This is topic Past relationship in forum Abuse & Assault at Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive).

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Posted by TPB (Member # 40974) on :
I'm not really sure if this is the right place for this, or where would be, so if it's in the wrong place please move it!

Last year I had a relationship with a guy I met online. We met up once for a few days, and fooled around. At one point, he took my underwear off. I told him not to but he said it felt better so I let him. He then humped me and at the time I felt used and crappy. He had barely shown interest in turning me on before and I chalked it up to just inexperience on his part. Afterwards, I didn't think much about it and I was still happy with him, but the relationship deteriorated and eventually ended because he made me feel bad about my sexuality both in how, how often, and what I expressed to him. We've talked intermittently since then but I've begun to block him from online messengers because he has said some pretty scary things and behaved in very 'clingy' ways that make me uncomfortable.

I've thought about this from time to time and now that I have a new relationship I'm thinking more about that experience versus my new experiences. I just don't know how to feel about this past one. I feel in one sense that I was assaulted somehow, but on the other I feel like I shouldn't blame him for my not-talking, my acquiescence, and for just having a different way of being sexual. This is beginning to really bother me now.
Should I feel this way? Should I just cut off contact? Was it some form of abuse or was it just misunderstandings and awkwardness? Am I just comparing something so-so versus something good, and inevitably getting a bad 'result'? Should I tell him how I feel?

I'm just so confused :| Any help or advice or anything would be much appreciated.
Posted by orca (Member # 33665) on :

People do have different ways of expressing their sexuality, yes, but anytime someone's expression of sexuality infringes on someone else's, or violates them in some way, it's not okay. He violated your body, your needs, your desires, your self-expression. That's never okay. We can always find ways of expressing our sexuality without harming another person.

Consent isn't the lack of a "no," or the presence of a "yes" after badgering or coercion. Consent isn't acquiescence. Consent is a giant YES! It can be shown in nonverbal ways at times, but I feel the nonverbal ways aren't always obvious to everyone and so the verbal YES is optimal, at least at the start of a relationship before the partners are fully acquainted with one another's nonverbal cues and body language. Any good partner will know and understand that, and will not want anything less than that giant YES because they won't want to have sex with someone who really doesn't 110% want to be there. Sex with someone who's only partly there or is only there because you badgered, coerced, or pleaded with them feels crappy at best, and is a rape at worst.

I think cutting off contact with this guy is a good idea. Someone who intimidates you or makes you feel bad about your sexuality is not a good anything, friend, partner, or even acquaintance. I'm so glad you have a relationship now that is nourishing to you, and I hope it continues to go well. Do you feel talking to a counsellor or therapist would be helpful for you in processing some of what went on in the last relationship and becoming comfortable in your own sexuality (since it sounds like you were made to feel pretty bad about your sexuality by him)? If so, we'd be more than glad to find some resources in your area. You're also welcome to talk more here if you like, though obviously we can't provide the same kind of support and help that a licensed and trained therapist in-person can.
Posted by orca (Member # 33665) on :
Here are a couple of articles you might want to take a look at as well. The first one is aimed at males, but I think it might be helpful for you to see it, too, just to get a clear view of what consent is and isn't, so you can see how your response would not be viewed as giving him consent (and hopefully see that you are not at fault here, because you really really are not). It's hard to get past that feeling of self-blame, or feeling like you should have done more, said more, but a lot of that is likely coming from our society's tendency to victim-blame and excuse the behaviors of rapists. We can only be in charge of a situation so far, until the other person, the one who perpetrated the act, is the one responsible. He is the one who is responsible for violating your person, not you.

How can men know if someone is giving consent or not?
An Immodest Proposal
He's my boyfriend, so how could it have been rape?
Posted by TPB (Member # 40974) on :
Thank you!

I've decided to end contact with him and I feel very happy with that decision. I still have to go over all my feelings and thoughts but the articles helped. I don't think I need a therapist since after I broke it off with him I began to feel good about my sexuality again, but I might go at some point just to talk to someone about it in person.

Thank you again.
Posted by orca (Member # 33665) on :
You're very welcome! [Smile]

Therapy is definitely not the only option out there for healing. A lot of people do find it helpful, but I think we all have to follow our intuition and forge our own path towards feeling well and whole; our intuition tends to be pretty spot on, when we give it a chance. Some other options would be support groups, both in-person and online (which we can give you some links to, if you're interested), as well as books (of which we'd be more than happy to make some suggestions for you if you want them), family, friends, community, or if you go to a place of worship, many people find it helpful to talk to their local religious leader. These are just some extra options for you to consider as time goes by (in other words, no rush [Smile] ). By no means are they the only options, as some people also find various hobbies to be healing, as well as yoga or other body movement, and even long walks or going on retreats.

Let us know if there's anything we can help with, or anything you want to talk some more about. I'm so glad this was helpful for you.

[ 03-17-2009, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

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