There have been a number of conversations lately regarding consent. After reading this article by Tracy Clark-Flory about safewords being ignored, I decided it was time I talked about my own experience.
TRIGGER WARNING: Rape
When I was 23, I was raped.
It took me a long time to realise what happened was in fact rape. I had thought just acknowledging it would be enough to come to terms with what happened, and it did, for a short time. I hope by talking about it now, it will give me some closure, and perhaps stop the same thing from happening to at least one other person.
I was young, inexperienced, naïve and in my first BDSM relationship. French was my Master, and I was his submissive. I was completely infatuated with him, and trusted him completely. I couldn’t talk to anyone else about the relationship, because I was French’s secret mistress, and he didn’t want it getting back to his partner. I got it in my head that because they were having problems, he would leave her for me, and to help that happen, I would do anything to please him.
One night French sent me a text to say he was coming round. I was to meet him at the door completely naked, or we would have anal sex (which we had not had together up until that point, because I was not ready, and had told him so, repeatedly). That was the whole extent of the negotiation. No discussion of safewords, hard limits, or anything else. I didn’t think I would ever never a safeword. Why would I? I (thought I) was in love with French, and trusted him completely. He would never force me to do anything I didn’t want to do. Would he?
I was living in a flat by myself at this point. So I had no safety back up, someone to help me make sure nothing went wrong. Again, I didn’t think I would need to.
I sat on the couch, naked under my bathrobe, eagerly awaiting French’s arrival. He knocked, I disrobed, and opened the door. I thought (mistakenly) that this would show him that I truly had no desire to engage in any anal sex with him that night.
French led me to my bedroom. Some foreplay ensued. He grabbed a condom, put it on. Then it happened. He flipped me over onto my front and pinned me down. I tried to get away, while saying “No! I don’t want to!” He ignored my pleas, even though consensual non-consent was not part of our dynamic (I didn’t even know such a thing existed). There was no preparation, no lube. I stopped struggling, and lay there silently, trying to move into a position where maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much, just wanting it to be over.
When he was finished, I felt numb, unsure what had just happened. Rape never even crossed my mind, after all, he was my boyfriend. Boyfriends don’t rape their girlfriends.
I ignored whatever I was feeling. Dirty. Used. After putting my bathrobe back on, I joined French on the couch, and we watched Project Runway together. And he went home.
A couple of weeks later, French and I parted ways. I had met J, and, after falling for him completely (for real this time), wanted to be exclusive.
About two years later, French got in contact with me again. By this point I had realised the true extent of what had happened, and I told him as such. He sheepishly said he didn’t realise, and had just gotten caught up in the moment. I believe that was his “apology.” I have not talked to him since, and have no desire too.
I know now that I, in no way, deserved what happened to me. I had followed the rules, and he had taken advantage of my innocence.
I don’t regret what happened though, it has helped make me who I am today, and I’m pretty ok with that person.