Things started off simple enough, there was music, I was looking good, drinks were flowing, and people were mingling.
The pub we went to was known for it’s vibrant, friendly atmosphere, and once the actual party was over, the after-party began.
The only people present were club regulars – people in the in crowd, so to speak. And that night, because of who I was hanging out with, I was one of them. I came home with a man I never should have gone near in the first place.
The guy I was interested in had been dancing around me the whole night – figuratively. We’d chat, maybe flirt, then back off.
We had hung out together in the past, we had mutual friends. We also had mutual attraction going, for each other.
So I finally decided to be blunt about it, and we came to an understanding. It would be casual, no strings attached – but I did make one thing clear.
No sex until I was physically comfortable enough with him.
He dropped me home when the night began to wind down – I invited him to come up for a bit.
Once again, I iterated my condition – no sex, not until I felt comfortable enough to go through with it.
Perhaps, subconsciously, even then my gut was telling me that this was a guy who would need a verbal warning, because he wouldn’t be very perceptive of a non-verbal one.
What I did not anticipate, either consciously or otherwise, was the massive entitlement complex this dude was toting around.
The bottom line? He wanted sex.
And because I had flirted with him, made my interest in him clear, and invited him up to my home – in his mind, that bottom line was underscored by one idea: I owed him sex.
I wasn’t raped.
What I was, was cajoled, persuaded, and pressed into having sex with him. It took over twenty refusals, and finally some yelling on my part, before it finally got through his head that no meant NO.
And what do you think he did, then? Do you think he was embarrassed, or apologetic, or even violent?
None of the above.
What he did was something rather more insidious.
He accused me of stringing him along, of having wrong intentions, of making him feel bad.
In his mind, it was clear: if a girl found him attractive and made the mistake of telling him so, then she HAD to have sex with him.
Anything else – all those grey areas in between – the getting to know someone, the getting comfortable with someone, the developing an actual liking for them – they didn’t figure into his world view.
I wanted him. But I didn’t want to have sex with him – not yet anyway.
In his mind, that made ME the villain, instead of him.
After he stormed out of my house, accusing me of being a tease and what not, I felt – fear, yes, and also relief that things hadn’t turned ugly. That he had had enough decency in him to not rape me.
But my most prominent emotion at the time was guilt.
Guilt that he had dumped onto me because he didn’t want to take responsibility for his own behaviour, and for his desperation.
It wasn’t until much later, after the shock had worn off, after we had both made peace with each other, that I began to feel anger.
The time to talk about what had happened, to assign blame fairly, was long gone.
But the time had come, I decided, to amputate from my personality the trait that had almost destroyed me that night.
If I hadn’t wanted this guy to like me so badly, I’d have been far more cautious in how I dealt with him.
And that was the last day I ever went out of my way to be a people-pleaser. Because no one is entitled to me. To my emotions. To my body.
No one – no matter what I told them, no matter what I promised them, no matter how much I made out with them – is entitled to sex with me.
If that’s what makes them happy? They’re much better off out of my life.
At this point, the old me would probably ask you if you agreed with me or not?
— Image credit: businessofcinema.com