This post is one that I wrote a long time ago, but have had strong trepidation about bringing to the public. In fact this was one of the hardest things to write. My blog is where I normally have light hearted stories about my weekends, my cat, and my weekends spent with my cat. Don't worry, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled program shortly.
But this time is different.
I don't know who reads my blog and to bring the story to light means leaving myself vulnerable in every sense of the word. But really when talking about sexual assault there is no other word that could be as applicable as vulnerability.
I write it NOT to have other people feel sorry for me. I have dealt with my past and any lingering issues have blended with others. I write it because I PERSONALLY know at least three other women with the same or a similar story. How many countless others are there with a similar tale they will never tell. Fuck that. It's time to come forward.
April is sexual assault awareness month and the reason I decided the story should come to light. Almost ten years later it took every ounce of strength to post this. The story of 'my first time' is not one of strong sexual assault but pressure. That is not to say I have not been AFFECTED by assault. I have been grabbed, prodded, pulled and touched long after I have said NO. I have waken up with a used condom next to the bed only to find the hand leading me into the room was a sober friend. I have felt dirty, and used, and been degraded enough to go back for more. But I have changed. I AM DIFFERENT. I refuse to be a victim, simply a person with a story. Don't read on if you do not want to.
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I knew at one point or another I’d write a post about virginity since all blog roads lead to sex.
I knew that when it came time to writing my post I’d tell a story the way it’s supposed to be told. It was my first serious long term relationship and although we had not been together long I felt it was love. It WAS, in fact love. Young and innocent love, but love nevertheless. And I decided that I had waited long enough and at twenty I would lose my virginity to him.
It was New Years Eve and we had spent the night socializing with his friends. We danced in the snow with only the lights of his cars and had dinner with his family. It was one of the happiest nights of my life and I remember it like it was yesterday. We drank champagne and toasted to the year to come. We laughed and bonded all night and while I kept looking at him knowing I was the luckiest woman in the room, he was doing the same. We left and went home. It was a magical night and one I will always look back on fondly. The rest is personal other than saying that to say ‘I love you’ while looking into someone’s eyes while making love is an experience words cannot describe.
But that’s not how it happened. That’s just the story I tell people.
Don’t get me wrong, that really did happen and it was beautiful. But I actually lost my virginity over a year earlier. I just havem't made it public to most people, until now.
I was working in an atmosphere surrounded by men. It was the summer I had turned 19. I was a late bloomer into the world of sexual prowess and was just then starting to understand the power. I had finally filled out my figure and knew how to bat my eyelashes and play coy. It was lethal to let me loose in a living situation that had the ratio of guys to girls of 20:1. Through innuendo and tight shirts I suddenly had the upper hand in situations. Everything was an experiment in flirtation.
He was much older than me. I didn’t know how much older as I’ve never been a good gauge of age but I knew he had to be at least 30. He knew my parents through the industry, had known them for quite some time actually. It was taboo, and the attraction was instant.
While my flirting and teasing didn’t discriminate that summer I felt sexual energy in the air between us and k new it could be acted upon. And it did, on my nineteenth birthday to be exact. I had been playing baseball with all the guys and went back for a friendly drink with all the boys. They made a point of making it special for my birthday in a remote area. Everyone went to bed and I followed him to his room to watch a movie. I knew what I was doing.
We watched ‘Indecent Proposal’ and only years later would I get the irony. He kissed me and I instantly felt nervous and knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. Excitement and dread were woven throughout my conscious. My sexual experiences to date had been limited to two separate make out sessions and an ‘everything but’ situation. Clothing came off. Then the confession of virginity. He was shocked. As he got out the condom I admitted it was a bad idea and maybe we shouldn’t continue.
Then he kept going.
I said I was scared. He said people are going to think we did anyways, so we might as well... He said he would tell people we did anyways, so I might as well. He wouldn’t let me leave. It was a string of lame lines. But it worked. Shame and guilt are interesting pickup lines. I cried the entire time and he pretended not to notice. Or he didn’t care. But I was too scared to say no. I just closed my eyes and tried not to flinch with the pain. He could tell I didn’t want to go on, but he didn’t stop. Finally I found the words that were clinging to the back of my throat .
He finally did with much trepidation and annoyance. He word stung “it would have been nice to finish”. He said he was a nice guy for not finishing and laughed at my inexperience. He said I was a cocktease. I later found out he was in his mid/later thirties with a partner and they had a child. He ushered me out the door soon after, all the while I was shaking like a leaf. I tried to sleep and forget that it happened but it was too late. The damage was done.
The next day I called in sick to work because I couldn’t bear to look others in the eye. Its like their eyes would permeate through my secret. The rest of the summer I saw him flirt with women even younger than I was. He looked at them the same way he looked at me and it made me wonder if he had got to them yet. It made me feel sick and ashamed. Disgusted with myself, not him.
I haven’t told anyone cause I’ve been ashamed. I was attracted to him and I wanted him to want me. I just didn’t think it would go that far. I wouldn’t call it assault, but it was far from the situation I had hoped for. I was pressured. I was ignored. I was ridiculed. I was a dirty secret. So when over a year later I found my first love and we had that special night I clung to the memory. THAT’S the way it should have happened.
It was a horrible experience and I feel he took advantage of my inability to say NO. But from that point forward I made a choice that I would NOT be guilted nor shamed into sex ever again. I have held this ground. I have made sexual decisions, both for the better or worse, but they have been MY choices. Without pressure. Without having troubles facing myself in the mirror. And that’s a story worth telling.
I will NOT be ashamed by the reflection in the mirror anymore.