I was violated. I was betrayed.
But not by him. Or that guy. Or even that one.
No. I betrayed myself. I was violated by me. The guys may have done the penetrating, but I did the assaulting.
Let me illustrate.
I was at a conference. There was this guy I had met at a previous conference and he was showing some interest in me. We talked. We flirted. We ended up in one of our hotel rooms – I can’t remember if it was mine or his, but that’s really unimportant now. We were making out, even though I really wasn’t all that interested in this guy. We got to that critical point and he didn’t have a condom. Yay! I was off the hook! He wasn’t about to give up, though. He took off. He left the hotel in search of a convenience store or pharmacy – anywhere that sold condoms.
He came back to the room, out of breath and sweaty from his frantic search. He was victorious! He had found condoms! There was no obstacle to sex now. Except there was. I didn’t want to! Did I tell him, though? Nope. He had gone to all that trouble, so I HAD to give it up, right?
My protective self so desperately wanted to speak up and say NO! But another part of me just said, “Shut up, you whiny bitch! This is what he’s expecting. You owe it to him to fuck him now.”
So I did. And he got off. And we were done.
Later that same year, I was at another conference. There were some highs – literally, it was British Columbia – and lows. A high point? 16 naked bodies in a hot tub. That was fun. It wasn’t – really – sexual. It was just free and fun. I think it laid some groundwork for some assumptions, though.
Later on during that same conference, my friend and I decided to bunk with this guy who gave off a sexy, confident vibe. Just as I had drifted off, I woke to my head being slowly, but deliberately, being pushed down. Down. Down toward his waiting, hard cock.
Again, the inner battle ensued.
My first thought was, “What the hell?! I don’t think so!”
Then that other part piped up again. “Just shut up! Suck him off and it will be over. Don’t cause a scene. You ‘re sleeping in his bed, for Christ’s sake – you tease.”
Which voice won? I was lying in his bed, so really, I had to go with it, right?
After the conference was over, I went to a party I’d been invited to. This guy was there. He had chosen a different girl that night. She had been fat the year prior, so hadn’t interested him then, apparently. But she had lost weight and now she was his current conquest. She happily obliged. As he was making out with her, he looked over at me and gave me the smuggest look I’ve ever seen in my life.
What about the night we were all partying at a club? It was another conference – what was with me losing my inner battles at the conferences?!
I was having a blast on the dance floor. One guy in particular was dancing, grinding, writhing with me more than anyone else that night. Some other guy asked, “Are you going to fuck him tonight?”
“No!” I replied back. And I meant it. Or at least the weak little protective side of me did.
Later at the hotel, I found myself in his hotel room. There had been others there, but they had cleared out. He made his move. I complied. I told myself, “You’ve been leading him on, turning him on all night. It’s your responsibility to finish this off. Shut up and take it. You started this.”
And I did. The only thing I really remember about this guy was his extraordinarily small penis.
After he was done with me, I headed back to my hotel room. I had been turned into a notch on the bed post of a guy I’d likely never see or hear from again.
I had been violated.
Not by the guys. They thought they had just had consensual sex. I was violated by myself. By my need to not make a scene. By my need to fulfil an imagined, unspoken contract.
The communication about consent – the inner debate about yes or no – happened silently inside my head. All the while, on the outside, I looked as if I was on board with what was happening to my body.
I was the perpetrator. I violated myself. I violated my right to say no.