The years following college I was, admittedly, a little lost and a lot broken. I drank too much, smoked too much, and engaged in a lot of other risky behaviors.
I don’t believe this distinguishes me from many 20-something-year-olds — at least the 20-something-year-olds I knew — and I don’t regret any of it. But, I am also lucky enough to have survived it with little lasting damage.
One night, out with friends, I met a hot stranger, drove him home to my house, and started having sex with him. While he was on top of me, my mind started to wander. Details are a little fuzzy — it was more than 10 years ago — but if I had to guess, I’m sure I was thinking about the night, my friends, how much I loved dancing, how hot this guy was, how hot my friends said this guy was, and then I probably started to wonder if this guy was hotter than the One. Regardless of how I got there, I know my thoughts eventually landed on the One, and I started to wonder about him and what he would think of this guy and in a surprising moment of clarity I realized that the only reason this guy was on top of me was because I wanted to get back at the One for hurting me and that is when Club Guy stopped having sex with me and asked what was wrong.
One of the many wonderful benefits of having a face that reflects your exact thoughts the exact moment you have them. And while I can’t be sure because I've never had mirrored ceilings, I can imagine my face went from wow you are really hot, I am really enjoying this to oh my god, what the fuck is wrong with me? Why am I doing this?
And that is when he stopped.
To be clear. I never withdrew consent. Quite the opposite. After Club Guy had stopped, I lied and told him everything was okay and urged him to keep going, but he didn’t and instead we just sat on my bed and talked.
Then why did he stop even though we were in the middle of boning and I told him to keep going?
Because I wasn’t having sex with a rapist.
I believe most men, dudes, bros, guys, etc. aren’t rapists. I believe most guys want to have sex with a fully engaged, willful participant. I believe most men will stop having sex with a person when he or she asks them to stop, whether it is because they aren’t enjoying it or they think they heard a noise or because they realize it doesn’t matter how many random people they have sex with at some point they are going to have to deal with their very hurt feelings.
And I believe people have the right to revoke this consent. I believe people have the right to change their minds. Whether it is something you order at dinner or someone you invite into your bed, I believe at any point you can say: You know what, this is not what I want.
I also believe men (or women) who don’t stop having sex with their partner when their partner revokes consent are rapists.
Interestingly, North Carolina does not believe this.
So, what do you say, Tar Heel State? Think it’s time to stop making it easier for rapists to get away with rape?