I was 13, he was 14. I was a virgin, he was a virgin.
I wasn’t drugged, I wasn’t drunk, he wasn’t a stranger, he wasn’t an old man with round glasses, he was my boyfriend.
It wasn’t dark, we weren’t in an alley, we weren’t in a field, we weren’t in a basement. I wasn’t scared, we were watching a film on the sofa.
I was there, he was there, his friend was there.
Suddenly his hands were under the duvet. Then his hands were inside me. Then his dick was inside me. Then he got up and picked up objects from around the room. And then the objects were inside of me.
He was laughing, his friend was laughing. His friend got involved. I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry, I didn’t struggle, I didn’t say no. I just lay on the sofa and thought, why do people do this? I thought sex was supposed to be fun? It hurt, it was uncomfortable, I felt awkward, I didn’t like it, but I was intrigued by it. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do .. do I get involved and get it over with quicker? Do I say I don’t like it and upset my boyfriend? Do I just pretend I like it until I get used to it one day? Whats with the household objects though? Is this us being kinky?
I was 2 years out of year 6 sex education.
They didn’t tell us how to deal with this.
Back then they still happily ignored that anyone under 16 was sexually active. They refused to acknowledge that 13-year-old girls and boys have sexual curiosities, and if that’s not properly informed it becomes dangerous. This day it became dangerous.
I didn’t understand what rape was, I didn’t know I was being raped, I didn’t know that I’d been raped for a very long time.
The next day I got to school, everyone knew. He had absolutely no shame in letting everyone know what HE had done. Because he hadn’t done it, WE had done it. In everyone else’s minds, though WE hadn’t done anything, I had let it happen. Obviously my fault, I’m the girl, I should be more ladylike, I should conduct myself with more modesty. I was called a slut, a slag, a tramp.
For the next week, the next month, and the rest of my school life I was a slut, a slag, a tramp. If you’re told that often enough, you believe it. So I acted accordingly.
That’s what was expected of me, that’s what I was, I didn’t know how to be anything else. I was proud of it. I continued to have sex with anyone, anywhere, in front of anyone, whether I wanted it or not. When anyone asked how I lost my virginity, I didn’t tell them about that time. I told them about the next time. Not because I was ashamed, but because I’d forgotten.
2 years later, I’m 15. I call the police on my boyfriend. He’s cautioned for ABH, kidnap and harassment. He’s not cautioned for rape.
4 years later, I’m 17. I’ve left school and I have finally found a nice boyfriend after a string of definitely not nice boyfriends. We’re talking about our sex lives; our likes, our dislikes, our experiences. This is the first time I’ve ever had a conversation with a boy about my likes and dislikes, it’s the first time anyone’s ever asked. For some reason, the experience popped up in my brain and I told him about it. I was laughing, I was joking ‘kids, eh!’ He gave me a look but said nothing.
Later I remembered that look, and there it was. I was raped. I had been raped 4 years ago and I’d only just realised it. I was raped out of my virginity and didn’t know about it until then. Why had I believed my own lie all this time? Why had I allowed people to walk past me every day of my life and call me a slut? Why hadn’t I defended myself? I felt stupid, ashamed, confused; I was questioning everything. 4 years later. Every sexual experience I’d had since then had been a product of my rape. I was submissive, I was an exhibitionist, I didn’t care what happened to me. For 4 years I genuinely believed I was just more sexually liberated than most girls, when in fact I was a product of an incredibly suppressive situation. Everything changed, nothing made sense.
I didn’t just have one rape to come to terms with, I had 4 years of sexual experiences to untangle. If I’d have known, if I’d have read a blog like this, I wouldn’t have lost those 4 years. I might have been able to live my life my way. I might have been in control of my body. I might have cared about myself.
11 years later, I’m writing this. I’ve accepted my circumstance and I’m so incredibly grateful that I realised when I did. Now I have sex with anyone I want to, anywhere I want to, in front of anyone I want to. Without shame or regret. I still feel sexually liberated and explorative, but now it’s because I want to be. Not because I’m playing a character created by my abuser.
My rape didn’t look like the ones you see on the TV.
Please, if you’ve read this and it’s made you question something, or it’s resonated with you in any way, speak about it. As women, it doesn’t serve us well to live up to societies expectations of ‘ladlylike’ and keep our sex lives quiet. Fuck ladylike. Talk to a friend, a family member, a counsellor or a helpline.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a girl to chat to or have any questions about what has been spoken about in this blog. Or follow some of the resources below:
0808 802 9999
0808 168 9111
RASAC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre)
0808 802 9999
Women Against Rape
The Survivors Trust
0808 801 0818
Women’s Aid Federation
0808 2000 247