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Because this blog features stories of interpersonal and sexual violence, we offer this *content warning* as a way of caution. We also ask that you do not reproduce any of the content below, as the authors of these personal stories are anonymous, and cannot give consent for their stories to appear anywhere other than this blog or at a Project Dinah-led SpeakOut event.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Freshman year I met a guy I was very attracted to, “Fred.” I had only had sex with one other person, and I felt that the next time I had sex should be with someone who genuinely liked me and cared about me. One night I started drunk texting him, and I ended up going to his room at 4 in the morning; we were both very drunk. We immediately started making out, and very early on I said “I don’t want to have sex tonight.” They were difficult words to say—I wasn’t sure when to say them or how it would go. I also told him I didn’t want to have sex without a condom. But we did have sex. Without a condom.

He kept asking me if I wanted to have sex, and I kept saying no. At one point, he said “Do you want it?” I thought he was talking about what he was currently doing—fingering me—and not about having sex, so I said yes. I realized he meant sex when he put his penis inside me. I didn’t know what to do. I did not want to be having sex—but it was too late. And I knew my “yes” could have been misconstrued for consent. Looking back, I wish I had slapped him, walked out, and never talked to him again. But instead I said nothing and just lay there, letting him have sex with me. It was not at all pleasurable.

Though I barely knew Fred, I liked him and I hoped that it would turn into a relationship.

I kept hooking up with Fred. I told him that “I wasn’t that kind of girl” and that I didn’t want to have sex with him that night. But I put the blame on myself. I never expressed to him that I was upset with him, that I felt that what he did was wrong and disrespectful. We never had sex again, because I refused to give him head if he was unwilling to return the favor. And he seemed to need head in order to get it up—something I have never experienced before or since. He began pressuring me to give him head the same way he pressured me to have sex with him. One night I remember I was actually crying while giving him head because I didn’t want to anymore and all he said was “I’m almost done.”

I can’t believe what an idiot I was. I finally stopped seeing him, but we are still friends. I allowed his behavior because I knew he’d had a very rough past and I knew he had sex for the first time at the age of 10. That’s bound to screw someone up. But I should not have let him treat me like that, and I would never want another girl to be treated that way.

I’ve never told him how much the experience damaged me and upset me. I think it contributed to some promiscuity after that—it was clear to me that all guys expected sex, and I would rather give it to them than have it taken from me. I just wanted someone to like me, and it seemed like all they wanted was sex, so I had sex with them because that was better than getting no attention. Sex was not special to me; it was just some sort of step in meeting a guy.

I’m now fighting to make myself realize what I deserve and trying to learn how to make decisions based on what I want.

I would not call my experience rape. But it was definitely very emotionally damaging. I posted this because I want women to realize that if he doesn’t like you for you, it is just not worth it. I used to think girls who wouldn’t have sex on the first date were prudes; now I think they’re pretty damn smart. Please ladies, give yourself some time to figure out what you want. If that’s a one night stand, that’s fine—just make sure it’s because YOU want it; no one else’s opinion matters. Take some time to get to know a person. Don’t put up with bullshit, because you deserve someone who cares about you and treats you well.

And guys, that goes for you too. I know there’s a lot of pressure on you to have sex with girls, but you don’t have to. Only do it if you want to. And make sure it’s what she wants, too.

And one last note. My sister was raped, and though she hasn’t talked to me much about it, I don’t think she ever reported it. I can’t begin to imagine the pain you’re going through, but I would encourage you to report the crime, if not for yourself, then to protect other women.

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