Rape me, Baby.Posted: February 16, 2013
The fact is that women are biologically more vulnerable. Our bits go in and men’s bits come out. Yes men have assholes and assholes can be raped too, but women have more holes than men. This means women are in control of human sexuality. Women decide when it happens, not only because we’re the more vulnerable ones, but because we’re the ones who bear the consequences: children.
However, unfortunately for the women of Western culture, we live in a patriarchal society, and when it comes down to sexuality patriarchy overrules the natural order. In a society that favors men, a society that tells men they should be in control, that they deserve the power, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the female genitalia goes unquestioned. The result of having a female controlled sexuality within a patriarchal society is rape culture.
Rape culture, rape culture. Don’t tell me this doesn’t exist. If you’re a man, you haven’t experienced it. I’ve tried to wrap my head around this since I was 16. For almost two years I have absorbed every book I could find about sex-positive feminism. I worked as a stripper. I work as a bartender. I’ve struggled with the fact that whatever job I had, I would be objectified. Working in a coffee shop, at 16 years old I already had customers making disgusting comments about my body. Working in a pet store, my male manager complimented my red belt and patted it while I shelved dog food. When I started to read about sex-positive feminism, I was looking for someone to tell me what to think. The problem was that I already knew what to think- it was just so uncomfortable. Rape culture starts with objectification of women. It’s not rape if she’s not human.
A few weeks ago, I came to a terrible realization in quite awkward circumstances. While being trained to volunteer for a sexual assault hotline, the role-play meant to train us on how to deal with phone calls, hit way too close to home. For days I tried to figure out why I had had such a visceral reaction to that role-play. I knew why, but it took a huge effort to sit myself down and face it.
A few years ago I was sexually assaulted many, many times by my then boyfriend. At the beginning we had a healthy sex life, but towards the end of our relationship, it changed. Sex would start consensual, but end in rape. When it would start to hurt, I told him to stop and he didn’t. He would keep going for what felt like ages. Multiple times I would leave with a bleeding or blistered vagina, and when I showed him he would say, “I miss the times when you enjoyed having sex for hours.”
My ex-boyfriend is not an evil person. He is unable to think for himself, and so would quite easily buy into rape culture. He is narcissistic, and sadistic. But not evil. Men are not naturally rapists. Rape culture makes men rapists. The pornification of sex makes men rapists.
My first sexual encounter after my ex-boyfriend was with an army boy. We didn’t talk about deep things. I just wanted to fuck him. He was hot. One day, he and I were getting hot ‘n’ heavy and he seemed anxious. “Don’t be nervous,” I told him, “I don’t get nervous about sex.” At this, he seemed confused. I started giving him oral sex and told him to tell me what he liked. He refused, and stayed silent. After a few minutes, he said, “So you really don’t get nervous about sex?” Coming up for air, I confirmed. “Wow. So you really are a slut.” I slapped his thighs and told him to get out. Cut and dry. No exceptions. The fact that I was comfortable with my sexuality made me a slut.
This belief is what perpetuates rape culture. Boys not wanting to use condoms, asking to cum on my face, my boobs, twisting my arm, slapping my ass, whacking my pussy with their cock as I orgasm, saying, “What the fuck’s wrong with you? Why won’t you cum?” as I masturbate is rape culture. There is for sure a small portion of the population into S&M, definitely, but the fact remains that most of the men I’ve slept with, coming from a wide range of ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities think that all women are okay with being treated this way, and even expect them to be turned on by it. Think about how many men I’ve slept with (less than 30) and how many girls each of them have slept with. That’s a lot of women. It’s seems abnormal that such a large percentage of the population is actually turned on by this.
For the first time in my life I’m sleeping with someone who is very, very respectful of me in bed, perhaps even a little unnecessarily so sometimes- but it’s not a turn off. And doesn’t this seem like the risk you’d want to take? Err on the side of too respectful? Rather than DIY-porn? It makes me so angry that I have to fight for my right to be respected, even in my own bed. I should not have to have my guard up when having sex. It should be common sense to expect that the people I sleep with, especially when I’ve only just met them, are going to assume they don’t know what I like and what I’m into, and therefore would err on the side of respect.
Perhaps I’m naïve because I’ve always been so very open about sex, thinking it was normal to talk about sex, and up until my sexual assault I had never needed to fight for my pleasure or for the respect I deserve. When I lost my virginity at 16 years old, I said to my partner (also losing his virginity), “Why can’t you get me off? I can get me off.” I was always going to be a sex-positive feminist. I was just so surprised when I realized the rest of the world isn’t.
So, how do we fight rape culture? We talk about it. I realize that even just by using a pseudonym to write about this I’m not standing up against rape culture myself. I’m afraid of the judgment, but it’s ridiculous that I felt like it was my fault that I was sexually assaulted. Ladies, stand up for yourselves, and be honest with yourselves. Take control of your pleasure and demand respect in bed. It’s counterintuitive to have to fight, but if we do, eventually respectful sex will become normalized. Gentlemen, realize that porn isn’t real life. Watch some documentaries about porn (9 to 5: Days in Porn and Sexy Baby are good). They’re just actors. Porn is not in and of itself bad. But porn is porn and sex is sex.
People, sex is good. Sex is healthy. Sex is natural. Sex is consensual. Sex is fun. Sex is intimate. And sex should be all of these things for everyone involved. This is a problem of my generation. Rape and sexual assault have been around since the beginning of time. However, the consequence of the pornification of sex is a blurring of the line between sexual assault and consensual sex, and it is my generation’s responsibility to navigate it. It’s time to talk about sex.