Why I Haven't Had Sex in 2 and a 1/2 Years
Continued from previous page
When the guy who was driving me home took the wrong turn, I told him so, but he said there was another place he knew that we would love. I looked at my friend and we both thought, "What the hell, why not?" They took us to a stunning beach, completely deserted, with nothing but beautiful scenery all around and stars above. I wasn’t wildly in lust with the guy who had been paying attention to me for the whole night, but I wasn’t going to say no to a kiss or a fumble in this beautiful place either. My friend took a walk with everyone else leaving David and me on our own. I was drunk and laughing, and we started kissing.
Then he pulled my jeans down and I said no. He kissed me again as he undid his own trousers and I said again, "I don’t want to," looking around to see how far away my friend was. Despite this, he maneuvered me on top of him and we had sex anyway. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t want it. And throughout, I seemed to travel to another place in my own mind.
Afterwards, I blamed myself. I made excuses. I said, "What are you gonna do? You had a great night, you saw some gorgeous places…so the guy was a little direct and not a great listener, what more is there to say?" Though I realize now, 10 years later, this was rape, at the time I didn't know what to call it, but the experience stayed with me, and I knew that I would never want that to happen to me again.
I’ve been reading a lot recently about the so-called grey areas of consent, and here’s what it comes down to: If society at large can still blame a woman based on what she is wearing, how much she’s been drinking, and whether she chose to spend an evening with a man who just might attack her, what recourse do I have?
It also got me thinking about my mixed cultural upbringing. I was raised in a strict Pakistani household in the UK until the age of 12, when I was taken from the parental home with the aid of social services because of difficult circumstances. I used to have to wear clothes that covered me from neck to ankle and I was told that I wasn’t allowed to wear tampons, to protect my hymen and therefore my virginity. My own sexuality, which hadn’t even developed at that age, was forced upon me and twisted, groomed to be the object of some future husband’s desire.
But the worst thing is that it didn’t get any better when I left, when I supposedly became free to express myself in whatever way I wished. My happiness at now being able to wear jeans (they had been outlawed for being "too Western") turned into glee at being able to wear short skirts, low-cut tops, whatever I wanted. But now, again, I was not allowed my own sexuality and instead, that of others was thrust upon me.
My own sexuality is whatever makes me feel aroused, and because I’m a unique individual, the things that turn me on won’t always turn the next woman on.
And what gets me going also changes as my tastes evolve. Conversely, it shouldn’t seem like an epiphany to realize that no one can tell just by looking at me whether I’m feeling aroused or whether I’m available or not. You can’t tell by the number of partners I’ve had either, or by my choice of route going home after a night out. The only way to find out what makes me want to have sex is to ASK me. Which is why, when it comes to discussing consent, a clear and enthusiastic "yes" is the only way to be sure I want to have sex with you.