I Thought It Could Never Happen To Me… *I* Could Never Be Assaulted… Right?

January 4, 2017

Goodness, gracious I have tried to edit this post so many times.

Add this, cut this. Add this, cut this. What’s helpful? What’s prudent? What’s rambling? What’s correct?

There are so very many stereotypes about women and sexual assault that it became easy to let this post get way out of hand and filled with tangents.

So, I’m gonna try to see if I can say what I’m trying to say…

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Also, I want to state two things first:
1) I talk about some old ideas I had about assault. The latent sexism I had was crazy and awful. And it may be upsetting and triggering. I am only talking about it to show growth. And I’m sorry about things I was unaware of at the time, and my dumbness sometimes in life.

2) I talk pretty darn super openly about parts of my sex life in here. If you don’t want to read that (parents! Family! Maybe others) then please don’t, and hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow!

Anyway (finally! (eesh, talk about trying not to tangent!)) – to the post at hand!

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I’m an idiot. I believed so many stereotypes about sexual assault… and that made me feel like *I* couldn’t be assaulted

I feel like it was so easy to kind of latently go along with the falsehoods of sexual assault.

Granted, I believed that women who changed their minds after originally wanting sex – and then let that be known to the men who continued anyway – I believed (and still do) that those women were sexually assaulted… I believed (and still do) that even if that happened with a woman’s intimate partner, she was assaulted.

However, I feel like I sometimes passively believed that false narrative about women who changed their minds…

Was she being a “tease”? Being a “prude”? Playing a “malicious game”?  I know the answer is no. I know you never blame the victim… But when people used to ask those questions, I sometimes let curious thoughts seep in. I sometimes silently asked those victim-blaming questions. (e.g. …Was she just playing with him?) (I don’t ask those questions anymore. So, you can be mad at old me in the comments. I’m mad at her too. But please know my outlook has changed and I’m sorry. Anyway, getting back to the post at hand…)

There were other narratives too… “Was she young little innocent farmgirl (or whatever). “Someone who thought she was ready but now can’t haaaaaaaandle it because [suuuuuuuuuper condescending voice] little baby can’t handle fun adult time anymore… Awwww, is it not speeeeeeecial enough for you?”

Those are kind of the narratives I feel like heard – that really the “only times” a woman would end up in an assault situation with a guy she knows is if she “led him on,” and was using sex almost like a “mean game.”
Ooooor… if she “thought she was ready,” but ultimately was “too weak” or whatever…

But I would never be “that girl.” Right? I’m such a “cool chick.” Sex doesn’t have to be “special” for me. I’d never have “drama,” now would I?

I was never intentionally victim-blaming. But I absolutely had thoughts of “that could never happen to me, because I’ll do it ‘right’.” I’ll never change my mind. I’ll always be horny for my man… etc….

It never even dawned on me for even a millisecond that a woman would want to stop sex because the man was physically hurting her, or because she ended up in a physical place where she felt unsafe.

Or because a man starting treating her differently throughout the night – that maybe just maybe his attitude/body language/verbal language/anything about the way he’s interacting with her could change during the night… That maybe it’s not all on her attitude.

He could turn mean or violent or emotionally (or physically) abusive, etc., He could ignore any concerns she has, making her feel so wildly uncomfortable that she could no longer feel an ounce of joy by having that person inside of her.

[*Silly lightbulb*]
Sexual assaults maaaaybe are not just women who were like, “Sure! Let’s have sex!” and then changed their mind for sport when they’re naked.

Circumstances can change from when she says yes to when it happens… Well, would you believe that?

And by the way, for the record, there are obviously like a million more (spoiler alert: an infinite number more) legitimate reasons (since all reasons are legit), as to why a woman would want to stop the moving train of sex, even if she did want it at first….

And I know I literally just talked yesterday about the ridiculousness of judging a woman’s no – like, “well, is this a ‘legitimate’ no?” (Because they are all legitimate.) But even though it’s crazy, and very upsetting, it was a little bit ingrained inside me too!

I lived for my reputation as a “cool chick” – as someone who’s almost always down for sex with her friends if we need to help each other out (or maybe even that reeeeally cute guy from wherever who’s been flirting with her all night).

I’m pretty sure I was thought of by some as “easy” in some schools (and/or some other places). And I wasn’t ashamed. I wore it like a badge of honor. “That’s right. I’m sexy-ish and super horny. What of it? Come at me! [in a safe, respectful way ;)].”

I’ve always been a girl who’s known (around my friends) for talking about sex super openly without any games. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Wow, you are so blunt about this stuff. It’s great; I love it! (Or some variation of that).)

And even when I committed to one person for a while because I love him and he asked me to, I still tried to be a “cool chick” for him…I took it as almost a challenge to be ready whenever he was…

I grew up on sitcoms. I’ve seen the tropes of the poor husband not getting enough sex. I wanted to make sure that a man never complained about me in that way… Because (of what’s been ingrained in me) it would make me feel very inadequate if he did. (Not that I’m saying a woman in general would be inadequate. I’m saying I would feel that way whether that’s “right” or not.) Plus, I love(d) sex. So, it felt pretty darn easy to always want the man I was with.

For almost two years, I never once told that man I didn’t want to… I was soooo hot for him, and I always wanted to.

Random small (slightly dirty) example of a funny time with him: One time, we were on his couch, and I was telling him how horny I was for him, and I was telling him softly, “babe… My [you know what’s] wet.” And he said, so flatly, “I know.” (His delivery makes me laugh even now.) And I said, “How could you possibly know right now? You can’t even feel it from where you’re sitting.” And he said (lovingly and in a fun way), “Because, Aurora. It literally always is. You are always horny. You are the horniest person I know.”

And I found that to be such a freaking compliment, I was ready to get a sash made. Look at me! I’ll never be a sitcom trope. I’m the horniest person he knows – always ready for him.

I’ve worked for Playboy. I’ve worked as a phone sex girl. I have a whole drawer full of costumes. I love sex! I’m into it.

And I’m competitive as all get out and I will do my best – if you want me – to have sex with you until you tap out. I’m in it to win it, baby!

So how could someone like me possibly be sexually assaulted? (Right?)

It just used to feel like, “Well, the ‘cool’ chick doesn’t get assaulted, because, you know, I’m too busy being cool…and always being horny… and willing to have no-strings-attached sex with my buddies when I’m not in a relationship (which is most of the time, since I don’t to a lot of “real relationships” or whatever), because you know… we need exercise and endorphins.”

“I could be assaulted by a complete stranger on the street, I guess,” I thought. (And I did worry about that a little bit… It was a very very tiny part of why I had a procedure to make it so I couldn’t have kids – so even if I were raped by a strange man, at least I’d be protected from that.)

“But barring that whole scary strange man on the street thing, I’ll never not want to have sex if I’m alone with a man in his room. If I am willingly privately around a buddy or a new cutie or whatever, I’m into it… Therefore, it could never happen to me.” (And I know there’s like a million things wrong with that thought… For one (of a trillion things) I could’ve ended up alone with someone on accident when a party cleared out. It is possible to be alone with a man (even one you know) without intentionally planning it… Blah blah blah blah blah. There are like so many things wrong with my thought at the beginning of this paragraph…) (And again, I am so so sorry for being a super idiot.) But at the time, it made sense in my brain…)

But I was wrong. So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so very unbelievably wrong.

It can happen to anyone.

Assault is not the byproduct of “overly-sensitive” or “confused” women… Assault is a criminal act perpetrated against women who deserve respect. (You know… all women).

(I bolded that because this post is really long and that’s really the most important sentence, and the point I’m trying to make – because before it happened to me, even as a woman, I don’t think my apparently pea brain fully understood.)

(*Also, of course assault is perpetrated against men as well, I do not ever mean to leave them out of this problem… This is just statistically an overwhelming female problem and right now that is where both my personal experience and a majority of my advocacy lies – even though my heart is of course with any person this happened to – and charities I’m running for help male victims as well.)

And I do wonder how in the world – how, and/or why I could have even a part of my brain that kind of sees the side of the victim-blamers…

I mean, I do see how, kind of… You know. Growing up in the patriarchy. Having a bunch of empathy (including for people who could’ve potentially maybe perhaps been falsely accused, ’cause you know, I don’t know). All that jazz.
And this is where I could try to say more and tangent even more, but I think I got the main point across – that I think the narrative about how a situation goes down where a person gets assaulted by a man they know, because, basically, “they screwed something up” is wrong. (Or at least, the narratives I felt I always heard were wrong.)

And I am so so so so so so sorry that it took me until it happened to me to understand (and straighten out my view). It feels selfish and wrong and like I had blinders on. And I’m truly sorry I didn’t understand the issue. I’m working hard to understand it now.

2 thoughts on “I Thought It Could Never Happen To Me… *I* Could Never Be Assaulted… Right?”

  1. Great post. For what it’s worth, as I’m sure you’re aware, the “I never thought it could happen to *me*, until…” applies to a whole lot of stuff beyond sexual assault. We all could use more empathy and awareness to get that yes, it COULD happen to us. (Yours was, of course, one of the most awful ways to learn this lesson.)

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Kevin. I love hearing when you like my posts 🙂 And yes, it’s weird because I *feel* like I have tons of empathy. I try to have empathy. I try to be understanding. Sometimes it even gets me in trouble in life – allowing people second or third or fourth chances who maybe shouldn’t get them, or allowing myself to be walked over because “I want to be understanding.” However, even though I see myself as an empathetic person… (And even though I honestly thought I was empathetic to victims of sexual assault, because I was sad for them and cared about them and was toooootally missing my blind spots of latent sexism.)… I obviously have room to grow. I obviously still see the world very very much from my own lens of experiences and such, and I should probably work on doing the best to broaden that as much as I can.

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