'Sex, Drugs and (In)Capacity' 16th December 2020
Alex Aldridge is doing a PhD in Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway, University of London. She researches sex, drugs and sexual ethics. Sex on drugs raises complex issues around sexual consent, particularly in relation to socio-legal interpretations of capacity. Intoxication is generally understood to impair a person’s capacity to consent to sex, either cognitively or physically. An intoxicated person might at some point become incapacitated, though what exact form incapacity takes, and how to judge whether a person is incapacitated is often unclear.In this talk, Alex will explore the important issue of consent through the lens of research. She offers a (tentative!) re-imagination of (in)capacity for the purposes of sex involving drugs. Following the lead of critical drug scholars, she draws on qualitative data (comprising research participant diaries and in-depth interviews) to explore how drug-related sexual encounters give rise to a range of affective capacities that cannot be classed solely as 'impairing'. She concludes with a reflection on the implications of her analysis for thinking about sex on drugs in ethical terms. This is followed by a discussion and Q&A with the audience!