We were walking down the sidewalk in downtown Denver when a 12-year-old with pubic hair on his face held his head out of his dumb fucking car and yelled, “Hey sexy!” at a woman I was with.
I never knew a time in my life when I thought that was okay.
I’ve grown up pretty close with my mom, and I have an older sister so objectifying women like that in public has never felt okay.
In fact, quite the contrary: to me, even just talking to women felt, for the longest time, ill-advised and taboo in nature.
But I had those moments when I was younger: I remember, there was this one girl in my English class in 7th grade or so who I used to totally terrorize by just yelling, “Hey Kaitlin!” and I feel bad about that now.
I did, then, too.
There was another girl in 8th grade who I liked except instead of actually telling her that I liked her in 8th grade, I would instead yell at her from across the hall like a sociopath and then ask, “can I have a hug?!” And sometimes she would acquiesce.
It felt fucking strange.
It felt dirty, even. A little rapey, if I may.
It wasn’t until I got my first blowjob in 8th grade that I’d actually released some of that pent-up sexual energy and frustration but who the fuck really knows.
I think I’m still desperate for love and affection from somebody who isn’t myself a lot of the time.
Now, I want to tie women down and fuck them (if they’re keen on that and there’s mutual consent, of course) but I still often find myself asking, “is this rapey? Is this weird? Did I take things just a little too far?”
At what point do our sexual desires and proclivities become potentially problematic?
I take solace in the fact that I don’t yell out of car windows at women who I find attractive in the streets.
Like, does that ever fucking work?!
When the kid drove off after yelling across the street from his moving vehicle, he smiled.
I know it’s awful to say and think, but I hope he was molested by an uncle as a kid.
If you do this, you’re a loser.
A friend of mine cat-called a woman walking by us in the street while we were down in New Orleans, drinking outside of a bar a few years ago, and I snapped at him.
“What the fuck was that?!” I shouted.
“Never fucking do that again. Shame on you,” I said.
I’m not a white-knight because I’m certainly imperfect when it comes to this, but I’ll never fucking cat-call somebody in the streets.
He responded like a dog probably would if you’d grabbed him by the collar and shoved his nose in a shit he just took.
Cat-calling mystifies me for a number of reasons:
A. Who the fuck ever taught somebody that it was okay to do that? That yelling at women — fuck, anyone — would ever elicit more than a defensive response?
B. What’s the success rate of cat-calling? If the women you’re trying to pick up are broken messes with low self-esteem? Even then, what, maybe a few times out of 100 they’ll actually respond in kind?
Everyone knows about that viral video that came out a few years ago about a woman being cat-called by, like, pretty much every guy she walks past in New York City.
(Which faced just as much criticism as it did praise, in part because it was staged.)
Here’s my stance on cat-calling, which might be controversial: like a lot of things in life, if you have to resort at yelling things at people in order to get their attention, you’re probably a fucking loser.
Simple as that.
Why rape is so prolific.
Years ago, a friend of mine was telling me about a time when she’d been raped by one of her best friends in college.
She says she didn’t think much about it at the time, aside from the fact that it was awful and traumatic but I think she also blamed herself for the longest time, too.
That’s the world we live in, right now.
Rape victims blame themselves.
People don’t talk about it because the culture we live in asks you to just forget that it ever happened. Delete it from your memory banks, and just let that trauma seep into all of your future relationships.
A study out of George Washington University found that over 60% of rape victims placed blame on themselves for the incident. (Here’s that study, btw.)
We live in a culture that basically enables men to completely and utterly invade somebody else’s personal space with nary a consequence until it actually crosses the line into rape.
(And even then, it’s more often than not that the men in those cases will get away with a slap on the wrist and probably have to write an apology letter or just have their partner apologize for them.)
Another one of my long-time friends has detailed many-a-story about a stalker who became overly infatuated with her and followed her to her college dorm.
She found him standing outside of her window one night.
I didn’t believe it at the time when she told me, but when she recalled it years later I felt horrible for not.
This has happened to her several times, it seems.
Guys grow overly infatuated with her and then, like, follow her to places.
And most of the time, these dudes will get off totally scot-free because it’s apparently okay to follow women as long as you don’t hurt them.
(Or, if you do, just don’t leave evidence. And if you do leave evidence, just say it was an accident. And even if there’s video evidence of you knocking your partner the fuck out ( for example ), just have her apologize for you and you’ll only get a several-game suspension from the NFL.)
I’ve never understood a time in my life when I’ve ever felt like it was okay to do any of this stuff.
Nothing I could recall.
Nothing I could recall until recently, at least.
A fine line between rape and love.
We had just gotten back from a concert and I was a little drunk and extremely horny and we’d not had sex yet because, to be honest, I’d not had sex with anyone at this point and I don’t think she knew that but she probably could have come to that conclusion herself.
And so, we were hooking up and playing around in bed and I didn’t want to put on a condom because:
A.) My experience with doing that was close to zero, and…
B.) I knew that’d totally kill the vibe and everything I was feeling right now (i.e. my erection).
And, so, I asked, “can we have sex?” and she nodded because I think she’d been waiting for, like, forever at this point.
But it would’ve required a condom.
And instead of simply getting up and finding one and putting it on (because I didn’t bring one, of course) I simply started to rub my dick against her and, at some point, I just slipped it in.
And I’m pretty sure, by every definition of the word, that’s rape: when somebody non-consensually puts you in a situation that you’re uncomfortable with.
That you’ve said “no” to.
Even if the agreement is just implicit, and hasn’t been verbally spelled out.
So, for a moment there, I had crossed that fine line and a small part of me wanted to continue.
Because this was convenient and I was scared and I just wanted to have sex and I felt sad and alone and like I just wanted to be included in these conversations about sex, finally.
She said, “no, stop,” and I did and I pulled out but not before I’d already broken her trust.
We shuffled around the room looking for a condom but couldn’t find anything and by the time we gave up, the heat of the moment had totally died out.
We broke up not a month or two later, and I always wondered if that had more to do with it than I give it credit for.
(Probably not, but who knows.)
It still feels awful and strange to write about, because I’ve never talked about that, not with anyone.
I’m not proud of it.
Mortified, for sure.
We’ve never talked about that moment.
It was years ago, after all.
Maybe because it was too brief or inconsequential to even recall.
Maybe because we both felt just as humiliated and ashamed about it, too.