The Silent Yes.

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-Rupi Kaur

I should preface this post by saying *warning this posts contains explicit content that some readers may find offensive* because it actually does. But more than that, I know there might be family friends, friends or potentially ex-boyfriends reading, and that my honesty will make them feel uncomfortable and for that I can only warn them, but I can’t apologise. Saying sorry implies that I’ve done something wrong, and I know being truthful for the sake of something greater, is never a wrong doing.It began like this..

I laughed about it the next day to my friends as thought it was nothing, like I was almost proud of it. It wasn’t until Christmas came around, a time I had been looking forward to spending with my family, that it hit me. An emotional sink hole appeared below me, ready to swallow me up, and I knew it wouldn’t go away easily.

We played Monopoly Christmas day and joked and I tried to follow suit, but I just felt a huge heaviness. Only a few days earlier I has posted videos of myself dancing on Instagram, a huge feat for my confidence, and now that experiment seemed silly and pointless in my eyes.

The day I was due to go home, my suitcase still unpacked, I tried to see if I could change my ticket. I dreaded going back to Melbourne, a city that after three months I had finally grown to feel at home in. I told my family that my change of heart was because I missed them, and truthfully I did, but most of all I couldn’t face the reality of it all.

Before I go on, I need to let it be known that this is a delicate topic and I’m writing this out more carefully than I ever have before. I, like a lot of girls and women who have found themselves in an all too familiar situation, gave consent. This doesn’t make what happened OK, and I couldn’t be happier to see how topical this has become recently in the media, but it’s tricky to say the least. There is always two sides, but this is mine and you better believe I’m going to express how I feel.

I said yes to the date we went on, even though in the back of my mind, I could see a million red flags in his Tinder profile alone.

‘Tired of the monotony of one night stands’ it read.

BULLLLLLLshit.

He even called himself out on it, so let that be a lesson to never take Tinder profiles too seriously, not that anyone ever should. Why I even bothered talking to him, I don’t know. Nor do I know why I bothered with Tinder in the first place. If you haven’t clicked, this is the mistake I was referring to in my previous post.

I do strange things, or maybe we all do, to feel validated. It always comes at a time in which I feel most confident, a time that I should just take for myself. But always, like a dessert you want everyone at the table to take a bite of, I have to share.

When I chose to download Tinder, I didn’t even want to meet up with anyone at the time. But he was out already, and so was I, and what’s so wrong with one little drink? I thought to myself.

Don’t be rigid, be spontaneous Maria, is how my inner dialogue went.

It’s this same thinking that brought me to his hostel room. He said he needed to get something, I said yes and followed along. Even though I was smart enough to know where that routine would lead to.

We sat on the bed and his shirt was already unbuttoned. He started to unbutton my dress.

Maria, say you have to go now is the time, the inner dialogue went along.

But if I’m honest, the kissing part was nice, or better yet the companionship was nice, and I thought maybe it could just be that harmless. It’s funny even at 27, I still wanted to see how far I could push my limits. Or rather, how far I could push my limits for the sake of not saying no to a guy. I was always the people pleaser, but never for those actually mattered and it would constantly be my downfall.

The first time we slept together, it was fine. Just your standard ‘I’m going to cum and not be the slightest bit concerned if you’re going to as as well’, kind of fine.

Afterwards I felt restless however, knowing that it didn’t sit right and feeling as though the only way to forget how I felt was to do it again. But everything changed that second time around, and it’s when I tranitioned from a person to a blow-up sex doll.

Without care or concern for what I liked or even if it was ok, he shoved me on the end of the bed, knelt over me and put his penis in my mouth. He grabbed my hair and pulled, thrusting until my eyes began to water and I thought I was going to puke. This kind of thing exists in the porn world and is called a forced blow up, something I learnt from watching the documentary ‘hot girls wanted.’ I pitied those girls who did it for money, and never thought I would be in their position with nothing to gain.

He actually uttered the sentence ‘You dirty little whore’ during, and had I been Charlotte in that episode of Sex In The City, I may have found it comical. The way he said it and the way he said he knew that I was this kind of girl, made me believe that I actually did and that I was. But we barely knew each other, and this kind of behaviour is something you develop with trust in a relationship. Still, I complied and made all the right sex faces, knowing that the greatest role I could play in that moment was of someone that was turned on by him. But I was repulsed, and even after I showered when I got home I still felt traces of him crawling on my skin.

Sex for me up until that night, had always been about satisfying the other person. It was always about pushing through any gut feeling I had on an intuitive level, and doing what I thought was required of me. That’s the funny thing about consent, even if you are so unwilling that you have to be begged, you still gave your approval, you’re still to blame for your own discomfort.

When I was 18 I remember walking up a dark path late at night in  Athens, with an older guy I had met at a hostel bar. We talked for a while and kissed, and it seemed innocent and as though I was having my ‘Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants’ moment. It wasn’t until he pulled his pants down and asked me to put my mouth there, practically grabbing my hand and placing it on his dick, that I knew it was far from innocent. I cried and he took me back hurriedly, like he knew he had done something wrong.

A year later I found myself in another guys bedroom in the middle of the day, being begged to give a blowjob. The begging continued for half an hour until I felt well and truly cornered and did it (the first time I had ever done it). He was so elated after he came, that he did an actual handstand. Watching him so happy while I just felt sick, made me angry.

What I want to know is why and how is pleasure found in the discomfort of others? How does it arouse someone to know that we don’t really want to say yes?  Because saying no comes at the cost, it means losing approval and it means not being that cool chic that’s down for whatever.

As women we have to either be sexually liberated or just bottle it up and hold on to it until someone worthy comes along. There is no clear in-between and it’s a line I’m constantly confused and confronted. The last time I had sex, on that night I remember just wanting to embody Nola Darling from ‘She’s Gotta Have It’, but what I ended up with was a more broken version of myself.

I’m conflicted at who to blame, because while I want to abuse and defame the absolute crap out of this guy and proclaim that no one has the right to be so intimate with you without knowing you intimately, I also want to blame myself.

For not knowing yet how much I’m worth and for allowing someone to take a part of me away  without having really earned it. I made it so easy for this person to get what it is they wanted, not even beginning to know what it is that I was looking for to start with.

It’s been almost a month, and instead of keeping up small talk and pretending like it’s all fine in the name of saving face, I blocked and deleted him. And to that I’ll add that you don’t owe anyone who makes you feel like that, anything at all. It’s not your responsibility to be the nice person and to explain your actions with a long-winded message or maintain some kind of relationship.

Right now my body feels heavy and weighed down with a sadness I can’t begin to describe, and one that has been building for years. But up until today, I have felt unsure of how to express what I’m feeling, or how it would be received, because I said yes. How could or would anyone be willing to understand this kind of situation that happens all too frequently, when it happened consensually?

This is why I have decided to write this, as overly informative as it may seem and even if it erases some of the sparkle that might reflect how you think you know me. It is so incredibly important to feel comfortable and to feel like you’re equally participating in anything remotely intimate. The sign that you’re with someone who gets this basic principle will be the person that asks ‘But wait, did you finish’? And will eagerly try to remedy this if you say no.

My function as a woman isn’t to lie there until you say it’s ok for you. My purpose is to feel more than OK and to feel it simultaneously with you. Thinking about my sexual history over the past eight years (yes, figure out when I lost my virginity), I feel emotionally drained. I’m drained from not recognising what it is that I deserve, least of all from myself. I don’t want my worth to be reflected back to me in the eyes of someone else, I just want to look in the mirror and see it clear as day, staring back at me.

I encourage you all to take a step back, and ask yourself what your sexuality means to you and if you don’t know, take the time to re-define it. It’s what I’m in the process of doing now, and while I know it may be a lonely path, more than ever before I’m actually ready to go it alone.

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