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Should I tell him I think he took advantage?
February 20, 2006 11:15 AM   Subscribe

I recently got back to uni after my dad died, and spent a night drinking and crying on a mate of mine, who, the previous term, had spent a while hitting on me and being knocked back. About 4am, after the best part of a bottle of wine (on my part, he was sober) he kissed me and we ended up in bed together. He asked if I wanted to have sex, and I said no, but then he kept trying to take it further than kissing, and eventually I caved in and let him put his hands wherever he wanted. I wasn't against it so much as indifferent. We had sex, fell asleep, and I left before he woke up. I've felt increasingly uncomfortable about it over the last few days and I have to work with this guy over the next few weeks - should I tell him that I feel he took advantage of me, in order to get it off my chest and move on?
posted by girlwonder to Human Relations (80 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, he took advantage of you.
Yes, tell him.
posted by zonkout at 11:21 AM on February 20, 2006


By asking this question, you already answered it. If you're feeling uncomfortable, you want to tell him. But are you asking it because you feel that you didn't stop him and thus he didn't take advantage of you?

Listen to your gut - it generally has the right answer in situations like this. Very sorry about your dad.
posted by meerkatty at 11:22 AM on February 20, 2006


Yes & yes, what zonkout said. You must not leave him with any illusion that what he did was okay, or that he can entertain the possibilty of any further interaction with you.
posted by Sara Anne at 11:24 AM on February 20, 2006


He was a pig, let him know and move on.
posted by LarryC at 11:25 AM on February 20, 2006


You can tell him -- and yeah, maybe getting it off your chest will help you feel better -- but keep in mind, he may not agree with you that he took advantage of you, and worse, he may not care. If you bring it up with him, be prepared for that. If he has the attitude of, "Hey, I didn't force you, so whatever," you're not going to be able to make him see it your way. Hopefully he's thoughtful enough to have a little remorse if you tell him how you feel, but...Dude finally saw his chance (you were emotionally fragile and drunk) and grabbed it. I doubt he'll be sorry.
posted by Gator at 11:26 AM on February 20, 2006


When you say "have to work with him", how set in stone is that? I don't think it makes you weak to want to avoid this creep.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:27 AM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes. That was an incredibly slimey thing for him to do. Say whatever you need to say to get it out of your system. What an a**hole.
posted by Radio7 at 11:27 AM on February 20, 2006


If you have to work with him, you should definitely signal in some way your feelings on the matter. Just be prepared for his response, which may be ugly if he feels he is accused of rape or something similar to rape.

The guy sounds like an asshole already, that is why I predict an asshole response.
posted by Falconetti at 11:28 AM on February 20, 2006


Let's see. You knew this guy was interested in you and you didn't return it, yet you got drunk and emotional in his presence. Yes, he took advantage, but you should admit you opened the door to the situation too.

You should talk to him. If he's really thick, he may not even be aware there's no reason he shouldn't play an encore.
posted by zadcat at 11:38 AM on February 20, 2006


Call him on it, as forcefully as you can. No means no.

If you avoid him, he gets the idea that he can get away with this kind of thing, and that sometimes, no means yes. That is a very, very dangerous attitude for him to be carrying around. And for someone with as little fundemental human empathy as this guy showed, there will certianly be a "next time."
posted by paulsc at 11:39 AM on February 20, 2006


I think, as Falconetti said, a lot of guys can get very defensive and ugly if there is a rape accusation brought up. I'm not saying that you don't have the right to make such an accusation (and I don't think it is within the scope of the question whether you do or not), but I will say that if you want to be able to continue to work with this guy and just want to let him know that this was not acceptable, and he should not be planning a repeat performance, I would choose your language and your attitude very carefully.

Again, clearly he is the party in the wrong and you have every right to redress the situation however you choose (even to the extent of bringing the law into it), but if you'd like there to be civility in the future, be judicious.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this so soon after your Dad's passing. Hopefully you can both just put it behind you.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:46 AM on February 20, 2006


Not that the guy's not a slime - he seems like he probably is - but I think you need to consider a few things here...

- You said eventually you "caved", and "I wasn't against it so much as indifferent."
- You said he had been hitting on you previously, so you knew he was physically interested in you
- You got in bed with him.

I still think ANY guy who gets physical girl, especially for the first time, when she's drunk is at least somewhat (and often very) slimy - even moreso after a serious tragedy.

However, you said you were indifferent, not against, and you got in bed with him, and you responded to him and were intimate emotionally (crying over a tragedy) with him -- ALL things that indicate a potential for romantic interest on your end, especially given the fact that you knew he was interested in you.

I'm NOT trying to imply anything like "you brought this upon yourself", but I AM saying the following two things:

1) There is a very real possibility that he truly feels he didn't do anything wrong. He's been flirting with you for months, you finally came to him and were emotionally intimate, and even crawled into his bed.

2) You were under duress, so I'm not making general judgements - but you need to evaluate your decision making process. Drinking with, cuddling with, crying with, crawling into bed with a guy who you do not want to have sex with -- these are all decisions that put you at risk, with this guy (who may honestly feel everything he did was kosher) sure, but what about with an actual sexual predator?


I have a hard time clicking post here because I know people are going to accuse me of defending the guy - but really, some key points in the original poster's words strike a chord with me.

My advice: Talk to the guy, but only on the basis of "look, I'm not interested in a relationship, what happened shouldn't have happened..."

The fact that you said no and he was still trying is certainly deplorable, but accusing him of rape is pretty audacious. Taking advantage of -- somewhere between "most likely valid" and "maybe valid" depending on a lot more context than what's in this post.
posted by twiggy at 12:01 PM on February 20, 2006


zadcat: "Let's see. You knew this guy was interested in you and you didn't return it, yet you got drunk and emotional in his presence. Yes, he took advantage, but you should admit you opened the door to the situation too."
I agree.
Maybe you are asking the question because you are not so sure that you are a victim.
But is there anybody to blame?

You have traded companionship for bad sex. Haven't we all? Isn't it a fair deal sometimes?
Can't you take your part of responsability for what happened?

The event itself doesn't seem to have hurt anybody.
You have just to make sure there is no future misunderstanding on its significance (or rather lack of).
But unless you haven't told us everything, I don't see any need to make a big deal about it.
posted by bru at 12:01 PM on February 20, 2006


What twiggy said.
posted by bru at 12:03 PM on February 20, 2006


but accusing him of rape is pretty audacious.

Maybe you are asking the question because you are not so sure that you are a victim.

twiggy & bru, keep in mind that the poster never said anything about rape, or about being a victim -- she copped to her own actions that led to what happened, but says she feels taken advantage of under the circumstances, that's all.
posted by Gator at 12:09 PM on February 20, 2006


Ditto Gator. Poster didn't use the R-word, so let's leave it outside.
posted by cribcage at 12:16 PM on February 20, 2006


Why would you choose to get drunk and wind up in bed at 4 AM with somebody who'd been hitting on you previously? I'm not defending the guy's behavior—yes, he took advantage—but I don't think there's any reason to make a huge issue of it. Learn and move on.
posted by languagehat at 12:16 PM on February 20, 2006


You should tell him that you regret sleeping with him, and that he was not a perfect gentleman, and that there is now absolutely no possibility of anything happening in the future because he took advantage of your vulnerability, exhaustion and grief. A man with a modicum of self respect would not have slept with a grieving woman who had previously rebuffed him.

You were vulnerable, but you were in control of your faculties and you put yourself in the position you were in. You didn't even mention the "R-word" in your question, and I'm glad you didn't. There are forms of sexual violation that do not rise to the level of rape, and this was one of them.

Your "mate" was more interested in fucking you than in comforting your affliction. Your lesson here is not to seek solace in those whose affections do not spring from ulterior motives. Most importantly, you should let him know that you are disappointed in him, that you look down on him, and you will not have anything else to do with him again because of his taking advantage. If he has any sense at all, he will regret that (the closing of the door forever) more than he enjoyed having sex with you, and he won't do it again if he's in a similar situation with someone else that he's been wooing.
posted by evariste at 12:17 PM on February 20, 2006


I'm sorry this happened to you. I agree with the others who said that you should tell him how you feel. Whether or not he feels remorse is not the point; I get the sense that it would make YOU feel better about the situation, and that is what matters. Sometimes things like this happen and the guy takes inappropriate advantage of someone, but maybe he completely misread the situation and is just a dunce. Either way, I see no harm that can come from confronting him about the way things happened.

So sorry about your dad, also. I hope things get better for you from now on.
posted by gatorae at 12:19 PM on February 20, 2006


From his perspective, I doubt he views it as him having taken advantage of you. And, of course, I can't imagine anybody being totally indifferent and still managing to have sex. Unless you really did just lie there and do nothing, then yeah you participated in the act and reciprocated his actions. I bring this up only because the situation is likely much more complex than it appears and rushing to judgement or accusations is only going to make it worse. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee you that in these cases, between friends, the situation is never so simple as one person making a calculated play to get the other into bed. Most people aren't going to risk a friendship for a night of drunken, tear-filled sex. So: sit down and talk to the guy, explain to him how you see what happened from your perspective, ask him to explain how he saw it, and then make it clear that you're uncomfortable with the whole situation, you don't like him that way, and you never want to sleep with him again. Don't accuse him and don't insult him.
posted by nixerman at 12:31 PM on February 20, 2006


I agree totally with nixerman: find out how it looked from his perspective.
posted by evariste at 12:32 PM on February 20, 2006


A couple of you are right, she didn't mention the R word - but "you took advantage of my drunken and vulnerable state" basically, from a legal standpoint, equates to the same thing or really close to it (IANAL, but that is my understanding).

Regardless of whether it's legally in that boundary, though, accusing him of taking advantage will equate to him as roughly the same thing.

What I really wanted to get across in my post was about her (understandable since she was under duress) decision making, and the very real possibility that he truly feels he did nothing wrong (and may have slightly, though not totally justified reason to believe so)...

Hope the "R" word didn't taint the rest of the post and ruin the point.
posted by twiggy at 12:34 PM on February 20, 2006


I'm so sorry about your father.

Yes, take it up with him. Don't say 'the "r" word' (although it sounds like you've already dismissed that), but he should know he took advantage of you in a vulnerable moment. Honestly, he sounds like a soulless twat, but you know him better than me.
posted by kalimac at 12:44 PM on February 20, 2006


What I really wanted to get across in my post was about her (understandable since she was under duress) decision making

Yeah, true. I'm sure this will be a valuable learning experience for her in that regard. I'm just willing to cut her a little slack here because (A) she's a college kid and (B) her father just died, neither of which lend themselves well to making the best and most rational choices, and also (C) in spite of everything, she's not "crying rape," or claiming to have been assaulted, or freaking out, or otherwise making a bigger issue out of this situation than it seems to warrant. She's just trying to deal with some very uncomfortable feelings on top of her grief, and wants to get past it and move on.

You're right that the guy's mind might immediately jump to, "Aww, shit, she's gonna try and say I raped her" if and when she brings up the subject, so yeah, she should probably have some words ready about that. Something like, "Look, I'm not accusing you of anything. This is just how I feel. I feel taken advantage of." But like I said before, she should prepare herself for the very real probability that the guy isn't going to see it that way.
posted by Gator at 12:55 PM on February 20, 2006


Lol - lets get drunk, go into a bed, make out a whole bunch like he's always wanted, and not have sex. Yeah it's totally his fault...

I would say you both overstepped your bounds and any blame should come with a bigger apology.
posted by parallax7d at 1:04 PM on February 20, 2006


Not all rape is of the "parking lot" variety. . . When she was sober, she said no. When it happened, she wasn't capable of giving consent. It *is* rape. The fact that she doesn't seem to be interested in pressing charges doesn't change what it is.

If this isn't rape, what do you call it when you have sex with somebody who has been slipped the date rape drug? How about sex with a minor? How about with somebody with severe mental handicaps? Just because the woman isn't kicking and screaming doesn't make it something other than rape.

I'm seriously amazed here. Some of you are going into the "you had it coming by getting drunk" (or by what you were wearing, etc.) argument. Wow.
posted by BrandonAbell at 1:10 PM on February 20, 2006


Rape is when someone is violently forced into intercourse against their will. She was not forced and he was not violent with her. She was not slipped a date rape drug, she drank some wine and was crying all over a guy who she knew wanted to fuck her. She also did not tell him 'no'... she "caved in" and was "indifferent" (her own words).

Tossing the word rape around in regard to her situation is not going to help her deal with her grief or the bad decision she made to get drunk with this loser and turn to him for sympathy (nor does it address any part of the posters original question). It also completely belittles the terrible crime and act of violence that real rape actually is. This guy she ended up with was an asshole, but not a rapist.

She needs to deal with the grief of loosing her father and now with whatever awkwardness this unfortunate sexual encounter has created. To throw the idea of rape into this mix where it doesn't belong is irresponsible and way out of proportion to the actual situation and what really happened (based on her own description).

It seems like this guy mistook her indifference for permission. He was a jerk who wanted to get laid by chick he's been into for a while... she was in need of attention, and drunk, and SHE LET HIM have sex with her. Is he a big creep? Yes. Is he a rapist? Far from it.
posted by RoseovSharon at 1:20 PM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


BrandonAbell: You minimize rape.

She "caved" she wasn't unconscious. He had permission. The way he obtained it was certainly not honorable but it wasn't rape.

I'm with the crew saying that she should let him know how you feel about it without be extremely accusatory. "The other night was a mistake and I think you took advantage of my weakened condition. I'm very disappointed in your behavior, etc., etc..."
posted by Carbolic at 1:24 PM on February 20, 2006


BrandonAbell: Nobody's said she had it coming.

You're also making an assumption that she was sober when she said "no", which is completely contrary to her post. The no came after the wine. It was followed with toleration and then acceptance of further pursuit, and there is no mention of repeated "no" or any physical resistance whatsoever. There is also no mention of her being so drunk she was incapacitated, so your analogies are just kind of nuts.

Look - no woman (or man for that matter) on earth EVER has "rape" coming, but I think a distinction needs to be made between three things:

1) Forcible sex
2) Slipping someone drugs and incapacitating them
3) "Convinced" sex like that in this post, where after a solitary "no" (not that that shouldn't necessarily be enough) - she ended up giving in and consenting.

#3 is really borderline, and totally doesnt' fit anything you're talking about at all, BrandonAbell.

Should a guy be having sex with a drunk girl, especially when he's sober? No. But that's just my opinion, not a rule.

Should a guy need to be told "no" more than once? No, but I'm a guy who errs on the side of caution. Many girls have outright admitted that they play a little hard to get because it's exciting. Does this mean it's ok to ruin things for all the rest of girls and that guys can no longer assume that "no" means no? Well, no. It doesn't. But it sure makes the waters murky when gray areas arise.

Getting drunk and emotional and then into bed with a guy who you know has been hitting on you for several months is not "asking for sex", but it's certainly "giving the guy the impression that you're interested romantically." Does that imply that sex is ok and/or wanted? Not in my opinion, but again - that's MY opinion.

I'm terribly sorry for girlwonder's loss, and her further compounded problems with this guy. I hope it's an educational experience for her and she learns why a series of bad decisions on her part enabled further bad decisions on his part. I can't agree with Brandon here and say that it was "without question" rape. She said herself that she was "not against it, just indifferent".

If one party being indifferent to sex is enough that the other party has committed rape - all married couples would have one party in jail... multiple times.
posted by twiggy at 1:31 PM on February 20, 2006


should I tell him that I feel he took advantage of me

You could do. Or you could tell him that you feel uncomfortable about what happened and you wish that he'd exercised more self-control. Which feels more right?

Of course he should have kissed you goodnight and gone home/slept on the couch. But this really sounds to me like no more than normal human weakness. I don't see any reason to write the guy off as a friend forever on the basis of what you've written.

Whatever you choose to do, for God's sake don't beat yourself up over this, you're going through enough already.
posted by teleskiving at 1:33 PM on February 20, 2006


When it happened, she wasn't capable of giving consent. It *is* rape. The fact that she doesn't seem to be interested in pressing charges doesn't change what it is.

Wow. That's the most ill-advised comment I've ever read on MeFi.

Why are so many of you reducing this poster to the level of a child. They were both drunk, no-one used violence or drugs, bad decisions were made, and that's all there is to it. You have the right to never do it again, but you don't have the right to blame your companion for what happened - you consented to sex. He doesn't deserve to be made to feel guilty for it.
posted by ascullion at 1:38 PM on February 20, 2006


Whatever you choose to do, for God's sake don't beat yourself up over this, you're going through enough already.

I'd like to reiterate this statement. While I pointed out some lapses in judgement - I don't mean to give you the opportunity to beat yourself up. Only to learn from it and keep yourself out of such situations in the future.
posted by twiggy at 1:38 PM on February 20, 2006


I've only just noticed that he was sober - sorry about that. Doesn't change my opinion though, you're both adults, and if you can't take responsibility for your actions when drunk, then don't drink.
posted by ascullion at 1:39 PM on February 20, 2006


You should tell him you feel uncomfortable about what happened, and that you feel he unfairly pressured you when he knew that you weren't necessarily in the best place to make a decision. If he had been using his brain instead of his penis, he would have been able to say to himself, "Emotionally distraught girl+alcohol = lowered inhibitions and/or lowered ability to make the decision she might otherwise make when sober" and he would have walked away. As it was, he might not have felt you were very drunk and just thought it was okay to cajole you into having sex. Wearing girls down to have sex with them is a little creepy, anyway, but whether or not you want to associate with someone who finds that okay is separate from what occurred. Neither of you made the most stellar of decisions.

Having had some experiences with being very emotional and drinking, allow me to give you some advice from experience -- avoid alcohol until you've got all of this sorted out. I did some very, very dumb things while drunk and out of my mind with some pretty heavy emotions, and of all the things I've done, those are the only ones I regret. Email the profile if you'd like to talk about this some more.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:45 PM on February 20, 2006


I'll just reiterate that he sounds pushy. He knew your feelings toward him and TOTALLY took advantage of your weakness. Should you have chosen someone else to cry on? Probably. Is this your fault? NO NO NO NO NO. If he had a slightly-less-than-selfish bone in his body, he would have recognized your emotional state and just comforted you and slept on the couch. But he didn't. The little weasel saw an "in" and went for it. Creep.

Pull him aside and tell him you fell crappy about that night. Tell him you feel like he pushed you when you were weak and took advantage of you, and that it will never, ever happen again. Tell him you wish he had just been a friend to you and comforted you, but instead he was selfish and pushed to get his way. And maybe now that you've seen his true colors you're not so sure you want to hang out with him again.

(Only if that's really how you feel-- edit it to be true for you. But make sure to tell him how you wish that night had gone, and how you're disappointed and hurt that he chose to take advantage.)

I'm so sorry. Consider seeing someone to talk things through regarding your dad. That can help you be aware of the waves of grief when they're on their way and you can come up with some more constructive ways to deal with it. I'm really sorry.
posted by orangemiles at 1:55 PM on February 20, 2006


OK, read over all your comments and just want to make clear that I'm *not* suggesting in any way that this was rape. I think he's acted, let's say, unethically, and it gives me the creeps.

I agree with Medieval Maven that drinking whilst emotional can be a bad decision and lead to mistakes, but I don't think crying on a guy who has, in the past acted like he's into me, but has also been a mate and seemed to have got the message that I'm not interested, is a bad decision. I think it's pretty reasonable to expect to be able to lean on people who are supposed to be your friends, and to expect them to treat you better. So I don't agree with the comments that I should "take responsibility" for that part.

I made the decision (or lack of decision) not to leave, or to actively not consent. I'm well aware of that. But I think this guy has acted like a asshole and I think I'm gonna go with the advice to tell him how I *feel* rather than being accusatory, and make it clear it isn't an acceptable way to act in future.

Cheers for the supportive comments, I've a metafilter newbie and you're all lovely people :-)
posted by girlwonder at 1:58 PM on February 20, 2006


I'm sorry, girlwonder, both for your loss and the lack of support you must have felt. If you left before he woke, I assume you were at his place, or at least not at your own. I can find it hard to be emotional around friends and family, but confiding in a friend like this isn't always the best course of action.

Tell him that it wasn't something you necessarily wanted to do and you feel uncomfortable. If he did help comfort you, thank him for that. If he was only comforting for the sake of furthering his agenda, then avoid him in the future -- you're better than that. Grieving can be hard, and I don't know your circumstances to know whether or not you have anyone else available to open up to. Even if so, it can be hard to be open with friends and family members in the face of grief.
posted by mikeh at 1:59 PM on February 20, 2006


"Rape is when someone is violently forced into intercourse against their will."

No. Rape is when someone is forced into intercourse against their will. Below that are any number of criminal sexual conducts, and in this state he'd be guilty of some of them (violating impaired consent) if you pressed charges.

Look, there are two things going on here. The first of which is, yeah, he took advantage of you. That's fucking reprehinsible, and all the hand-waving above comes from rationalizing his behavior. When someone, say, leaves their wallet out, it's my responsibility not to steal it whether or not they should have kept it more secure. He took advantage of you, and it was his responsibility to not succumb to temptation.

The second is that, y'know, you got into a vulnerable position with a guy it turns out that you couldn't trust. It's not the end of the world, and it should be a learning experience. It's not your fault, but it is something to keep in mind in the future. Nearly everyone's done something while drunk that they regret. This is yours. Don't let it sour you on men or drinking, but feel no compunction against telling this guy he acted like a shithead.
posted by klangklangston at 2:10 PM on February 20, 2006


What's the true versions of the event(s)? What you have asked here or how you recount it in your blog?


There's an enormous difference.
posted by johnny7 at 2:17 PM on February 20, 2006


I agree with Medieval Maven that drinking whilst emotional can be a bad decision and lead to mistakes, but I don't think crying on a guy who has, in the past acted like he's into me, but has also been a mate and seemed to have got the message that I'm not interested, is a bad decision. I think it's pretty reasonable to expect to be able to lean on people who are supposed to be your friends, and to expect them to treat you better.
I totally agree with you; from my point of view anyway, it's not "take responsibility;" it's just that learning from this is the best outcome. That, and telling this guy that he's a creep, actually. Having been a person who expects other people to behave ethically and having also been a person who's been burned by that, I just didn't think that it should go unsaid.

johnny, I've just read the entry and I just think we got the condensed version here. I don't think there's anything to be made of the entry, and Ask isn't necessarily the place to delve into something like this.
posted by Medieval Maven at 2:21 PM on February 20, 2006


My blog is read by a few people I know IRL, despite trying to keep it anonymous, so I'm merging two events in that post. I'm kinda embarrassed to talk to my friends about this, really.
posted by girlwonder at 2:22 PM on February 20, 2006


Obviously there should be distinctions between different types of rape, just like there are different types of other crimes (with various degrees of murder/manslaughter as an extreme example). But I will stand by my assertion that initiating sex with somebody who has already told you "no" and is both drunk and in a bit of an altered state (being in mourning) is a type of rape, especially when the initiator is sober. It is not just some guy "being an asshole." The word "rape" is not a magic word, and it is not the sole domain of only the most extreme of sexual violence. If this was not rape, what would be the "bright line" that needs to be crossed for you that makes it different? For me the bright line that was crossed was the word "no." I'm a little saddened that my opinion on this is believed to be so crazy by you all.
posted by BrandonAbell at 2:42 PM on February 20, 2006


And on preview, the blog-entry describes a *completely* different scenario than was asked about here. Definitely nowhere near rape by that description.
posted by BrandonAbell at 2:47 PM on February 20, 2006


PLEASE don't muddy up an otherwise good thread with the "what is rape" debate that could go on forever and was not in any way asked by the OP anyway.

I agree with some of the others. Bring it up and say that you wanted him to know that he was a jerk for taking advantage of your trust and that he should apologize.

Maybe he willl get defensive. Or maybe he feels shitty about it too and was too ashamed or scared to apologize. People don't always act in the most noble way when they know damn well they fucked up.
posted by desuetude at 2:51 PM on February 20, 2006


Wow. That blog posting is good reading for anyone who has spent time thinking about and responding to the original post here.

Holy worlds of difference in story.
posted by twiggy at 2:56 PM on February 20, 2006


No means no; but according to your post, you said yes later by ultimately allowing it to occur -- that he merely successfully persuaded you since there was no mention of struggle during the act and by your description alone it appears eventually mutual. He did take advantage of your drunkenness, but you are the one who got you drunk -- you have full control over whether to continue drinking, and the ultra-relaxed nature of the drink makes inhibitions severely reduced. If this was rape, it uses some of the weakest similarity I've ever heard of.

Definitely tell him you'd rather put it behind you and move on about it, that it wasn't a genuine/sincere event and by no means warrants a continued relationship. Say just enough that you spook him into suspecting he did something dastardly, although you are both at fault.
posted by vanoakenfold at 2:56 PM on February 20, 2006


this really sounds to me like no more than normal human weakness

Yeah, but MetaFilter doesn't do normal human weakness. Somebody's got to be tarred and feathered.

I don't think crying on a guy who has, in the past acted like he's into me, but has also been a mate and seemed to have got the message that I'm not interested, is a bad decision

Then you've got a lot of learning to do. Which is only reasonable, since you're 20, but seriously, it was a bad decision. This does not mean he's exonerated, but you should think a little harder about your own actions (and probably patterns of behavior). This stuff is messy and hard to deal with, but it has to be done, or you're just going to keep making bad decisions.

And yeah, that blog entry makes the guy sound much less guilty than you made him sound here. None of us will ever know the truth, obviously, but I'm glad johnny7 pointed it out.
posted by languagehat at 2:58 PM on February 20, 2006


From the poster above: My blog is read by a few people I know IRL, despite trying to keep it anonymous, so I'm merging two events in that post. I'm kinda embarrassed to talk to my friends about this, really.

Guys, let's focus on the question *here*- her explaination for the difference between the blog post and what she describes here totally makes sense, IMO. I know we love a good pile-on, but relax, OK?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:00 PM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't know why I keep coming back to this post, but something about the post, and people's reaction to it, freaks me out.

Put yourself in the guy's shoes.
"A girl who turned down your advances comes to you for support in a time of need.
You're not too confident, you don't really understand women.
If she comes to you when she's upset then you must really be the one she needs in her life.
You drink together, chat together, end up in bed together.
One thing might lead to another, right?
She's not really into this, is she? Is it me?
Am i doing something wrong? What if I try this?
Oh, now she's OK with it? Is she happy about it?
I can't tell. Maybe she's so upset about her dad she can't really feel happy right now.
But she's not telling me to go away.
I must be doing OK. And if I stopped and that's not what she wanted, she'd be really hurt.
Better keep at it."

Honesty is the only policy in sexual relationships - and you can't have shown much honesty by going to someone you rebuffed for support when you needed it. As i saidd above, you're both adults, and you both made bad choices - but you put him in the position where he was able to make those choices.
posted by ascullion at 3:02 PM on February 20, 2006


ascullion, it's all very well to take the "two sides to every story" thing into account, but you are projecting a hell of a lot into that scenario that is nowhere suggested in the original post. The way girlwonder presents it -- and that is all we have to go on -- she believed they were friends, even though she'd rebuffed his advances more than once, and she thought she could reach out to him.

I notice you didn't insert a "She's saying no, but..." into your little fantasy there, either, by the way.
posted by Gator at 3:08 PM on February 20, 2006


I don't think crying on a guy who has, in the past acted like he's into me, but has also been a mate and seemed to have got the message that I'm not interested, is a bad decision

You know, you needed something and the only way you were going to get it involved exposing yourself to possible consequences you might regret later. I don't think that means you made a bad decision either, it's not like this has ruined your life.

Having said that, I think it's possible to go easy on yourself and not give him too much of a hard time either. We're obviously less inclined to excuse his weakness because he didn't just lose a parent, but we're all human beings and none of us is perfect.
posted by teleskiving at 3:11 PM on February 20, 2006


you are projecting a hell of a lot into that scenario that is nowhere suggested in the original post

Yes, but most of the rest of us are taking her at 100% face value, so it should level out..

I notice you didn't insert a "She's saying no, but..." into your little fantasy there, either, by the way.

She freely admits she wasn't saying no when they had sex.
posted by ascullion at 3:16 PM on February 20, 2006


No, she said that she "said no, but then he kept trying to take it further."
posted by Gator at 3:17 PM on February 20, 2006


It's interesting how the best answer is basically what girlwonder wanted to hear, instead of the reality checks she's been getting in the rest of the thread.

Look, you can go through life allowing things to happen to you and playing the victim, or you can grow up a little bit and learn to stand up for yourself. You were the one that made the decision to allow him to go further than you wanted, not him.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:18 PM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


He asked if I wanted to have sex, and I said no, but then he kept trying to take it further than kissing, and eventually I caved in and let him put his hands wherever he wanted

There's a lot of ambiguity in that sentence, gator, so perhaps we're foolish to try and argue over what exactly happened.
posted by ascullion at 3:18 PM on February 20, 2006


What Megosteve said.
posted by ascullion at 3:19 PM on February 20, 2006


You were the one that made the decision to allow him to go further than you wanted

I think I've pretty upfront that this is the case - so what's that got to do with the fact I think he acted shittily in the face of what may have been my mistakes, and I'm wondering whether to tell him?
posted by girlwonder at 3:20 PM on February 20, 2006


I don't see any ambiguity. She says that she said no. So your little scenario should perhaps be re-written:

"You drink together, chat together, end up in bed together.
One thing might lead to another, right?
She's saying no. I'll disregard that.
She's not really into this, is she? Is it me?
Am i doing something wrong? What if I try this?
Oh, now she's OK with it? Is she happy about it?
I can't tell. Maybe she's so upset about her dad she can't really feel happy right now.
But she's not telling me to go away.
I'll just proceed and not say anything or ask her if she's okay with this or anything.
I must be doing OK."

As for "what exactly happened," I don't see why we can't just take the asker at her word, while keeping in mind that the guy in question may have a different perspective which she should take into account before taking any action.
posted by Gator at 3:28 PM on February 20, 2006


And again, she's not "playing the victim" or accusing the guy of anything other than being an assy guy who took advantage of her in a time of weakness.
posted by Gator at 3:33 PM on February 20, 2006


The blog post and what's above really do sound different. The blog post says that you fell asleep and it was after you woke up in the morning that the sex happened.
The arguement could be made that *you* took advantage of *him* in a way. Some guy that liked you, and you simply used the affection because it felt good at the time.

Best course of action? Be honest about it. With everyone. Address the issue with him if necessary. You don't have to accuse anyone (as the other posts seem to lean towards) at all. A simple "Thank you for spending time with me the other night, I was in a strange mental space and what happened isn't something that I am comfortable with happening again." Short & simple. No accusations, nothing.
I've been the male on the other side of your situation. Girl was 'emotional' and we were drinking. She said no, so I said "Ok, no problem" and we started watching a movie. We stopped kissing and I paid attention to the movie. (Hey, she was cute, but it was "The Matrix!") Later on, she pounced me and practically dragged me into bed. Then when we woke up in the morning and she regretted what happened, suddenly *I* became the guilty one. After all, that's how society seems to work.

My point is that it is quite possible that hormones do happen and it is very possible that he had no intentions of hurting you or 'taking advantage' of you. I know that's going to be an unpopular opinion around here, but it's a fact. You can sit around and feel 'taken advantage' of or you can just tell him that while you appreciate the company, it isn't going to happen again. Who knows, he may feel guilty as all hell about it.
Either way, open up a dialogue with this person and address the issue. Be open and honest about your feelings. At least get it off your chest, if that's how you feel.
posted by drstein at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2006


No. Rape is when someone is forced into intercourse against their will. Below that are any number of criminal sexual conducts, and in this state he'd be guilty of some of them (violating impaired consent) if you pressed charges.

Fine, using your definition, please explain how she was forced. She said "no" at some point before having sex with him, and then proceeded to go to bed with him and have sex. Was there a struggle? Did he force her down and not let her move? Did he tie her up? Did he hit her? Did he overpower her? Did her threaten to hurt her if she didn't submit? Did he in any way keep her from leaving or getting up and stopping what was happening? Was she so inebriated that she couldn't move her limbs and walk out of the room? It sure doesn't seem that way based on her telling of what happened.

She said she had some wine, not that she was shitfaced drunk. It was her choice to drink and be with this guy, and ultimately, it was her choice to get in bed and have sex with him.

What it seems like is a really bad decision of who she choose to confide in, and poor judgement as to who she slept with. All sympathies aside, just because you regret having sex with someone after you drank too much wine does not make that person a rapist.

It's sad that instead of more advice being given as to how to help this girl deal with the consequences of her own bad decision making so that she can make better choices next time, the tables have been turned (and the thread derailed) with all these people crying "RAPE!". By doing so, you are enabling a pathetic victim mentality and placing the blame soley on this guy, who at best seems guilty of being a slimey horndog.
posted by RoseovSharon at 4:02 PM on February 20, 2006


"Look, you can go through life allowing things to happen to you and playing the victim, or you can grow up a little bit and learn to stand up for yourself."

And the first part of that might involve telling assholes on the internet to get fucked when they assume that you're to blame for this.

Frankly, most of the guys commenting here come across as folks with immature views of male-female relations, and a hell of a lot more talent for rationalizing their actions than for feeling empathy for someone who got taken advantage of. Perhaps that's the biggest lesson here: there are a lot of assholes in the world, and learning how to recognize them and avoid them is one of the best things to pick up for a happy life.
posted by klangklangston at 4:02 PM on February 20, 2006


"Fine, using your definition, please explain how she was forced. She said "no" at some point before having sex with him, and then proceeded to go to bed with him and have sex. Was there a struggle? Did he force her down and not let her move? Did he tie her up? Did he hit her? Did he overpower her? Did her threaten to hurt her if she didn't submit? Did he in any way keep her from leaving or getting up and stopping what was happening? Was she so inebriated that she couldn't move her limbs and walk out of the room? It sure doesn't seem that way based on her telling of what happened."

LEARN TO READ. BEFORE YOU ARGUE, LEARN TO READ.

Under the definition I gave, it was not rape (first-degree criminal sexual conduct). It would have been (in my state) probably a second- or third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge based on the fact that she was too drunk to give legal consent. That depends on a lot of things, several of which we don't know.
So, really, you're the one who keeps trotting out the rape canard, and the one who keeps giving bad advice about how to cope with the situation. Perhaps you should refrain from arguing further until you can LEARN TO READ.
posted by klangklangston at 4:07 PM on February 20, 2006


The blog post and what's above really do sound different. The blog post says that you fell asleep and it was after you woke up in the morning that the sex happened.
The arguement could be made that *you* took advantage of *him* in a way. Some guy that liked you, and you simply used the affection because it felt good at the time.


Thank you for saying something that really needs saying. The disparities between this and the blog post are pretty astounding.

I don't think either person involved in this situation is evil - it all just comes down to human weakness as has been mentioned before - but certainly what you said right up there is one competely valid way of seeing this situation.
posted by twiggy at 4:11 PM on February 20, 2006


Again, she says that the blog post isn't the whole story, because it's read by people she knows in real life and she's embarrassed. Back in the Mesozoic Era when I kept a blog, I fudged the details of certain things as well, for the same sort of reasons. I'm really uncomfortable with the AskMe habit of second-guessing the asker whenever the question touches upon moral issues in any way, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that.

/looks at the blog again

Hey, she links to Polly Stark! Now that is interesting...
posted by Gator at 4:18 PM on February 20, 2006


It would have been (in my state) probably a second- or third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge based on the fact that she was too drunk to give legal consent.

Where in her post does she say she was drunk? Does any alcohol consumption = too drunk to give consent?
posted by tristeza at 4:24 PM on February 20, 2006


First of all, it's very brave of you to put yourself out there and ask this question. A person can feel really knocked down after going through tough stuff like you have lately, but this shows how strong you still are.

Secondly, you have every right to feel upset and taken advantage of. This isn't a court of law; skeeviness is subjective. It's ok to say he's a sleazeball. (and I'd agree with ya) And a lot of people feel numb and don't care about things they normally would after the death of a loved one. So it's a few days later and now you care--which you're entitled to.

So tell him he's a lousy friend. Tell him thanks a lot for giving you more stress during an already stressful time, jerkface.


ps. good for you for looking for support in a friend. Don't let this experience deter you from finding people to lean on. A lot of people here have questioned "what really happened," but we're all strangers. Doesn't matter what the intarwebs say about you. But find someone irl who will take you at your word (even if it's a shrink). pps fwiw, I believe you.
posted by neda at 4:33 PM on February 20, 2006


I think it's best for the poster to get a healthy dose of critical analysis.

I agree with that, and think it's great when people can respectfully point out important things that the asker may not be comfortable thinking about, like in this case the fact that the guy may not think he took advantage of her at all. I just wish there'd be less "this sounds fishy, I think you're lying about what really happened"-ness. I know a lot of us are gunshy after the eBay scammer thread and a few others like it; I just wish we'd be a little better about taking askers at their word and asking for clarification instead of trying to dig up inconsistencies. girlwonder already has enough on her plate with school and the loss of her father and her confusion about this whole mess, without having us imply that she's lying about what happened that night.
posted by Gator at 4:43 PM on February 20, 2006


[a few comments removed. take the "was this rape?" question elsewhere, please.]
posted by jessamyn at 4:48 PM on February 20, 2006


Get tested for STD's. Seriously.
posted by geekyguy at 5:02 PM on February 20, 2006


Whatever, I'm done and won't post more in this thread after this. Doesn't seem very fair though that only the comments arguing that it wasn't rape got deleted (mine), while those from people insisting that it was rape/crime did not.

Not allowing an open discussion regarding the poor advice that she has been given is really shame.
posted by RoseovSharon at 5:05 PM on February 20, 2006


"Where in her post does she say she was drunk? Does any alcohol consumption = too drunk to give consent?"

Tristeza: I weigh about 230 and am a guy. The better part of a bottle of wine is enough to impair my judgement. That, combined with the fact that she contrasts her behavior with the sober guy, leads me to believe that she was impaired.

There's a lot of grey area here, but if someone who's dad just died says no, then downs a half a bottle of wine and doesn't say "Yes," then the onus is on the person who wishes to go ahead to get a clear consent.
posted by klangklangston at 5:46 PM on February 20, 2006


I don't think under normal circumstances that it's rape or anything like that. But trying to have sex with someone who's parents just died is really sleazy.

On the other hand we don't really know what was going through this guy's head. He may have taken her 'indifference' as interest. The poster did say "We had sex" and not "He had sex with me while I just lay there". I guess it depends on how she responded to "his hands going everywhere".

I recently had a drunk girl get in bed with me, She had been kicked out of some guy's place and was staying at my place. I've wanted her for years, and she knows this, and she got into bed with me after me explaining why I thought she should date me for a couple of hours (the discussion, not the dating). We cuddled, and at one point she said "this is so cool, I've never known anyone who could do this" (meaning not trying to fuck her brains out right away). I didn't push it and after a while she just left to go sleep in the living room.

I didn't push it, and I regret it a little bit, but whatever.

The point is, while there is nothing wrong with sleeping with moderately drunk girls, In My opinion, doing so after a parent dies and your trying to comfort them is sleazy.

If I were in your position, I'd just stop talking to the guy. Just forget about him. He doesn't need to know why you feel the way you do. Just start being a bitch to him.
posted by delmoi at 6:34 PM on February 20, 2006


As a guy who has been in a similar situation before, let me speak out. He probably knows that you think he took advantage. He possibly feels that what he did was wrong. He is almost definitely doesn't sit for hours listening to a female friend cry just because he wants to be friends.
Many man only have female friends in the hopes that she will some day "come around" I know I have suffered that delusion a time or two. Don't be too terribly angry if for a short time he fooled himself into thinking that you might find him attractive back.
Sometimes, people around here can be quick to ascribe the basest motives to someones actions.
posted by Megafly at 6:50 PM on February 20, 2006


Not all rape is of the "parking lot" variety. . . When she was sober, she said no. When it happened, she wasn't capable of giving consent. It *is* rape. The fact that she doesn't seem to be interested in pressing charges doesn't change what it is.

It’s a gradient. At one end you're incapable of even speaking, and at the other you can't even tell your drunk. If she feels like she was capable of giving consent then she was.

If this isn't rape, what do you call it when you have sex with somebody who has been slipped the date rape drug? How about sex with a minor? How about with somebody with severe mental handicaps? Just because the woman isn't kicking and screaming doesn't make it something other than rape.

Sex with a minor isn't rape, it's child molestation. The law treats a 14 year old the same way they do a 6 year old, which is a bit odd, but that's how the law is written.

Wow. That blog posting is good reading for anyone who has spent time thinking about and responding to the original post here.

Which is supposedly fictionalized (sanitized). Anyway, it does sound like they had sex again the next morning, which would definitely change things around anyway.

Yes, but most of the rest of us are taking her at 100% face value, so it should level out..

Well, you're also dropping certain things from her story and the blog post. The guy asked if she wanted to have sex, and she said no. He should have stopped trying at that point, given her situation.
posted by delmoi at 6:58 PM on February 20, 2006


To those arguing that this wasn't rape. That's a moot point, and you are arguing at nothing. The poster is only asking about her own feelings, and how she should proceed.
posted by delmoi at 6:59 PM on February 20, 2006


delmoi: not moot. It is clarifying whether the feelings are justified, whether those feelings are legitimate reactions to something that was his fault or that actually warrants genuine anger to which party. If you're angry at someone who committed a crime against you, it matters whether or not the crime was actually made, not how you feel about it. If a crime did not actually occur and it was her fault as much as his, then her feelings on the matter are moot.
posted by vanoakenfold at 7:11 PM on February 20, 2006


delmoi: not moot. It is clarifying whether the feelings are justified, whether those feelings are legitimate reactions to something that was his fault or that actually warrants genuine anger to which party

What? Feelings don't need to be justified, she's entitled to feel however she pleases.
posted by delmoi at 8:27 PM on February 20, 2006


And she doesn't feel that a crime was committed, so yeah, the rape discussion really is moot.
posted by Gator at 4:05 AM on February 21, 2006


This thread has aged, but...

Girlwonder, sorry for your loss. I read most of the thread, and I have no clue what the story of this guy is, but hey, consider that he may just be an awkward puppy who saw his (first?) chance. He may feel like a creep himself.

Please, let him know gently. He may even apologize when you go to talk to him. Maybe he's not interested in being a creep.

It isn't your place to worry about his problem. But you know what? Doing so gives you points of a saint. Such grace is rare these days. But wouldn't you rather accept that your friend isn't really such a big creep, that he just made a stupid mistake? Allowing him that allows him his manhood.
posted by Goofyy at 7:22 AM on February 21, 2006


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