sex

Laura

I was dating this guy and he seemed nice at first. He was good friends with my very close girlfriend which always gives you a bit more peace of mind. We started to get intimate and the second time it happened he lied about wearing a condom. I was absolutely shocked and devastated. We were making out and I handed him the condom to put on and then quickly dashed to the loo as I needed to pee. I came back, it was dark and we started to have sex. About 5 minutes in I noticed I couldn’t feel the condom and was concerned as I assumed it had fallen off or worse gone inside me. So I voiced my concerns and that we needed to find it. He said not to worry as it was “over there” on the dresser. I was confused and I asked him why he didn’t put it on when I clearly handed it to him and the last time we had sex I was clear condoms were essential. He had no answer. I had happened to be reading through the everyday sexism project entries the day before this happened and I had this tidal wave of bad sexual experiences I’ve had flash back at me after reading through some of the entries. All the times guys had pushed and pushed and pushed to have sex, continuously not taking my no as a no. All the times I’ve been in pain during sex and the guy doesn’t check to see if I’m ok. All the times I’ve had sex and never orgasmed and my partner doesn’t seem to ask or care about my pleasure. All the times I’ve been pressured into giving blowjobs to boyfriends while on my period and made to feel as if I owe them something. All the times partners have complained endlessly about wearing condoms and forced me to have sex without one. All the times guys have guilted me into sex when I was feeling sick or tired. I couldn’t believe after remembering all of these horrible instances that it had happened again right in front of my eyes at the age of 32! Normally I wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know why this is. I think women are just socialised to not complain and to take it. But this day I stood up for myself. I sent him a message that morning saying I didn’t want to see him again and I was hurt and disappointed he lied about wearing a condom as the expectation was clear. I also said I didn’t want to deal with an unplanned pregnancy or any STIs in the middle of a global pandemic. I could have been harsher, but that’s not my style. He sent some half-hearted message back about his “mistake” but you could see he didn’t really care. He also said to “stay relaxed” as the STI/pregnancy situation “wouldn’t happen”. I don’t know how he knew this as he didn’t know what if any birth control I was on. He’s probably also one of those guys that says “I’m clean” and then when you ask the last time they were tested they say “never”. After this had happened I couldn’t stop thinking about what men say about feminists “hating” men and how untrue this seemed to me. All I could think about is how much men must hate women based on the terrible experiences I have had.

alice

I used to have sex with my boyfriend(now ex-boyfriend) even when I didn’t want to and when it hurt. I felt that that was the way it was supposed to be, they feel pleasure and we don’t have to be touched or have an orgasm. That’s not okay. People have to be educated about it

Blame

A guy made a video during sex without my consent, When I asked to delete the video, he blamed me because I was drunk. My friends blamed me too for not paying attention.

Anna

the most popular girls in my school are only popular because of their sexual experience with the other boys. They are sought after and boys talk about getting with them as great and as a popularity booster, yet call them skanks and trashy sluts behind their backs.

I am not to blame.

I’m currently writing my dissertation on feminism and gender. As I’ve been researching I’ve had to look into a lot of discourse on sexual abuse. As I researched more and more the most horrific realization dawned on me. I have been sexually abused. Not in an obvious way, not even in a violent way, but in a way that sickened me to the core at the time and made me hate MYSELF. About a year ago I worked in a bar. There was a guy who lived above it, we chatted a few times and he was nice enough. One night after work I stayed for a drink with my friends, he was also there. As we got more and more drunk he was telling me that he’d been watching me behind the bar for ages and that I must’ve known because I’d been parading myself around “looking sexy”. Honestly I was flattered, I thought he was kind of cute but I knew I didn’t want anything to happen. I drunkenly told my friends to please stop me if it seemed as if anything was. One by one, though, my friends left and it was just me, this guy, and a couple of people I didn’t really know. That’s when the coercion started. He was relentless, I said no multiple times, he kept giving me drinks, he told me that it would be hard for me to get home because it was late, “just come upstairs and lie down, I’ll get you a cab in the morning”. At this point it was about 6am, I was wasted. Eventually I agreed to go upstairs, part of me knew that he didn’t really just want me to lie down but I went anyway. Upstairs I started to sober up and feel panicky. He was kissing me and I kept pulling away, I sat on the end of his bed and told him I felt ill, I didn’t want to do anything. He said he understood but he kept touching me, not forcefully just in a way that suggested he didn’t really care how I was feeling. He wanted to get laid. In the end, after a few hours of coercion, I slept with him. He had trouble getting it in because I was so dry. I just lay below him and tuned out and when it was over I got in a taxi and went home. I didn’t sleep for two days, I felt nauseous. The sad part is that the nausea was guilt because I felt I had done something wrong. I was stupid, I shouldn’t have flirted with him, he was friends with my boss, what was I THINKING? I believed I had control of the situation but I didn’t. He did not for one second consider my obvious discomfort, even my verbal non-consent prior was ignored. It’s taken me this long to realise I was not at fault. Knowing that, even now, lessens the blow a little bit as it allows the guilt to alleviate. The guilt, though, transforms into a white hot rage that I am not the only one. I hope that by sharing my experience I can help someone else realise if they ever find themselves in that situation, you have a right to leave. Get out. You do not owe anyone ANYTHING. You are under no obligation to put yourself through sexual trauma just to keep the peace. And sexual harassment isn’t always obvious, sometimes it is subtle, creeping and turns you against yourself. <3

Z

When I was 14 my mother explained to me that if I was sexually active before I was married, it would be harder for my husband to love me. Knowing I’d already started hooking up with others, she explained that I probably wouldn’t find love, or as much love as I could’ve found had I stayed chaste. This was told to me as a statement of fact that should leave me ashamed of myself, instead of something to fight back and refuse to compromise for a partner who valued me.

Sofia

Someone I know told me that a young male friend of hers claimed that, “if a lot of keys can unlock a lock, it means that that lock is a rubbish one but if a key is able to unlock many locks, it is a master key.” By this analogy, he meant a lock to be a woman’s vagina and a key being a man’s penis. As if a woman’s body and what she chooses to do with it is something to be condemned but a man’s body and what he chooses to do with it is a sign of ultimate power? Just, no.

Juli

I remember the first guy I had sex with and not because it was great or we were dating. Hell, it was just sex. It was just I realize that half of the time we were together it because he coerced me and I feel guilty and confused about it because I don’t know if I was so willing or not.

Hannah

In the university dorms, a male friend was telling me about a really good burger place in our college town. He told me the next time I go out to eat with my boyfriend I should have him buy me a burger there, but to make sure I give him a good blow job afterward because it’s an expensive restaurant.

Amber

Every time I went to a certain OBGYN, he’d question me about whether or not I’d had vaginal intercourse yet. Honestly it’s not something I’m all that interested in, even though I like other elements of sex, and I guess that makes me insanely bizarre to most people (friends have told me they need to fix that for me and hook me up with someone fast). Regardless, he would always follow up my answer of “no” with, “Good for you!” or “Really? NEVER? Not even once?!” Like fuck off, you’re supposed to be my doctor. He was “nice” otherwise but I’m so glad I stopped seeing him.