When the lovemaking contains no love

Disclaimer: Firstly, I have to admit that I really wasn’t sure whether to put up this post because I realise I am on rocky grounds writing about a very delicate and emotional subject… However, after explaining the concept and reasons for it to some girlfriends, I was encouraged by them to publish this. So though I’m still unsure, I am doing this with the blessings of good friends, one having experienced something along the lines of what’s discussed later in this article. I ask you to forgive me if you find it offensive in any way and know I didn’t mean for it to be so.

There is a proverb which states: “You learn for as long as you live.” This is one of my favourite sayings, because of it’s undeniable truth. And with learning comes surprising insights both encouraging and discouraging.

One thing I learned through having conversations with women for the purpose of writing about the topic of self worth and image, which still doesn’t fail to shock and anger me, is that an alarming amount of women have experienced some form of rape. At first, I was shocked about this because as a young girl, I thought rapes were committed in dark back allies by strangers, or during wars but now I know this certainly is not the case.

The definition of rape is that it is a sexual act to which one of the parties, I.E. the victim is not consenting. And most rapes do not happen in dark back streets, or have the majority of women who have experienced rape been assaulted by a stranger.

I am going to present 3 typical stories told to me by women who have experienced sex without their will. Names are not used and details have been changed, but the stories are true. The illustrate how blurry the line of rape can be and hopefully it can be of help to those who have experienced this and know a wrong has been done, or those who think you have experienced it, because you are bothered by a past incident, but isn’t sure whether you can define it as such.

“I was sixteen and at my boyfriend’s house. His parent’s hadn’t come home from work yet, and knowing they were strict on physical contact, we took the opportunity to make out. It was nice and tentative at first, but the kisses got deeper and the caresses more intense. After a while, the clothes started coming off. It was as he was getting on top of me that I knew I didn’t want to go the whole way. At first, I told him, but he said that everyone else was doing it and that if I loved him I would let him do this to me. I tried pushing him away, but he just laughed and pinned my arms down. In the end he got his will. I don’t think it lasted long, but those were the longest minutes of my life. Afterwards he called me frigid and told me to leave. I was so ashamed. In a way, I hadn’t helped the matters by going so far with him in the first place. Also, I really thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t sure if this was rape, because in the end, I submitted to it. Today I know better of course and no longer blame myself for not doing more to stop it.

“I had invited some friends over for dinner, but only two could make it. A boy and a girl. The night started off great. I’d opened some wine, the food tasted well and the conversation was going beyond my expectations. The boy started flirting with me. First it was so subtle that I wasn’t sure whether it was flirting, or me thinking so in my tipsy state. But as the night progressed, I was more and surer. I hadn’t been drinking much, but I suddenly went from being tipsy to not quite realising what was happening around me. One minute I was sitting down, the next, me and the boy were dancing and next, we were on my sofa making out. I felt myself drifting further and further away. I heard the boy whispering stuff to me. What he wanted to do when we were alone, but none of it registered. I vaguely remember him seeing the other girl out and then I fell asleep. I woke up with him at his business. I wanted to move, but my limbs were so heavy I didn’t manage to do anything. Anything except cry. He kept asking if it felt good and that he had wanted to do this to me from the first time we met. I wept unable to even speak. I never reported him, because at first, I wasn’t sure if it was rape. I hadn’t fought him off so surely it couldn’t be. I cans say now though, that had I been sober, this wouldn’t have happened, because I had a boyfriend. I also know for a fact he had spiked my drink, so it’s no doubt that what he did was a crime.

“I was feeling awful and had gone to bed early. My husband had been understanding and even made me a cup of herbal tea which, in combination with some Paracetamols might ease my sore throat and get my fever down. It was just a normal flu, so nothing serious, but you can imagine that I did not exactly feel beautiful or in the mood for making love. My husband was a man with a high appetite, and he had “persuaded” me to have sex with him a few times in the years we had been married when I really didn’t want it. I wasn’t thinking of it as rape. We were married and because I thought being a good wife meant submitting to my husband in everything even if I didn’t want it, I surely was consenting. This particular evening, he came in and woke me up from a deep sleep. I was less willing and more protesting than the other times he’d forcibly got his way, but I submitted in the end. It was worse than usual because the cold has dried me up which meant it hurt. Today I’m wondering how he found me tempting in my ill state. And although we’re married, I also know now he raped me. Not every time, but the times I didn’t want to make love to him and he forced me on account of me being his wife.”

All kinds of women have experienced this, no matter their ethnicity, religion, age or marital status.

And many never report the incidents because they are not sure whether they have the grounds for doing so.

The purpose behind this post is not to rip up in anything that might have happened to any readers. Rather it’s meant as an encouragement in the sense that as a woman, you are not alone in having been through something degrading which you struggle to put a name to. Something which may in some cases be almost forgotten, but still pops up to haunt you every so often in certain types of contexts or situations. And getting confirmation by hearing other stories can sometimes be a huge relief. Taking long showers, feeling dirty and like it was your fault, is not a nice feeling, but knowing that millions of women have been through the same and that YOU are not the only one, can be of comfort to some.

Finally, you can always look for reasons to why this happened to you. “I was too drunk.” “I dressed too tarty.” “I almost went all the way.” But that doesn’t make it anymore your fault. Sure, in some situations, behaving in a certain way is not smart, but a nice, decent man would never take advantage of you if you are drunk, wear revealing clothes and if he really loves you, he will respect your wish to stop if you are not ok with it.

Advertisements

One thought on “When the lovemaking contains no love

  1. I thought this was an amazing article. All your blog entries are very honest and thoughtful, but this one even went a little further. What you write ihere s very true. I can think of two occasions when I was much younger which would likely fall into this scenario and I still am confused, uncertain and a little upset when I think of those occasions. This is not a topic that you hear of frequently, but it should be. Fortunately, there is more openness on the topic of rape than years ago and that helps alleviate some of pain and guilt experienced by women. I hope you write about more topics like this.

    Michelle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s