Tag Archives: rape

On being a perpetrator of sexual coercement

There are many times where I have been on the receiving end of sexual assault. Ranging from photos blatantly taken of me on public transport, being groped, being coerced into sex my first time, and even being raped, the list goes on almost as far as the blanket of sexual assault covers. Some of these instances are foggy, glazed over with justifications or self-blame; others are crystal clear and a triggering, fearful reminder of what was inflicted upon me.

But I have also been a perpetrator of sexual assault myself.

Back when my ex and I were still friends with benefits, each visit to his house had but one purpose. On 2 occasions, I convinced him to have sex with me even though he wasn’t into it. I still recall the first time, I rubbed his chest and said please, please, kissing him on the neck and cheek, even after he said he didn’t want to. Eventually he sighed and said okay. The second time was Valentine’s day; he was sick so I brought over soup. Again I asked him to sleep with me though he said he wasn’t up for it cause he was feeling sick. Again, he eventually sighed and said okay.

As with every sexual assault, there are 2 sides of the story: That of the Victim’s, and that of the Perpetrator’s.

How I saw it was that I wanted to sleep with him, that our arrangement revolved around sex anyways, and that my behaviour of pleading till he said yes was necessary. I don’t fully understand my behaviour then. To me, he was not the most emotionally available person, I really wanted him, and the answer was to keep asking until he said yes.

To him, I raped him.

This came from him months later when we progressed into an actual relationship, when he told me he talked to his therapist and she told him that I had raped him.

I was in shock at that revelation. I went to my best friend immediately and she reassured me that it wasn’t, that there’s no way I raped him, and he was just talking crap.

The fact of the matter was that I sexually coerced him. I convinced him to sleep with me even though he didn’t want to, and both verbally and non-verbally showed his disinterest.

Now, sexual coercion, sexual assault and rape are often misconstrued as one and the same.

Sexual coercion: the act of using subtle pressure, drugs, alcohol, or force to have sexual contact with someone against their will.

Sexual assault: a form of sexual violence which includes rape (forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration or drug facilitated sexual assault), groping, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner. 

Rape: a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.

I believe I didn’t rape him but I sexually coerced him into sex on 2 occasions. He believes I raped him, as per what his therapist told him. The difference between the two labels, situation, and perception are different. That’s why there’s always 2 sides to the story. One thing is for sure: I know and feel like the guilty party here. I will try to justify that this relationship itself was unhealthy and I’ve received a fair share of emotional and psychological manipulation, but in the very clear situation of sexual coercion, I am guilty.
Let me segue a bit, but I promise this ties back. This has been such an amazing time of #MeToo, where men in powerful positions who have sexually harassed, controlled and manipulated women are being called out, thrown into the harsh spotlight and are finally facing the music. Women who for decades have been quietly accepting such tyrannical, abusive behaviour towards them are finally being heard.

And then a case like the sexual assault allegations against Aziz Ansari appear. I’m sure some of you have already read enough articles to understand the situation. Though Aziz may not be a Harvey Weinstein, the way he behaved still perpetuates the issue with consent in our society. It also emphasises how gray the area of sexual assault is, not just in terms of the law, but primarily in our everyday lives, culture, and experiences. Men and women alike are constantly finding themselves on “bad dates”, with primarily men who push incessantly for sex, and leave the recipient traumatised or bitterly adding another bad date story into the books.

(This is where it ties back to my experience)
I never thought that I would be relating to both “Grace”, the woman he sexually assaulted, and Aziz Ansari himself.


As I said at the start, I have been the subject of such behaviours for years now. In some cases, I’ve cried. In others, I’ve repressed the memory. For some, I’ve taken to blaming myself for drinking too much, trusting men too easily, being too slutty (and on and on the list goes). Yet am I allowed to be a victim, when I myself was a perpetrator?

Every conversation that revolves around #MeToo and #TimesUp focuses on how women should not be blamed for such situations anymore, how we should stand in solidarity with our fellow survivors, and how it’s time for perpetrators to take responsibility for their behaviour and not be a perpetrator.

But what do you do when you’ve stood on both sides of the issue? When you’ve both coerced, and been coerced. Do your experiences as a victim hold lesser or lose all weight?

It’s so gray and complicated because sexual consent in our society is so fuzzy. There’s been more awareness of Consent as Key, with No meaning No. In Aziz’s case, he stopped when Grace said “No”, but didn’t when Grace showed non-verbal cues or said anything but the word “No.” He kept trying to bring the situation back to one of a sexual nature. Later on, when she texted him about how she was uncomfortable throughout the scenario and he might not have realised it, he apologised to her personally, and later released a statement saying he thought it was “by all indications completely consensual” but that he “took her words to heart”.

In my case, back then I thought it was fine to keep trying, because I always gave in when my previous ex kept pushing; because my first time happened even after I said No; because with all my past experiences with sex, consent was never really in the picture. I thought that was what people did in relationships/fwb arrangments/hook ups: Keep Trying till the No becomes a Yes.

It’s completely fucked up, I know this now. I no longer push or try, I am focused on it being a consensual, mutually desirable circumstance. But yet, the fact remains that I have committed sexual coercion before. The fact exists that at the back of my mind, I’m looking for a way to be redeemed for my actions.

After reading Aziz’s response to “Grace” and his released public statement, I wonder if he felt the same way I did upon realising the situation was completely different from what he thought it was: Consensual.

The question now is… What do I do? What do all these men who have finally been outed as sexual predators and rapists do? What can we (if I can even be considered as part of the victims of sexual assault) do now to make sure these situations stop happening? What do I do as having been both a victim and a perpetrator?

This piece has no real answer; I’m stuck in limbo. Horrifying, self-aware, conflicted and paralysing limbo.


Do You know what is to be done in this situation?

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Escapade bursts

Been having more nightmares recently. The types that linger even though you’re dog tired daily and forget important details of your everyday waking life regularly.

1) He was raping girls, 2 of which were literally doll sized. 1 was a young adult. They started spilling vomit from their vaginas after he was finished and we went down on them. The older lady tried to push him away, shocked and repulsed but he pushed on. She eventually gave in and engaged in the fellatio as well.

2) I will update this when I remember. A little woozy right now

3) I have been telling myself that I deserve to be treated wonderfully by my future partner. Went to bed with drowsy fever medicine during the afternoon.

I told my friend that I deserve to be treated well. He leaned over, hand on the back of my neck to pull me in to kiss me. I pushed him away. He told me, “For someone who has so many criterias, you should have lower standards.”

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Rape victim, Rape survivor.

How passive, how past tensed. But it remains constant in your life.

It remains when you’re walking home late at night, keys between your fingers, poised to pierce.

It remains with every sip of alcohol, never to leave your hand, maximum two glasses, never again the hard stuff only the sweet easy ones. Only female friends around you making sure you’re safe.

It remains when you masterbate and feel guilty for feeling pleasure, cause you have glimpses of memory where you were drunk and enjoying what he was doing to your body.

It remains when you start to fall in love and want to be intimate, wondering if they might in turn rape you too. 

It remains as your past, present and future because once it has happened, you can never gain back that ease and trust, the lightness that some may treat the word like a punchline.

It remains as nightmares and self-loathing for your love and trust and belief in the fundamental goodness of humans.

It remains, now 7 months in. And it will remain in my wariness and my fear and hesitation and doubts and anxiety and tears and emptiness and blood tests and std tests and money and uncertainty about travelling and being alone and looking under the bed in the daytime and watching the curtains fearing who might be behind and turning my back to the door but also trying to stay still and tucked in on all sides with the blanket to prevent any access.

It remains in my fear and disgust and contempt and hatred and sadness in my libido. Betrayed when it ought to dry up and clamp shut, right? The other woman I was made without permission. Othered for what was done to me.

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The guilt of being raped

I’ve been doing so much searching and reading since I’ve come to the realisation that I was raped. Searching for things like ‘was it rape if I don’t remember’, ‘not remembering my rape’, ‘not remembering my rape and feeling okay’.

All I’ve been able to find are recounts by women who explicitly said no, struggled physically, crawled away, felt pain in their vaginas after, cried, were afraid to say no, had flashes of memories where the men were on top or in them.

My sole memory was of his head between my legs, and I remembered it feeling good.

To know logically and be told by the people I was out with the night before that I was intoxicated, stumbling around drunk with no memories of most of the night; to know that the people I was with told me that I needed to go back cause I was too drunk, and that he offered to send me back cause he wanted to head back anyways; knowing he was completely sober; remembering him telling us about his wife and his promise to keep sober to her. Yet, even knowing all these, to doubt that I was raped and that it was possibly my fault, even asking my friend the next day if I was hitting on him and thus caused the encounter to happen. They all weigh on my mind and heart so deeply and heavily.

I can’t find a single account that would help me feel okay with what happened, to justify that my rape was real, that it happened to me, that I’m not falsely accusing him of taking advantage of me. With each article I read, each forum, each comment, all I feel is guilt that my experience, my memory of what happened, was not ‘good enough’, was not ‘proper’.

As though being a victim of rape needed guidelines:

  • You can’t trust men anymore
  • You can’t feel sexual desire anymore
  • You must have remembered instances of the sexual assault
  • You must have been physically hurting from the encounter
  • You must be psychologically scarred from the encounter
  • You’re never going to want to be alone with men again
  • You’re never going to want to drink in public again

But I barely have any of these, and I feel bad, like I’m a fraud. Like I’m not a ‘good example’ of a rape victim and therefore I might not be… entitled to that label. To proclaim or even mention that I went through a rape.

I’m told by feminist friends to stop drinking so much, to not trust guys so easily, to take better care of myself from now on. I was firmly told by doctors that I should report the rape because I need to do my job and help protect other women out there from being at a risk of him in the future. Sure, they said things like “omg I’m so sorry babe” and was ‘comforted’ by their verbal bashings of him, but at the end of the day, I still feel responsible for what happened. Yes he sucks, but they still give advice on how I can prevent it because “there will always be men out there who are not right in the head and will rape you if they can, so you need to protect yourself.” And I’m left feeling simultaneously guilty for allowing the rape to happen, and potentially not being applicable for the title of rape victim.

So this post is for every person out there who was raped while drunk and couldn’t remember anything. For every person out there who trusted that married, sober guy who promised he would take care of you. For the people who were able to feel pleasure. Who aren’t sure if you were penetrated by his penis. Who feel guilty for not being aware till a week later that you were actually raped.

Your rape experience was real. No one can take that away from you. You deserve to feel hurt and vulnerable. You deserve to feel a plethora of emotions, even if it’s not what you think it should be. There are no rules to being raped, to being a victim or a survivor of rape. It’s okay, I’m here for you, my loves. 

Keep strong, I’m rooting for you.

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Looking out for Number 1

Yes, the rape was not your fault.
You weren’t asking for it.
You were drinking
You were having fun
You did not deserve to be raped.

Yes, the molest was not your fault.
You didn’t ask for it.
You were drunk
You trusted your friend
You did not deserve to be molested.

But, my love
The world is a cruel place.
Your friends won’t always be there
They might not see the drinks as your crutch
They might not see your cry for help
They might wave you off as vicarious and wild

And, my love
People are cruel creatures
Where No means Yes
And trust is but a tool for abuse

So ignore those who tell you
“You should stop drinking”
“You shouldn’t trust guys so easily”
“Don’t drink so much next time”
“Don’t go out drinking in unknown places with unknown people”

But you should take care of yourself.
Because at the end of the day,
The world is a cruel place
Filled with cruel creatures
And no one is around to watch out for you

Only you can care for you.

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