April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I dream of a world when we don't need to raise awareness for sexual assault, but sadly, we're not there yet. The more I speak out on sexual assault and consent, the more men and women come forward and confide in me. Another friend of mine asked me if she could share her story.
I want to preface this by saying that when I first read her guest post the other night, I started crying. Beau had to hold me for about ten minutes until I could stop. When I tweet angry things, and when I argue passionately on my blog, it's because hearing these stories from people I love just wound me so deeply.
I was anything but innocent (and definitely wasn’t a virgin), but that still doesn’t change the fact that it is my choice who I do and don’t have sex with. Just because I had sex with your friend doesn’t mean that I am obligated to have sex with you. Just because I had sex with you previously doesn’t mean I am obligated to have sex with you again. These are some fundamentally misunderstood issues in our culture.
You, and only you, are in control of your sex life in every single instance, no exceptions.
I was violated without my consent.
Because I have had sex before, my friends wrote it off as me getting what I had coming. The fact of the matter is that this philosophy on sex is NOT okay.
This is my story.
Like many other girls in college I liked to have fun, drink, occasionally hook-up with a hot guy in a non-committal situation, the usual. One night it went a little too far. I was invited to go out to hookah with some guys from my school’s soccer team. They were cute so I agreed to go. The night took us from the hookah lounge to back to the dorms where we made the unfortunate decision to drink.
I was having whipped vodka with coke—it didn’t seem to be that strong but I didn’t make the drink myself. Yet another mistake I’ll be sure not to make again. I was with two of my friends and four soccer players. We played drinking games for about an hour. I don’t remember having anymore than 2 or 3 mixed drinks, but my friends were getting tired and wanted to leave. I lived 2 floors down in the dorm building we were in so I decided to stay a little longer. That’s were the trouble began.
I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but at some point the party moved to my room with two of the guys, one who I had previously hooked up with the previous school year. Once we were in there, a bottle of tequila appeared, and we began taking shots. I felt so woozy. I couldn’t figure out why because I didn’t think I had drank all that much.
We started playing truth or dare, which quickly turned into dare. The boy that I had been with before was leading the game. He told the other guy to take my shirt off and then to kiss my neck. I didn’t object, but I remember thinking that I should. I knew it was a bad idea and that something bad was about to happen, but it was like it was out of my control at that point to say the word no.
The next thing I can remember (I apologize because this is graphic) was feeling something in my mouth. I was confused because I had no idea what it was. Then slowly I realized that it was a penis—whose, I didn’t know. I also felt someone behind me. It was an out of body experience feeling this happen because I wanted to yell STOP, but I couldn’t. After a few moments I found my voice and pushed it out of my mouth and yelled stop.
I told them to stop and to get the fuck out of my room. I can remember screaming that at them. I was completely naked so I pulled on the cami that was lying on the ground next to me. It was then that I felt all the alcohol and whatever else coming up. They left while I was puking all over myself into the sink.
I felt disgusting so I got into the shower with the shirt still on and just sat down. I don’t know how long I let the hot water run over me. It felt like an eternity. I didn’t know how to process what just happened. I had just had a threesome, but I couldn’t remember any of it. I felt more disgusting than I can even possibly describe. After I got out of the shower I didn’t bother with drying off or brushing my hair. I just laid in my bed and passed out.
It took me a while to tell my friends about what had happened. I felt so dirty and like they would judge me. Their reaction wasn’t what I had expected. They didn’t really care all that much. They told me I’d already had sex with one of them and I shouldn’t have gotten so drunk. I’m not sure but hearing that may have even been worse than what happened to me.
Belle is actually the first person to make me feel validated in describing what happened to me as rape, or at least a violation of my body. That was more incredible to hear than anyone can imagine. To hear that what happened to you WAS wrong and isn’t okay. I know that I chose to drink, but you cross a line when you have sex with someone who is only semi-conscious.
Going to a small school I have to see those to boys nearly everyday. While one of them hasn’t been able to look me in the eye since, I like to think that that’s remorse; the other talked to me about it and said, “I liked it.” Who is he to tell me that I liked having sex with two people I didn’t want to be having sex with? Who is he to tell me I enjoyed it when I screamed at him to stop?
As Belle has been saying and I will continue to say, we need to redefine consent in our society. Just because I didn’t verbally say no doesn’t mean that I said yes or agreed to anything that happened to me. I’m not exactly sure what all did happen. I’m not sure if there was more than alcohol in my drink, though I suspect strongly there was. But what I am sure of is that it wasn’t okay.
To any other girls out there that have had similar experiences I just want you to know that it’s not your fault. You are not a slut or a bad person. You always have a choice regardless of how many times you’ve had sex with someone or whom else you’ve chosen to have sex with. It is always your choice.