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Author Topic: Consent issue
Redskies
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A few weeks ago, I was with a friend who I've also occasionally had sex with for the evening. Toward the end of the evening, at his place, he made a move on me, and I pulled back, saying, look, I don't know know what I want at the moment, I don't think I'm in a good place to make the best decisions for myself, so I think it has to be a no. He tried to persuade me, a little, and I said, look, I don't know, I don't know where I'm at, I Have to take care of myself at the moment, so it has to be no. He made a move on me a few more times, and I moved away each time. Finally, he made a move on me, and I just thought, I just don't have the energy to keep trying to do what I think is actually best for me when I want this anyway - at least physically.

I've tried to just chalk it up to experience, or something, but it's still bugging me. I don't want to frame it as sexual assault, because at that very moment, I did change my mind. I'm ok with the sex happening, but I'm very bothered by the consent issue beforehand. I was trying to do the best and safest emotional thing for me, which was to say no. I feel like that person wasn't listening to me trying to take care of myself. I don't think he would mean to hurt anyone, and I don't think he meant to do anything I didn't want to do. I just don't understand how so much of the world is so messed up that people really don't know that they have to actually take notice, and stop trying, when someone repeatedly says no.

I'm feeling a bit rattled, because I can't deal well with someone not taking notice of my no - abuse as a child, plus rubbish boyfriend way back who acted like "no" meant "no, for the next 30 seconds, then try again". If someone does that who I don't have any attachment to, I get the hell out right away - but if it's someone I Do have an attachment to, things get very murky in my head and I don't handle it well.

Plus, something happened that I hadn't done before. Something pretty similar to what had been happening anyway, and which had been fine - but I didn't know about the new thing until it was already happening. If he'd asked me, I would have said no, and if I'd known, I would've stopped it. I'm a bit confused at myself because this sounds kind of sappy, but I'd wanted to try it with my primary partner for the first time - partly for the shared experience, partly because that's who I want to trust for it. And now, I can't. And I don't know why that should even matter, but it does. It really does.

Why can't people just Ask? I feel like someone else decided for me, and took something away from me.

And I feel silly, because I'm not sure how I ended up here. I thought I knew how to handle consent stuff so as not to be here.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
coralee
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To be honest I don't think this partner is safe for you. He obviously doesn't value consent. You not only said you didn't want sex, you even explained why... more than once! For him to disrespect this shows he is not a safe person to be in a relationship with. I'm glad you were ok with the sex, but still I notice you said you were "ok with the sex happening". To me this sounds like you were not a very active participant in this sexual encounter, which doesn't surprise me given the consent issue. You deserve to not just be ok with sex happening, but to be enthusiastic about participating in sex, enthusiastic about giving consent, and enthusiastic about seeking consent from your partner(s).
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Redskies
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I'd figured this person wasn't a safe partner, and deliberately haven't even seen him since, at least until I get something more sorted in my head. I certainly usually expect and seek a standard of enthusiastic consent. The active/passive issue is a bit murky, as there's a power/control-play dynamic here; but you highlight a point to me, which is that regardless, I am usually very Present, and there's nothing in what I wrote that indicates that. It wasn't the right thing for me at the time, and a proper partner should have heard me on that and helped me achieve what was best for me.

I was trying to say, I think that this person does value consent, but that he doesn't understand that this is/was a consent issue. He wouldn't do something without someone saying "yes" first. I don't know why he seemed to think he knew better than me what was good for me. I'm frustrated that so many people's understanding of consent is just... kinda broken.

Not quite sure what to do with my feelings about what happened.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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breath
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Redskies,
I read your earlier posts too and really commend you on taking such an active conscious view on your personal life. To me, all of it speaks of a life well lived/living [Smile]

Honestly when I read your response , these two statements seemed contradictory to me :

# 1 He wouldn't do something without someone saying "yes" first.

# 2 I don't know why he seemed to think he knew better than me what was good for me.

It seems to me that # 2 is contracting or in opposition to # 1. It seems to me that you previously though of this person in a different way but his recent action re: this incident maybe might make you re-consider...

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Redskies
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breath, thanks. And that seems like a big compliment, so, um, thank you!

You're quite right, of course. I guess I was just confused in the way that it's very easy to be confused when someone we liked did something wrong to us. It's a clear fact that my friend did not get consent at the beginning, and over-rode my clear non-consent. Any intent or lack of intention doesn't change that fact.

I don't think that we always have to have a label for everything, but it's also clear to me that the way I've felt about this is as if it was a sexual assault. I had my clear non-consent repeatedly over-ridden, and that doesn't meet any standard of consent. What my friend did was wrong and unacceptable.

I think that my friend has experienced a lot of confusion about how the world and people work generally, and has probably had to pick things up by watching and reading. There's a lot of things around that aren't that sound regarding consent, so I think it's possible that he has learned wrongly and genuinely didn't know better. I think that, when I'm ready, in a few weeks, I'll have a conversation with him and talk to him about what he did. If he can hear what I say and own what he did and really understand and learn better, I think I would be comfortable continuing the friendship. There's absolutely no going back to any kind of sex after something like this for me, though; so he would have to accept that and stick by it - if he even went to kiss me again, ever, I would be completely done with him for good.

There can't be a friendship without (earned) trust and respect for bodily autonomy. If he can't/won't do what I will insist on now, then you're right, clearly he's shown something very different from what I previously thought of him, and he wouldn't be a person who was worth or safe having any ongoing friendship with.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
breath
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Hi Redskies,

I think the line of thought you have described here on how you will go about taking care of this "issue" and this person is really spot on! Sounds wonderful [Smile]

I also really like that even if he "Agrees" and "understands" after your chat, that you have decided that you wouldn't continue anything sexual with him ever...I think that's really excellent selfcare and personal boundary setting! I am really happy for you.

Yes, life can deal us with some not-so-good surprises and you have every right to take your time to work through them, and how you are handling this is just fab! Best wishes and many hugs and positive energy from yours truly, B! [Smile]

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breath
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Also Redskies, this is just my opinion, but this statement that you wrote doesn't sounds so good to me. Are you trying to rationalize this behavior/act? Also, I don't think it is our responsibility-anyone engaging with someone in this manner should know these things cold. If they don't , then I don't think it is our job to "Educate" them (although for our own peace , we may want to talk to them) but in my opinion, people form their opinions/mindsets and it's hard for one single event to really change it..


"I think that my friend has experienced a lot of confusion about how the world and people work generally, and has probably had to pick things up by watching and reading. There's a lot of things around that aren't that sound regarding consent, so I think it's possible that he has learned wrongly and genuinely didn't know better"

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LoveHopePeace
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HI I AM SO SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU.I can't figure out how to post a story on the message boards so i am goin to post it here.well i have been having nightmare about getting raped for the past six months.My mom just told me recently that one time she had to take my sister to the doctor and i was only one so she left me with my uncle who had previously raped two other people.He had raped my aunt his sister when she was two and i wonder if he did something to me and thats why i am having the nightmares.I see him all the time and every time i am around him i feel weird and feel like he is undressing me with his eyes i started having these dreams before my mom told me so am i having these dreams for some other reason or did something really happen.My mom says that she doesn't know if anything happened or not.AGAIN I AM REALLY SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU AND I HOPE YOU DONT MIND ME POSTING THIS HERE.

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kayla

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Redskies
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Hi Kayla, thank you for your empathy, and I don't mind you posting at all.

To start your own thread, you can go to the top right or bottom left of this page, and you'll find the words "new topic" - if you click on that, it'll let you post your own topic. I do recommend that you do that, so that all the staff and volunteers know that you're looking to talk about your own situation and not "just" commenting on mine - I wouldn't want people to miss your post, and it seems like it's something that's important for you to talk about.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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