I want to write down this story in order to help me move on. Ever since it happened I keep going back and thinking about what happened and how I could have stopped it from happening. It was the worst experience of my life, and I want to stop thinking about it. Hopefully after putting everything out there I can move on and never look back again. What happened to me is disgusting and wrong. I want to share my story so that maybe others can learn from my mistakes: specifically learn how to say no and learn how to stand up for yourself. I had plenty of chances to say no, to completely prevent this whole situation from happening. But I let it happen. I made the wrong decisions. I didn’t stand up for myself.
I want to first start off by saying that the title may be deceiving to what actually happened. The truth is I don’t know if what happened to me would be considered rape or not. I do know that I wish it never happened. I do know that what I felt that day was extreme discomfort and I know I didn’t stand up for myself. Only I know how I felt that day, only I can be the one to determine if I was raped or not. But I couldn’t tell you. I just know that it was not what I wanted.
Here’s the story of what happened to me. You can be the judge of what ever you think happened, just remember that you were not there. As vividly as I am able to describe in words what happened, at the end of the day you were not there and you did not experience this. I did.
Since this happened, I tried to forget the whole experience. Like, I really tried. So I may be missing a few things or minor details.
Basically this was my first and last tinder experience (rather, nightmare). I’ve had Tinder for a couple years now, but never actually used it to meet up with people. I’d go on occasionally to see if I’d match with anyone I knew in person. I was curious to know if the people around me at school would be interested in me. It helped boost my self-esteem. It was addicting. After matching with people I wouldn’t really ever do anything about it. Just move on to the next match.
Then I saw a guy who looked almost identical to Adam Driver, and I had to tell him. I matched with him solely to tell him this. He told me that nobody has ever compared him to Adam based on pictures of him alone. He continued the conversation so easily, and I kept talking to him. I was intrigued. My awkwardness usually ends the conversation after the common:
hey whats up?
But with him it was different, and I loved that I could talk to him so easily. I continued talking to him for a few days. Then he asked me if I wanted to meet up with him— for donuts of all things? My old self would have made up some excuse to say I couldn’t, but recently I’ve been trying to come out of my comfort zone and do things that I normally wouldn’t have. I recently bought a shirt that says “If you never try you’ll never know” which are basically my new words to live by. So I told him why not.
He lives in the Bronx, which is about an hour train ride to where I live. Right before he got here I completely freaked out. I didn’t want to meet up with him anymore, but it was too late. He had already gotten on the hour long train ride just to see me, so I didn’t want to be rude and bail on him. I could at least hang out with him for a little bit, I thought to myself. I don’t need to see him again after this if I don’t want to.
Before he came I already assumed that after we hung out he’d probably want to go back to my dorm, since it was already pretty late at night. Before he came I promised myself that I wouldn’t let him come back to my dorm afterwards— I’d just make him go home and say maybe another time. (I broke that promise).
As I’m walking up to him I quickly realize that he looks nothing like he did in the AD picture. He was not how I pictured him at all. Typical online dating misconception. During the first five minutes of talking to him, I wanted to leave. I was super turned off and definitely not interested. But, remember he just rode an hour to hang out with me. The least I could do was give him a chance.
So when I asked what he wanted to do, I found out he was serious about the donut thing. At 9 o’clock at night he wanted to find a donut place to eat. After we followed his GPS to what he thought was a cool place to get donuts… we ended up at a Dunkin’ Donuts. So after his plan failed I suggested we go to Shake Shack and get shakes: one of my all time favorite things in the world. His response? No. So then he said we should go to an ice cream place in Chinatown instead. Already annoyed, I agreed.
The place ended up being pretty cool, being there with him was not. He was extremely embarrassing to be around. Sometimes purposely, sometimes not. Just everything about him was starting to annoy me, but I kept my cool trying to be as nice to him as possible. We talked about different things but soon realized we really didn’t have much in common. One of the things we talked about was shows we were watching on Netflix. He told me I should watch Bobs Burgers, which led him to say “we should go back to your dorm and watch a few episodes”. I was hesitant at first and tried to think of any excuse to not let him come back to my dorm with me. After awhile I agreed and said as long as that’s all you want to do let’s go watch Bobs Burgers.
Walking back to my dorm, it was in the back of my head that he probably didn’t want to just watch BB. I still kept trying to think of an excuse other than “I don’t want you to come back to my dorm with me”, but I couldn’t. Thinking back now, I’m realizing that that would have been a perfectly good excuse. I don’t need to give a specific reason. If I don’t want you to come back to my dorm with me, I don’t have to let you. Why did I think he needed a real reason? Like mine wasn’t good enough? It was the truth. But I didn’t want to be rude. And I don’t allow myself to say no even when I should.
Once we get back to my dorm I immediately turn on BB. He laid down in my bed and I sat at the opposite end as far away from him as I could. I tried to make it clear that all I wanted to do was watch the show, like he suggested, without having to actually say outloud “I don’t want to hook up with you”. Once again, I don’t know how to stand up for myself and have a voice of my own. Go me. I did this to myself.
During one of the BB episodes the mom and dad start making out and the dad was slobbering all over the mom. He made a comment about this saying that’s so me. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. After about three episodes in, he finally looks at me and says “wanna make out?” I hesitated for awhile because I wanted to say no. But I didn’t. I didn’t want it to be awkward and I didn’t want to seem rude. So I thought to myself, I’ll just make out with him and that’s all that needs to happen. I don’t need to do anything more than that. So we made out. And then I realized the comment he made about BB earlier was completely serious. So much of his saliva was going into my mouth. It was completely disgusting. I even gagged at one point. Thinking back to it still makes me gag that’s how gross it was. I pulled back after gagging and he pulled me closer. He wouldn’t let me go.
Things quickly escalated. Without thinking I started to just let it happen. I looked at the clock and started to count down the time to when he had to be signed out of my dorm by (12 pm) and we had about half an hour left. I figured I could try to drag this out without actually having sex with him and then say he had to leave at 12 so that I could sign him out in time. (The next time the desk was open for me to sign him out was at 9am the next morning). There was my excuse.
At this point he started going down on me. He was really into being as rough as possible with me, something I am not into at all. He’d pull my hair back hard, scratch all down my back, bite me all over, pinch my inner thighs, spank me so hard it left bruises, gave me giant hickeys all over my neck that still hurt the next few days. At one point he started choking me but I pulled his hand off my throat as quickly as he put his hand on it. I told him I really wasn’t into it but he kept doing all of these things. Then he asked me to blow him and I said no. This upset him to the point where he started yelling at me. He said he just spent the last 15 minutes going down on me, the least I could do was blow him. He even grabbed the back of my head like he was going to pull it down towards him. But I backed away and started getting dressed. This is the part where I thought I was finally starting to stand up for myself. I told him that I didn’t want to have sex. He g ot angry. Angry to the point where we got into a full on argument. I barely even know this guy and I’m ARGUING with him because I don’t want to have sex with him, but I “led him on”. This is crazy to me. He was so mad that I didn’t want to have sex with him “anymore” when I didn’t want to from the beginning. I tried to calm him down by telling him that I just don’t want to have sex with him because I just met him that night. I told him that I wanted to stop hooking up with other people after I first meet them, without even getting to know him (somewhat true). He was still upset and said he didn’t understand. I tried to make him feel better about himself (Why should I have to do this?).
At this point it was past 12 and the next time I could sign him out was at 9am the next morning. He said he could either sleep over or go home and come back to get his ID another day. He said it was up to me. I said I didn’t mind, whatever he wanted to do. Since it was pretty late, I understood that he didn’t want to have to ride the train all the way back to his place when he could just pass out here and go back in the morning. It seemed like a better idea to me too, because then I could just sign him out in the morning without having to worry about him coming back another day to get his ID. I said it was fine with me if he slept over if that’s what he wanted and he said it was.
After I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in having sex with him, we just went back to hanging out like we were before. He told me he understood what I meant when I said I wanted to stop hooking up with random people without really getting to know them first. He said he was okay with that.
Eventually we went to sleep, which was hard because every position I put myself in he would wrap as much of his body around me as he possibly could. I kept waking up in the middle of the night multiple times to switch positions and get more comfortable. One of these times that I switched positions I looked at him to see if he was awake too, and he was. After he saw me looking at him, he suddenly grabbed my face and we started making out. And then I just let it happen. I was too tired to argue. I was too exhausted to say no. I didn’t stand up for myself like I should have. I just let it happen. Was it really rape? I didn’t give consent. But I didn’t say no.
— Survivor, age 20