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Close calls

Posted by Jeze , 29 September 2012 · 96 views

One of the reasons I'm still here despite how much time has passed is because I see and fear rape everywhere. Incidents like the one last week certainly don't help so I feel like I need to get it off my chest.
My boyfriend and I have been together a long time, with a few breakups in a row during a rough patch a little over a year ago. He is generally a very kind-hearted, passive, and supportive man. But that doesn't mean we haven't had close calls with rape. These are generally minor; I dissociate or ask him to stop and it takes him a very seconds too long to actually stop. While not rape, whenever they happen it makes me question my trust for him, adding a burden to my thoughts when I want to have sex with him. This last one has triggered me like crazy though, and it doesn't help that I've been talking to the psycho ex again recently.
This is where I start to feel silly, because there really isn't much to the story. After an enjoyable night of mild drinking, we went to bed. He asked if I wanted him to go down on me, and I said no. He asked again, and I said no. And then he did it. I know for a fact he would have stopped if I had continued to say no after he started, but unfortunately saying no during sex is a huggge trigger for me and I didn't want to face the awkwardness after. I tried to force myself to get into it, but couldn't. It progressed to sex, he finished, and we went to sleep.
The weird thing is I feel like this should feel like rape to me, but it doesn't. Maybe its because I could have stopped him, I just didn't. Maybe its because I feel like he's not capable of doing such a thing, though given that my past abusers were people close to me who I trusted I know that's flawed. Regardless, this is in the not-rape zone for me, but it put me back into the headspace of trying to get into the activity, of trying to spare them the awkwardness they caused, of deciding to "fight" or submit. It's also robbed me of all my trust in him, and I'm not sure how I can have sex with him ever again after he proved he can outright ignore me saying no. Perhaps the scariest thing though is the reminder of how "Easy" it is to rape or be raped. It can happen to anyone, by anyone, in the calmest or most dramatic manner possible.

This is a difficult one, in my eyes if you said no and he still did it then it was rape. Maybe because you want to believe that he wouldn't do that to you, that he could be trusted unlike others close to you, you choose not to see it as rape. Does he not know that saying no is a trigger for you? Could you try and have some sort of other signal that would let him know it is NOT okay to proceed? Sex has to be mutual, if either one says, or indicates it's not okay then if it continues it is rape - well that is my view on it.

Wish I could be more help.

Thanks for the reply. Yes, he knows its a trigger. We've come up with all sorts of signals in the past but we tend to use them for a bit, and then stop if their use hasn't been necessary in a while. Getting triggered tends to come in waves for me. I'm definitely struggling with the fact that if someone else had told me this story, I would tell them it was rape. The thing is, while it did put me back in that headspace it didn't come with the panic and loss of power feelings that other incidents of abuse did. I knew he would stop if I had told him again, but I shouldn't have to say no three times for him to listen. At the risk of sounding like a certain USA Republican, I just feel like it wasn't forceful enough to count as rape. I also know I would NEVER say this to anyone else if they went through something similar. It's complicated, but your reply really was helpful! It's good to be able to talk these things out so thanks again. :)

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