T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 94526
posted 02-07-2012 11:47 PM
A couple of weeks ago I went home from college for a weekend and we went out and partied. I had had a lot to drink in just a couple hours (3+ shots, 2 drinks, a beer, probably some more than that which I don't remember- on an empty stomach). We ended up at some small house party and I ended up having unprotected sex with a guy- I barely remember it. The part that sticks out most in my memory is me asking him "Do you have a condom?" and him saying "No" and proceeding to have sex anyways. Apparently people saw us in the act as well (embarrassing), and this guy goes to school an hour away. I looked up the laws in my state and it appears that it would qualify as rape in the 3rd degree (a felony).
However, I'm not really interested in ruining this guy's life. He was probably drunk too. That doesn't justify it, but I feel somewhat responsible. I feel disgusted and stupid and taken advantage of and worried about STDs (I'll be getting a test soon). Doing something like that is SO out of character for me- never in a million years would I consent to unprotected sex with a complete stranger who I'd known for all of 10 minutes (I didn't even remember his name in the morning). I have a boyfriend and right now my biggest interest is keeping him- or anyone else for that matter- from finding out. I learned my lesson, I'm done drinking irresponsibly around strangers, I get it now. I haven't tried to make contact with this guy at all- my biggest wish is for it all to go away and just kind of forget about it (assuming a couple of STI tests come back negative...I'll cross that bridge in a couple of months). Is it okay (legally, not asking for your ethical opinions here) to contact him and request that he keep this whole thing a secret in exchange for me not reporting it? That sounds awful but let me put it this way: I'm not interested in putting him on a sex offender registry with ridiculously stringent guidelines for the rest of his life just for one sloppy night. But I feel like if he's going to brag about it and completely disregard the condition I was in, I'm willing to go that far. But, you know, it also kind of sounds like blackmail (though to be clear I'm not asking for money). Any advice? I'm just really confused right now. [ 02-07-2012, 11:49 PM: Message edited by: AXZ ]
Member # 3
posted 02-08-2012 10:10 AM
I think it's important to separate the choice of filing a report about a rape and pressing charges and trying to sort out of a rape occurred. Because, of course, the two are not the same things, and ding the latter also doesn't have to mean doing the former. I think trying to figure out what happened for yourself is the most important piece, and certainly what usually has to come first.
I'm hearing you express that you were binge drinking, and, from the sounds of things, quite drunk. I'm hearing you remembering negotiating sex to some degree. I'm hearing you say you're not sure if this person themselves was drunk or not. So, here's the thing: if you were both drunk, then really, neither of you would have been able to give full consent legally (or practically), so something like this is effectively a wash. And for sure, one thing alcohol tends to do to people is really loosen their judgment, so it's not unusual to make choices we wouldn't otherwise make when sober. So, with the information at hand here so far, this sounds less like an assault to me than like two wasted people mutually having sex that wasn't fully consensual on either part. But if you're not sure about that, I'd suggest talking to more people who saw what was going on, maybe even to this guy, or people who know him. More often than not, people who assault do it more than once: there may be some history that could tell you something. But you also talk about thinking he'll brag about this: can you tell me where that's coming from? I feel like I'm hearing you say you may want to call this rape to keep him from telling anyone else you slept together, and for what I'd hope are obvious reasons, I think there are serious ethical problems there. I also think if your biggest aim here is making sure no one finds out, you're going to have to get past that in order to make a truly sound assessment of this, since that's obviously going to cloud your judgment. In terms of not telling your partner: personally, I'd vote strongly against that. Not only have possible health risks been put in the mix any current partners need to know about so they can get their own tests or choose to go back to square one with safer sex to prevent any infections, but I also think you take away someone's choices when you don't allow them to choose to stay in or not, or adjust or not, a relationship where one partner did or may have had sex outside the relationship if that wasn't pre-negotiated. I know that's tough, I do (been there, done that, and yep, it sucks), but I also think that making choices for a partner in this regard by withholding information isn't ethical or sounds when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship.
Member # 3
posted 02-08-2012 11:24 AM
(By the by, it also sounds like you're having some very hard feelings around this, no matter what happened. If you want to talk them out some, I'm happy to do that with you. Even if this wasn't a sexual assault, that doesn't mean it's something you have to feel good about, or that your bad feelings are things you just have to suck up or dismiss. hard feelings certainly can happen, and often do, with sexual or other choices we don't feel good about and/or, in hindsight, wish we had made differently.)