“I had a hard time explaining what was wrong for a long time. I kissed her back when she kissed me. I never told her to stop. I couldn’t find the words to tell my friends why I flinched when she touched me. She and I never talked while it was happening. Eventually I would stop moving, arms limp and eyes averted and focus on the crack in the ceiling of my room. She would continue, faster and harder, and sometimes when I would come back she would be done, and sometimes she wouldn’t be. I don’t think she ever noticed I was gone. I wonder sometimes why I didn’t say no, where all of my no’s went every time I needed them.”
“I did not give consent to my first sexual partner. Get this, I was not raped but I also did not give my consent and unfortunately, this is true for many other young women and girls all around the world. Growing up, society has conditioned us to succumb to certain pressures. Even as ‘aware’ and independent as we have become, many of us still have sex with our partners and other people without giving our consent.”
“I was told that the ones who held back until they had permission were the pussies, the cowards, and the nerds. I’ve encountered, oh, about 10,000 messages from movies implying that nothing is sexier than a guy who doesn’t wait for consent and that there’s nothing less sexy than a dude asking if he can kiss you.”
“From the movies I learned one thing: In any relationship, men are the predators, women are the prey. Their expressions of fear and rejection — including defensive physical attacks – are a coy game to be overcome. I learned that the cool guys molest and manipulate women into loving them at least once! The result of those violent encounters is in most movies that she falls in love with him and they spend the rest of their lives together.”
“After a couple of drinks at a party, I approached a guy I liked. After exchanging small talk and dancing a bit, I started kissing him. He quickly asked me to go downstairs with him and I said no. He asked again and again. He told me I was a tease and if I wasn’t going to sleep with him, what was the point? I got embarrassed, and ended up following him to the basement, still saying I wasn’t comfortable with sex. But I felt like I owed him something.
When we got to the basement, I sat on the top of a washing machine and he took my clothes off. I soon realized I was alone; my friends upstairs couldn’t hear or find me. I was scared. I said nothing after the first few no’s, but after that, I put my clothes on, got up and went upstairs.
I’m lucky. A lot of people don’t have the option of walking out. It reminds me that consent is not sexy for some men; it’s a chore.”