Aug. 11th, 2016

lollypox: (Satyr)
How do you tell someone that they've hurt you? How do you look someone in the eye and tell them that they not only hurt you, but did something (albeit by accident) that they never thought of themselves as being capable of doing?

Step 1: Look them in the eye.
This was not a conversation for texting, phone call, or email. This really needed to be a face-to-face conversation. In my case, I discovered that He was walking in a park nearby and offered to join him. I parked and walked to where he said he was and we walked companionably for a while.
Tip for step 1: It can be easier if you are in motion while having the conversation. It gave us opportunities to look away, but still remain in contact.

Step 2: Open your mouth.
He gave me the opening I needed, which was really helpful. He said that he had a lovely week, and thanked me.
I made a non-committal noise and shrugged.
"What? What's wrong?" he asked.
So I told him that I had felt coerced "at the end, there."
And he was shocked.

Really really shocked. I don't think I've ever seen him like that.
"What do you mean?" he spluttered.
I further explained that while I had been having a good time, that I had been feeling the pressure of limited time.

He shifted gears. "But you didn't say anything..."

Yes, I did, I said "Nope, I'm going to go" and tried to get out of the bed.

And this is where the conversation could have gotten away from me. This was why I finally, after all these years, understood why some people have a hard time talking about this. Why assault goes underreported, particularly where the violation happens in a situation that's not "at gunpoint in a dark alley." If you already felt bowled over by your partner's force of personality in a sexy situation, it's significantly harder to discuss it later. The partner with the strong personality may actually try to say "That's not what happened!" because that person doesn't want to self-identify as a rapist or someone who assault others.

It took me at least three tries to be heard on this one, and my partner is a kind person, a loving person who knows how to listen. Someone who actively wants to know how his partner(s) is (are) doing. He's someone who self-identifies as gentle, kind, giving, game, understanding, patient, and he prides himself on his self-control.

I had to stand, very firm, and say that yes, this happened. I said, "No," and he pushed the issue. I turned them down, and the two of them pushed me to stay. And afterward, I felt icky about it. I did not feel a sense of satisfaction, or the warm glow of connection with my partners.

He tried to explain his position, and in the process tried to say that I had indicated that I was into it by playing with them, and then cuddling afterward. "She was asking for it" takes many forms, unfortunately.

He tried to tell me he wasn't that kind of person, and I said that I agreed, which was why we were actually having this conversation. If I *didn't* love and trust him, I wouldn't have given him another opportunity to talk to me, ever.

He tried to tell me that he never heard me say, "NO", but I held firm to that statement. I had said it, and that I was leaving. I'm not a drama queen; if I say I'm leaving I have good reason for it and need to know that I'm not going to hear a bunch of whining to get me to stay. (In other contexts, this has happened several times.)

I can only imagine how someone with less force of personality than I do could wind up in a very muddy situation with a person that they love and trust who ignored their revocation of consent. I got a glimpse of that "slippery slope".

Fortunately, this did not turn into a fight. He had to take a couple of brief breaks in the conversation (while we walked in silence) to assimilate the information. I'd had enough time to nail down my personal issues with it, so I had specific points to discuss instead of getting sidetracked to other conversations.

Thank you, Jay Smooth. Always go with the "What you did" conversation, NOT the "What you are" conversation.

My problems were as follows:
1. My issues of time constraint were completely ignored. I gave the information several times, and neither of them could remember that I had obligations the next day. They were too excited about having a night in the house alone.
I need my schedule to be respected.
2. She was vague about her own consent, and left it up to use to figure out what she wanted.
I need enthusiastic consent.
3. When I said, "No" it was not taken seriously. In his effort for "fairness", my actual request was lost.
I need to know that if I ask for an exit, I will be given an unobstructed one.

Once I was able to make points one and three with him, he needed to process the information. Once he was able to process the information, he was able to come back to me and agree to my terms. And apologize.

So we continue. The Consent Castle got a big renovation.
I got to have my conversation with Her, too.

Still waiting for the threeway conversation.


lollypox: (Default)

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