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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » What was it? Please help

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Author Topic: What was it? Please help
lsabella
Neophyte
Member # 48480

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I've been thinking about this for a long time, and I don't think I can move forward until I talk to someone.

When I was 15, I started dating Eric (not real name). I'd had one other boyfriend before him, when I was 14, who I also had sex with. With my first boyfriend, I had waited two weeks into our relationship until we had sex. I kinda regretted not waiting longer with that relationship, so I really wanted to wait longer with Eric. Well, it was two weeks into my relationship with him, and he was whining and pleading about having sex (btw, he'd never had sex). I didn't want to because I wanted to wait longer, and I REALLY didn't want to because we didn't have a condom and I wasn't taking birth control pills or anything similar. I told him I didn't want to for the latter reason. He said that it's okay, he'll just pull out. I knew that's a terrible form of birth control, and I told him that I didn't want to. He kept whining so I finally gave in... I could see he enjoyed it, but I did not at all... I was so scared about getting pregnant the whole time.

After this happened, I was so frightened I told my mom for the first time that I have been having sex. After that, she took me to a local Planned Parenthood and got me the morning after pill and started me on birth control pills.

I dated Eric for almost two years. We never really talked about that first time. The only time I can recall it being mentioned is one day when I was angry with him. He talked about that famous case on the rape of a black stripper by members of a college lacrosse team(?). He said how she was lying and that those guys could get whoever they want, why would they rape a black stripper. I was so furious with him. I told him that I didn't exactly consent our first time. That took him by surprise and he made a very sad expression, the kind I'd see him use that would make me feel too sorry for him to argue further. I never mentioned it again.


I guess my question is... was what happened considered rape? "Grey" rape? Or what?

Sorry for the long post...

Posts: 6 | From: U.S.A. | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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What happened was coercion. In other words, you were coerced into sex with this person through nagging and guilt-tripping, rather than freely consenting to sex. And that is something that falls under most legal definitions of sexual abuse or assault.

(Just FYI, "grey rape" is a term that was coined by a conservative woman who is pretty much a rape apologist. It's not an idea we're on board with at all as it's really victim-blamey and also implies that the absence of no = consent, which it does not.)

It also sound like it's not surprising, in hindsight, that this person clearly didn't care about your consent. Unfortunately, all too often when people clearly have rape-enabling attitudes, which make clear we're probably not safe with them, we find out after they have already done us or others harm. [Frown]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lsabella
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Sorry for using that term. I didn't know what to call it what happened, and I saw someone else use it on a thread where they're trying to understand what happened to them; but what you said sounds accurate I think.

Unfortunately I hadn't realized just how nasty his prejudices were until after I had already fallen in love with him [Frown] He always said he absolutely hated rape and rapists, but then he was also such a misogynist. One of my biggest regrets is not being the one to break up with him, not breaking up sooner...not letting him know that I pretty much hate him...

Another thing... he knew about my previous relationship and sex experience and how it wasn't that great. I had never referred to it (sex with my first boyfriend) as assault or rape (because it wasn't), just that it wasn't great; and because it was my first boyfriend and first sexual experience, I was devastated about it ending. I don't know if it was because he didn't like the idea of me consenting to having sex with another guy other than him or what, but he had actually made me believe that what happened with my first boyfriend was "kinda" rape.

I would like to tell my current boyfriend (who is also my best friend in the world) about this experience, but I'm scared of how angry he will be. He already hates Eric, if not at least strongly dislikes him (they used to be friends; after my current bf and I got together, Eric tried to fight him). What should I do? Should I just keep this to myself?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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No need to be sorry at all: I just said what I did to explain why I'd not use that as a term to describe what happened to you or anyone else, that's all.

You know, I was just talking with my partner last night about how much it sucks that one big thing that often keeps sexual abuse/assault victims and survivors from disclosing to other people -- and often especially men -- is worries about anger and then potentially additional violence because of anger, either to others (like the person who assaulted them) or to themselves. It's like, if you've been abused or assaulted, you've already had to deal with someone putting anger on you, and violence, and even the thought of more can be so debilitating.

But I hear you say you want to share this with this person. Is this someone you feel very safe with? Who isn't violent (you say he tried to fight this guy: was that very out of character for him or in character)? How about someone who you can say something like, "Hey, i want to tell you something, but I know you'll feel anger about it, and I really, really can't handle that, so I need to ask you to manage those feelings, if you have them very well, okay?" to?

And I feel you on that thing where when someone treats us horribly, it's a double-sting to have them be the ones who did the breaking up. In actuality, it doesn't make you being away from them any less valuable or important, but I understand that it can sure feel crappy.

If it helps, sometimes just writing a letter we would have if it WAS us doing the breaking up can help us get some of that out.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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