Please! Don't! Stop!
November 1, 2022
I was raped in January of 2018. He was a parole officer I met on Plenty of Fish. He had a gun. At some point, I’ll publish what I wrote about the rape, but it’s raw, graphic, and horrifying.
At the time, I did not report the rape. I was living in Louisville, it was the same week I had sex with Married Man for the last time, and my life was in shambles. I was incredibly promiscuous. In fact, I slept with three men that same week, one of them being the rapist. I believed I had no credibility. I was not only promiscuous, but I was writing and publishing the details of my liaisons.
For four years, every time I heard about rape, or watched any type of depiction, I would have a massive emotional response followed by days, often weeks of severe depression. Finally, I got tired of being triggered so frequently and so often. I got tired of feeling like I wasn’t worth championing because of my lifestyle. I got tired of believing no one would take me seriously because I was a slut. Yep. Ugly words, there. But that’s what I believed. And it just wasn’t working for me anymore.
I looked up the statute of limitations on rape in Kentucky. There is none. So last January, I filed a police report.
Last I spoke with the detective, and it’s been several months, she told me the rapist had refused to speak with the police and the case was on the prosecutor’s desk. That was enough. That was all I needed to know.
I had been taken seriously. It was documented with a law enforcement agency. His name is on a case file. He has been accused.
Do I care if this ever goes to trial? Do I care if he ever has to pay for his crime? Not one bit. I did what I was supposed to do for me. I did what I was supposed to do for the women who come into his life. I did what I was supposed to do for the sex offenders he counsels on consent in his role as a parole officer. He knows I know. He knows his employer knows. He knows the police know. That’s all I needed.
I wrote this letter to the investigator a few weeks back:
Hi Linda. It’s Coco. I just watched a movie about a rape. It’s called The Luckiest Girl Alive. It’s the first time I’ve been able to watch or hear about a rape that it didn’t send me into a tailspin. I wasn’t crying uncontrollably. I wasn’t reliving the rape. You did that for me, Linda. Thank you for that gift. I am so glad that I honored myself in coming forward.
Sometimes I feel bad, because I’m sure his career was greatly impacted, if not destroyed. And I have no satisfaction in terms of any sense of vindication or revenge. Mostly I just have the satisfaction of knowing that, perhaps, he won’t ever be able to hurt someone like he hurt me. And that he won’t be in a position to counsel sex offenders on what consent means since he does not know himself.
I also included this section on Consent in my book, How To Do Single With Dignity and Grace:
It’s not hard to know if someone is actively consenting to sex. Ask them!
Before we get going here, this is an excellent web site that explains the terms and definitions of all things related to consent: Calisto: Understand the Language of Consent.
Consent is a deliberate verbal agreement between two (or more) people to engage in sexual activity. This is a conversation to have BEFORE any sexual activity has commenced, that is before any articles of clothing have been removed!
If your date is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re in iffy territory. It’s best to have made the agreement long before anyone partakes of anything. And even then, it’s important to check in with them periodically to make sure they’re willingly engaged.
“Are you sure you’re comfortable with this? I know we agreed we were going to have sex, but you drank a lot of shots, and I want to make sure you are still OK with this.”
If they confirm their intent, proceed with caution! Recognize there are risks to what you are doing.
If they’ve had a lot to drink, you already know they’re not able to make a deliberate choice. Don’t have sex. Put it off. Talk about it again when you’re both sober, like the following morning, when you’re crunching on dry toast and passing the Pepto back and forth.
One more thing here. I once had a date with an online match, and I decided ahead of time I didn’t want to have sex. At the point we decided to go to my apartment after dinner, I laid out what I was willing to do, which specifically excluded intercourse with vaginal penetration. I was very specific. And he verbally agreed to that. I made sure of it.
When we got to my apartment, he pushed it. I was afraid, because he was in law enforcement and I knew he had a gun, so I didn’t say no. He raped me. It was not a violent rape, and I was in bed with him unclothed. I didn’t fight or even say “no”. I complied. Regardless, IT WAS RAPE. He broke the terms of the agreement we’d made during dinner, long before he came to my apartment. IT WAS RAPE.
I’m not going to go into the details of how I chose to handle the situation after the fact. And I’m not going to engage in speculation on whether I made a mistake putting myself in that situation. I’ve been in that situation plenty of times and had very positive, mutually agreed upon, mutually fulfilling sexual experiences that were fully compliant with the explicit verbal agreements we made ahead of time before any sexual activity commenced.
And what’s more, no one brings rape upon themselves by something they do, say, wear, or fill in the blank with some twisted outdated stereotype. No one willingly invites rape. No one deserves to be raped.
You Have a Voice
It’s critical to know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want. It’s critical you communicate what you want and what you don’t want with your date before you engage in any sexual activity. It’s OK to change your mind! If you do change your mind, be deliberate and firm in your communications.
It’s OK to say no, and then say yes! It’s OK to say yes, and then say no! Even if you’re in the middle of intercourse, if you want to stop, say STOP! Your partner should honor your directive immediately! Immediately! Immediately!
You have a voice. You have a right to willingly and actively consent to sex. You also have a right to withdraw your consent, before or during. You have a NO voice. When you want to use your NO voice, use it!
Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash