, not every awful date with an awful stranger, deserves a solemn court hearing.
The final effect is just to demean her, cast away any idea of modesty or privacy in the most intimate of relationships, ruin him and strip them both of any kind of dignity.
But then, as we know from many a rape allegation where both participants were blind drunk, the hook-up culture breeds a great deal of miserable angry vengefulness. And not even full acquittal does the accused’s reputation any favours.
It was only this week that Alison saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, sparked controversy by suggesting that men cleared of rape charges are not always ‘falsely accused’.
Interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today programme, saunders — rather shockingly if you were brought up on the presumption of innocence — breezily said that there is a difference between a defendant being found not guilty and the allegation against him being ‘false or malicious’.
The real sadness, however, is the way that this culture of easy sex, relatively new in European history, wrecks so many lives and makes so many people of both sexes seem sleazy, immodest and stupid.
Mr Queree was a third-year medical student, and has had to drop out of a prestigious course which accepts only the brightest: that is a waste of resources, learning and hope. You could argue, of course, that it’s wrong to have a career ruined by one lousy Tinder date.
SO what can we take away from this grim but all too modern story? There is no point these days advocating the old virtues of modesty, chastity and sexual restraint: especially since in former centuries those rules oppressed women far, far more than men (a man could be a rake, a roué, a likely lad sowing wild oats. Women just got labelled sluts or tarts).
so instead let’s talk about selfrespect. It’s as simple as that. Women of all classes and professions need to stop valuing themselves on whether they’re ‘hot’, beddable, enticing to the basic male.
Fashion, media and entertainment push that ambition at us all the time, with body-con clothes and language suggesting that it is above all vital to be sexually alluring.
The only way to push back is gently to say: ‘Ladies, here’s one important truth. It really doesn’t matter whether random men in the street fancy you. You actually do not need to dress and move at all times like a walking sexual selfadvertisement. You have other qualities and contributions to make.’
And when you do willingly get intimate with a chap, remember that your rights and your value are not diminished by having agreed to take it all the way.
Lovemaking — even if you insist on believing it is mere sporty fun rather than a serious human connection — has to be bound by the same rules as everything else. If someone does something or demands something you aren’t happy with, just say no. Firmly.
If some creep grabs you roughly and treats you like a sex doll, don’t put up with it and carry on. say ‘No’. Or even ‘How dare you!’
It’s your body. Not his toy.
Appealing against his conviction: Philip Queree