On dubious virtue.

Dear Coquette,

I met a girl at a party last night who told me that she was saving herself for someone special, whenever he’d come along. Long story short, she got drunk and ended up dragging my friend to a room and proceeded to have sex.

When I saw it happen yesterday, I honestly didn’t think much of it, but when I woke up this morning, I felt like maybe I should have stopped her from doing something she’d probably end up regretting. I’ve spent most of my after-high school life trying not to impose my own sense of morality on others, but I feel like in this case, when I was confronted with a more confusing scenario (she was very assertive to the people around her), I made a mistake and sat idly by. I’m not a big party person, and sadly (or thankfully?) that’s the first time I’ve actually seen that happen in front of me.

What should I have actually done?

If the girl made a conscious choice to get drunk and then instigated the sex by her own free will, then your neutrality isn’t to blame for any morning-after regret she might be feeling. You aren’t responsible for her dubious virtue just because she was blabbing about it earlier in the evening. She is responsible for her own decisions, stupid though they may be.

For what it’s worth, I’ve found that girls who make their virginity a topic of cocktail party conversation are a special kind of crazy, and the world is full of people who say one thing and then do the opposite, especially while under the influence.

You didn’t do anything wrong by sitting idly by while she got hot and heavy. Then again, you wouldn’t have been wrong to toss cold water onto the situation. Either would have been fine, because this isn’t so much about morality as it is about decorum.

In other words, any mistake you might have made didn’t fall on a spectrum of right or wrong. It fell on a spectrum of trashy or classy. 

Morally, you’re fine. On decorum, I’ll let you judge for yourself.


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