Bad Memory

[Dad, you DO NOT want to read this post. It’s got some information in it regarding me, your oldest daughter, that you’d rather NOT KNOW.]

[Okay, you’ve been warned. This is a post I don’t want my dad to read. It contains graphical sexual descriptions.]

[Really, Dad, don’t read this. I’m not even posting this to Facebook because I don’t want family reading this.]

So, this is pretty terrible.

And it made me remember that a pretty terrible thing happened to me almost 20 years ago.

I didn’t report it. Because I didn’t think it was rape. It was definitely sexual assault, and I definitely was drugged, and thinking about it now — nearly 20 years later — is making me a little sick to my stomach.

But part of that sick feeling is simply due to the fact that I didn’t spend time thinking about this until I read this article.

I have always claimed that, although I have been sexually harassed, I have never been raped.

But I would say coming suddenly back to myself with a cock in my mouth and another man performing cunnilingus on me is pretty graphically rape.

And, yeah, that’s what happened. The man performing oral on me asked if we could have sex. I asked if he had a condom. He did not. I said no, and we did not have sex.

I was not as out-of-it as the woman in the article. I could walk, I was not so incapacitated that I involuntarily urinated. I remember *most* of the night, although how I ended up in a bedroom with two men — neither of whom I knew very well — is a blank.

I went to the bathroom and threw up shortly after the one guy came in my mouth.

Then, I washed my mouth out and gathered myself together, and went home. And the word rape never, ever occurred to me. Maybe because I was fairly sexually adventurous. Maybe because when I declined actual intercourse, I was listened to. Maybe because I wasn’t hurt, I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t restrained. Maybe because I had an orgasm. I even told the people at the party what had happened when they asked where I had gone.

That doesn’t excuse these two men.

I realized shortly after the incident — probably the next day — that I had been drugged. As well as having had the weird oral menage a trois in the bedroom, I had made out with two women, and while I was hardly virginal, even that was quite a bit of action in one night for me.

And still, after realizing someone had slipped me a mickey, the word rape never crossed my mind. I have never considered myself a victim. (And I certainly would not have donned that mantle as a way of claiming special privilege, as George Will would assert.) This event didn’t haunt me; it didn’t inhibit my ongoing exploration of and enjoyment in sex.

I don’t feel particularly outraged — I didn’t back then, either. Disgusted, that someone would drug me, and other people at this party (seriously, it was practically an orgy in this apartment. I was not the only one with extremely lowered inhibitions).

And of course, even the belated realization doesn’t change anything. Except I can never say never again.

8 thoughts on “Bad Memory

  1. That’s just awful, Dawn, and I’d like to apologize on behalf of my entire gender, except I know I can’t. I have no other words beyond “I’m sorry, and if you need to talk, you have friends.”

    • No apologies needed — I mean, unless those creeps want to apologize to me. No lasting trauma was imposed, and I don’t have a different feeling about the person I am. I’m glad I put it out there, though. I think it is important that we give voice to these things. Silence and darkness are killers. It is only by shining a light on certain things that things can change.

  2. Every time I read about the pervasiveness of sexual assault/rape in our culture, I wonder how it is that I made it to being married without something terrible happening to me. It’s not like it didn’t do stupid things or put myself in bad situations. I certainly wasn’t living as a cloistered nun. How did I get lucky and others didn’t? And how do I not feel embarrassed by my coveted status as untouched by such horrors?

    I’m sorry that happened to you, Dawn. And you’re right. It WAS rape. It’s one more reminder that I should teach my boys that intoxication cancels out consent and that no means no and also silence means no. Yes is what they have to hear, from a partner clear headed.

    • Thank you for your kind words, and for your comment, and for teaching your sons well! This has been an interesting experience for me, remembering this, mulling on it, and deciding to blog about it. Ultimately, it doesn’t change my feelings about me or about sex. Or about the need to talk about these things, these subjects. With everyone, on our blogs, with our children. Nothing that happened to me was my fault.

      And sex is still a good thing. 😉

  3. I am sorry to read this. I am disgusted with how some men act, my sister was molested as a child which formed my perception. It takes a lot of courage to write what you did. The affects of sexual assault are so real and so life altering, I wish more men would understand this and help raise good boys that respect all people.

    • Admittedly, I feel fairly unscathed. I do think we have to do better with making it clear that sex is special, and no one is entitled to it ‘just because’ (bought dinner, nice guy, whatever), and the other person’s consent and pleasure is vital. This goes both ways, although, yes, maybe the cultural message to a number of men needs to be more about respecting women as people, not bodies. Thanks for your comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s