I promise you that any question you’ve asked yourself when hearing about my story – I’ve already asked it 1,000 times, and continue to ask it to myself or in therapy.
But one that I’ve asked myself a lot – and one that I could completely understand you asking is, “Why did I even have him over?”
After all, I even have a post where I talk about my old attitude of “I’ll never put myself in a situation alone in my apartment with a man unless I’m ready to have sex with him.” So, why did I do that?
And the thing I keep going back to when it comes to this specific thing is this:
A couple of months later, I’d been out a few times with this really nice guy. And he asked what I wanted to do for our 4th or 5th date or whatever.
And he sweetly offered to help me hang some things in my apartment. He knew that I was still a little overwhelmed by not really feeling moved in and settled, and he was all, “I used to be a gallery assistant. So, I’m happy to come over and hang some stuff.”
And I was straightforward with him, like, “Hey, I soooo appreciate you wanting to do that. But I have a hangup about having sex in my bed – and *especially* having someone sleep in my bed after having sex… And I know that we’ve already had sex at your place. And I can’t promise you that we’ll have sex at mine, ’cause again I’m weird about my bed and my space. So, I don’t want to confuse you in any way, like ‘well, she had sex with my already. Why doesn’t she want to now? Was it not good or did I do something?’ Because it’s not that at all. And I don’t want to frustrate you. And I don’t want to lead you on by having a date inside my apartment – which would lead you to believe we’re probably having sex, just to not… So… if you want to go do anything else – maybe something closer to you or whatever. Or even if you want to do this, and then we go to your place afterward. Whatever you want, knowing the constraints of how I feel about having both sex and sleep in my bed. I just want to be straightforward.”
And he kind of laughed and was cute about it. And was like, “Thanks for the blunt monologue. I spend time with you because I like to spend time with you – not because I’m purely trying to have sex with you. I don’t need to have sex every time I see you. And I’d still really love to come over and help you hang some stuff, if you want that.”
And he did.
And he ended up staying (without having sex with me). And in the morning, we started fooling around a little. And he was like, “hey, if you don’t mind, I think we should probably stop… Because I’m getting pretty hot and bothered. And I definitely want to have sex with you. And I don’t want to get caught up and cross a line that you’ve already very clearly laid out that you don’t want to cross.
And I was so taken aback in that moment. I didn’t even have to stop us. I didn’t even have to remind him.
I would have. And I wouldn’t have been mad that I had to remind him of something from a few days prior… But he didn’t even make me. I can’t even say, “Yeah, he didn’t argue with me when I begged to go somewhere else” (which is what happened in the time that ended in assault) – because we never even got to the point where he potentially could have argued, because he listened to me the first time.
It was such a wildly stark difference. I don’t know what else to say, really. It was so jarring to see, “Oh. Oh, that’s what respect actually looks like.”
So, should I have had sexual assault guy over to my apartment? Well, with hindsight, no, I shouldn’t have… But should having him over to my apartment have led to what it led to? No. And this story under similar circumstances just a couple of months later hopefully illustrates how the situation could’ve gone so differently.