Warning, Casanovas: Lying to Get Women Into Bed Could Soon Land You in Prison

If it's anything the Bill Cosby scandal taught us (as if we needed more lessons), it's that women who say they have been raped are often doubted, their credibility assailed, their motives questioned. So imagine being a woman who wasn't physically raped, but emotionally raped -- in that she had sex with a man she thought was one person but turned out to be another. That's usually the kind of thing no one has any time or sympathy for. "Them's the breaks!" people sigh. "Alls fair in love and war!" But one legislator is trying to change that.

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In a bill proposed by State Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) of New Jersey, those who lie to get others into bed could be open to a charge of rape. Yes, rape.

Few are the people -- men and women -- who haven't at some point found out someone they've been involved with isn't quite who he or she seems. Maybe that "multimillionaire triathlete" you met on Match was really a dead-broke couch potato. But if you went ahead and slept with him under false pretenses, Singleton thinks this is "sexual assault by fraud."

Wow. I can't even believe it's a man who is introducing this bill! I mean, how do most guys even get women into bed except to embellish, exaggerate, and sometimes downright lie about who they are and their intentions?

Singleton decided to introduce this bill when he heard the story of Mischele Lewis, who paid her boyfriend, William Allen Jordan, $5,000 so he could get "security clearance" since he was, supposedly, a British military official. (He wasn't.)

Singleton equates what love frausters do to their victims to what someone like imprisoned Wall Street conman Bernie Madoff did to his.

But Singleton takes money out of the equation. He believes that sex under any fraudulent conditions is rape. This means the guy you had sex with because you thought he was single but who turns out to be married raped you -- according to Singleton, anyway.

I really like the intention here. I think lying to get sex or love is inexcusable. But I wonder how the courts would enforce this. Seems like it would clog them up to eternity!

Donna Andersen, founder of Love Fraud, a site that educates people about sociopaths, and who herself was married to a man who defrauded her out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, thinks the bill is too broad.

She likes the idea of limiting the fraud to identity -- in other words, if you sleep with someone you think is Bill Gates but he turns out to be a bus driver named Joe Smith, you have a case. If you sleep with someone you think is rich but he's not, you don't.

She adds:

I do know that many, many of my readers who have been seduced by predators tell me that they feel like they've been raped. But they get even less support than victims of forcible rape, because everyone feels that they were "stupid" and "showed poor judgment" for falling for the lies.

Either way this bill goes, I have to commend Singelton for at least trying to punish people who commit this kind of sex fraud. Seriously, if one town can ban sex toys, why can't another punish lying jerks who pretend they're Navy SEALs to get some nookie?

This makes me wonder how many women could press charges against men who pretended to be straight and married them. Quite a lot, I imagine! For that matter, what about women who get men to marry them by pretending they're pregnant?

Do you think misrepresenting yourself to get someone into bed should be considered rape?


Image © Innocenti and Lee/Image Source/Corbis

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