I had had sex twice before. Both drunkenly. Both embarrassingly. Both publicly. Both consensually.
I was 16. I had a crush. He had a party. He was a little older and a lot cooler.
I wanted to sleep with him that night but I was on my period (a topic that was even more taboo than rape in 2008).
The night was spent attempting to flirt, getting second-hand updates on his relationship status and eventually browsing some dirty magazines together in a very un-sexy way - mostly laughing at all the tacky union jack g-strings and fake tits.
I was too young to go into town, so I hung around with the other after-party dregs at the house. I text him that I needed to crash in his bed that night. He replied that that was fine because he would be staying at his girlfriend's that night anyway. Damn.
Disappointed and a little drunk, I eventually climbed into his bed alone (with a fresh tampon in of course, so I wouldn’t leave a stain).
I woke up in his arms, glad that he’d came home, but a little embarrassed because in some cruel twist of fate, I was actually wearing a union jack g-string. Before you judge, no they weren’t very practical period pants, but I like to think it was more of an ironic decision and less of a sexy/tragic one. So I lift the covers to reveal my shame, asking him ‘do these look familiar?’, and as I turn my head to see his reaction two things happen. Firstly I realise my neck is stiff and sore in a way my 16 year old body has never been before.
And secondly, I realise that my crush did not come home that night.
Later that day, after multiple attempts and contortions, I painfully retrieve the tampon from deep deep inside my body. After scrubbing my skin to the bone I lay in the sun in the middle of my driveway and try to convince my friends to run me over with their car. My hair is wet and my body is bruised. I am so ashamed that I want to die. We compromise on McDonalds drive-thru breakfast instead.
We didn’t know what sexual consent was or what it meant. We were just sluts. And when one of my friends started dating my rapist soon after, it made me sick but I didn’t know why. I just assumed I was jealous. A jealous slut.