Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Bill Cosby, Quaaludes and the Meaning of Sex

At least a dozen women have accused the comedian Bill Cosby of drugging them and then sexually abusing or raping them. Now a deposition statement from 2005, having to do with one of those times when Cosby was sued for all that alleged drugs-and-raping stuff, has been unsealed (gasp! Seems as if it should have been made public much, much earlier). 
In a deposition taken in late September 2005, Cosby was asked by Dolores M. Troiani, Constand’s attorney, “When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”

Cosby replied: “Yes.”
Practically every newspaper or website which reported in this headlined the story something like this

Bill Cosby admitted to 'obtaining sedatives for sex'
That naturally led to the question what "obtaining sedatives for sex" meant and the odd omission of the possibility that most if not all of this smells quite a bit more of rape than of consensual sex.

But as Irin Carmon has pointed out*, the headlines are written that way because of legal reasons. 

A man like Cosby is so layered with lawyers that a newspaper never wants to write anything which he might use for a lawsuit.  Cosby has not been found guilty of rape in a court of law (though honestly those who still refuse to believe the women who accuse him should check if their brains are still under a free repairs warranty), and if you read the WaPo link above carefully you will note that he never admitted to rape or sexual abuse or any kind. 

For instance, (here Echidne is the devil's defense counsel) he really really might have wanted to make the women relax and enjoy the sex which he was planning and to which they eagerly later consented, and he doesn't even say that he was trading the Quaaludes for sex, never mind slipping them into the women's drinks when they were looking elsewhere.

I had to Google Quaaludes to find out why that would be the drug of Cosby's choice, or one of them:

Effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, reduced heart rate, reduced respiration, increased sexual arousal (aphrodisia), erectile dysfunction, and paresthesias (numbness of the fingers and toes). Larger doses can bring about respiratory depression, slurred speech, headache, and photophobia (a symptom of excessive sensitivity to light).
A possible hypnotic effect is also mentioned!  Bill "the Houdini" Cosby!