A Gut Wrenching Answer To “Why People Rape?”

Kingston Slut Walk

Warning: This personal story contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

It’s been 10 years since I was raped at the age of 15 a month shy of my 16th birthday, a lot has happened and this life event does not affect me the same way it used to. Maybe because I have grown as a person, maybe because I now understand the meaning of sex, maybe because I now enjoy sex, or maybe because so many other traumatic events have happened since that it has just become a matter of surviving instead of being the victim.

I no longer ask the questions of “why me” or “what did I do to cause it”, the question I ponder now is why do people rape, why do people sexually assault others?

What is rape/sexual assault?

Noun

1.

Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.

2.

Statutory rape.

3.

An act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation:

The rape of the countryside.

4.

Archaic. The act of seizing and carrying off by force.

Verb (used with object), raped, raping.

5.

To commit the crime of rape on (a person).

6.

To plunder (a place); despoil:

The logging operation raped a wide tract of forest without regard for the environmental impact of their harvesting practices.

7.

To seize, take, or carry off by force.

Victim services define sexual assault as:

“Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, or if a child or young person under 18 is exposed to sexual activities.”

What is non-consensual sex?

Not agreed to by one or more of the people involved: not consensual, non-consensual sex, non-consensually.

Adverb

“I pointed out that it’s always painful and infuriating when people are non-consensually manipulated into humiliating themselves to make someone else’s point” – Carol Queen

A Personal Story

Although after researching rape, sexual assault, and non-consensual sex I am still someone who does see a difference between rape and non-consensual sex, maybe because I am able to compartmentalise and separate my emotions or maybe because my own definition of rape was my experiences of my first time.

My first time was not normal as such, I have realised through my short 26 years that normal is not in my vocabulary. I walked my dog after school, at the same time I always did, the route I would always take daily. Maybe this was my first mistake, maybe I should have changed the times I went for walks or maybe I should have taken more notice of my surroundings, maybe I shouldn’t have worn short shorts, or maybe I did nothing wrong and I shouldn’t have to change myself because of someone else’s actions!

Sexual assault statistics
Image: Top 3 Cited Reasons Survivors Don’t Report

Why did I think maybe I was the issue?

Maybe because society tells us we shouldn’t wear skimpy clothing because it sexually arouses men, maybe women are over-sexualised, or maybe it’s because we constantly make excuses for other people’s behaviour instead of stopping it, maybe we are the ones who make it alright.

Maybe, maybe, maybe…

For someone to approach you is scary, for someone to come at you and tell you that they have been watching you for weeks is violating, for someone to basically corner you behind a building at a soccer oval is terrifying. For someone to keep following you is beyond wrong even after you politely reject their invitation to “engage in a conversation” and keep walking. Do you walk away fast, do you run, do you hide somewhere until they leave, do you go straight home or do you do another walk of the block so they don’t find out where you live?

But for someone to then grab you while your back has been turned, for someone to push you against a wall, kick your dog and push them behind a fence so they can’t protect you and then hold you down is brutal. You have to think, did I walk into their trap, did I subconsciously feel them following me, did they wait at the clubhouse because I always stop here to give my dog water, or was it just a coincidence that they happened to be here.

You blame everything on what YOU have done, not their actions. Having your period is confronting enough, especially being a new bodily function, but then having someone pull your shorts down and tell you, you are disgusting and vile because of what they see is shattering and indescribable. For someone to try to penetrate you vaginally but stop because you’re “gross” and then penetrate you anally instead with no remorse, no hesitation and no regard that you are a living breathing person is sadistic. For someone to then keep going until they tear you and leave you motionless and numb on the cold hard concrete not understanding what had just happened and then saying that you deserved this because “they” wanted this is inhuman and callous.

Sexual violence is so common because sex and violence are closely linked to our internal makeup. Both are passionate and both are often referred to as animalistic and explosive. The sex and violence connection is not the nemesis of the over-aroused man but instead an inherited ideology that has been written in history as the male-female dynamic. The male hormone and the act of dominance are both linked to the act of violence, which is a confronting realisation. Also, the act of dominance and violence are common and often acceptable ways in which males protect their mates in the primate world and human world. Its boundaries over the course of life have been set by society for what is acceptable and what is not, but it is also a society that chooses whether to encourage certain parts and draw the line on their definitions. Society says that women are more physically vulnerable by nature, the fact that men are stronger does not mean that it is OK to use that strength to overpower and dominate without consent. To deal effectively with sexual aggression we must understand and recognise that we are the issue. We are the ones in society that define what is right especially if it goes against human evolution and we need to stop victim blaming and address the issue at its core.

#metoo

Morgan x

Support survivors of rape
Image: Sexual Assault Awareness Month Quote

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

The Raw Truth About Miscarriage

What Is A Miscarriage

Miscarriage is a topic that hits home pretty hard, and for me, it was more mental than physical trauma that I struggled with. Sex and intimacy after miscarriage is a pretty controversial topic, it comes with a million different personal beliefs as to what the right way to do it is, as well as the correct time to wait.

Truth is there is no specific time and there is no way to do it, there are guidelines and recommendations but not one rule that fits everyone.

Miscarriage is rough and personal, it’s mentally draining as well as physically, and really unless you go through it you have no idea how you will cope or how you will react.

I will shed some light on my story and maybe a few of you will be able to understand and can benefit from it. October 2016 I fell pregnant, it wasn’t planned but there was nothing stopping it either, four weeks later something felt different, and my monthly period did not arrive. I took a pregnancy test (a clear blue digital) and those words “pregnant” came up on the little digital screen. I was happy, I was hopeful, but I was scared, my partner and I had spoken about this but I knew he wouldn’t be happy. At the age of 24 I did not think I’d have a miscarriage, I had never been pregnant before and honestly I didn’t even know if I was able to fall pregnant. What I did know was that since I was a little girl I definitely wanted children, I always wanted to be a mum.

Breaking the news to him was hard and those words he uttered stuck to me, he wasn’t happy. The weeks went along and other “options” were brought up, these options have never sat right with me and were something I was most definitely was not comfortable with. Finally, I went for a thirteen-week scan, I was excited, he came with me and the time came to finally see my little baby. I laid down the technician put the jelly just above my pelvic line and pressed on with the machine, I waited for him to turn the screen so I could see! He never did… I just kept staring at the ceiling because I knew in that moment something wasn’t right. He walked out of the room and told me he had to go get a doctor, I sat up slightly and looked at my partner, I could tell by his face something wasn’t right. The doctor came in to look at my scans and to take his own, I was then told to come back in an hour, I knew what I was going to be told and I was devastated.

A Patient Who Had A Miscarriage
Image: “Probably the single saddest, most gut wrenching moment of my life” – Miscarriage Association

An hour passes and I walked back up alone to the waiting room, a few moments later a doctor and nurse came out to speak to me and handed me my scans. They apologised and the nurse handed me tissues, that moment was raw, that moment crushed me, I was told to go to the doctors straight away because my body had not recognised that I had a miscarriage, well, in this case, a missed miscarriage. The nurse walked down to the car with me and watched me cross the road safely and I sat in the car and just cried, and spoke the words “its dead”. From then on it is a blur, I called my doctor they fitted me in straight away, I was then told to go to emergency, I went to St-George emergency, they took blood tests looked at my scans spoke to me and told me to come back in the morning at 7.30am to the early pregnancy unit.

I walked in with my partner to the early pregnancy unit they admitted me and sent me for more blood tests I walked back up to the rooms and went through my options with me. I had barely processed what had just happened let alone what the best way to deal with this was. I was given three options, a) I could be given medication to take home with me and see if my body would do this naturally at home, b) I could be induced at the hospital and wait a few hours, or c) to have an operation. Now I have had a fair few operations in my past so I wasn’t keen on that idea, I chose option b. they were slightly worried about me because of my past operations and how far along I actually was. They admitted me for safety precautions and to monitor me, I was given the inducing medication and then it was a waiting game. It was a long wait and I ended up telling my partner to go home and rest, then 3am the next morning the inevitable happened. After hours of contractions, it all started.

It was intense, traumatic and heart wrenching, gushes of blood and clots came out of me, I couldn’t think I pressed the button for the nurses and did as they told me and tried to collect everything in the bucket like thing they had given me. The bleeding, however, did not stop and they were worried, all of a sudden 3 doctors and 5 nurses were in the room with me removing my clothes, trying to “scrap” me out and using gauze to stop the bleeding. I then felt a bigger clot, it was, in fact, my baby, my doctor cleaned it up for me and asked if I wanted to look. I didn’t think I just tried to sit up, I was then presented with this perfectly formed little human that was no bigger than my pinky finger, with arms, legs a body a head and forming of a face. My heart at that point melted.

After that all I remember was being rush wheeled up to an emergency operation because I had lost over two litres of blood, what felt like five minutes but was actually about forty-five I woke up from my operation and was in the recovery room. The empty feeling is indescribable, but for a very long time and still, now I don’t feel complete.

Coming home I was still bleeding slightly which is pretty normal, but I was terrified of anything going near that “area” after what has just come out of there. For nearly three weeks I was petrified it would hurt or it would start bleeding again, not to mention every time I went to the bathroom I was too scared to look down just in case there was blood. Now I have no issues with blood but with this I did, and it was a horrible feeling.

Fast forward three weeks and I finally plucked up the courage to try something. Thoughts were running through my head like if I don’t try and force myself my partner is going to look elsewhere if I don’t give him something soon! My doctor had told me to wait two weeks to allow my body to heal, he also recommended waiting three months before trying to conceive again. Now, this is different for everyone but at the end of the day, it’s completely up to you and your own personal feelings. No one truly knows how well they will cope and when they will be ready. Never force yourself it’s more damaging than helpful!

Sad Couple
Image: Love

It is scary and intimidating and extremely personal! But if you are comfortable try out gentle things first, go slow and make sure your partner understands that you are scared, and communicate! I cannot stress enough how important communication is, in this situation but also so many other situations! It’s not something you can just google to get the right answers, everyone is so different and everyone reacts and copes differently. The best advice I can give is to go slow and talk, don’t rush into it and if it doesn’t feel right now it doesn’t mean it won’t always feel that way. Time is your best friend, and there is no shame in waiting. The body is extremely personal, and even though everyone is made with the same parts it does not mean everyone uses or reacts the same with them. This is the reason why intimacy is so personal and the reason why everyone likes different things and feels different ways, you cannot give a blanket description to what everyone will like let alone what everyone will be comfortable with after a traumatic event. Words and body language are a powerful tool that needs to be used more frequently. This is also the same with using sex toys in the bedroom, that “area” is tender and firmer or large sex toys that were once comfortable and pleasurable may not be now or for a while.  Listen to your body start slow and small and build up to a level that is comfortable for you. There is absolutely no shame in starting off slow, small, gentle and working your way up.

Miscarriage Statistics
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Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle CentresSave

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#MeToo Fighting Sexual Harassment & Assault!

Hashtag for sexual assault and harrassment

In solidarity with the internet world I am joining the #metoo movement currently happening. Now if you haven’t been online over this past weekend, you might be wondering what the #metoo movement is or what I am talking about? A little over a week ago a major movement began in the Hollywood circle with sexual assault and harassment charges were brought forth by one of the industry’s most notable. These allegations are nothing new, countless incidents have been brought forth against countless people for years and years. What makes this instance so unique is the backing support it has received from women and men around the world who have had enough, in particular Alyssa Milano (Who’s the Boss, Charmed) started a tweet:

Twitter Facebook And Instagram Trending Hashtag
Image: Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo Tweet

 “If all the people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Metoo.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. #MeToo”

Hollywood Actress Alyssa Milano
Photo: Alyssa Milano

This tweet has sparked a viral online movement and one that is causing a number of debates amongst its own supporters. I first started seeing this post specifically calling for “Women” who’ve experienced these forms of harassment and assault to come together in solidarity, soon after I started seeing men, women and non-binary identifiers also posting their stories, or simply indicating a #metoo.  For many this is a movement to bring awareness to the harassment and mistreatment of WOMEN that has been swept under the rug for too long. Others are proclaiming this is the opportunity to show that sexual harassment, assault and rape are not just a Women’s issue, but rather everyone’s issue.  1 in 4 girls will be sexually mistreated in some way before they are 18, that same statistic applies to 1 in 6 boys. I’d say this is everyone’s issue and in 2017 when the movement for equality has made more stride than ever before, there’s no better cause to come together for.

Now that you have a little more information about the #metoo trend happening around you, I’d like to take this time to share my experience.

As a man, and for one who grew up in rural Canada surrounded by every hegemonic masculine stereotype you can imagine, I endured physical and mental harassment from peers in school for being different. I personally never gave much thought to sexual harassment and how it would, could and did eventually affect me.

When I was 19 or 20 I had been casually “seeing” a guy for some time, we went to movies, shared dinners etc. On this particular night which happened to be his birthday, he had people over to his condo for drink and celebrations, nothing unusual here. I turned up later than the rest of the guests as I had prior commitments. When I arrived everyone was well into the celebrations, him included. Everyone was full of love and laughter, the night was just like any small birthdays you’ve been to. As the guests levels of intoxication grew the party dwindled down, having arrived later I was leagues behind where this guy was on the drunk meter. As the last guests were leaving, I decided I would head home as well, but first to put this guy to bed. We had been seeing each other for a while and known each other longer; I thought the nice thing to do would be to make sure he was comfortable in bed.  After leading him from a half passed out position on his recliner to his bedroom, his energy level picked right up. The whispers of seduction were pouring from his lips, I playfully laughed it off and told him I was putting him to bed and I would see him the following day (I’m not one for drunk sex). He began kissing me and soon we were horizontal on the bed. I played it off with laughter and repeatedly telling him I was tucking him in and walking home… alone! The seductive moves began to get more forceful with one hand on my wrist and soon followed by the second. Even at this point, pinned to a bed, a man much larger than myself on top, I still didn’t feel like I was in a situation of assault. In my mind he was drunk. I began repeating for him to let me go, admittedly I was laughing and smiling through this. I continued to repeat myself, when his knees began pushing against my legs, still pinned at the wrists and the full weight of this man atop me I began to feel for lack of a better word claustrophobic. It was this feeling at the time that prompted me to use my head. Literally, when he leaned in to kiss my face or neck or wherever he was aiming I threw my forehead into his face. It was like lightning, his grip released my hands and I rolled off the bed in one movement.

I didn’t say a word, I don’t even remember leaving his apartment. I remember walking down the nearly deserted city street walking with as much “unf” as I could muster, it was about a 30 minute walk from his place to mine. To be honest I don’t remember getting home, or what I did with myself. I don’t remember being scared or upset at what had happened. As I said before, in my mind it was the alcohol. I chalked up what had taken place to the results of alcohol.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I found my t shirt with blood splatters across the front.

Perhaps putting the blame on something intangible, kept me and my brain from re living and mentally playing over the events to determine his actual motives.  I didn’t “date” this guy again, I just lost interest.  I never acknowledged within myself that I might have ill feelings towards him or in fact I didn’t think about it again for years.

The effects of that night did dawn on me years later, while dating another person who suffered from alcoholism (I’ve dated some winners). During this relationship after his countless benders he would always end up apologising for this and that, he would always blame it on the alcohol. After a few repeat offences and repeat apologies from this guy I knew it wasn’t the alcohol that lead to this behaviour. The alcohol just lowered the inhibitions that would tell someone “it’s not a good idea”. Alcohol doesn’t make you do things out of nowhere, it just lowers your sense of judgment and inhibitions.

After the later relationship ended I was out at an event in Vancouver and I bumped into “the guy”. All was well until he approached me outside the venue. He began the conversation as if his birthday night was the other day and not years prior. He was apologetic, he was afraid, he was ashamed. I didn’t know how to react, the emotions I was feeling in that moment were too overwhelming and came out of left field. I hadn’t acknowledged my own hurt and here he was exploding his. I did the only thing I knew how to do, and that was to accept his apology as cordially as I could and smiled then answered a fake phone call, told him I needed to take it and proceeded back inside the venue to my friends.

Now years later since all of this has happened and as i reflect on the situation as a whole i am left with more questions. What I should have said to him? Did he deserve that platform to express himself? Did his words bring up more trauma than healing?

No two situations are the same, no two people go through the same emotional process. That is what is so tricky with situations like these, not every matter is black and white. The one thing that is for sure is that your body is yours alone, no one has dominion over it but you.

I have shared my #metoo story along with many others. And I question what good will it do? I might be able to sit here and recount this story, countless others who’ve gone through their own situations may not and that doesn’t make their story any less important or imperative to this movement. No one is entitled to another’s story, nor is anyone obligated to share their story. These are personal offenses and take a personal journey to deal with.

For a personal story about recovering from sexual assault read Morgan’s article “Deciding to Touch”. Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre’s are LGBTQI safe spots for people who may be in distress.

Author: Patrick Kriz- BA, Psych (HON)- Human Sexuality

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