Anonymous: I Thought I Had Consented

Anonymous: I Thought I Had Consented

Two years ago, I made a mistake. A big one. Guilt flooded through me. I could feel it in my veins. The hurt I had caused you made me feel overwhelmingly ashamed. I told you I would do anything to make up for it. Anything. We had been together for two years. You were my first and only love. There were a few sexual things I had refrained from doing in our relationship. One thing in particular you had begged for over and over. You would get angry, pressure me, and guilt me. It was my responsibility as your girlfriend to pleasure you in the ways you wanted. It didn’t matter if I wasn’t comfortable doing it. It didn’t matter if it went against my beliefs. It was my obligation to suck your dick. After all, “what’s the point of having a girlfriend if she isn’t going to please me?”

I was clear about my boundaries since day one. You later told me you saw it as a challenge. Well, I see it as sexual assault. Not once did you ask for consent. Not once did you make sure I was comfortable before proceeding to use my body for your pleasure. You assumed everything was fair game unless I stopped you. And even then, you would say that it’s ok. “It’s no big deal. Just a little more. I know you want to.” I would give in each time. I mean, it felt good after all. So what if I didn’t want to do it? I had done it before. Why shouldn’t I do it again? I wanted to make you happy. I wanted the pressure to go away. I wanted to avoid conflict.

Though I thought I had consented, I later found out what consent really meant. I heard stories of people who had experienced similar things. I learned that consent is not valid if the person giving it feels “subjected to actions that elicit emotional, psychological, or reputational threat, intimidation, or fear.” All of which I felt.

At the time, I was too naive to know what was happening. I thought that was all part of being in a relationship. I thought I only felt that way because I had different beliefs than most women. I thought it was my fault. It was only after we had broken up that I found out relationships were not meant to be that way. Several guys who wanted to hook up with me would ask for permission before doing anything. They would establish clear boundaries. They would ask for consent.

And then, after two years, it was finally your chance to get what you wanted. My beliefs and values did not matter. I had screwed up, so I owed it to you. A couple of minutes into it, I couldn’t do it anymore. I ran to the bathroom and began to weep. You gave me a hug. After I cried for a few minutes, you told me you forgave me. We never spoke about it again.

I convinced myself it never happened. That one time didn’t actually count. It was just a minor slip up. I now acknowledge that this one incident, and all of the other times I felt emotionally and psychologically pressured (and proceeded to) sexually please you when I did not want to or feel comfortable, was sexual assault.

Note: This does not describe the majority of our relationship. This mostly describes the beginning and then some incidents throughout. There was mutual consent for most (probably ~98%) of our sexual activity, but not all of it.

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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