Editor Note: Trigger Warning/Explicit Content – this is a detailed account of one man’s rape. It is brutal at times, as is the case with rape. It is also wonderfully written and we are incredibly proud to give him a space to share his story.
Our guest contributor is Christopher. He is a great lover of food and music, but not necessarily in that order. His favorite thing is being alive. In fact, he intends to never die.
My story isn’t one that I’ve seen or heard too often, but I’m sure it’s happened to other men, and maybe they could benefit from this. This is a rape story. This is my rape story, and I’m still getting used to applying that term to what happened to me. We think of rape as something disgusting that happens to women and children, so when it happens to a man, it becomes a story of emasculation, of weakening, a story that should probably be shouldered or tucked away someplace dark and silent. I chose a different technique. I turned my story into a comedic narrative and delivered it to a live audience in the form of a stand-up routine. I got a lot of laughs, and the live performance filled me with adrenaline and bolstered my confidence. I don’t like horror movies; never have. Typically, when I’m reluctantly watching a horror film, my instinct is to laugh at the highest points of tension, to giggle with glee when a scene startles the piss out of me. It’s not surprising that I turned the horrific story of my rape into a comedy. Sadly, this is also somewhat of a coming-out story, as this rape was my first sexual encounter with another gay man. This guy knowingly took my virginity. He took advantage of my inexperience and he premeditated this sexual assault. This is the real story, without the strategic timing and pauses for anticipated laughter.
It was 2001, and I was an invincible 22-year-old. I was a freshly-minted homosexual in that I’d come out to a modest handful of close friends and a few siblings. In truth, I’m one of those men who have always been gay, or at least since I was old enough to understand that I was different. I’d dated girls in my late teens, but by my 22nd birthday I was ready to be my true self. Only I had no idea of how to proceed.
I was working as a server and bartender at a chain restaurant. I was living in the DC-Metro area. I just needed that first door to open. His name was…I guess I can’t say his actual name. He had one of those names that should have been an immediate red flag, one of those names that always pops up on a 15 Most Douchey Names list. So let’s call him Trip. Continue reading
● Upon reading a brave young lady’s account of being sexually assaulted at a metal show,
I was reminded of the time I confessed to a past boyfriend my deep dark secret of being
assaulted myself. And how he called me a liar. Same boyfriend a few months later got
angry at me for yelling at one of his customers at the bar he worked at because the
customer grabbed my ass, and was equally handsy with other ladies at the same time.
● Taking a walk last night, I was hollered at by an SUV full of young men. Contrary to their
intentions, I was not flattered, only thankful I was on a busy street so if they tried to
physically assault me, at least I was in public and would maybe get help from passers by. Continue reading
The name’s Jen and I work at a nonprofit clinic that deals specifically in reproductive issues (guess which one!). I own two cats and a dog and we all like ice cream and cheese. I’ve lived in RVA for 10ish years and lack the gumption to move but that’s not on my mind. I’m a single childless lady and all I really care about at this point in my life is where the nearest pizza is.
Trigger warning: rape
Online dating sites are sketchy. We all know that. You’d think I’d give up the ghost after my dates with not one but two ex-heroin addicts, the guy who told me he loved muscular ginger hunks, the homeless man and the fellow who only talked about tree frogs. Yet, for some reason (boredom, intrigue and self-loathing with a touch of hopefulness) I keep logging back on. At the very least I have some peculiar stories to tell.
So here we go again, I have re-activated my account and as this ain’t my first rodeo I know to expect very little. I’ve gotten some charming messages so far:
“Luv ur tat.”
“You should smile.”
“You are funny and girls are not funny.”
Anyway, it’s a fun thing to look at when you’re in between conversations at the bar. In fact, that is exactly what I was doing this weekend when suddenly the “fun” came to an abrupt halt and I almost fell out of my seat.
The man who raped me in 2011 appeared under my top matches.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault discussed frankly
Today’s guest post comes from the awesome Beth – “a recovering scenster 30something stay at home wife and mom. I listen to the Descendents from the comfort of my suburban home while cooking barefoot and pregnant to Bikini Kills Rebel Girl. I may not have it all figured out but im constsntly searching for a balance.”
According to sexual assault statistics, “One in four college-age women report surviving rape or attempted rape since their fourteenth birthday.” This is a pretty well known fact and probably won’t come to any surprise as I’m sure you, a girlfriend/boyfriend, ex, sibling, parent, child, teacher, babysitter, or neighbor in your life has been a victim. What might surprise you is how sexual assault can really inconvenience other people. No, seriously. I mean, what a total bummer to have to know that a friend of yours was manhandled by someone else – it just makes you feel bad, ya know? Or what a total drag to be friends with that certain someone who has been accused of this, I mean… jeez. Give you a break right? It’s not like they did it to you. You weren’t even there and I could totally be lying.
Wait. What? Let me go back…
I totally bum people out because I happened to have been sexually assaulted by the singer of a band they like. Like REALLY like. I know, I know. I should have tried harder for a band just begging to be rejected and ridiculed so it wouldn’t ruin your iPod rotation but hey, then again, it really wasn’t my choice. But man, what a total inconvenience to poor you to know something bad about a band you love. Just ignore the facts, I mean it WAS a long time ago. It’s not like I can still remember I was wearing cargo camo shorts and a v-neck white Hanes t-shirt… an outfit TOTALLY putting off do-me vibes with my freshly shaved head and not shaved legs and…wait. Hmmm.
Wow, it’s been a really awful week in woman news, right? Obviously there’s the case in Cleveland that has just been the worst. On top of that, the Pentagon study on sexual assault in the military seems to have finally brought some attention to an issue that’s been widely discussed in feminist circles. These two stories have dominated the news cycle; cable news has particularly been obsessed with Cleveland. Charles Ramsey has been lauded as a hero, rightly so, and Castro is becoming the embodiment of evil, which seems pretty accurate to me. Hearing and reading about Cleveland and the Pentagon nearly non-stop all week highlights some of the major problems in our country when it comes to domestic and sexual violence against women – it’s pervasive to the point of commonness and we only care when it’s particularly gruesome.
When the Cleveland story broke, after the initial “Ho. Ly. Crap.” reaction, I felt an air of familiarity. The kidnapped, kept in captivity, sex slave/torture victim is a pretty common story line. I know I’ve read books by authors such as James Patterson and John Sanford, I’ve seen it on shows like Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU. We’ve seen it in real life as well – Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard; the more you think about it, the more you realize it’s everywhere. I’m not pointing this out to reduce the experiences of the women in Cleveland. I am saying these types of things happen, get sensationalized by the news media, get retold by our entertainment media over and over until it is a part of our culture. Abduction, rape and torture – our fascination teeters on, and often falls over, the line of decency.