Rape is not a dirty word.
Every woman should know when to use it.
The word “rape” is an intense word to say. It’s a hard word to own, a hard word to ever feel comfortable using in any context. Yet when I am honest, I have been raped three times. Always by people I know, that I have kissed, who did not understand that NO actually means no.
You know how you know you have been raped? Because after consensual sex, you are smirking. You are feeling the imprint of a cock inside you & inwardly giggling at your devilish ness, your cheekiness, you feel wanted, you feel sexy.
After being raped you feel dirty, inside and out. You are ashamed of your body, the things it does to your mind and heart, the way it makes men act. You want to throw up, to scrub yourself raw till your skin hurts. You want to devote yourself to some god you don’t even believe in & never have sex again. You can’t even remember what tenderness and intimacy feels like.
When you are raped intimacy does not come into it. Ever.
The first time, it was in Adelaide many years ago. There was a DJ called Shane who played at my club, we became casual lovers. There was no obligation, and I don’t know if I wanted more with him at the time because the subsequent events meant he ended up repulsing me.
One night he calls. Distraught. Crying. Tells me he “needs me now, needs a friend now”. It is late and he sounds drunk but he is adamant. Being the person I am, I get in the car and drive to his house. I turn up at the door ready to confront the worst situation. He opens the door in a robe, he is wasted, drinking champagne, and tells me to come inside for a drink. “I don’t want a drink” I tell him. “I rushed over here because you sounded suicidal and here you are swanning around in a bathrobe”…I tried to leave…he wouldn’t let me…
He forces me onto the bed, I tell him ‘NO, I’m your friend, you’re not in a good way, I don’t want to fuck you’. He pushes me down, drunk, leering, bigger then me, overweight and sweating. His beard scratches across my face, he is panting. He won’t get off of me. I give up and let go, travel somewhere else in my head. Try to ignore his body of top of mine. Suddenly, his phone rings.
He clamps his hand over my mouth and answers it. I’ts a girl. He gets off me, telling me to shush, and goes into the next room to talk to her. I can hear “oh baby. I miss you, please don’t do this” And suddenly, I realise why he called in tears. I realise why I am there. A stop gap, a good times girl, the one you call up for a quick zip less fuck when the girl of your dreams breaks up with you. I leave him pleading on the phone in the other room, drove off feeling angry, horrible, dirty and used.
I remember, that first time it actually took me weeks to realise that Shane raped me. That I said no many times and he did not listen. That I felt powerless and dominated and terrible afterwards. I think I told a few close friends but I never confronted him, and never slept with him again. He knew. He knew that the balance had shifted, he knew the way he behaved was wrong. But I remained friends with him, civil to him, he still came to my club and part of me felt it was my fault……
Fast forward a long time, perhaps ten years. To XXX, when I was working there & often hanging out drinking on the balcony with people late into the night. James was there, a new dj friend, with some others. A friend of his, I can’t even remember his name now I have blocked it out so hard, starts telling me how hot I am, that he wants to take me home. All those sweet words that we like to hear yet are often, so hollow.
We get drunker and drunker on my endless free drink tab and I take him to my place. I can’t even recall the sex then, but I know I woke up in the morning and wanted him gone. Told him I had a meeting and that I could drop him at his place, which was down the road. When we get there, he tells me to come inside real quick so he can show me his pad. I protest, but he insists. When we get to his room he pushes me inside, roughly, onto the bed. I tell him I have to go. I tell him to get off me. He won’t listen. He is also bigger than me, overweight, and he strips me and fucks me. Again, I go somewhere else in my mind. I imagine him as this spiritual person, because he has said he spent time as a monk, but I can’t even recall his face now, only the fact that I focused on a single long hair that grew out of his belly, I remember watching that hair as he fucked me, willing him to finish. And fast.
As I got in the car, I gripped the steering wheel and said “Wrong, wrong wrong” out loud. I turn the car on and drive away. Later I told a male friend what happened. He said that it couldn’t be rape if I fucked him the night before.
It took me weeks, again, to understand that that is not true, that saying no should mean no, no matter what. I ran into the guy on the train one day, and was civil to him, but the way I felt afterwards confirmed it. I hated him. I wanted him nowhere near me. He kept showing up at the club, asking for me. I was finally brave enough to speak about it and told the head security and manager what had happened. For the first time, men stood up for me. Good men, who said “that is not acceptable”, who offered to beat him up for me, even if I would never take them up on it. He was told not to come to the club anymore, he protested, he sent messages, he did not understand, he would never understand, even after I told him that he raped me, and I wanted him to stay very far away from me.
Now, over the next six years of being a nightclub booker and promoter, I had quite a few one night stands. Way too many to remember their names or their cocks or their lips. But I do know I wanted them. I know I made a conscious decision at some point that yes, I was going to fuck them. Even if I felt gross and stupid the next morning for the shallowness that had driven me to make those decisions, none of them were rape. Even when I did the walk of shame from some arrogant fuckhead’s house in the too hot too bright morning, I know I made those choices and I never used the word rape in that time.
Until my birthday last week. My birthday, when all I wanted was to hang out with friends, I did not want to be in a nightclub, did not want to be around anyone that was not totally loving, about to leave for an overseas adventure, I only wanted family near me.
One of my best lady friends makes me a cake with her husband and I go to their place, fairy lights twinkle and we drink champagne and celebrate. She calls a boy I kissed a week ago at my house party, and invites him over. I have misgivings. He is almost a decade younger than me, and something the week before stopped me, a kiss was it, and then I wanted him to leave me alone. Now, even at my own party, if I meet a guy I like, I know I’ll hang out with him. I will kick those randoms out of my room and slam the door on them as I push him down on the bed. But I didn’t.
He turns up. Drugs are consumed. I kiss him to see what it feels like. I realize while kissing him that it is the drugs that make me feel good, not him. He is awkward, he is arrogant, he is putting his hands between my thighs when I have not signaled that that is okay. I push him away.
A couple hours later, and there is a weird dynamic with the others in the room. I feel like everyone is way more wasted than me. I want to escape. He asks if we can go cuddle. I ignore my instinct, and say he can come with me.
I drive us home. I make us drinks. I make us another. I do not want him in my bed. I tell him “I’m not feeling sexual at all, I do not want to have sex with you tonight” I tell him this again and again. I tell him only cuddles.
When I cannot drink anymore I tell him I’m going to bed, he can join me for cuddles if he wants. I race to my room, drag out a log sleeved, shapeless top that hides my figure, and pull it on quickly before he arrives. We get into bed.
I am wasted. He is all over me. I tell him NO. He tries to kiss me. I am repulsed, i tell him I’m too wasted. He pulls my underwear off, he won’t listen to me. He goes down on me. I want him to stop. I am not turned on in the slightest, I am wasted and almost unconscious, I want him to get away from me, he won’t stop, he is relentless, mashing his face on my pussy, it is so unsexy.
He asks for a condom, I think in my head FUCK YOU!! He is fucking me, it is all wrong, I push him off, I curl into a ball, into myself…. I fall into a fitful sleep….
I wake in the morning and he is trying to get close to me. I am perched on the edge of the bed, I hate the fact that I have no underwear on, the night comes flooding back to me and I am disgusted, I feel dirty. I want him to get as far away from me as possible.
He doesn’t feel the vibe one bit, is trying to get me to lean on his arm, is trying to kiss me. I feel him on me and it’s the worst ever. I tell him he has to go. Like, now. He doesn’t understand as he’s leaving. I don’t care, I just want him gone.
After all this, I still can’t communicate what I am thinking which is “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SPACE AND DO NOT FUCKING TOUCH ME” which is what I have felt about him all night. If I am honest, if I had listened to my instincts.
When he leaves I lie in the fetal position for hours. I feel dirty. I feel used. I feel sick. I feel horrible. It is not till hours later when my housemate comes in and flops on my bed that we chat and I realize what actually happened.
I told him no. Many times. I tried to stop him. He did not listen. He was bigger than me. He did not stop. He forced me. He fucked me when not one part of me wanted it, mind, body or soul. He raped me. Rape. He raped me.
Even just saying it, a wave of relief washes over me.
I am not dirty, I am not confused. I am a victim.
Even at 33 years old, strong and independent, it can happen to anyone.
It should not, but it does.
Again, the boys I live with say “that is not okay” and I cry a bit. For it is not. And it is okay for me to feel a victim. It is okay for me to feel abused and hurt and angry.
And yet again, I am all too aware of my sexuality. Of the fact that I know when I want it and when I do not. That I say no and that I mean it. That so many men out there, can’t hear the words for the pulsing of blood in their cock. And I am disgusted. I suddenly don’t trust men with my body. I don’t trust them to listen to me. Right now, for all the good men in my life, for all my brothers, I feel there are too many who do not care. Who would ignore what they know and take what they want regardless. And this is not fair.
Rape is not a dirty word, we need to use it more.
But the men who do it are dirty men, they are not men – they are scum, not warriors, but cowards. They need to be told of that word and we need to remove the stigma so they feel ashamed enough to NEVER DO IT TO ANY WOMAN AGAIN.
So for now, I am celibate. I make no choice in this matter, my body speaks for itself. I am repulsed. I cant imagine intimacy right now.
I am not even capable of thinking of sex with a man. I do not trust. I am still sexual, I still feel things, but it will be a while and I will test extensively whoever gets next to me again. I see attractive men, they meet my eyes, and I look away. One saw me ride up on my scooter in the street and said “you look like you are going to punch someone out” so perhaps I am. Perhaps my guard is up. And perhaps, for a while, it fucking well should be.
I am strong and I am certain and I want magic and I will not back down from my solitude and independence to get it.
To all the women who read this and find some truth, this took bravery to publish, and it’s now for you. For the world.
In the hope that my bravery at sharing these stories might make the world safer.
Postscript : I am now 38, and this has not happened to me since. Stronger, wiser, and taking absolutely no shit.