An investigation is under way in Australia over claims that navy sailors competed with each other to bed their female colleagues for cash prizes.Several points in this story urge caution:
According to Channel Seven news, sailors on board HMAS Success put a cash value on each woman's head.
Sleeping with a female officer or a lesbian, or having sex in a strange place, won more money, the report said.
The Defence Department confirmed that a number of individuals had been sent back to Australia for interviews.
HMAS Success, which has a crew of 220, is currently on exercises in South East Asia.
According to the Channel Seven report, the contest came to light in May, when the vessel was in Singapore.
It said that the sailors recorded their efforts in a book called The Ledger, challenging each other to sleep with as many female colleagues as possible.
Sex on a pool table or with a lesbian reportedly scored higher points.
The Defence Department did not confirm how many sailors were involved.
But, in a statement to Seven Network, it said that a number of concerns raised by female crew members were "now subject to formal inquiry".
The "veracity of any allegations" had yet to be confirmed, it said.
- Who actually pays the cash prizes?
- How are the scores verified (and the lesbians tagged)? Competitors (or contest adjudicators) must obviously be present to merit the extra points for pool table sex, and the women confirm a sailor's claim of conquest.
- No indication of any offences being committed here, apart from sex on the job - but I presume the contest took place outside working hours and on shore leave.
- That sleeping with your bunk mate doesn't merit any points indicate to me that it's too common an occurrence to be subject to a competition.
- And you would think that the navy brass would encourage its personnel to get all the exercise it can to fight the obesity epidemic in the Australian armed forces.
The NZ Herald editorial thundered on Saturday:
Nobody dares to moralise any more. The cause and consequence of that reluctance is that we are not sure we agree on what is wrong. Are the Australian sailors under naval investigation for their attitude to women and sex or for writing it down? And if it is merely the latter, was their offence against the privacy and reputations of the women concerned, and does it matter if the women were equally enthusiastic participants?Who knows the women sailors were running a ledger book too with commentary on length, width, girth, stamina and technique the boys displayed (or pulled up short on). It would certainly make good reading too, a good consumer guide for on-board fun and it would put the rating back into rating.