What I wish I said when you asked if I remember that time we had sex

I wrote this a little while ago, and it’s kind of been sitting in my computer. It’s an experience I don’t know what to do with. Like a not-that-bad-but-still-kind-of-off situation. But I feel like it tells an extremely common story so I thought I would post.

When I bumped into you again after a couple years, we caught up and chatted about old times. We talked about people we used to know, the stupid things we did as dumb teenagers. Then you asked what I hoped you wouldn’t ask, “Remember that time we had sex?” I laughed, I said I remembered. You said, “You got so angry at me after?” I said, “Yah.” I changed the subject. What I wish I said was this:

Yes, I remember when we had sex. I remember how you asked me if I wanted to have sex and I said no. I remember that you lay on top of me and tried to change my mind. I remember that I said I didn’t want to. I remember that you didn’t move. I remember that you made me feel ashamed of being a virgin. You pushed me until I finally agreed. I said fine. You said, “Ok, take off your pants”. I took off my pants and you had sex with me. I remember how much it hurt, and that I turned my face away so you wouldn’t see that I was in pain. I remember how after you were done you got up and walked away. I remember feeling dirty and putting my pants back on and sleeping in all my clothes. I remember leaving in the morning with my “best friend” who said she was “so proud of me,” and feeling the opposite of pride. I remember feeling ashamed of myself and dirty. I remember wondering why I let that happen, why I let myself lose my virginity to someone I hardly knew. I remember that you never called me again. I remember that I didn’t have sex again for almost four years.

I remember that I saw you again about a year later. I was drunk at a high school party. I stupidly told some girl there that I had sex with you and you never called me again. She stupidly confronted you, and you threatened to get your friends to beat me up for spreading stories about you.

When you asked me if I remembered that time we had sex, I wish I told you, “Yes, I remember, and I had reason to be angry.” But I didn’t. You are cool now and we have mutual friends. You put on fun parties in empty warehouses and all the cool people go to them. Who wants to be the one outcast who doesn’t love that guy?! He’s so fun! I love that guy. I kept it up for a while and then eventually I told you one day that I remember that time we had sex, and I remember that I didn’t want to. You were shocked, you had no idea what I was talking about. You barely remembered what happened. No, you weren’t drunk–it just didn’t stick with you. You had no idea that it was such a big deal. You said you would never have used force. You said you were sorry.

When you said you were sorry that should have been case closed. But the problem is I never found the words to tell you why you should be sorry. I didn’t tell you the story from my memory. I didn’t tell you why I thought it was wrong. What I wish I said is: You basically forced me to have sex with you without wanting to and you made me feel horrible about myself. You may not have used force, but you sure didn’t care about what I wanted. I don’t have any labels for what happened and I don’t need one. I don’t feel traumatized or angry. I feel kind of sad for a lost young girl who found herself in an older guy’s bedroom late one night and didn’t know what to do. The only thing I wish is that when you brought that night up like it was no big deal–just a funny thing that happened when we were young–I had taken that opportunity to stand up for myself, like I didn’t do the first time.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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