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Filing this under patriarchal shit that makes me mad. :/  Quote from “The Problem with How Men Perceive Rape” by Lux Alptraum.

“One of the reasons it took me so long to open up about my negative experiences with men was that, for years, I assumed I was alone. I’d grown up hearing that “no means no,” and that smart women are upfront about their needs and obviously walk away from anyone who refuses to respect their boundaries. I assumed that I was the only one weak enough to let my desire for intimacy and affection fuel a tolerance for sex I didn’t quite want, in ways I didn’t want it. I assumed that being badgered into sex, or “consenting” due to sheer exhaustion, was a personal problem.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

While writing this story, I heard from a number of different women who’d had sexual experiences that weren’t quite rape, but didn’t feel completely consensual either. One woman told me about having the flu and still being pressured into sex by her boyfriend, an encounter that left her with “a low level distaste for sex for a few years after”—right up until she started to learn about the concept of “dubious consent” and came to terms with what she’d been through.

 

Another woman, whom I’ll call Anna, told me about the first time she had sex. Although things started consensually—“I had recently been feeling some anxiety over not having had a lot of sexual experiences yet, and so was feeling excited and a little bit daring about finally getting to”—her enthusiasm began to fade as her partner failed to live up to her expectations. At first he tried to penetrate her without a condom, and though he stopped and put one on at her request, the subsequent sex was painful, unpleasant, and bloody. “My body language was telegraphing pain/discomfort/disinterest, since I stopped showing enthusiasm or reciprocation,” Anna says. But her partner didn’t seem to notice or particularly care, even assuming she’d be up for another session after a short period of post-coital cuddling.

Anna doesn’t feel raped, but she can’t deny that the experience impacted her deeply. To this day, her sexual experiences are marred by a fear that she won’t be able to advocate for herself or properly assert her own boundaries. “I’ve wondered for years why I didn’t say anything when I stopped enjoying it, and why I let him continue.”

The answer to Anna’s question may lie in the experiences of other women. Marie, who, like Anna, requested anonymity, shared multiple stories of saying no to sex, being asked again, saying no another time, being asked again, and then eventually saying yes—even though her lack of desire remained unchanged. “I don’t want to disappoint people,” she says. “I especially don’t want to disappoint people in a sexual context. If I say no, someone getting upset, acting hurt, being disappointed, and asking again can easily make me say yes”—a personality quirk that both male and female partners have used against her, manipulating her into consenting and guilting her for setting boundaries.

 

Women get socialized to put their needs second and make other people happy, and too many men get socialized to ignore rejections and relentlessly pursue whatever it is that they desire. It’s a toxic combination that can lead women to deprioritize enthusiastic consent in the hopes of keeping the peace, or to turn to coping mechanisms like alcohol to make not exactly consensual sex feel a little bit more okay.”

Of course there is male douchery in the comments section, some dude blithely going on ignoring what is being said around him.  *sigh*.

 

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