Ever tried to convince yourself you weren't raped?
Andrew* and I had been dating, but were just recently on good terms again after a falling out in which we didn’t speak for three months. We lived in different states, so I decided to visit him for the weekend to see if it was really possible to repair the damage that had been done. I’d visited him prior to the falling out and everything had been really fun and gone well, so I had high hopes for what was to come. Andrew and I had done plenty of fooling around, but we’d never had sex. I was 23 years old, but I was a virgin and had made it clear to him that there would be no sex this weekend. No sex until I decided if what we had was worth giving another shot. Andrew was 28 and had been my first everything; I assumed he’d be the first person I had sex with, but I hadn’t yet made that decision.
It was a sunny, warm day in April when I arrived and we spent the afternoon sitting on his balcony, sipping beers while he strummed his guitar and we talked and laughed together. There was lots of kissing, too, and at one point I even lightheartedly reminded him that he wasn’t getting laid, just in case he thought I would change my mind as the empty beer bottles piled up. We were tipsy and laughing on a beautiful day and everything was perfect.
When the sun went down we moved inside and began making out on his sofa. The clothes started to come off, but this was nothing new; we’d done lots of fooling around while naked. He was the first man I was comfortable with seeing me naked and I trusted him with my body. I laid back and closed my eyes to enjoy the bliss of feeling his mouth and hands on me. And then something changed; something felt different. I wasn’t in pain, but there was suddenly a lot of pressure. My eyes snapped open. Andrew was inside of me.
My first reaction wasn’t even anger. Always safe, always cautious, I asked him if he was wearing a condom. He said he wasn’t. That was when I told him to stop, to get off of me. His response was, “just a couple more minutes, baby.” I waited, unsure of what to do. I never imagined I’d be in this position, but I was oddly calm and just tried to figure out how to handle it. After a few moments I repeated my plea for him to stop. Again he said, “just a minute.” And he kept going. So I just laid there, thinking that: 1.) If I didn’t reciprocate, maybe he’d get bored and leave me alone, and 2.) If I didn’t tell him to stop, it wasn’t rape. It infuriates me that thought actually went through my mind, but I just kept telling myself he wasn’t raping me if I wasn’t telling him to stop.
He eventually lost interest and went onto his balcony to have a cigarette; something else I’d asked him not to do around me. I put my clothes on and followed him out and we were silent for a while. He then broke the silence by informing me that he hadn’t finished inside me and since I was on birth control there was no way I was pregnant, so there wasn’t anything to worry about. I’m a pretty smart girl, but he also did a good job manipulating me into believing I had asked for it. I believed him because it was easier than dealing with the alternative.
It wasn’t until two years later that I was fully able to comprehend what he had done to me and to recognize it for what it was: rape. Andrew stole my virginity from me and he raped me. And it was wrong.
*names have been changed