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for the VP Team
Last December I went on a date with a man from the internet. I figured it was safe because a relative of mine knew him pretty well and said he was a nice guy. We had a good but awkward first date and then a week later we went on another one. I felt like I knew him pretty well after a lot of talking and texting. I slept with him that night but it was a little unsettling. First, he was a little rough and forceful. That was alright and didn't really bother me. But right in the middle of sex he took off the condom. I knew something felt different but I thought it was because the position had changed slightly or something. Then I realized it and asked him if he was wearing a condom. He said no and kept going. I told him that that was a really bad idea and he said we could stop and that he "didn't have anything" and he kept going. I didn't say anything but just sort of stayed quiet and waited for it to be over. I was sort of stunned out of emotion but I realized I was with someone I didn't really know all that well and in a city I didn't know that well. What if I said no and he got mad? Or what if he just didn't stop? Or what if it made him not like me anymore? Those were the questions in my head. But I knew I couldn't like him anymore because kind people don't do that to each other. Kind, respectful people keep the condom on.
A month later I really thought about this. I told a friend and she was shocked and said this was rape. I don't know. I never explicitly said "no" but I did stress that it was a bad idea, implying my disapproval but never the word "no". I feel sad that this man selfishly disrespected my body and that I was of so little worth to him that he'd put me at risk. I was just a warm object for him to get off with. It makes me want to cuddle up and hold myself. I also feel icky and weak over it. When I think of his face, his blonde beard, his teeth, his voice...I feel violated. I don't know if I'll ever be able to date a man with a blonde beard again. When I think of how I said nothing when I wanted to yell "NO" but still wanted him to like me, I feel weak. After that, I went home and he ignored me for a week and texted me saying that he didn't want to date me anymore.
I don't really know what to think of this. I'm still wondering what happened and if it's my fault, even if just a little. What was this?
Can something be sexual assault if you don't say "no"? I dated a boy in high school who groped my crotch right after I told him I wasn't ready for a sexual relationship. But it wasn't until the above incident that I realized maybe that was wrong too. And when I was much younger, I had an adult relative who put his penis between his legs and showed me. All three of these are situations where I am completely confused and wondering how to deal with them. I think about them quite often now that I'm working on my self-esteem and body image. I think I could move on if I could make sense of what they were. Sometimes I wonder if they were even wrong and other times I'm quite sure that they were.
Any insight would be really helpful. Thank you so much.