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Did I consent?

(37 Posts)
2uncertain Wed 23-Jan-19 20:41:36

This may upset/trigger people and I apologise if it is the incorrect location.

I went on a second date last night. The chat over the past week has been very suggestive, and I believe both our expectations were that we would have sex.
I stated in the chat that I was very “vanilla” (though had said I wanted to be taken from behind, and that he needed to be gentle with me and not rush me) and also that condoms were necessary - for pregnancy prevention as well as sexual health.
We both had prior functions and had had a few drinks. When we met (bar for one drink then his hotel room), things got hot and heavy very quickly and though I had left the condoms I brought next to the bed, within a short period of time he had penetrated me anally, agressively, with no condom. I’m not sure I even realised what was going on at first as up until that moment I was enjoying it. My body responded positively (I had been turned on all day in anticipation of the evening).....I think my brain went “this will be over in a minute”. There had been no discussion about this. I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t say no or stop or do anything that would suggest I was upset.
We slept for a bit, and had sex again - vaginal penetration with no condom. I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night, and left this morning....peck on the cheek with him saying “let’s talk later.....or not”.

I’ve been in a bit of a daze all day. Part of me thinks things happened that I didn’t consent to. Part of me knows I put myself in that situation and didn’t make any effort to use the condoms or stop the anal sex. And I did respond to the second initiation of sex. I didn’t give any negative indications while in that room.

I know I felt used instantly, last night, and all of today. Did I want to be used? I know that I’m very sore right now; I know that’s not what I wanted, or would want to happen again. I responded to a message from him saying I had gotten to work and that I needed coffee.

My first sexual intercourse was in my mid twenties, on my first ever date. I again didn’t stop what was happening that night.

I feel like I’ve put myself in the same situation again. I don’t know why and it doesn’t make sense to me. I’m coming out the other side of a severe clinical depression.....things are going well, I’m about to go back to work. I like me again and thought if that was the case I could let someone else like me. Was this self-sabotage? Did I put myself in a highly risky situation again for some unknown reason?

I do have a therapist, but have never explained fully what happened years ago - I’ve talked around the edges of it only. I know that’s the forum to figure this out....but think it’s unlikely I’ll bring it up until I’ve a better handle on it myself.

If anyone has any observations that will help me figure out what I’ve done, I’d appreciate it.

PierreBezukov Wed 23-Jan-19 20:49:21

No, you didn't give consent. You were anally raped. You poor thing. flowers

NotANotMan Wed 23-Jan-19 20:51:59

No. Anal sex always, always needs prior consent and always needs lube and slow penetration. The fact that he penetrated you aggressively without prior consent and with no condom or lube is clearly rape as there was no consent and no reasonable assumption of consent.

NotANotMan Wed 23-Jan-19 20:52:45

Sorry - obviously all sex needs consent, but anal sex should never be presumed as part of a sexual encounter. It needs specific, verbal consent.

CosmicComet Wed 23-Jan-19 20:53:45

If you willingly participated without saying no then I’d probably see that as consent.

BeardedMum Wed 23-Jan-19 21:01:19

why did you not say no? You consented in my view.

NotANotMan Wed 23-Jan-19 21:55:24

How did she willingly participate?

BowBeau Wed 23-Jan-19 22:59:23

OP said her body responded positively, she remained in bed with the man all night after the incident, then had sex with him again in the morning. Which to me implies a certain level of participation. OP herself would have to tell you if there was further participation such as kissing etc, or whether she thinks the man believed she was participating.

HollowTalk Wed 23-Jan-19 23:12:57

why did you not say no? You consented in my view.

Did you not read: though I had left the condoms I brought next to the bed, within a short period of time he had penetrated me anally, agressively, with no condom?

How can you possibly think that's consent?

buckingfrolicks Wed 23-Jan-19 23:29:53

I think that's consent. The mans a total fuckwitted scrotum, but you had agency. I consider that a jury would say the signs were that You "enthusiastically participated" in sex.

What stopped you saying piss off pal that's not on? I think it is a more common experience (not the anal bit) that women go along with sex, for all kinds of reasons. It is sad and bad that we do it - I have - and I think women should talk more about what makes us "concede".

buckingfrolicks Wed 23-Jan-19 23:30:47

There is no law that says anal penetration needs prior explicit verbal consent

2uncertain Thu 24-Jan-19 00:06:25

Willing participate? - not with any active decision about the anal sex. It happened very quickly and frankly I didn't know what was happening immediately. This is only the third person I have had sex with. When I said my body responded I meant that I gasped in a way I guess could be interpreted as pleasure, and, I don't know how to say it better than this, I was very wet.

Why did I not say no? I don't know. The speed at which it happened? The aggression in that moment? A fear of challenging?

I think, maybe, the sex the second time was an attempt on my part to normalise/legitimise a situation that I felt uncomfortable about....."you didn't make yourself vulnerable again/you chose this/you're a grown up/you can't give mixed messages/you want to leave here with everything seeming alright and no confrontation"......that was my internal dialogue.

Why didn't I say piss off? Again, I don't know. Was it low self-esteem......this person wants me so whatever?

You say "go along with".....I'm asking myself if that's what I did.....and if I did, why? Was it my choice? Was the situation coercive? Am I feeling this way because I think I made bad choices? (In relation to the last question, I did make choices - to meet him, to have sex, to have sex the second time.....but there were definitely choices I didn't make too). Did I give completely mis-leading messages? Was the vanilla/be gentle conversation misinterpreted as some sort of come on?

I'm just trying to figure out what I've done, and why I wasn't able to look after myself.
I appreciate the responses as they are making me think things true. I clearly have no sexual maturity/iq

jessstan2 Thu 24-Jan-19 00:33:30

That's dreadful. Perhaps when you said you'd like to be taken from behind, he thought you meant anally - most people don't mean that. He took it for granted that you did (& that says a lot about him). He'll probably say as much if you query it with him.

Later on you had vaginal sex and I hope you are going to tell me that he washed before going in there after being up your bum.

Get yourself checked and if you're not on pill, morning after pill.

He sounds quite violent to me as well as inconsiderate in the extreme.

Chalk it up to experience, try and put it behind you and take things slower with the next one!

Mamabear4180 Thu 24-Jan-19 00:57:42

Its the grey area between rape and taking advantage. You feel raped and have definitely been taken advantage of but it’s not black and white as you didn’t say no and continued as if you were ok with it although he wouldn’t know because he never asked you for consent. The best way to protect yourself in future is to not rush into sex with new people and get to know each other properly and built trust flowers

NotANotMan Thu 24-Jan-19 06:16:57

It's the responsibility of the man to make sure he has consent. Assuming consent is not acceptable and is no longer a defence in law.
He did not have consent for anal penetration nor for sex without a condom.
If a man starts to penetrate a woman without consent and she doesn't resist that does NOT mean she is consenting.

NotANotMan Thu 24-Jan-19 06:18:41

There is no law that says anal penetration needs prior explicit verbal consent

Obviously not. But anal penetration is something that can cause injury and pain if done improperly and should never be assumed, even if consent to vaginal penetration has been given (whether verbally or otherwise)

AmazingGrace16 Thu 24-Jan-19 06:34:43

I think you feel taken advantage of and used for sex but that can happen without it being rape.
Did he have any indication that you didn't want it to happen?

Your feelings are totally valid regardless of what you label the encounter as so don't dismiss them. I would phone a rape helpline to chat it through properly

Bluerussian Thu 24-Jan-19 06:35:00

Well said, NotANotMan.

HollyBollyBooBoo Thu 24-Jan-19 06:48:02

How horrific, I really feel for you.

In terms of how you've worded it here I don't know how the guy would have known to have stopped or that you didn't want it?

"but I didn’t say no or stop or do anything that would suggest I was upset.
We slept for a bit, and had sex again"

Therefore not sure how it could, in a court of law be seen as rape?

Cwenthryth Thu 24-Jan-19 07:06:30

Oh you poor thing OP I’m sorry you’re feeling so confused upset and sore this morning flowers

It does seem clear that this man explicity did not have your consent for anal sex (‘take from behind’ does not mean specifically anally) nor for sex without a condom, given you have a written conversation showing what you discussed and anal sex wasn’t mentioned, and you stated condoms were essential. I agree with PP that anal sex has to be agreed, lubricant used and the receiver needs to be in control of the situation, as it can easily become unsafe as cause serious injury.

In getting your head around your response to the situation as it happened - it’s an understandable psychological response to not immediately shout no/leave when you realise you are ‘under attack’. Most of us have heard of fight or flight response - the additional options our mind might go for in an acute stress situation is freeze or fawn www.betterhelp.com/advice/trauma/fight-flight-freeze-how-to-recognize-it-and-what-to-do-when-it-happens/
Your response of letting it happen and then appeasing behaviour afterwards seems to be a mixture of freezing and fawning responses and I understand that completely. I have behaved in the same way when I was sexually abused and then was immediately doubting, questioning and blaming myself afterwards. I only managed to deal with what happened when I accepted that I was not to blame for what that person did, they chose to do and were in control of what they did to me. I responded the way my body/brain did instinctively as a survival tactic in an acute stress situation. We are all different, perhaps some people would be able to respond with an immediate ‘no’ and try to fight off their attacker, but others of us might respond differently and as you have done - assume/‘accept’ the victim role, ‘allow’ the attacker/abuser to carry out their actions (this rang so many bells for me when you wrote ‘you want to leave with no confrontation’).

In strict terms, he did not have your explicitly expressed enthusiastic consent for what he did (anal, no condoms). So simply in terms of legal definitions that is rape. Your response does not change that and is something I hope you come to understand. Rape convictions happen when it can be proven that a man did not reasonably believe he had consent for his actions. But it’s not your job right now to work out what can be proven or what the evidence is or isn’t, or even decide what action you want to take or not (legally) about what has happened.

Today, I encourage you to get some care for yourself, both physically and mentally. As you mention feeling sore, and you might need MAP and definitely STI screening/advice, I’d advise you to find your local sexual assault referral centre (you can self-refer) to access some help, get physically checked out and support to deal with what has happened. Sometimes when looking for information about this kind of thing there can seem to be an emphasis on things like evidence/prosecution etc, but you don’t have to go down that route and prove anything if you don’t want to. It’s also a massive shock just using words like ‘sexual assault’ ‘rape’ ‘victim’ ‘abuser’ etc in relation to yourself and your experience. That’s not me, I’m not a victim. That’s a normal response and again an emotional survival tactic. I emailed my local Women’s Aid service and even just exchanging a few emails, helped me accept that I was not to blame for what happened.

If you were my friend I’d be driving you to the nearest SARC this morning. Get yourself looked after, be kind to yourself flowers and just take it a step at a time.

BowBeau Thu 24-Jan-19 09:02:09

Think about it from the man’s perspective. He’s met up with someone who presumably was kissing and touching him, allowed him to penetrate her with no resistance, and subsequently spent the night with him and engaged in further kissing, touching and sex, then kissed him goodbye. I doubt he has any idea that she feels raped, he probably thinks it was consensual.

Of course OP you are entitled to your feelings and I’d encourage you to get tested and get emotional support. But whether it’s rape is a very grey area. Regretting it and feeling used doesn’t make it rape.

NotANotMan Thu 24-Jan-19 09:05:46

'Think about it from the man's perspective'

What you mean the man who ignored the prior agreement that he would use a confirm and forced his penis into the anus of a woman he barely knew with no communication, no lubrication and without prior consent?

Yeah, that sounds so reasonable hmm

NotANotMan Thu 24-Jan-19 09:06:49

But whether it’s rape is a very grey area. Regretting it and feeling used doesn’t make it rape

It's really not a grey area. He penetrated her without consent and without reasonable belief of consent.

beenandgoneandbackagain Thu 24-Jan-19 09:09:07

I can only read Cwenthryths response and say read it several times slowly because it has great advice.

Rape is sexual penetration without consent, and you did not consent.

This man took advantage of you and the situation to do what he wanted to you. Please contact rape support services and speak to a trained counsellor. I think most of us reading this know it wouldn't stand up in a court of law, and dragging yourself through that would probably cause you even more emotional damage, but sometimes life doesn't offer us justice.

Be gentle with yourself and access those women-specific services which can help you process this situation.

LuluBellaBlue Thu 24-Jan-19 09:16:09

Really feeling for you OP flowers
I’d urge you to speak to your therapist about this and the prior incident you mentioned. Remember therapy is there for you to get to the root of these things and can only work if you really allow it to.
I’d suggest reading up about boundaries might help, I was never taught them so have had to learn them over the years and can still find it very hard vocalising this around men in these situations.
Well done for posting this and I hope you get some helpful support

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