That didn?t mean what I thought it meant
I was raped by a cousin nine years older than me when I was fourteen years old.
This was a terrible time in my life, as my mother had recently passed away. Just when I thought things couldn?t get any worse, this happened.
We found ourselves alone in the basement of his house. He gave me whiskey, which I had never drunk before. And soon he was all over me.
I tried to stop him, but I had not yet been introduced to Martial Arts. He was about two hundred fifty pounds of pure muscle ? a gym hound.
He put his hand over my mouth and told me to shut the fuck up.
And he fucked me.
I closed my eyes and waited for it to be over. About five minutes later I started cumming. I couldn?t stop it. I tried to stop it. I mean, I really came, for like a minute ? it was like that holy grail of vaginal orgasm that I?ve never really experienced since. I think my loud moaning gave away the farm. I saw him smile.
He took his hand away from my mouth, as though this had proved something to him ? that it wasn?t a rape. And that I couldn?t scream for help now.
I guess I believed him. The last few minutes were more like sex than rape. It?s hard to believe, I actually put my arms around him. I kissed him. Ugggggh!
I never told anyone.
I vowed to avoid him for the rest of my life. My family was often scornful of me for missing certain get togethers where he might be in attendance.
I just couldn?t see him again.
I hated him.
Then, after I became a skilled Martial Arts fighter in my twenties, I went to one of those get togethers. I thought I would confront him.
?Hey, there he is, the guy who raped me when I was fourteen. How?s your wife, how?s your daughter? Have you raped her yet??
He looked at me and smiled.
?How was your orgasm?? he said. ?The one I gave you??
I was tongue tied.
?Honey,? he said. ?That was the best fuck of my life and I?ll bet it was the best fuck of yours too, so shut the fuck up, how about that??
He walked away.
The best fuck of his life?
I was ruined. I never saw that coming. In my mind it was going to be such a confrontation. I was going to make him cry.
Now I was crying.
I ran to my car and drove home.
I felt like such a freak. A slut. All during my teen years I had skirted that liminal zone, the border between being a slut and not being a slut. It was like there was a magnetic pull from the slut zone, pulling me in from the not-slut zone. And try as I might I sometimes couldn?t resist the pull.
At the age of 18 I did become a dancer in Los Angeles. I did it for six months. This was before California raised the legal age for exotic dancers in 2016 to 21. I support that law, because I wasn?t thinking straight when I made that decision.
I did it because I felt I had been pulled into the zone I belonged. The kind of zone a girl who orgasms during rape deserves to be in.
I felt not normal. Nothing like the good girls. The good girls wouldn?t cum during rape. They would cry.
I never cried, I realized, years later looking back at the rape.
The good girls wouldn?t put their arms around the rapist. They wouldn?t kiss him back. Gross!!!!
What the fuck was wrong with me?
Well, thank god for my therapist, who when I finally admitted to myself I needed help and crawled into therapy at age 25, stunned me with this revelation.
?Lots of women have orgasms during rape.?
What? I didn?t believe her.
?It?s involuntary. It doesn?t mean anything. It doesn?t mean it wasn?t rape.?
I remember that day, when that news hit me. The last ten years of my life had been based on false assumptions, that I deserved to be raped because I was down there drinking whiskey with him. That it was my fault. And that the proof of it was the orgasm.
And lest you think this was a happy revelation, I will attempt to describe what occurred then, in the therapist’s office.
Picture a damn bursting.
I ended up on the floor. I think I was crying for everything ? my mother?s death, my own juvenile delinquency, my life of petty theft and shoplifting to support myself, my six months as a stripper, my bad decision after bad decision, all based on that faulty interpretation of the event in that basement.
At this point I had landed pretty well in life. I had graduated from a medical program and was building a business. I was respectable ? on the outside.
On the inside I was dirty.
Why hadn?t anybody told me that it?s not abnormal to have an orgasm during rape?
Is this something we are afraid to talk about because culturally we don?t want to admit something?
What is it we are afraid of?
Oh yeah, it?s that again ? female pleasure.
Female pleasure is pretty much associated with Satan, murder, disease and mayhem.
If there could be one iota of female pleasure during the rape, well we can?t discuss that, because that would bring down this whole edifice we?ve built around rape as an aberration rather than a symptom of a whole fucked up sexuality.
So I was not immediately ?healed? by this knowledge. Quite the opposite. My therapist eventually got me off the floor and two boxes of kleenex later I was able to actually walk. But more like a ghost than a real human.
I walked home to my apartment and slept for like two days.
I had been deluded. I had wasted so much time. I had missed out, really, on the last ten or so years, because I had been this imposter, pretending she wasn?t a ?bad girl? sometimes, pretending she was a ?bad girl? other times.
I had been no-one.
I had been dead.
So what if I had an orgasm during rape? It has everything to do with blood-flow to the vagina and absolutely nothing to do with my character.
So what if I had let myself go to a basement with a 23-year-old guy and not expected to be jumped on? I was naive. I was stupid. But I was not bad.
When I saw her again, I asked my therapist why I couldn?t seem to forgive myself. Why I was walking around like a zombie.
?Because you don?t have anything to forgive yourself for,? she said.
That?s when the sun began to come out. And I was able to start moving on ? slowly.
But in some ways I am currently reliving this same hellish cycle. After a difficult breakup, I have blamed the man but somehow can?t forgive myself. I have revisited some of these zombie, walking dead places, where I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
My therapist has put me on anti-depressants and they are helping.
But despite all my insights and progress, I can?t help thinking it?s that rape that still plagues and haunts my psyche.
I don?t think I?m depressed only because I miss my boyfriend. I?m depressed because a part of me is still trapped down in that basement.
A part of me believes that my suffering is never going to end and I?m never going to escape. Until I die.
Writing this out helps me. I see it for the madness it is. I got out of that basement a long time ago. And I will get out again. Every morning, with the courage to get out of bed and face the day, I am taking another step toward the light.