A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

The Time My “Friend” Sexually Assaulted Me

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Trigger warning for discussion of rape and sexual assault.

I met A in the early 1990s at a science fiction convention. I’d seen him around and…damn. The man was fine. When we finally came together, sex was a forgone conclusion. We spent a wild weekend together, and I fell in love with him. And he broke my heart, and I basically moved on. Except that almost every time I saw A after that, we ended up having sex. A was…persuasive. But he didn’t have to try very hard—I had a thing for him for years.

In 2000 or so, I went out drinking in my neighborhood, went back to a guy’s apartment to smoke some pot, and woke up on his couch with his penis inside me. I only remembered feeling really woozy and telling him I needed to lie down on his couch. I don’t know if he drugged me or if I was just really drunk, but I never consented to sex. The next day I IM’d with A about it, and he made excuses for the guy. “Maybe he was just really drunk and didn’t know what he was doing,” he said, or something very like it.

Fast forward to the late aughts, and I’m in A’s town on business. He’s happily married, and I’m in what I believe at the time is the relationship I’ve waited my whole life for. A & I make plans to get together and have a drink at my hotel. There is—in my mind and probably in his—no question of sex. We are committed to our partners. It seriously never enters my thoughts.

I have several Martinis and somehow end up in his car on the freeway. A says something about a bar he wants to take me to, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to vomit, so he takes me back to my hotel.

Most of what came after is blurry. There is a good chance I stripped my clothes off the moment we got to my room, as I was drunk and with someone I trusted, and when I’m drunk and on my way to bed, my clothes end up all over the house. I remember getting into bed, under the covers, and I remember him lying on the bed saying things like, “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.” I remember laughing and saying, “No.” I remember that I had no intention of cheating on my boyfriend. I remember that I kissed A at one point and my boyfriend’s face popped into my head and I was like, “Whoa, no!” A continued trying to talk me into having sex with him and I continued to decline.

I remember that speaking was becoming really difficult. I remember A climbing on top of me, on top of the covers, as I tried to form words or even coherent thoughts. I remember that he masturbated on my chest and that I had absolutely no say in the matter. I remember that I got up and washed it off.

I remember that the next day when he picked me up to drive me to the airport, he asked me if I was angry with him. I could tell he felt like shit, but what exactly he felt like shit about, I still don’t know. I think I said something about being angry with myself (and I was—I blamed myself and told no one for years), but then I said something that made him defensive, because his next words were, “Come on, now, you were complicit…”

I was complicit in exactly one thing: I kissed him.

I know he felt “bad” about what he’d done—I just don’t think he knows that what he did was sexual assault. Because I kissed him. Because I took my clothes off. Because of our history. Even though I said no.

via ThinkProgress

via ThinkProgress

I understand that not everyone who commits sexual assault thinks of himself (or herself) as a sex offender. I understand that people make really bad decisions under the influence of alcohol that they might not make otherwise. But neither of these things changes the fact that sexual contact must be consensual or it is sexual assault. It doesn’t matter what someone does before the “no.” If you don’t hear an emphatic “yes,” or “do it,” or “fuck me,” etc., you are simply not cleared for take-off.

That was the end of my friendship with A. It took me a couple of years to remember that it was he who had made excuses for the man who raped me all those years ago. And then I realized that when a man makes excuses for another man’s bad behavior, there’s a good chance he’s defending his own. I was probably not the first woman to get drunk with A and end up being assaulted.

I just hope like hell that I’m the last.


If you need to talk to someone about sexual assault/rape, RAINN can help. You can also contact me via my Facebook page.

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PSA: Abusive commenters will be deleted and banned, so kindly piss off in advance. (Comment Policy)

22 responses

  1. Anonymous

    Well, I really hate to admit this. I’m even gritting my teeth in frustration, as I mention it. One of my current housemates can’t take no for an answer. It’s as if he constantly, selectively, only hears a yes. I have never, and never will, have a crush on this man. For one thing, he’s bald. I only go for men who have hair. He also wears glasses. The attraction is NOT mutual, and even though I have NEVER flirted with him, as soon as we’re both alone together, in the same room, he suddenly gets on top of me and starts helping himself to me [the politest way I can find to describe this sick man]. I live in a care home with him. Staff are always in the staff kitchen, or in the staff office. And yes, I’ve told staff about it, yet they haven’t bothered removing him from the home. I’m still within easy reach, where he’s concerned. I don’t want to move out, because I have Stephen, who really helps bring me out of my shell. If I lived separately from Stephen, ever again, I’d end up neglecting my health. Stephen keeps wondering what’s bothering me so badly. He doesn’t know anything about what a certain male housemate does to me. It’s a damn struggle to hide it.

    December 18, 2016 at 4:31 am

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I apologize for taking so long to reply. I’m so angry that the staff of this home have done nothing to address this man’s repeated assaults on you. This is not legal. Please feel free to message me on my FB page to talk more about this. http://www.facebook.com/makemeasammichdotorg

      December 22, 2016 at 3:33 pm

  2. Dana

    Rosie I am also glad that you shared your story.

    I am a nineteen year old who has already experienced sexual assault twice in my short lifetime and I am still dealing with the effects.

    The first was when I was just 16 I had been on a night out unfortunately underaged drinking and had a falling out with a friend I was with M, I was meant to be stopping the night at M’s but unfortunately because of a misunderstanding I went to my other friends house D. When I arrived everything was okay, he paid for my taxi ride over and I thought that it was because he was a good friend. He got me into some of his pj’s and took me to bed with a sick bowl. I thought he was being a good friend again. After about ten minutes I started to realise that this behaviour had a motive. He began to kiss me and I said no even though I was single at the time I didn’t want to be touched by him. He was a few years older than me and I am extremely small for my age so he began to hold me down ans basically used me in what I think he thought was his right beens he had helped me.

    To this day three years later I have not told my family about this, I know and I can admit to myself that I was raped at 16 there is no one that knows this about me and I have carried it for a long time. Sometimes I blame myself for what happened, for being weak. But all I know is it took months to wash away the sick and dirty feeling I had within myself after that night and even now it makes me feel sick.

    The second event is what made me come across your story. It was last night the events are still extremely raw for me and I still have no idea what to do about the incident.

    I’m in a relationship with a nineteen year old soldier. B. I have been with B for what seems a lifetime and I will admit that I love him more than anything in this world regardless of our faults and arguments that occur because of the army. I also have a close friend J who is also my housemate at university and also B’s childhood and best friend.

    Last night me, B and J were out in their home town. I am originally from a different city to them and travelled down to spend time with my boyfriends family. We had a night out in the town drinking and dancing. Me and B had a bit of a disagreement about something minor and unimportant although this is when J saw a chance to put doubt in my mind about our relationship. He has a way of coming across all knowing because of how long him and B have been friends.

    A few hours later and it was time to take a drunken B home although I was drunk myself I took my heels off and ventured forward to what would be a five minute walk that turned into a hour. B was extremely drunk and I was struggling with his weight. He’s a foot taller than me and like I said I’m extremely short. J offered to help me take him home, again another helpful friendly offer with no reprocussions and also I was with B ny soldier I saw no harm in accepting his offer.

    We took B home and he offered J the spare room upstairs for the night as he was concerned about him getting home. I put B on the sofa and went into the kitchen to start the 4am drunken sandwiches he always loves. Anyhow J went upstairs to go to sleep. All was fine. I made B his sandwich and sent him to bed as I went and smoked my last cigarette for the evening and take sleeping tablets as without the herbal medicine I cannot sleep. This was a huge mistake.

    I went upstairs and found my other half lay across the bed I put him in properly and got in beside him and spooned him.

    Twenty minutes later all was fine and I was beginning to feel the numbing effects of my sleeping remedy.

    Another ten minutes later I heard the door open assuming it was B’s mom checking we’d got to bed okay I ignored it. Mistake number two.

    I felt a man’s hand fumble around on the bed next to me and then felt J pressed up beside me. My boyfriend had trapped my arm underneath him so I only had one free. I told J to leave me alone. He didn’t listen and began fumbling around trying to get inside my jumper. With my free hand I pushed him away. Five minutes later he had forced his way into my underwear, undone my bra and was trying to get his fingers inside me. I pushed him away and tried to wake my boyfriend who just rolled over and freed my arm instead. I calmly got up out of the bed and walked out of the room and closed the door firmly behind me.

    I went to the spare bedroom where J was meant to be sleeping and cried my heart into the pillow. I knew J wouldn’t follow me because one scream and the house would of been awake.

    I don’t know why I didn’t scream I the first place my head was so fuzzy and I wasn’t coherent, the sleeping tablets and the alchol I’d had, had caused me to be slow and unresponsive.

    I did not touch J and I don’t feel like I provoked the situation I was wearing leggings a vest top and a jumper as I had not intended to be asleep for long as I knew B’s little sister would want to see me before her sleep over.

    I feel disgusting right now and I want to boil a bath of water and scrub how I feel away again.

    My boyfriend B does not know yet and I don’t know how, when or if I should tell him.

    But I know I won’t tell him while he is still in his home town with access to his best friends house. He is a soldier and I don’t know how he will react.

    I just hope he does not blame me for this. I know that he has been jealous that J lives with me for a while.

    And that’s a whole different kettle of fish. How will I cope having to see the man who sexually assaulted me while I was in bed with my own boyfriend who I couldn’t wake because he was so drunk.

    I don’t know how old this thread is but if anyone on here can help me I would appreciate it so much.

    I feel so scared and alone right now.

    D

    March 30, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    • Dana, I am so, so sorry for what you’re going through! Nothing you did brought this on. Those things you called mistakes are just things that happened. The fact that you didn’t scream in the first place might have been for a number of reasons. We don’t always react the way we think we will in traumatic situations. It changes nothing—this person assaulted you and the blame lies entirely with me. Please contact me via my Facebook page and let me know what I can do to help. facebook.com/makemeasammichdotorg. <3

      April 4, 2016 at 1:53 pm

  3. Sharine

    Rosie, I am so glad that you posted your story, and also deeply saddened by the fact that it happened. My heart and soul go out to you with abiding love and peace.

    I am a 51-year-old, happily married survivor of sexual trauma. There are several incidents: First, at the age of 15 (by my brother’s best friend, in my family’s home); again at the age of 18 (33-year-old friend of my employer); at 28 (by my lover); and just last weekend (by a married friend of over 10 years). Of course, these incidents do not account for my horrific life as a female living in American rape culture. But I want to focus on the recent sexual assault because I have yet to figure out how to deal with it. If I may, here are the important details:

    My husband and I visited a lovely couple, E and L, who are dear friends in the Los Angeles area in late August. Our plans revolved around cocktails and dinner at the famous Dresden Room. We invited another (happily married) couple from our area to join us along with their son and his girlfriend, to make a big party with the eight of us. Our mutual friend, K, travels a lot for his work, and he mentioned, upon hearing our plans, that he would be in the L.A. area and would like to join us at the Dresden Room. We all agreed that it would be fun.

    At the lounge/restaurant that night, K proceeded to wedge himself between our married friend S and our solid male friend, E, and began to “pet” her arms — in front of her husband and everyone at the table. She eventually wiggled out to sit next to hubby. Then, after dinner, K and I stayed to work out the tab because I was paying extra as a gift to the two couples. K told me, “I’ve always thought you were lovely, but tonight I see that you are a drop-dead gorgeous woman.” I cringed and laughed it off.

    As the night progressed with more drinks, but not too many, K convinced me and my husband and E and L to go to his hotel room to crash for a while before making the trek from Los Feliz to San Fernando Valley, a substantial drive. There, I had only a small glass of wine, while everyone else drank a lot more wine. I got very tired, and showed my husband which of the two double beds we would sleep in. I wrapped myself in the bed sheet, slipped off my clothes and jewelry, and neatly placed all that with my purse on the floor next to the bed. I fell asleep quickly, which is odd with all the noise going on, and eventually my husband came to bed.

    I woke up several hours later, feeling two hands groping my body, and then trying to penetrate my vagina and anus. I reached over to touch (who I thought was) my husband and ask him to let me sleep, only to find that the chest I was feeling was not his. It was K’s. I immediately got up and covered myself in a bed sheet and went to the bathroom. I felt nauseous, and when I wiped myself after urinating, I wanted to puke. I washed up and snuck out to grab my clothes, purse, jewelry, and car keys — I returned to the bathroom and quickly changed.

    I crawled into the other bed to lay next to my husband, and just hold him for a few minutes. I told him that we needed to get on the road before traffic got busy. He rose and we woke E and L. Meanwhile, K appeared to sleep through all this. I announced that we were leaving, said a standard “thank you” for keeping us off the freeway the night before. (Whatever, I guess I’m a woman who has been socialized to “make nice.” F**k that.)

    Now, back home, the challenge of how to deal with K is real and part of the continuing horror that I experienced in his hotel room. He is a close friend, he sings in the band with my husband and I, and so we have many mutual friends. My husband still doesn’t totally understand “The K Incident,” although he knows what a control freak K is, based on other experiences we have had with him. All of our friends who were part of the weekend’s “fun” know what happened, and none of us knows how to best handle this creepy situation. It is on my mind all the time — come to find out the same is true for our other friends who know. It seems impossible to push it out of my consciousness; the images and physical feelings rise up of their own volition.

    No one can solve this icky mess for me, but I appreciate any supportive comments. Thank you.

    September 6, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    • Sharine, I’m so sorry. This guy is a predator who sexually assaulted you, and there is no reason you should have to deal with him at all. And yet, this is what rape culture does: it teaches us that we must tolerate abusers because everyone around us tolerates them. This is the concept of the “missing stair” explained so beautifully on Pervocracy: http://pervocracy.blogspot.ca/2012/06/missing-stair.html.

      September 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

    • I hope you’ll read that and then perhaps consider sending it along to your husband and the others in your circle. I would not be surprised to learn that he has done this before—in fact, I’d be surprised if he hasn’t. You deserve better than to have to act as though you’re ok with this person who felt entitled to your body regardless of your wishes. You deserve better than to have to “make nice” because this guy is entrenched in your life. Wishing you comfort and peace. Please feel free to message me privately via my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/makemeasammichdotorg

      September 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

  4. Merle

    The guy took advantage of you when you said no. He was wrong. However, my definition of cheating includes inviting men (especially ones you’ve had hot sex with before) to your hotel room to drink alone.

    You thought nothing of having this man in your hotel room. Maybe I’ve just lived a completely naive life, but if a woman invites me to her hotel room for drinks, I’m thinking there’s a good chance she wants the opportunity to have sex if the mood is right. That doesn’t mean I have the right to jump on her the minute I’m inside, but seriously, did your significant other know you were inviting him to your room for drinks?

    The litmus test for if you’re cheating is simple: did you, or would you tell your significant other exactly what you were going to do? Also, if there were a live cam feed to your significant other set up in the room, would you still be behaving that way? If not, then you’re cheating.

    Only you and he know what was consented to and what wasn’t, and the reality is I have sex with my girlfriend all the time and our consent cues are not verbal. Most people don’t pull out a contract and agree that part A is going into part B at rate such and such.

    However, if I heard his side of the story, and he told me the facts you gave (invited to the room, kissed, she stripped her clothes off…. If after that, the only difference was he thinks you wanted it, and you say you didn’t, I couldn’t for a moment think either one of you was wrong. I would however, know that both of you are cheats and can’t be trusted around the opposite sex without your SO.

    I’m not saying I’d leave you if I were in love, but I’d wear a condom forever to protect myself from your dangerous habits, and I certainly wouldn’t trust you to tell me who’s been putting things inside you before I catch whatever you’ve gotten.

    April 11, 2015 at 10:28 am

    • Wow. I can’t tell you how few fucks I give about what you think of my behavior or whether I was cheating by having an old and trusted friend into my hotel room or about what you would do in my partner’s place. This comment is so gross in so many ways, not least in that you sound like you should probably look up “victim blaming.”

      April 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

      • Merle

        I’m sorry to offend you; when something bad happens to me, I tend to focus first on what I could have controlled in the situation, not on what the other person did. If the other person were discussing their behavior with me, I’d focus on what they could or should have been doing. It’s not a measure of who is right, it’s a strategy of looking inward first, or of looking for things I can control instead of things I can’t control.

        I’m curious, If your boyfriend invited a women he had great sex with in the past (but is now just a friend) to a hotel room for drinks alone, would you be fine with that?

        If not, why not? If so, did you tell your boyfriend that you’d be drinking in a hotel room with your ex-lover that you had a thing for “for years”?

        Not long ago I was buying a game console from a stranger I’d just met. It was a really good deal and I wanted it, so I handed him cash and he ran off with it between a couple of buildings. I was shocked, and didn’t chase this large thief because I might have caught him and gotten a beating to go with my missing cash. The people I told the story to all told me some version of “I shouldn’t have given him the money until the game was in my hand” or “I should have chased him down and beat my money out of him”. I guess my point is, you can’t give a victim any advice without doing some “victim blaming”.

        Do you advice I don’t give cash to strangers? If so, you’re victim blaming too.

        April 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm

        • Thanks for comparing my body to some cash someone hypothetically stole. Keep digging, pal. Maybe you’ll strike gold one day. Also, you should read more carefully and also I still don’t give any fucks what you think about my behavior so I’m unsure why you’re still on about that…

          April 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        • Roxanne

          If you had actually read the article, she was drunk prior to even getting back to the hotel room. He suggested another bar and she wanted to go back to her room because she felt like throwing up. She did NOT “invite him back for drinks”. You are victim blaming. She should have been escorted back to her room and he should have left. That’s what friends do for other drunk friends, make sure they get back okay, and don’t take advantage of them.

          May 30, 2015 at 10:16 pm

  5. Nix

    I’ve stumbled across this post looking for answers to my own questions and feel shocked that this could have triggered something I’m undeniable about . Help me please to sort my confusion . It’s all pretty messed up but I’m married with children and have a close friend who Ive been helping through alcoholism I.e lending money for food (not booze) , picking up from hospital and taking care of them , support when needing someone to talk to etc . , you get my point . I have had feelings for him and he’s made it clear he has for me too but we aired it and came to the conclusion that all we will ever be is just good friends . He came home from an operation one morning and later that day I suggested I pop in to see how he was . He had a row with his dad and I thought talking to me about it would help and I could check that the drying out which he said he was doing was really happening . Went in and he was grumpy and really drunk but still coordinating quite well . He lent forward to kiss me and I pulled away so he held my head onto his so I couldn’t break free . Once I did I felt awkward on how to leave without drama so tried to explain I had to go and couldn’t stay .. So then he did the same thing again and groped me at the same time and pulling me on top of him . I felt a bit sickened but got loose and said I didn’t want this . .. So he then just said “don’t piss me off” and a cold stare . I grabbed my coat and rushed out feeling numb ! I feel like I’m to blame and worried he might cause problems for me and my husband . Am I in the wrong? What do I do ? Shall I just ignore him ?

    March 20, 2015 at 6:55 am

    • I’m sorry that happened and I hope he hasn’t given you any further grief. You are absolutely not to blame. If it were me, I would definitely stay away and ignore him (unless you want to press assault charges).

      Apologies for the delayed reply.

      April 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm

  6. ((Hugs))

    September 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    • Thank you. <3

      September 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm

  7. Aaron

    Sometimes I don’t entirely agree with your posts, but they all have a pretty solid core. It sucks that guys have taken advantage of you and all I can do is prevent it happening to people in my sphere of influence.

    My experience drinking, what little I have, is that even drunk, you don’t do things you cannot rationalize sober. There simply isn’t an excuse for him. You’ve got to respect boundaries. I learnt boundaries the hard way; I was so socially inept that my closest friend was creeped out by me to the point she nearly opened a police file. I was shocked to hear that, and she insisted it wasn’t that bad and that I was over-reacting. Nope! After hearing that, I voluntary ceased contact for a few weeks, firstly because that creep she imagined wasn’t me, and secondly because I felt betrayed; we were friends.

    Part of the it was my social ineptness, part was her fear of losing me; I told her when I reinitiated contact that she’d have to say ‘no’ or tell me when I made her uncomfortable. She never learnt that, and the situation escalated with each accidental step past her boundaries (sitting too close/overstaying welcomes). Ended up friends in name only with her avoiding me. I made the mistake of staying friends with someone who was afraid to communicate boundaries that I couldn’t yet see myself.

    It took a few months until I finally accepted that she was only saying we were friends because she assumed I would stalk her otherwise; not me, so I permanently cut it off and blocked her on social media. My mistake was holding onto hope that she & I could fix the problems and stay friends. It sucks, but I had to be the one drawing the boundaries. I respect that you do a better job than I. Don’t take shit from anyone and if you can’t be around them as they are, don’t bank on who they will be; get out while you’ve got the chance.

    September 7, 2014 at 12:11 pm

  8. When I read something that touches me, and maybe triggers me – something powerful like this, and I find I have no real words to contribute without feeling trite, I fight with an urge to say nothing at all. But we all need to know posts like this are read by people, that we are processing and hearing you and ‘with’ you in spirit even if we have no real words. So, as a friend of mine likes to say when she is in the same boat – I will offer this sentence: “I read all of this”. It means so many deeper things that I cannot express, but have no words for right now. I hope those like me who are touched by your post here can make the effort to let you know you are not alone, and say – at the very least – ‘I read all of this’.

    September 7, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    • Boy, do I know that feeling. I truly appreciate the time you took–and the message. Thank you.

      September 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

  9. “And then I realized that when a man makes excuses for another man’s bad behavior, there’s a good chance he’s defending his own.”

    THIS, THIS, THIS.

    I am sorry this happened to you Rosie. Thank you for being brave and sharing it.

    September 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

    • Thank you, Nicole. <3

      September 7, 2014 at 11:40 am

      • Joe

        That’s very tragic that a trusted friend would take advantage of you.

        Have you considered filing charges against him? I know it’s definitely not an easy decision to make (especially since you were friends), but it may be the only way to keep him from hurting someone else.

        Stay Strong and hang in there.

        Very Respectfully,
        Joe

        October 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

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