What if I do Enjoy It?

There I said it.

I recently came across an anti-rape poster created by the Guerilla Girls. As you can see, it resembles a yearbook page with the faces omitted. The picture seemed irrelevant compared to the big black bold text that warns:

“If you’re raped you might as well ‘relax and enjoy it’. because no one will believe you.”

Ideally it was intended to sarcastically rip into the misconception that a woman should enjoyed getting raped…? Or is it the misconception that a woman is going to always enjoy getting raped…?

It reminded me of this time I spent with an older gentleman. We had only met once but kept up correspondence through email and text. Best stuff on earth, let me tell you. Instant gratification for me. I love words. And when a person knows how to manipulate words so they can get what they want well, it makes me want to faint.

So, he was quite aggressive through online chats and emails. We had planned to meet a few days later but he was already getting so turned on by the anticipation. I was very straightforward; I wanted a sexual relationship. No commitments. I just wanted to lose myself and nothing more. He very much agreed. For the rest of an evening, I watched his letters dance between the modest witticisms and intimate thoughts to questions about how wet I was and the image of us fucking in a restaurant bathroom. Can you imagine? Now, it would be remiss of me to not disclosure that I did tell him I was a sexual person. And I am. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, what I didn’t understand, however, is why I suddenly felt like I had to switch it on and off so frequently. I got excited by his charm and his lasciviousness. Essentially, if I wanted to lose myself, this was the best way to do it. Just lose myself in the language and become the sexual being that I know I am. But, no. I kept the sexual switch on. And my resistance to him is far more legitimate than his behavior and actions towards me.

So, why the switch? Why, suddenly, is “no” so important to me?

I had done this before, as well, when I was a professional dominatrix. I would heartily say no, even though I had used the encounter as fantasies for very heated bouts of masturbation. The fantasy is right there in front of me, I’m experiencing it as a very sexual moment. But, I switch off. I disengage in what could be a pleasurable or undesirable moment. Why? He is obviously a sexual being. What makes me suddenly pick and choose my own sexuality, like a vulture picking at pieces of a dead  carcass?

A few reasons come to mind. Instinctively, I felt control over these situations. Even stubborn self-righteous. I felt as though I could walk away because I can live one more day, another day that can bring better opportunities. And, sure that may be true to some degree. But, again, if my fantasies often include the sense of being “taken” – whether it’s by anonymity or the inappropriateness of the encounter, or by the spontaneity of it – then why suddenly am I so sensitive to the encounter now, as it’s happening or about to happen?

Sexual fantasies are funny like that. Although the fear is eroticized, it is a neutered fear. There is never any real hint of danger in a fantasy. But, we create all of those elements so we can elicit pleasure from them as well. This is how the scene is created. Everything is orchestrated. And, for many of us, elements of these visions are sterilized. Some of us won’t even take it that far in our own fantasies! Hell, some of us don’t even have sexual fantasies!

Now, as of yet. I haven’t had an encounter where “I had been taken advantage of” by a date. And I think, it’s because while I do tap dance prior to the encounter, I inevitably leave the sexuality on, and I become the sexual being that I know I am. I engage, and continue to engage until there nothing remains but a sultry afterthought. I do get insatiable and if there’s a good chance I can get pleasure out of it, then I will happily spread my legs and give it a ride.

If this is to say I’ve avoided being raped, then I really don’t know what that means. Based on what I’ve been taught, the inevitability of being raped is the same as being mugged or getting into a car crash, all very traumatizing incidents. But none of these are as controversial as rape. As Chris Rock said, a government would torture and murder before they torture and rape because the latter is far more savage. So, every time I “get raped”, it will automatically become a traumatizing time. Period. And there is no way to escape this. So, when we introduce the concept of “date-rape”, we also introduce the notion that almost any encounter we have with a man could lead to a potentially traumatizing result.

So, of course, “no” will never be enough, will it? It’s literally just a word. It isn’t a weapon, a threat, a negotiation, a command. It’s just a non-agreement. Whatever choice I choose that keeps me alive is the best one. But to also believe that “no” is the only option is bogus.

Under this context, I can become far more flexible in experiencing the encounter. I could disengage (for the sake of safety) or engage. And, if I read that poster correctly, on some level the Guerilla Girls actually promote the option to “relax and enjoy it” under negative pretenses. You’re right, Guerilla Girls, if I’m raped, I could very well enjoy it simply if I allowed myself too. If I removed all niceties and bullshit from “dating”, if I remove that sexual stigma and predetermined trauma from my back, then it doesn’t have to be rape for me. I could literally get what I want without using the buffers that I’ve grown accustomed to in my fantasies and in the real world.


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