Did I consent?(38 Posts)
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.
I’ve been in very similar situations and I hear you, op.
It’s such a head fuck.
Love to you.
I'm so sorry this happened. To answer your question, no you didn't consent to anal sex with this man. You haven't given any detail about the vaginal sex so to me it seems impossible to tell.
To those posters who seem confused, consenting to one sexual act with someone is not giving them carte blanche for any or every other sexual act.
OP, quite separate to the consent issue, there would seem to be questions open about why you had sex without a condom when you planned and wanted to use them. I don't know if that's a self-esteem issue or a lack of assertiveness but I hope the people you're seeing can help so that you can protect yourself in future. As another poster said, get the MAP and a STI check just to be sure.
Take care of yourself.
sorry posted before I noticed the time since last post. Hope you are ok now op if you happen to see it.
I understand how you're feeling. Like many others have experienced something similar. My first thought is that you did NOT consent to the sex you got. And were very clear you wanted vanilla sex and a condom. However I suppose if you were so drunk you barely knew what was happening it could be argued he was so drunk he forgot the conversation. I do wonder how he reacted to the conversation at the time you had it? Whether that gives any clue as to whether he took it on board at the time or disregarded it? It all sounds like he was very nasty either way.
I'm sure the expert help you're getting will help you understand things a lot better than I could anyway.
Many of us, I’m sure, have had similar experiences. I have.
I hope you are ok OP. I’m sorry this has happened
You’re very welcome OP. I hope the appointment at Havens goes ok. You can access everything through them, all the medical side and counselling support if you want to as well.
What a horrible experience. Sorry it happened to you OP. You’ll get through this, and it will get better. I bet a lot of us will recognise that naïve feeling. We didn’t think this kind of thing would happen to us. You’re not alone.
I'm so sorry OP. I have not been in exactly your situation but similar situations with men. In my case while I know perfectly well a rape charge would not stand up in court because I never said no, I know I went along with things because it was easier, or because I thought I should, or because the man wanted to and I felt I couldn't say no. But whatever the literal truth is about consent these men were not looking out for cues from me, they were not asking me if I wanted to do whatever, they just did it and assumed I would object if I didn't want to. That is not the way decent men - decent humans - have sex.
Without wanting to make this your fault doing some more work on yourself to examine why you didn't say no and why you are not focusing on your own pleasure and safety. In the meantime here's hoping behaviour like this is stamped out if we talk about it.
Really sorry this has happened to you. What should have (and could have) been a pleasurable sexual experience turned into a nasty event because a bloke just took what he wanted. Your reaction to this is so common: shock, confusion, a refusal to believe what has happened. I hope that you get the help that you need.
Glad you're getting the right support Op.
On your first point, the two questions are inextricably linked aren't they?
If you didn't consent then you were raped.
I am very shocked and saddened by the number of people who seem to think you consented, or gave any indication you consented. You explicitly stated you wanted 'vanilla' sex and were only prepared to have sex with a condom. You didn't even consent to vaginal penetration without a condom - which he also did - never mind anal penetration, which can be painful and injurious and absolutely not a 'vanilla' beginning to a sexual relationship.
For an intelligent person, I'm feeling very naive.
I have taken the advice and contacted sarc/haven who I will see later this evening.
There are two things I'd like to say.
1) I asked "did I consent", not "was I raped", or "will this hold up in court/should I go to the police", and thank you for responding in that vein
2) I'm not someone who uses forums/posts anonymously. I'd like to say thank you to you all for taking the time. You have been very kind, even those who are a little exasperated at what I said. It's comforting that there are so many smart and emotionally mature women out there - I hope that doesn't sound patronising.
Everyone on this thread is really confused. Disregard them. Consent is subjective. Only you can say whether you were consenting or not. From what you have written it seems like not. Whether it was rape in this instance comes down to whether he reasonably believed that you were consenting which seems to be what most people seem to be debating. I would suggest that you seek some counselling in real life. I hope that you are feeling better soon
Hi OP, I hope you’re doing ok this evening. I’ve sent you a PM as well (just saying that on the thread because I’ve not noticed PMs myself before).
Really feeling for you OP
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
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.
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.
'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
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.
Oh you poor thing OP I’m sorry you’re feeling so confused upset and sore this morning
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 and just take it a step at a time.
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?
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
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)
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.
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
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