M (Male)

Content warning: Sexually aggressive themes Ever since early high-school I hear from friends and the media that women like men who are rough and mean. I’ve grown up on a steady diet of porn that tells me that women like to choke on d*ck and be spanked and pushed around. I overheard a girl in my secondary school saying that she got bored of her boyfriend being nice and wishes he would call her a bitch. All girls I’ve ever been with have been sexually submissive. It leaves me feeling scared that if I’m too nice, I will lose the person I love. My girlfriend stops me when I half jokingly tell her she’s ‘my bitch’ and when I’m too aggressive in bed I’m grateful for that because I never want to hurt her.


As a four year old child I had short hair, wore a cape and wanted to slay monsters while at the same day I loved my stuffed animals and Disney. My first friend (I can still remember) was a boy. I liked what I liked and was oblivious to the concept of boy stuff and girl stuff. It kind of existed but I never had to mind because none around me judged what I liked by gender stereotypes (or maybe I just didn’t realize). I liked watching Star Trek with my great grandmother, adored Beauty and the Beast, was captivated and terrified by Braveheart before I even reached the age of ten. In puberty nothing changed much. The friends that I gained during and after school weren’t many but they took and take me as the person I am. I lived in a bubble. And I only then realize that if some of these little things happen: I’m going to the cinema with my boyfriend, a friend and that friend’s brother in law, whom I haven’t met before. We want to watch the new Star Trek. On our way we talk, we are equally excited. I’m not saying anything special just confirming that I’m excited too. BIL: “That is really rare.” Me: “What?” BIL (sounding approving): “You know, that you like this kind of stuff.” And it’s not a big deal but my stomach drops and I feel strange. Only later I realized that he thought he gave me a compliment for being “the different girl”. Something that doesn’t exist. I’m just a person who likes stuff. When my boyfriend’s friends (all male and most of them my friends too) and I are at the pub and there is someone new with us, there will always be a moment like this: New guy X: “O he (boyfriend) can’t say that aloud while you’re around, haha.” New guy Y: “You can’t have a say about that because men’s stuff.” New guy Z: “Wow – you really are a special girlfriend for being here. Mine would never do that.” I’m there as a person and friend. And then again there are these guys that don’t get that. I’m neither there as the woman representing all of the women on the planet nor the “girlfriend”.