This comment is from Marcy on the post “Why It’s Dangerous To Say ‘Only Bad Guys Commit Rape.’” There are many reasons to talk about rape, and consent, and the harm done. At The Good Men Project, not everyone agrees that we should talk about it the way we’ve talked about on our website. But it’s the stories that get told that help give a collective understanding of a word so powerful that some people are afraid to say it out loud. Here is one of those stories that has come out of our conversation here.
In light of this post I feel the need to share a story as well…I am a rape victim, and here is my story.
A year and a half ago I was seeing a guy and we had messed around, but never actually had sex. He was very good to me, very great guy, but I did know that he had ‘been around’ prior to us starting to see each other and it made me uneasy. I wasn’t completely ok with it, but he drew me in, we had been friends for almost a year and I had had a crush on him for months. My recent relationship had ended so I had a chance to start seeing him.
We had been seeing each other (not in an official ‘relationship’) for about a month. On the night of my birthday, I got extremely intoxicated, blacking out most of the evening. He also got extremely intoxicated. When we got back from the evening we went to bed. The next morning I woke up, realizing both of our clothes were off and I was sore…I knew that I never said yes. I don’t even remember it starting! I just remember waking up in middle of it, towards the end I suppose…and then falling back to sleep. I thought it was a dream! Sadly, it was not. What makes it all worse…this was my first time ever having intercourse and I was 22. First time ever black out drunk, first time having sex. No consent, no condom, no remembrance of it happening, better yet enjoying it. Having to wake up the next morning and buy plan B. Thank God I didn’t get pregnant. Yes I know, 22 is old…but through high school I wasn’t dating anyone serious (and wanted the first time to be with someone who loved me) and then through college I was dating a guy who was very religious and celibate. So I was celibate. So I was waiting till either marriage with him, or a new relationship with someone who loved me. And with the first time getting black out drunk…alcohol scares me because my mother was an alcoholic. So I have always been very careful. This was the first and last time I ever let go and just ‘got drunk’. Never again.
I’m still seeing him, a year and a half later. I don’t know why I didnt just end it. I believed he didn’t know what he was doing. I believed it was a mistake and didn’t think it was rape because we were seeing each other so I must have ‘set myself up for it’. And after time of thinking about it I realized it was full out rape. But I really liked him, and we’ve built a great relationship that I don’t see ending. But that night still haunts me and always will. I cry and cry when I remember that I waited so long to have sex with that perfect man and it was just taken from me. I can’t even remember it. Honestly, we should have never been that intoxicated, and now I know, I will NEVER get that intoxicated again because bad things can happen. Im even more scared of alcohol now.
So my point of telling this story…please take this seriously. Men and women alike. Do NOT GET THAT DRUNK because you have no control over what is happening after a certain point. It’s a horrible idea and leads to horrible things. So please, realize that you MUST have consent. When someone is asleep, they are a no go. Waking them up is probably even a no go because their still in and out of sleep…make sure they are 100% there. And don’t get so drunk that you cannot ask for consent or cannot give consent. If your planning to get that drunk, plan to say away from the opposite sex. And cars. And anything of value to you.
Just thought I would share…and I hope that it hits home with some people. I will always regret getting that drunk that night…because the one thing that was mine, that I had held back from everyone for all the years of my life, was taken from me. I would have never said yes sober because we weren’t ready, and I wasn’t conscious when it happened. So be sure you practice and preach consent. Please and thank you.
photo: hollylay / flickr
RAINN operates local crisis centers, which you can reach at any time by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673).
Our section on rape and sexual assault, here.