Have you ever known someone for so long that you knew that they weren’t capable of any malice? Have you ever been in a position where you felt so much shock after something happened that you denied it, hoping that it becomes truth? And most importantly, have you ever shoved a problem you had so far under the rug that the rug begins burning?
Welcome to the world of being a male rape victim. I consider myself a survivor now, but 19 years ago, when this happened, I had no idea what to feel. Was I actually raped? Am I gay now? Will he try this again? Can I trust anyone anymore? Five years after the fact, only two people knew about it, neither of them being related to me. Eight years after the fact, after my father died, I finally told my mother. It wasn’t until my back was completely against the wall that I finally told someone who could legitimately help.
So who would have done such a thing to me? It wasn’t some jock who manipulated the power structure of his environment. It wasn’t even any authority figure like what we hear happen to young boys. It wasn’t even anyone from my own family, which is another popular case. It wasn’t any of those individuals. No, the person who did this was a childhood friend of mine who I knew since I was 6 years old. We were at his grandparents’ house (which was in the neighborhood in the picture), we were alone, he started drinking, he got drunk and violent, and then he forced me at knifepoint to have sex with him.
After this happened, I had no idea who to tell. Do I tell my folks? No, my mother is too far away to do anything (and I still disliked her at the time for running out on me) and my father would make some big deal about it and it would have been an inconvenience. Should I tell a counselor at school when I go back in? No, the kid who did this to me didn’t go to my school, so they probably wouldn’t be able to do anything.
For the longest time, I made a cover-up story for this event, which has grains of truth in it. Before I was assaulted, my assailant and I met two girls our age from out of town at a 4th of July barbecue. So that was my alibi: So for years, when people ask me if I ever had sex, I didn’t tell them that I was assaulted. I instead tell them this revision:
My childhood friend met these two girls at a July 4th barbecue, we invited them over to his grandparents’ place where everyone was out of town, and they promised to have sex with us if him and I fooled around. I forgot the girls’ names because I knew I wasn’t going to see them again.
That’s the story I would tell. It wasn’t too believable at first because I never mentioned the girls’ names (I legitimately forgot who they were) and my original telling of it was very vague. But it was enough to make me feel somewhat comfortable with what happened to me while “tricking” others that I wasn’t sexually inexperienced (which was important in the environment that I was in).
When someone denies something like what happened to me, the charade can only be played for so long. While it seemed like I was normal on the outside because I took the precaution to learn about sex this way I could at least come off like I was experienced, I was afraid of sex when it came down to it. I can specifically remember more than a couple of occasions before I got comfortable with sex where I could have had sex but had no idea if it was safe or not.
It would take nearly 9 years for me to have sex after being assaulted, and even then I was under the influence of alcohol and I couldn’t perform really well. It would take 5 years or so after that to have sex again, because I was still uncomfortable with making what I call “power moves” (my definition for escalating to sex).
I had this limiting mentality because being assaulted wrote a narrative for me that sex is always going to be dangerous. And this was a very unconscious thing that I generally had no control over. To this day, if someone tickles me or touches me in an erogenous area, no matter how comfortable I am with them, I feel like I’m being attacked.
Because I was assaulted, it takes a while to be comfortable with someone sexually, even though I have historically had a slightly higher than normal sex drive. When I have sex with someone new, there is a pretty good chance that I will be anxious and not be able to perform well. Its just something I have had to deal with, and it is why I can’t let be a part of crush culture. If I were to catch feelings for any woman before having sex with them a few times, the pressure combined with the anxiety I sometimes have when performing would lead to many disappointed women and many tears from the eventual rejection (although they don’t say it directly, many women will drop men who are mediocre or bad at sex like a bad habit).
Lastly, because I did not talk about what happened to me as soon as I could, I began using it as a rationalization for not being the best that I could be. A lot of sexual assault victims, male or female, have difficulty talking to anyone about what happened to them because they are afraid that they will be questioned, or in my case, they don’t want to deal with any possible procedures. So many, like myself, do exactly what I described at the beginning: They shove the problem under the rug until that rug lights on fire.
Throughout my teens and 20s, all I really wanted out of anyone was just a shoulder to cry on. I wanted to talk about what happened to me objectively without any superfluous dialogue. But because those like me are now being used as vehicles of propaganda, its hard to talk to anyone without them abandoning support for another stupid, nonsensical “cause.”
But enough of how this held me back. Its time to talk about how this made me a better person. Because I really had to be my own therapist when dealing with this. It allowed me to be way more objective when talking about sexual assault than most others. When I hear that someone was assaulted the only thing on my mind is “how can I support them and how can I get them to see that sex isn’t dangerous?” Because of the lack of legitimate support, I had to take matters into my own hands. It got me one step closer to dictating my own pace on the mountain of life, and to be very honest, I don’t know if I would be able to embrace such self determination without this kind of thing happening to me.
Nearly 20 years after this happened, I refuse to give in to what raging collectivists want me to be, and choose to be a survivor.
If anyone reading this has gone through anything like this, you can (and should) choose to be a survivor as well. It is not easy. And very few actually want you to make this decision. And by this time next year, on the 20th “anniversary” of this, I will publish a how-to book on how to accomplish this. It will be like no other recovery book on this subject.
But for now, its time to move on. My life was only beginning to get turned upside down. And in fact, the third of the four horsemen of my apocalypse, in retrospect, was arguably the most damaging one. Stay tuned.