Anal sex, not so great actually...
March 16, 2009 5:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm not sure where to go from here. I am confused, and I need some advice about my boyfriend's motivation. NSFW details inside.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years, and we have a great sex life. Fairly vanilla, a little bondage play, but nothing really kinky. I am more interested in kink than him, but he tries to accommodate me every once in a while.
This weekend, we were staying at a hotel for a friend's wedding. He suggested we shower together, and I agreed. In the bathroom, he offered to give me a back massage with lotion. I knelt down, and he began massaging me. Before I know it, I feel his erect cock in the vicinity of my ass. Previously, as in several months ago, we discussed the fact that neither of us is interested in pursuing any anal play. As I feel his penis there, I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish he ends up shoving himself into my ass with no preparation. I screamed in pain, and he immediately stopped and began apologizing profusely. He said that he didn't know anything about anal, as in needing to be prepped, lube, etc. I was sobbing and bleeding, and we took a shower together so I could calm down. He was washing me and telling me he loves me and the last thing he would want to do is hurt me. He said that he knows I am open to new things, and he wanted to surprise me. The look in his eyes was sincere, but part of me can't help feeling distant and violated.

I really want our relationship to continue. He begged me not to break up with him. I love this man, and this behavior was completely uncharacteristic. What would motivate him to do this, when I clearly voiced protest?

I keep thinking about it, and I fear that I am going to be slightly apprehensive during our subsequent sexual encounters. How can I come to terms with this event enough to have our relationship return to normal? He is open to couples' therapy. Or perhaps I am overreacting?

Any advice is welcome. Throwaway email is whatwhatinthebutt00@gmail.com.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (115 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: poster's request -- jessamyn

 
Hanlon's razor states: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

It sounds like this is something he may have been quietly interested in for a while, didn't know how to broach it with you, and he just got caught up in the moment, hoping you would like it. A serious mistake, yes, but not grounds for breaking up. If couples' therapy is what you're going to need to trust him again, go. Tomorrow.

Regardless of what happens, you need to tell him that what he did is monumentally stupid, potentially fatal to your relationship and that he must NEVER do something without your consent ever again.

He may be a fucking idiot, but he doesn't sound evil.
posted by Cobalt at 5:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


I can relate to this. I had something very similar happen with an ex-partner who repeatedly wouldn't take no for an answer, and I felt violated too. I never trusted him sexually again and it was the beginning of the end. So I definitely don't think you are overreacting. You forcefully said no and he went ahead and did it.

I also thought this was out of character for my ex, but he shocked me by explaining that in our relationship, no didn't really mean no, because I had apparently "forced" him to talk about an issue he did not want to deal with (unrelated). So, when I asked him not to do something, he couldn't really take me seriously, could he?

I would take a step back and re-evaluate things at the very least. Is he passive-aggressive and expressing anger by violating you?
posted by xenophile at 5:40 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honey, you were raped. It doesn't matter that he's your boyfriend. You said no, and he kept going anyway.

Would you stay with someone who hit you? Do not stay with this man. Please. Even if it never happened again, how could you ever trust him again?
posted by ocherdraco at 5:42 PM on March 16, 2009 [37 favorites]


I think the fact that he stopped IMMEDIATELY and apologized means that he is indeed sincere. Sometimes people just try to "do something as a surprise" and are very ham-handed about it or botch it completely, but their intentions are still very, very good ones. It sounds like that's what's going on here -- he wanted to surprise you by doing something kinky, and just totally botched it because he didn't know enough about what he needed to do. I don't know a person alive that hasn't botched a "surprise" because they didn't think it through enough.

Based on that fact ALONE, all things being equal, I'd say that it does sound like you're overreacting. BUT -- this is not to say that I think you are wrong to feel this way. On the contrary - it sounds like what he did may have triggered something else, and you may want to explore that.

In other words, you're freaked out, but what you're freaking out ABOUT may be a bit more of a complex issue, and you may want to reflect on why this freaked you out so much. It may not be about the surprise buttsex after all -- there may be another underlying issue that you didn't even know was there until somehow this got triggered. And it may not even be an issue you have with him at all -- it could be something about trust in general, or boundaries in general, or any one of a number of things.

And I'm not that surprised that you still are a little freaked out, because this only happened yesterday or the day before -- to paraphrase from a Questionable Content strip, you still need to give yourself a chance to metabolize the freaked-out mental chemicals. But I guarantee that he is just as freaked out about this as you are, and you're BOTH going to be a little apprehensive the next time you try having sex. But maybe a long, long talk before that about "okay, look, let's just lay some ground rules here about you not trying to 'surprise' me again for a while, mkay?" and that will help. A few times of more tender and "vanilla" encounters may settle you too.

The fact that he is open to couples' therapy is a sign that he really wants to make amends, but my hunch is that therapy may be more something you would want to explore yourself -- not becuase I think you're out of wack for that reaction, but it's more like, "hmmm, that reaction was a little out of proportion, I wonder whether something else is lurking in your psyche that you didn't know about."

He sounds like he wants to make things right. Remember that. And be patient with yourself as well. Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:42 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Um, what? I have no idea how anyone could be that fucking stupid. No, seriously. Does he want you to shove anything up his ass? I bet he doesn't. I don't understand how a sexually active man could be so naive as to think this would work.

You say that this is really uncharacteristic. I guess he could've gotten this idea from one of those hideous forums, or porn, or a TV show, or bad advice from a friend?

You're not overreacting. If I were you, I'd ask him EXACTLY WTF he was thinking, and not let him "be too embarrassed" or "I dunno" his way out of answering. His answer will hopefully illuminate whether you should dump him or forgive him and move on.
posted by desuetude at 5:44 PM on March 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


.....oooh, okay, I missed the part where you said that you said "no". That makes it a little dicier, and I need to amend my earlier comment...

I still think he was more "clueless" than malicious, and you'll need to have a talk. But I definitely take back my BS about you maybe having something else going on underlying, because...yeah.

I'm not as convinced that "he did it once and he'll do it again." But he does need to know he fucked up here. I think he really gets that he did, but definitely that's something to talk about and confirm with him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:46 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This guy has some serious learning to do about consent and mechanics before he has any business having sex with anyone. If the person you're having sex with says "no" you immediately stop. You do not penetrate them in a novel and because of your own poor understanding, painful manner as a fun surprise. If you're interested in hanging around to help him figure this out, I guess that's your call, but even if it was somehow an innocent mistake, do you really want to be with somebody that dumb?
posted by contraption at 5:50 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does he want you to shove anything up his ass?

This. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out how anal sex works, adn that some preparation is required. Your bf is a criminal, and should be happy you're only dumping him and not pressing charges.
posted by coolguymichael at 5:51 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Buy a strap on and peg him. If he's not willing to let you do it then dump him.
posted by Paris Hilton at 5:52 PM on March 16, 2009 [19 favorites]


Based on that fact ALONE, all things being equal, I'd say that it does sound like you're overreacting. BUT -- this is not to say that I think you are wrong to feel this way. On the contrary - it sounds like what he did may have triggered something else, and you may want to explore that.

Nuh uh. Nothing about your reaction was remotely unjustified or representative of your own issues. I don't think you're remotely overreacting.

It's going to have to be up to you to decide how much you trust your boyfriend's motivations and the honesty of his reaction here, but I can for sure say that I would have had a much more dramatic reaction than you seem to have had.
posted by you're a kitty! at 5:54 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I really find it difficult to believe he wouldn't realize you needed lube. You've been dating for 2 years, I would think he'd know the ins and outs of your holes and parts, know what I'm sayin? If you want to give him another chance, that's up to you, but I gotta go with a vote of stupid, willful violation.
posted by CwgrlUp at 5:54 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


It very well may have been a combination of getting caught up in the moment and being ignorant of the delicacy and preparation anal sex requires. You said you two discussed anal sex several months before, but maybe he just plum forgot! What really bothers me about this is that you said "no"—that should have resulted in immediate desistance, and it worries me that it didn't.

If you do truly want to stay with him, couples therapy is a good idea because a therapist will learn the entire background of your relationship and thereby be able to detect any abusive patterns you may not be picking up on. Also, it seems to me that sharing this sort of incident with a third party (i.e. a therapist) would be a good idea for a number of other reasons...

However, if anything remotely like this happens again, I think you would be a fool not to leave him as quickly as possible.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 5:56 PM on March 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I dont know, sometimes people, men particularly, just do stupid things. I have absoutely convinced myself that my partner would absolutely love great-idea-X when she has said just the opposite. It's something to do with getting instantaneously intoxicated on hormones. At best it's a passion killer, at worst deeply offensive! It's a lesson quikly learnt!
I am giving your Bf the benefit of the doubt here but i suspect he is deeply embarrassed by his faux pa. Unless you really suspect he is abusive then give him a chance to apologise and explain.
He may be as shocked and puzzled by his behaviour as you are.
posted by BadMiker at 5:56 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


What would motivate him to do this, when I clearly voiced protest?

He cared more about his own pleasure than respecting your lack of consent.
posted by aquafortis at 5:59 PM on March 16, 2009 [40 favorites]


Or perhaps I am overreacting?

You're not overreacting. Trying something new is fine, but shoving something into you with no warning is completely different. That is incredibly reckless and flat out stupid and he shouldn't be allowed anywhere near you. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you don't suddenly shove your dick in your girlfriend's ass with no warming or preparation, especially after you two talked about and agreed not to. THAT'S BASIC COMMON SENSE. You have every right not to trust him at the extreme least. So to repeat, you're not overreacting.

I can't fathom what the hell he was thinking. Jesus.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 PM on March 16, 2009 [12 favorites]


That's horrible, and I'm very sorry that happened to you. I can't speak to your boyfriend's motivations, but I know I'd have a HECK of a time trusting someone after that. And if the trust is gone, the relationship usually goes with it.

I would be inclined to think that it really was stupidity, but it's a little harder to believe considering that you had already told your boyfriend you had NO interest in anal sex. Also, it is pretty widely known that some preparation and care is generally involved. Unless you two are really young and inexperienced, it's hard for me to believe that he's never heard or read about that. Finally, you did say no so you would think that would have shocked him enough that he wouldn't have gone any further. So I dunno. I wish I could say that his intentions were good but I'm not sure I feel confident about that, I'm sorry to say.

I hope you have a friend (or two) you trust enough to talk about this to.
posted by mintchip at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2009


desuetude, I don't know whether you've seen a lot of porn meant for heterosexual men, but the anal sex scenes in 99.9999999999999999998% of them involve anal penetration with minimal, minimal prep. Lube barely makes any appearance, and no indication whatsoever of prepwork or that the ones who are getting the dildo/penis in the butt have had off-screen lubing or prepwork or prior experience. An inordinate number of them have scenes where a girl bends over, and whoops, well, there it is, and he just starts banging away, and it's her first time, but boy, she just loves it!

So yes, if his knowledge of anal sex comes from porn meant for heterosexual men, . I've had a couple well-intentioned and otherwise-knowledgeable partners who failed to grasp how much work can be involved.

This doesn't mean, though, that he didn't mess up spectacularly here. OP, it is totally understandable that you feel shocked and betrayed, particularly after the two of you had a discussion about how neither of you were interested in anal. This was not expected. It is not acceptable behavior.

At the same time, though, from your description, it sounds like he genuinely just. didn't. know. Talk to him and make absolutely clear that This Was Not OK. Clarify that this is not kink that you're interested in, find out exactly why he kept on going after you started to say No -- did he not hear it? what did he think you were saying? did he hear you say it, or did he get caught up in the adrenaline, which, by the way, is not an excuse, but only a fuckup that keeps it from being terrible --and make absolutely, absolutely, beyond a doubt sure that this was the result of a failure to communicate, not willful malice, like what xenophile experienced, and that it will not happen again.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:11 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that you don't suddenly shove your dick in your girlfriend's ass with no warming or preparation, especially after you two talked about and agreed not to. THAT'S BASIC COMMON SENSE. You have every right not to trust him at the extreme least. So to repeat, you're not overreacting.

this.

first, you said no—and that should be enough. but then second, to then say he didn't know anything about anal? that you needed lube? in 2009? from an adult man you've been seeing for two years? seriously, wtf. i call shenanigans on this dude. i would not be able to trust a guy who did this around my ladyparts ever again and sure hope you don't.
posted by lia at 6:12 PM on March 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


...I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish

It's difficult to be certain from the post, but it looks like she didn't actually get a chance to get the word out. This is still terrible judgment on the boy's part, but might make a difference in exactly *how* stupid he was being.
posted by amtho at 6:12 PM on March 16, 2009


Anon, please have a look at the "Was I Raped?" page at RAINN.

A few points from that page that seem relevant to your situation:
It doesn’t matter if you think your partner means yes, or if you’ve already started having sex — “No” also means “Stop.” If you proceed despite your partner’s expressed instruction to stop, you have not only violated basic codes of morality and decency, you may have also committed a crime under the laws of your state (check your state’s laws for specifics).
I used to date the person who assaulted me – does that mean it isn’t rape?

Rape can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship (sometimes called “date rape” or “acquaintance rape”), or even when the offender is the victim’s spouse. It does not matter whether the other person is an ex-boyfriend or a complete stranger, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex in the past. If it is nonconsensual this time, it is rape.
Even if you aren’t sure whether this was rape, please contact the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). It's free and confidential, and they'll be happy to talk with you about this.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:13 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


I think anyone saying he was being clueless about this is being very generous. He maybe didn't know what would be the appropriate procedure for anal sex, but anyone who continues doing what they're doing, when you've said no (not only during the act, but several months ago, too), is raping you. Doesn't matter if it's your friend or lover. No means no. Period, the end. Whether you choose to be with him or not is up to you, but I wouldn't call this a mistake. We don't call hitting people that we don't like a mistake, so we shouldn't call a man forcing his penis into you against your wishes one, either.

It doesn't really matter if he turned around and apologized. Regular abusers do that much. (Not saying he is an abuser all of the time, or even outside of this situation, but I am alerting you to the fact that saying sorry doesn't mean much if someone's chose not to listen to you, particularly when it comes to your physical well-being.) I also wouldn't put it past someone who says sorry so quickly to only be doing so because he's worried about getting caught doing something wrong. I mean, if you'd taken this to the police and gotten checked by a health practitioner, he would be dealing with a lot more than your anger and anxiety right now, I assure you.

Now, you haven't told us much here. More back story would allow us to better decide whether he was intentionally doing something or was just having a VERY, VERY INAPPROPRIATE lapse of thoughtfulness. Couples therapy is a must. Not only should you suss out what caused him to completely disregard your wishes, but you're also going to need help to get over it. To be honest, you may find that you still love him and forgive him for this, but you're not likely going to forget. This will affect your relationship.

If it were me, I would have contacted the police immediately. You will have to decide what's right for you, though.
posted by metalheart at 6:15 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Men like this make me mad. Goddamn it, it's not that fucking hard to remember: Tongue, Fingers, Toys, Cock. He might've had what he wanted if he only spent a few months working up to it very very carefully, but noooooooooo! Had to shove it right in! The whole "hey, let me give you a back massage" bit and then wham. Gah! Dollars to doughnuts he knew exactly what he was doing, and hoped that you'd just acquiesce. And no, guys don't "forget" conversations about anal. If you really love him and can forgive him and trust him, more power to you. But he doesn't DESERVE anal. Or vaginal, or oral.
posted by waraw at 6:17 PM on March 16, 2009 [17 favorites]


I think you have to walk away. There is getting caught in the moment and then there is shoving his dick in you so you were bleeding. Even assuming that because as you say "you forecefully say 'NO' but before I (meaning you) can finish...", he was confused (I am confused by reading that) well, not only does no means no, a person has to be totally freakin' clueless not to at least suss out that not no doesn't necessarily mean 'yes.'

He was into anal, no worries there. He was either too shy or too wimpy to verbalize it. I guess he thought that, you know the opportunity was there. So he was a gutless wonder who tried to get into your back door via the back door because he, as I said, had no guts.

W/o going into the whole 'no means no' and 'you were raped' issue, the dude has serious communications issues. We all do, but even people who aren't the greatest communicators kinda know it isn't wise to shove one's thingie up someone else''s butt without at least some prep and some prior warning.

I'm sorry but leads me to believe on so many levels that it is time to cut bait. Do it now. You'll feel bad but if you don't you'll really regret it two years from now.
posted by xetere at 6:19 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, whatever, it sounds like he's sincere and sorry and all; but the fact remains, he didn't listen when you said "no". WTF? If you're even thinking about staying with him then I think you need to find out why -- from him not us. Couples counselling may be an avenue for finding that out. If just because it's safe and there's someone else who I think we can say pretty definitively will be on your side. I wouldn't go in there looking for a couple-y solution, though: if you heard even the slightest dodgy thing come outta his mouth (including not hearing because he was "in the heat of the moment" etc -- that's poor impulse control and selfishness, and still dangerous), I'd be out the door. If he's got some whacko thought process going on behind this, then it's not couples counselling you guys want, it's counselling for him alone, before he goes on to "surprise" someone else similarly in his next relationship.

You can't have a good relationship without making yourself vulnerable to another person, and this guy's unfortunately just evidenced - for whatever reason, well-intentioned or not - that he's not responsible with another person's vulnerability. Far from being an overreaction, I don't know how you could go on seeing him *without* apprehension and ongoing underlying fear that he might do something as selfish/ill-conceived/stupid again.

Whatever you do, can you line up a counselling session for yourself? Not (just) couples therapy - I mean with him not present, so you can rant and rail at him as much as you need to, if you need to. It might help you clarify your thoughts.
posted by springbound at 6:21 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


There's no way I would continue a relationship with such a guy. I'd feel so violated and my trust would disappear so quickly, that there isn't a single thing in the world he'd be able to do to make it better. No "caught up in the moment" bullshit, no pleading for "stupidity and ignorance," no "we've been dating for this-and-this-many-aeons." You just don't do that.

My two cents.
posted by Bakuun at 6:22 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish"

So it was like "nnOWWWNoooo!"...? This is unclear. If he did it while you were No-ing he made a really bad mistake, and then stopped immediately. If you said no and he did it anyway he has some serious problems and you cannot let him off the hook without getting some evaluations to make sure he isn't abusive or dangerous. Only you can say for sure what the timing on it was, not any of the snap-judgment police squad here, but don't make excuses for him in your own recollection. What really occurred in what order?

Given that you are somewhat kinkier than him and his lack of experience, he possibly just thought he was being awesome and dominating in a way you like. Or he's a sick creep who prefers the resistance to be real rather than mutually planned. You've been together long enough, you likely know the answer already...sit yourself down and figure it out.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:25 PM on March 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


A wedding? The bachelors' party isn't the only place there's a lot of free-floating sexual hostility toward women when men are in a group together in all the gatherings surrounding a wedding.

He may have gotten caught up in some of that, and this act may not reflect his own basic nature.

Nevertheless, this is pretty serious, and cries out for exploration in couples therapy at least.
posted by jamjam at 6:26 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


My immediate impression was of cluelessness, not malice. I wonder if he's been watching porn, or some guy has told him "how much the chicks dig anal" or something else has piqued his curiousity and lead him to believe you would think this was wonderful & you'd respond like the girls in the porn do.

It sounds like this only took a few seconds...if you hadn't even managed to say the whole word NO before he'd penetrated, it sounds like he'd decided to make his move & make it fast. It also sounds like the stopped immediately when he realised he'd hurt you.
I hope he's that shocked at your reaction and ashamed of himself enough to NEVER do something like this ever again.

If this monumentally stupid act truly is uncharacteristic of his usual behaviour, and if you really do love him then by all means work through it. He needs to know you feel violated and betrayed and aprehensive and that he will have to regain your trust over time.

You're certainly not overreacting. The couples therapy might be great idea, especially if he has a tendacy to other selfish, reckless, unthougtful or unthought through actions, however mild they may seem.
posted by goshling at 6:28 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd like to draw attention to this: As I feel his penis there, I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish he ends up.

What does it mean "before I can finish"? Does that mean the OP just got the N sound out? Or does that mean she says the whole word, but hasn't finished articulating? If it's the latter, I take back what I said. If it's the former, I think the guy deserves some leeway. Yeah, he fucked up, and fucked up bad, but is he really a rapist? The discussion prior was that neither of them had any interest, not that he wanted to, but she was unwilling. He may have come away from the discussion with the impression that if either one of them was up for it, it might be on the table -- not that anal sex is something that should be entered into with anything short of full and explicit consent, but with just that and taken in combination with his subsequent behavior, I'm inclined to think it was all a terrible, stupid misunderstanding.

Again, OP. Talk to him. He's the one you're in the relationship with, not us judgey strangers on the Internet.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:32 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I simply cannot understand the "mistake" and "accident" responses when this description is one of sexual assault. If you continue to feel violated and scared and all of those other things, please seek counseling. You are not overreacting. Not even close.
posted by meerkatty at 6:32 PM on March 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Honey, you were raped. It doesn't matter that he's your boyfriend. You said no, and he kept going anyway.

Would you stay with someone who hit you? Do not stay with this man. Please. Even if it never happened again, how could you ever trust him again?


The condescension here ("honey"), and the tone-deafness (comparing his action to battery), is staggering. This is a guy who made a misjudgment (a rather inconsiderate misjudgment, but a misjudgment) about what was welcome, and you're seriously calling him a "rapist"? Please, get a grip.

This falls into the category of "sexual accidents and misunderstandings" -- a misunderstanding about what was welcome, and an accident in causing the pain. He just didn't know. It was an inconsiderate thing, but fundamentally forgivable as long as he doesn't do it again.
posted by jayder at 6:36 PM on March 16, 2009 [33 favorites]


What does it mean "before I can finish"? Does that mean the OP just got the N sound out? Or does that mean she says the whole word, but hasn't finished articulating?

It's understandable to be a bit confused from this description and seek clarification from the original poster. But it really doesn't matter. He did an indefensible thing. Seriously, there's was absolutely no reason for this to happen. He may not be complete scum or worse than Hitler, but his lack of not only knowledge and care, but basic common sense is beyond unreal. Seriously, does he shove it into her vaginally, with no warning? So what the hell is would make him think that her is designed for that?

Totally stupid and selfish.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:40 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Eh, there have been times when I have tried to get things more exciting in a long term relationship by ramping up the initiative/forcefulness in sexual situations all of a sudden, and sometimes this has turned out good, and sometimes embarrassingly badly, so maybe I understand what your b/f was up to a bit, but, seriously, putting my cock in someone's ass who didn't specifically ask for it, and who had actually said "No thanks" previously, would be too crazy for me and I wouldn't try that on even when supremely drunk, so I guess I second the people above who suggest he might be somewhat naive / have watched too much porn.
posted by cincinnatus c at 6:43 PM on March 16, 2009


You're reacting to an emotionally and physically painful violation (literally) of your trust. You're not over or under reacting, you're reacting in exactly the way that someone who is getting over their trust (and butt) having been broken would react. There's no right or wrong way to deal with this, other than the obvious "don't drink yourself into a stupor if you have to drive home" and such.

It sounds like couples' therapy could be useful both in helping move past this incident and in helping draw boundaries for what kind of sexual things you two want to explore and what are totally, totally non-negotiable No Fly Zones. It sounds like you tried to be clear on this and he misinterpreted your interest in kink, or didn't understand that this was a hard boundary. From what you say, he really didn't know what he was doing - and perhaps a therapist can help you two create strategies so that when you do want to try something, you'll talk about it enough first so that you'll work out things like "Wait, who's going to hold the pineapple?"

Or, you know, you don't want to get over it and you break up. Which is also totally valid.

To me, these are your options: get professional help. Break up. I can't see a healthy middle ground in this particular instance, since he went ahead with his plans (or lack thereof) after you two had previously had lengthy discussions on your own. He needs help in more ways than just "No is not sexy for Yes." He needs to understand that serious discussions are not recaps of last night's episode of Lost, open for re-interpretation later. Whether you want to be the one to help him get this or not is up to you.

FWIW, I was in a relationship with a partner who once forced me to do something sexually when I had repeatedly said no. I'm still not sure if this qualifies as "date rape" or not - it's not like there's a clear line in every situation where if you put a toe over it you've gone from "sketchy and bad" to "RAPE!" Anyhow, we didn't immediately break up - and then we did - and then we got back together, and yeah, I could kind of get over it, but it wasn't a relationship that, in the end, was worth the effort I put in to fixing it. I don't regret working things out, but things might have been a lot easier if I HAD bailed after "the incident."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:46 PM on March 16, 2009


It was an inconsiderate thing, but fundamentally forgivable as long as he doesn't do it again.

Unless there was something the OP said or did to make him think she wanted anal penetration, their previous discussions should not have escaped his mind. His judgment should not have been so clouded as to ignore her previous wishes, and his actions should not have been so mindblowingly selfish.

"Really honey, I forgive you for totally ignoring everything I've said before on the subject and forcing yourself onto me when I wasn't expecting it at all, making me bleed. I really love you."

Uh, no.
posted by Bakuun at 6:48 PM on March 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


wtf? cocks do not end up in asses by accident

I've, umm ... mis-aimed before. Beyond the suggestion that this is an accident in the realm of judgement, I'd just like to throw out the idea that he had the wrong hole. I know it can sound silly but consider that the original post did not give details such as whether alcohol (or other sbustances) were consumed, lights were on or off, exact position of bodies etc etc.

I don't want to defend either viewpoints but it seems like there's a lot of heavy statements thrown around in here considering the lack of detail to the original post.
posted by mannequito at 6:51 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


it's not like there's a clear line in every situation where if you put a toe over it you've gone from "sketchy and bad" to "RAPE!"

Well I think "No" is pretty clear. Unfortunately in this situation it seems like he was right on it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:54 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


desuetude, I don't know whether you've seen a lot of porn meant for heterosexual men, but the anal sex scenes in 99.9999999999999999998% of them involve anal penetration with minimal, minimal prep.

joyceanmachine, I am familiar, which is why i mentioned porn as a possibility for where he got this really fucking stupid idea.

Here's the other thing, though. To penetrate one's ass, dry, one must shove. Hard. There is not the level of natural lubricant produced by that good vanilla sex he'd been previously privileged to have. So the idea that his dick could ooops! slip right in! just like the porno! would've been disproved immediately, before there was any actual penetration.
posted by desuetude at 6:55 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


The look in his eyes was sincere, but part of me can't help feeling distant and violated.

The two are not mutually exclusive. You were violated, and all the sincere remorse in the world doesn't stop that fact from existing.

What would motivate him to do this, when I clearly voiced protest?

I don't know, and neither does anyone else on MetaFilter. The only person who can answer that question is your boyfriend. I would suggest that he make it his highest priority to give you a satisfactory answer, even if it is one neither you nor he likes.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:57 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, my bad. I spent so long reading the comments I forgot the part where he admitted he wanted to surprise her.

Yeah, that's pretty bad. I'd vote with the get the hell out of this relationship crowd, unless you are seriously in love and ready to work through it. I doubt it can just be forgotten.
posted by mannequito at 6:58 PM on March 16, 2009


I'm sorry this happened to you.

Was he drunk or high? That's no excuse, but maybe an explanation.
posted by sixcolors at 7:00 PM on March 16, 2009


Speaking as a guy, this guy knew exactly what he was doing. The shower, the massage, the oops I shoved my dick in you but since it's there already you're going to like it now right hmmm did you say something?

Feh. Run, do not walk, away. He raped you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:00 PM on March 16, 2009 [18 favorites]


Speaking as a guy, this guy knew exactly what he was doing. The shower, the massage, the oops I shoved my dick in you but since it's there already you're going to like it now right hmmm did you say something?

Why did he stop?
posted by tristeza at 7:05 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


This:
"Here's the other thing, though. To penetrate one's ass, dry, one must shove. Hard. There is not the level of natural lubricant produced by that good vanilla sex he'd been previously privileged to have." This is 100% true. It takes a bit of effort to get anything up an ass.
Mis-aim? Sure, if he hadn't actually penetrated, I could have bought that. (Lights off? COME ON.) He admitted he wanted to surprise her, so he can't cop that he hit the wrong orifice.

Unless the OP didn't actually get out the whole word No, it seems pretty clear he simply chose to carry on with his plans hoping she'd like it. You can call it rape, you can call it a glaring error for which he is hugely sorry, but in either case he knew her opinion on it and he chose to override it.
posted by 8dot3 at 7:09 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Reading this thread makes me want to cry.
- this is not "taking the initiative"
- this is not "trying something new"
- accidents do not involve a hard penis being forced into the dry, unlubed ass of a girlfriend who is getting a massage
- you are not unnecessarily freaking out about some other issue and using this as an excuse (it is not your fault to have a reaction to this, it's not necessarily about something else, your response is YOUR response, you have a right to respond to this incident on its own)
- this is not stupidity (he is an adult male in 2009 in a sexual long-term relationship, he knows a very minuscule amount of how bodies work, at the very least his own)
- being drunk or high or with rowdy guys all day is not even close to a lousy excuse for an excuse. It means nothing.
- it does not matter if you said, "Nuh" and couldn't get out NO before he'd already penetrated you. It does not matter if you said no before or during the act. (It is not your fault for not adequately protecting your asshole during a massage by your boyfriend, or anticipating his behavior. What, are people expecting that you should have had a "NO" all ready to use before his penis got there?)
- this does not fall under the category of "sexual misunderstandings and mistakes" (which do happen, in consenual acts, which requires conversations, and which requires a 'misreading.' There was no misreading here.)

Doing anything new -- EVEN IN A RELATIONSHIP -- does not just require saying no. Especially so when you've already negated the very idea previously. Especially so if you DO say no. Doing anything new -- especially like anal sex -- requires EXPLICIT CONSENT. Which you obviously did not give, and would not have given (at that moment).

HE DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT POWER AND CONSENT. If you really want to work on this with him, I'm sure it is conceptually possible. But your relationship will change. And you will change. And figuring out begins as soon as you call a friend or a therapist. And please make sure you are OK health-wise. I'm totally serious.

Take care of yourself. Please reach out to a friend. Just call them and blurt out, "I have something really hard to say, I don't know how to say it, I'm just going to say it, I need to hear someone's advice."

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. You are not under- or over-reacting. Trust in a relationship is always a big deal. No matter what happened, he hurt you unnecessarily and broke that trust. I'm so sorry.
posted by barnone at 7:11 PM on March 16, 2009 [84 favorites]


Based on that fact ALONE, all things being equal, I'd say that it does sound like you're overreacting.

Based on the fact that the OP said "No", I do not see any "overreacting" here.

Now, is this guy a horrible bad person? I wouldn't make that judgment on this alone. Does this relationship need to end? I wouldn't make that judgment on this alone.

But he needs to learn that when people say "No" that's what they mean (barring previously-negotiated play scenarios). And the OP needs to rebuild trust in the guy, if the OP wants to continue the relationship, and that isn't going to happen instantaneously.

The rule is to stop when the person says "No," not when they scream and sob in pain (barring previously-negotiated play scenarios). Stopping when the partner screams and sobs in pain doesn't make him an especially thoughtful person who deserves a break.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:12 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


If anyone made me bleed from the butthole, we would not be friends.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:15 PM on March 16, 2009 [20 favorites]


barnone's comment is spot-on, IMHO.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:16 PM on March 16, 2009


People are going to hate me, but...

First, your boyfriend is fucking stupid. How the hell does he expect to be a good boyfriend if he starts doing something that you both discussed and weren't into, without broaching it with you first. Fucking stupid.

Next...
As I feel his penis there, I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish he ends up shoving himself into my ass with no preparation.

Ok. The word "No" is a pretty short word. I can't think of any word that has a stronger meaning or uses less time to say.

Did you say "NO" first, or did he start first?

If you said "NO" first, then yes...RAPE.

BUT...if he started and THEN you said "NO" (which I seem to think is the case since you don't EXPLICITLY say that you said no first...and even say "i forcefully say 'no', but before i can finish"), then YES...it CAN be construed as rape, but i think its stupidity. fucking stupid.

I also think its freaking stupid if he's rubbing lotion in your ass putting his penis near there and you're off in la-la land. The fact that he stopped immediately makes me THINK that perhaps he's more stupid than malicious...but dude...what the fuck?

If you feel you can trust him in the future, you need to talk to him and work stuff out with him (if you want to). If you don't trust him...regardless of whether you said "no" first, or he acted first...then you gotta drop him. The relationship will ONLY get worse from here.

The issue here isn't whether you love him or not...but do you STILL trust him. I think that it should be directly correlated with whether you want to continue a relationship with him.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:36 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


What does it mean "before I can finish"? Does that mean the OP just got the N sound out? Or does that mean she says the whole word, but hasn't finished articulating?

Does this even matter? They'd discussed anal sex before, and she'd said she wasn't interested. For him to do this to her, with no warning or lubricant, and then to say he wanted to "surprise" her is totally sick. She may be open to new things, but she'd told him before that she wasn't open to this.

Whether she got the word "no" out then or not is irrelavent. She'd gotten it out prior to this event. It can be said that he forgot she didn't like the sounds of it, but if that's the case, you'd talk about it again, not just shove it in.
posted by metalheart at 7:39 PM on March 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


hal_c_on, she did say "back massage", not "asshole massage". I get that you think that his introduction of lotion and a massage is for lubing her up without her realising he's doing it, but I think equally it could be understood as attempting to relax her.
posted by springbound at 7:41 PM on March 16, 2009


From your description, what he did was calculated. It doesn't matter how sorry he was. If you plan to stay with him then you need to be aware that he may do something else and follow up in the same manner: apologies, please don't break up with me, etc. This is nothing for you to take for granted. People show you what kind of people they are, they do not TELL you. Telling you he's sorry does not mean you are safe from future outrageous and abusive behaviors.

If he indeed is an abusive person, it often starts out just as you described: an uncharacteristic act that is shocking to you and appears to be shocking to him. There are often tears on both sides and the abuser will beg you to forgive him and not break up. Sometimes the abuser does the whole "flowers/dinner/gifts/extraordinary kindness" thing as well. Again, its up to you if you want to give him another chance- I can understand your wanting to do so, despite what any of us might think you should do, but this time make sure your eyes are open to this behavior so that you won't have to wonder if you should leave.

By the way, you may want to talk to his previous girlfriends, if you know any of them, to see if he ever did things like this to them. It doesn't have to sexual things- anything that he knew he had no right to do but did anyway and then apologized his way through. Also, think back to other of his actions you may have written off before so you can have a clear picture of who you are dealing with. If this is an escalation of a history of little violations, then you may need to really consider leaving him or at least protecting yourself somehow.
posted by Piscean at 7:49 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


>Based on that fact ALONE, all things being equal, I'd say that it does sound like you're overreacting.

Based on the fact that the OP said "No", I do not see any "overreacting" here.


Sidhedevil, A couple comments later is my "d'oh, I missed where you said 'no', that's a different situation" retraction. Just for the record.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 PM on March 16, 2009


You're never going to trust this guy again even if it was an "accident," which it was not. Get out.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:07 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't think we can tell you what to do, or whether it was rape or what. I think we can give you some idea of what you can think about in coming to terms with this.

First you are not overreacting. If you feel it, it exists. So don't doubt your own feelings. Also, don't doubt your own analysis. You know him, not us, and if you think he's sincere, he is 99% likely to be sincere, unless you have a history of getting fooled by people.

I think that you need to figure out what exactly you want out of a relationship and then decide if this can still provide you with what you want. I'd start by writing down your dealbreakers. Then your negotiables--stuff you can work with getting some but not all.

Now evaluate your dealbreakers in light of what happened. Do you feel like you can still trust him on those? Keep checking every few days as you process the feelings you have. Same with the negotiables. Can you trust him on being a good faith partner on those? Keep checking every few days. At some point it will all settle down and you will know.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:12 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: But you are making the classic mistake that this whole "no" culture assumes. Because you were assuming that if she didn't say no (your first response), then it was just a mistake, she's the one with something else going on in her head, and is over-reacting. Yes, you reversed course once you realized that she did say NO.

Where this line of reasoning goes totally wrong is that LACK OF A NO DOES NOT MEAN YES. Just because she did not say no doesn't make it okay. Do you see the difference? Consent requires explicit assent.

And I'm sure some people think that's boring, or too much work in a relationship, or makes everything so 'constructed' and ruins the flow, and isn't sexy, and isn't in the moment, and is awkward. To which I would say: you're wrong. You can learn otherwise. And in the meantime, the conversation DID come up before. She did not give consent. She said no. Months ago. Outside of sexy-time.

No means no. Silence does not equal yes.

"Inconsiderate" is an appropriate word for someone that habitually wastes your time, maybe standing you up at the movies, never helping around the house, never thinking of you. Shoving a hard penis in a dry asshole takes some effort; if it was enough to make it bleed, it was pretty damn rough.

"A surprise" is generally super exciting. Getting something you really wanted (but wouldn't get for yourself), or just something out of the blue that shows your partner was thinking about you. Bleeding from the anus while crying in a shower and now having to tell him something like, "it's okay, I'm ok" is not generally a welcome surprise.

The above comments about taking a closer look at your relationship are spot-on. Sometimes things like this set a new 'threshold' in your relationship. What if something like it happens again, just not *quite* as bad? Or something just a little worse, but he's even more freaked out and apologetic?

There is another myth that these things are always apparent in the beginning of a relationship. This is not true. Lots of different kinds of new dynamics - both good and bad - change during the course of time.

I don't know what you should do. I wouldn't presume to be able to see the nuts and bolts of your relationship. Or know what got into your otherwise loving partner. And frankly, you probably can't right now either. It wouldn't be out of left field to go stay with a friend for a week while you sort out yourself, or ask him to leave for a week while you stay at home. You don't have to decide everything at this moment. You don't have to name "it" or determine what side of any line it falls on.

But you do have to decide one thing. And that is calling a friend or a health center tomorrow. Again, you don't have to know what to say. Your heart will race. You might feel ashamed. You might try to justify it and say you don't want anything to happen to him and you just want to know what to do. That's all ok. You can even just READ outloud what you wrote above.

Because the worst thing is for you to sort through this huge breach of trust alone.

And finally, a little suggestion that if you are still bleeding it's not too late to get checked out. Even a short incident can lead to physical scarring and that's the last thing you need.

No means no. Silence does not equal yes.
posted by barnone at 8:37 PM on March 16, 2009 [28 favorites]


Poster, you were raped, he didn't make a stupid mistake, and although (as others have noted) a hard cock can mistakenly push into places it isn't wanted (by owner & partner both), it doesn't, can't, never will "accidentally" force its way through a resisting, tissue-tearing, "NO"-shouting partner's sphincter.

The penis, despite its much-touted one-eye, is pretty damn blind, and fairly clueless, and when hard every opening feels like a good opening to it. I've accidentally knocked at the wrong door before with girlfriends; they warn me off quickly (and with a note of panic, sometimes - because previous boyfriends have tried the "whoops!" excuse), and Mr. Penis gets repositioned where he belongs.

He knew what he was doing, and did it anyway. "Gee, I was too stupid to know that forcing my penis into your butt against your wishes & protests was a bad thing" is a lame-assed lying excuse.

DTMFA.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:07 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


metalheart,as I pointed out above, there's a difference between No, under no circumstances am I interested in anal penetration of any sort and neither of us is interested in pursuing any anal play. Sure, the second encompasses the first, and the second sure as hell should not be taken as grounds for, "HEY, LEMME STICK IT IN!!!!", but the second leaves open the possibility that the guy walked away with the message that they weren't engaging in anal sex because neither of them felt a particular desire to explore it, and therefore, he might think that it's OK to give it a shot if he did.

Granted, that's a rather charitable interpretation, and like I said, is no reason to just go and stick it into somebody, but it's not outside the realm of plausibility.

desuetude, I think we differ on whether the porn makes it a little bit more understandable. You don't seem to think it offers much, whereas I do. We agree that porn is a really crappy guide to what sex in the real world is like, but I don't think it's inconceivably naive if a incredibly and ridiculously widespread element looks true to somebody who's never had any experience in that direction.

Also, as distasteful as it is to talk about degrees of un-asked for sexual penetration, as if less than full penetration makes things better, the butt doesn't lubricate itself, as you pointed out. Whatever lotion he might have slapped on it while lotioning her back up, it certainly wasn't enough. Consequently, combined with the fact that she'd never had anal sex before, it wouldn't take a lot of penetration to cause a whole world of pain. In combination with her totally understandable fear and shock, he wouldn't have had to penetrate her deeply at all in order to cause a lot of pain.

Again, the fact that he didn't get much into her doesn't make his actions a good idea in any way, shape or form. But it's not as incompatible with the "he's a moron, he's a moron, oh God, somebody hit him with a clue" explanation as you seem to make it out to be.




God, I hate feeling like the apologist for an action where the generous explanation is that the guy was acting like a galactic-class idiot, but the DTMFA crowd is out in force and doing so with even less knowledge about the whole situation than usual. I mean, how the hell does a stranger in the Internet, whose sole experience of the OP is a couple hundred words, know with blazing certainty that the OP is never going to trust somebody who has been in her life for two years and who she claims to care very deeply about again?

The only other thing I'm putting in this thread is to say to the OP that even if you decide to end the relationship, please, please, please don't use the end of that relationship as a reason to ignore/not work through feelings of pain and betrayal. Your relationship with him would be over, but those feelings may not be, and they could wreak havoc on future relationships/sexual encounters.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:15 PM on March 16, 2009


No means no. I don't know how you accidentally put your dick in someones ass, while they forcefully say no. I've had enthusiastic sex with my partner in which I accidentally hurt her, I stopped immediately. That is the key word here, immediately. If in your mind he didn't respond to your plea immediately you've got a problem. That is my honest take on the matter, for what it's worth.
posted by nola at 9:18 PM on March 16, 2009


waraw writes "Goddamn it, it's not that fucking hard to remember: Tongue, Fingers, Toys, Cock."

Not speaking to the OP's situation, but I've dated a several women who weren't into tongues or fingers or lube or toys, and who despite my wanting to introduce those things, preferred (vaginal or anal) sex without prelude (or with foreplay only for me).

In all cases, liberal, college educated, "liberated" women without obvious hang-ups.

I in general enjoy providing foreplay, and eventually, in some cases, and after talking them into it, I was able to overcome initial reservations, and my partners found they enjoyed that.

Now I'm not by any means saying "most women don't want foreplay". What I am saying is that all women are different, and no one way of doing things is "obvious". Some women aren't into foreplay, or have hang-ups about it. Some women insist on stuff that others consider degrading. Some demand lots of foreplay. But there's no one size fits all.
posted by orthogonality at 9:24 PM on March 16, 2009


The very first time I anally penetrated a lover (with my fingers) it was consensual, something we were both interested in exploring, and I still managed to make her bleed, and she felt horrible and violated and cried. In that case, we were both clueless feebs about lube, and so many other things. Since then, having learned more, I have had perfectly nice anal sex.

Clearly your sweetie screwed up. Clearly he knows it. If you need a therapist's help to talk it through, get that--it can really help to have a calm, non-engaged person when you're having tough conversations. But I think you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater if you just dump him over this.

As far as your own mixed feelings--wanting to stay with him, but worried about trusting him in future sexual encounters--give yourselves some time with that. You may not leap gleefully back into bed with him for the hottest rockin' sex you've ever had--but you can rebuild a good sexual relationship, if that's what you both want, and if he has learned what he needs to learn from this about "surprises" and communication and lubrication.
posted by not that girl at 9:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This has been rather polarizing, but rather than try to read between the lines of the original post, here are my two cents:

Anal sex is not that hard to misunderstand. It's slightly counter-intuitive that the rectum doesn't produce lubrication of any kind, so for someone who hasn't learned this (say if you're an idiot who wants to have anal sex but hasn't read up on it), I can easily see how this kind of ignorance could lead to damage without harmful intent.

I would suggest to the OP that if she believes this was truly a horrible error of judgement on her boyfriend's part, and not a deliberate attempt to control her body for his own purposes, that it is probably worth trying to work this out, and that she will learn to trust him again.

If it was truly a mistake on his part, and he is repentant, he will understand and be willing to wait, and will be much more sensitive in the future.
posted by crickets at 9:49 PM on March 16, 2009


I *cough* have known male friends who have, during the tender act of fuck, received a surprise, and very much unwelcome finger penetration from previous lovers. In all cases this involved immediate cessation of said tender act, and lots of frightening man yelling. For short-term girls and one-night stands it resulted in insta-rejection, of the go-find-your-own-ride-home variety. For no long-term girls did it involve any termination of relationship or serve as a plausible catalyst for the eventual breakdowns of those relationships. The guys were obviously genuinely pissed at the time, but got over it quickly. Just one more story to tell. Some seemed to appreciate the kinkiness this communicated about their gfs, even if they did not appreciate this particular, and dumb, try at kinkiness.
posted by dgaicun at 10:55 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I very much disagree with the folks who think this situation was a simple, dumb mistake. The shower, the massage, the entire situation seems to have been very deliberate.

I am second barnone's advice on this one.
posted by anthropoid at 11:14 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


You are over-reacting. More specifically, you are NOT over-reacting, but you are not over-reacting to the wrong thing, which is going to screw your judgement.
If I may grossly exaggerate, you are being the MeFi woman who feels that her husband is trying to kill her because the swinging boom knocked her overboard. The physical experience is identical to the experience of someone trying to kill her at sea, and she reacts to that - it was a traumatic experience, and she was brought face-to-face with how completely vulnerable she was.
But in both cases, because there is also a perfectly harmless - and arguably more likely - explanation, the key issue for the purposes of decisions and calibrating reactions, is reacting to the intent, not to the trauma.

Now, here's a plausible account of what happened, or, dare I say, what did actually happen:

You are the kinkier of the two. You have done everything to let him know that you're satisfied, but believe me, deep down he still thinks that that's just reassurance. (Perhaps he's right, I wouldn't know.)
So he thinks he should try to spice things up. Now a funny thing I've noticed about sexual communication, is that if you do something together, people quickly learn firsthand what their partner likes, but if you haven't tried it together, all sorts of strange misconceptions and assumptions can come into play subtly and easily, and can persist uncorrected a long time. So I don't know how he got the idea, but it doesn't surprise me that he thought this was something you might like. Maybe when you were talking about your uninterest in anal, what he heard was "It's something I've never tried", and thus he had found a "spice" where he could take the lead and become the kinky lover.
The idea to do it as a surprise is daft, but it also wouldn't surprise me if you've expressed some interest in unexpected lovemaking or surprise romantic gestures or sex in unexpected places - or expressed something else entirely that he has taken to mean this.

Now, he doesn't know much about anal sex, having never done it, and not had all that much interest, but he knows that a lot of hetro guys think it's awesome, so it's a pretty safe kink to try. Presumably he reads a little bit about anal sex beforehand. I don't know if you've noticed, but the only things ever normally explicity mentioned about preparation for anal sex are (1) "make sure she's relaxed" - so he plans a massage, relaxed - check! And (2) "use plenty of lube" - which in order to keep it a surprise, he does via the shower with the lotion. Lube - check! Other stuff about prep is at best, sometimes hinted at. I don't think I've ever seen it overtly explained, and I'm not sheltered. As a somewhat non-kinky hetro male who isn't huge on ass, he doesn't really have much chance of picking up much more than what he did.
Getaway weekend, hotel room, everything is perfect.

Sexual surprises, of course, are only a good idea when your talking in bed, already turned on. In the real world, with your mind on something else, they are unlikely to work out. SO fast-forward to disaster, the whole thing turns to custard. As soon as he realises there is problem (which is not as soon as you realise there is a problem) - he stops IMMEDIATELY and does everything he can to fix what he broke.

So if that's the scenario, then you wouldn't want to ditch him over it.

"How can I come to terms with this event enough to have our relationship return to normal? He is open to couples' therapy. Or perhaps I am overreacting?"

Recognise that you are responding to the trauma, because the incident was - for you - physically indistinguishable from abuse. But recognise that the trauma is misleading - sometimes life just happens - it was just a perfect storm of innocent-stupid that resulted in an accident of unusual nastiness. Like the woman being knocked off the boat by the swinging boom, sometimes things happen in a way that is really awful, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything, sometimes the cookie just crumbles in a way that is horrible. Shit Happens.
If his intentions weren't bad, focus on that. Perhaps it's kind of sick, but reverse the scenario so he is in your shoes and you in his - perhaps you lean over to kiss him while driving, and you accidentally drive into and kill his niece who just ran out into the street. He would be shocked and traumatised, but he wouldn't start to wonder if you were someone else, or someone capable of murder. He would recognise it as a terrible thing - a terrible thing of your making, and of your stupidity, and he would need time, but he would recognise that it shouldn't change the relationship, it was created by the relationship but does not reflect on it. (And he would recognise that you must be going through your own hell too).
posted by -harlequin- at 11:31 PM on March 16, 2009 [13 favorites]


No one should be telling you whether you were raped or not, particularly on here. It is up to you to define what happened. Both your instincts to seek professional help are spot on. He seems to have grasped the seriousness of his action, albeit too late. Only the two of you know what happened. An impartial third party can help you hash out what went wrong. Most of all, it will help you deal with the trauma and the trust issues. If he refuses to go afterall, then he really is a lost cause, but you should certainly seek counseling yourself.

Just remember that this is your life and you are the final judge. Get all the facts first. Good luck.
posted by anniek at 12:19 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


One cannot assume another person's motivation, so it seems particularly dangerous to ask a roomful of strangers to do it. I'm guessing that the answer lies somewhere in what you're not telling us, which has to do with the non-sexual aspects of your relationship. The guy responded to your reaction in a way that seems consistent with an otherwise caring person; is that how he is generally? You've been with the guy for a couple years, so I don't see how you judge this outside the context of the rest of the relationship. If he's an ass who lies and has no respect for you, this is probably a nefarious act; if he's an otherwise good guy whose feelings you have no other reason to doubt, it's more likely a bad misjudgment.

Part of growing as a couple is stumbling over each other in various clumsy and embarrassing ways, not made easier by the eternal mystery of 'what does he or she want'?

I'm pretty creeped out by the charges of rape being thrown about here. It seems an insult to women who have been raped to apply the label of rapist to someone who stops what he is doing at the first sign of your distress.
posted by troybob at 1:16 AM on March 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think harlequin hit it, with a slight caveat.

This isn't JUST about anal sex. It is very very much about trust. If you can move forward in the relationship, which no one on AskMe is qualified to say, make sure he gets that you hurt your trust waaaay more than any other part of you.

If you can't work through it, you can't. End of story.
posted by OrangeDrink at 1:34 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


um, try not to read too much into peoples interpretation of a few lines you wrote, to explain a very delicate situation. people should not be using the R word on here.
i'd say he likes you a lot, thats a good thing.
posted by edtut at 2:56 AM on March 17, 2009


You know, this thread is a great example of why you should never expect the interweb to help you deal with trauma; all you get is a whole lot of extreme sensation back.

I sincerely hope you havent got the police involved, unless you are very very certain that it was malicious, viscous and premeditated.

I hope you havent run from him, without talking about it and being sure that you understand what happened.

There's a lot of (very extreme) opinion being expressed here; really this is the last thing you need. Like Harlequin says; this is seriously traumatic and it's going to take a while to sort it all out. Go away, if you can, get some time and some space to get perspective on what's going on.

Whatever you do; dont trust your intimacies to strangers.
posted by BadMiker at 3:06 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


This falls into the category of "sexual accidents and misunderstandings" -- a misunderstanding about what was welcome, and an accident in causing the pain. He just didn't know. It was an inconsiderate thing, but fundamentally forgivable as long as he doesn't do it again.
posted by jayder at 6:36 PM on March 16


jayder, I'm assuming you're male, so picture this reverse scenario: your girlfriend offers you a backrub, and then out of the blue, rams a dildo up your ass. Still a "sexual accident", and fundamentally forgivable?

And yeah, by the textbook definition of rape, that's what this was.

Forgive the guy, if you want, explain, if you think it will help, but remember that he's either stupid and inconsiderate enough to do this after you'd told him no (twice, and whomever upthread said that guys NEVER forget anal sex conversations was absolutely right), or willing to "try out" something you've already said no to. What else that you've forbidden will he just whip out in the future because he thinks he knows what you'll like more than you do?
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 4:17 AM on March 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


We can't know if boyfriend is just mind-numbingly stupid, or if he has darker motivations, but one can try to apply some logic:

They had an earlier conversation in which they both agreed that they weren't interested in trying anal, but apparently he was very interested, after all. Did he lie the first time? Why?

Knowing she was not interested in trying it, he decided to "surprise" her. Who was that surprise more likely to benefit?

He explains that he knows she's into trying new things, but this particular new thing is something she already said she wasn't into trying. So, he reasons, let me just forcefully and suddenly do this potentially painful and frightening new thing you've told me you don't want to do... as a surprise! For you!

It just doesn't look very reassuring to me.
posted by taz at 4:39 AM on March 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


To barnone:

Where this line of reasoning goes totally wrong is that LACK OF A NO DOES NOT MEAN YES. Just because she did not say no doesn't make it okay. Do you see the difference? Consent requires explicit assent.

And I'm sure some people think that's boring, or too much work in a relationship, or makes everything so 'constructed' and ruins the flow, and isn't sexy, and isn't in the moment, and is awkward. To which I would say: you're wrong. You can learn otherwise. And in the meantime, the conversation DID come up before. She did not give consent. She said no. Months ago. Outside of sexy-time.

No means no. Silence does not equal yes.


I'm not actually saying "it was okay," though. What I'm saying is more, "the situation is not okay, but let's be clear about precisely WHAT was not-okay about it."

The fact that the guy stopped IMMEDIATELY when she clearly said "no", apologized profusely, and is open to counseling is what is stopping me short of calling this "rape". It was a MONUMENTAL fuck-up, yes, and is an incident that should inspire a LOT of talk between them, but...I'm still not seeing this as outright rape. Yes, they did both say "no" in that earlier conversation. But we all have no way of knowing precisely how that conversation went down, precisely what else may have happened in the interim, or precisely what the tone of that conversation was; and it is possible that he may have misinterpreted that "no."

Mind you, I am NOT -- ABSOLUTELY NOT -- advocating the "'no' sometimes means 'yes'" defense. Instead, I'm noticing that he should have gotten the "no", but for some reason he didn't -- and that is why this is worth a talk between the OP and her boyfriend. Maybe he really IS that clueless (some people really, really can be). Maybe he overheard her say something later on that he grossly misinterpreted. Maybe that earlier conversation was more vague to him than it was to her. We don't know that. Right now, the only person who knows what he was thinking and why in that moment was him, and before I dismiss him as a rapist I'd like to know whether there might have been anything else going on in his head that lead him to think that this might actualy be okay.

And because of that, I am erring on the side of caution in calling this rape -- as has been observed in here earlier, only the OP gets to define whether it was or was not, and the rest of us should back off that -- and advocating a long conversation about "what the HELL were you thinking", so the OP can find out what he WAS thinking and why, and deciding how to proceed from there. It's very possible that what she hears will make her decide "wow -- okay, you're fucked up, dude, I'm out of here" and that's that. It's also possible that they sort out a weird nest of miscommunication and misunderstandings on his part and she decides "okay, he REALLY fucked up, but I have a hunch this is an isolated incident based on him being a TOTAL IDIOT" and she chooses to work things out. But the only way to find out is to have a long talk with him about what the hell he was thinking and then decide from there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty creeped out by the charges of rape being thrown about here. It seems an insult to women who have been raped to apply the label of rapist to someone who stops what he is doing at the first sign of your distress.

I am only one of the hundreds of millions of women in the world who have been raped, so I don't speak for everyone else in the same situation, but I disagree with this.

Stopping after someone is crying out in pain isn't necessarily an argument for the integrity or well-meaningness of an action.

Regardless of whether this particular incident meets the OP's definition of rape, or assault, or violation (and that's really up to the OP to decide, as many others have already said), it clearly meets the OP's definition of something that is hurtful and upsetting.

And if other people on here find that a description of someone's sticking their penis into an unlubricated orifice of their unwilling partner meets their definition of rape, I'm not sure that it's appropriate for anyone else to second-guess that. Again, those posters' definitions of rape are going to be ultimately irrelevant to the OP's assessment of the situation, as the OP has much more information and context than any of us.

But to be honest, my own rape-survivor buttons have been pushed a lot harder by all the people saying, in effect, "there's no way that was rape because he stopped" than the people who are saying "sticking his penis into your unlubed, unready, and unwilling ass sounds like rape to me."

Still, as I already said, I don't speak for the hundreds of millions of other rape survivors in the world, so take my comment for what it's worth.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:38 AM on March 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Your boyfriend tried to trick you into having anal sex, which you had already told him you weren't interested in.

Loving partners do not behave in this way.
posted by pluckemin at 8:49 AM on March 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


part of me can't help feeling distant and violated.

I really want our relationship to continue. He begged me not to break up with him. I love this man, and this behavior was completely uncharacteristic. What would motivate him to do this, when I clearly voiced protest?

I keep thinking about it, and I fear that I am going to be slightly apprehensive during our subsequent sexual encounters. How can I come to terms with this event enough to have our relationship return to normal? He is open to couples' therapy. Or perhaps I am overreacting?

Couples therapy. You are absolutely not overreacting. You are absolutely not overreacting. Of course you're going to be apprehensive during subsequent sexual encounters. The relationship may be salvageable, but I think you need really good professional help to sort it out.
posted by theora55 at 9:17 AM on March 17, 2009


Overreacting? Hardly. He's lucky you didn't press charges.

One does not "accidentally" forget about previous conversations regarding an intimate sexual act. And his claimed ignorance of the need for lubrication sounds like a weak excuse. Probably he saw his opportunity and decided to go for it (the previous massage also implies premeditation, to me) and then, when he realized how much it hurt you and how violated you obviously felt, he panicked. Not because he was remorseful that he hurt you (although he might have been), but because he realized, "Oh, shit! I just assfucked my girlfriend without her consent."

Even if he is the hugest idiot in the world and all of this was actually unintentional, how could you possibly stay with such a dolt?

If you start to doubt yourself, just remember: YOU TOLD HIM that you weren't interested. He did it anyway. Even assuming that your "forceful no" during the act itself didn't fully escape your lips, he already knew you didn't want it. That, my dear friend, is rape.

I'm very sorry this happened to you and I think you would strongly benefit from therapy after you've kicked this piece of human garbage to the curb.
posted by balls at 10:24 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I tink you're probably overreacting.

Get some therapy, yes, but talk to him. Keep the lines of communication open.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:49 AM on March 17, 2009


You are not overreacting.

This is a guy who made a misjudgment (a rather inconsiderate misjudgment, but a misjudgment) about what was welcome, and you're seriously calling him a "rapist"? Please, get a grip.

1. She said no.
2. She said no to an activity that she had previously expressed disinterest in.
3. Said activity is one that is highly controversial in heterosexual partnerships, an activity that 99% of men know to lightly tread around if they're interested.
4. The guy tried to surprise her with the activity anyway.

For #4 to have happened in lieu of #1-3, there must have been one of two reasons:
1. Your boyfriend is incurably stupid and completely unaware of sexual mores
2. Your boyfriend didn't give a shit about what you thought.

If either reason is the case, will you ever trust him in bed again?
posted by schroedinger at 10:53 AM on March 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


And if other people on here find that a description of someone's sticking their penis into an unlubricated orifice of their unwilling partner meets their definition of rape, I'm not sure that it's appropriate for anyone else to second-guess that.

Given that rape is note merely a personal label one puts on an encounter but a criminal offense prosecuted in our judicial system, I would disagree with this. The situation being described here happened within the context of an existing consensual sexual relationship, during a consensual intimate moment, and within a relationship for which we have no knowledge of other trust or intimacy issues. When the poster says I love this man, and this behavior was completely uncharacteristic, it's worth stopping to think that this might not be a situation in which he selfishly decided he was just going to go for it without her permission. Really, before I would jump to assuming rape I would wonder if the guy made a purely navigational error and is too embarrassed to admit it. And considering the anal conversation happened several months ago, I would examine whether something happened or was said in the interim that made him think the possibility had changed, such as mutually exploring some other previously forbidden sexual stuff.

But also, considering the statement I am more interested in kink than him, but he tries to accommodate me every once in a while, it is possible that the poster has tested his limits before. Maybe he was convinced to try something he had previously been uncomfortable with, and so perhaps he started to see such limits as flexible and not necessarily in the context of trust violation or emotional minefield.

At least the poster is viewing the situation in terms of the relationship going forward. But really, knowing what motivated him can only be determined by exploring it with him, not by navigating the hot-button reactions of people here.

But to be honest, my own rape-survivor buttons have been pushed a lot harder by all the people saying, in effect, "there's no way that was rape because he stopped"

"Buttons" is the key word here. 'All the people' aren't saying there's no way it was rape because he stopped; they're saying that it calls the label of rape into doubt. (On top of the fact that the poster here hasn't labeled this as rape.) Rapists know they are causing pain and distress, on a premeditated basis, and they don't care. That does not seem to be what is being described here.
posted by troybob at 11:32 AM on March 17, 2009


I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish he ends up shoving himself into my ass with no preparation. I screamed in pain, and he immediately stopped and began apologizing profusely. He said that he didn't know anything about anal, as in needing to be prepped, lube, etc. I was sobbing and bleeding, and we took a shower together so I could calm down. He was washing me and telling me he loves me and the last thing he would want to do is hurt me. He said that he knows I am open to new things, and he wanted to surprise me. The look in his eyes was sincere, but part of me can't help feeling distant and violated.

To try and get into your bf's motivations from what we have here is hard, but, we do have a couple of facts to go by:

I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish he ends up shoving himself into my ass

It appears here that the "No" and the anal penetration are simulatenous. She couldn't even finish a no. So it sounds like he started out before she said no and as soon as he got the message he stopped. Now whether or not he was intending to force his GF is not clear, but it appears that the poster did not say "no" and the bf went ahead anyway. It appears from the information we have that the poster was saying no at the time that the penetration was occuring.

He said that he didn't know anything about anal, as in needing to be prepped, lube, etc.

The BF indicated he didn't know about all of that stuff. Whether or not it is true, he did say it. The OP is the only one who can figure out if he is truthful.

He said that he knows I am open to new things, and he wanted to surprise me.

The BF indicated that he was trying to surprise her. Again, whether or not it is true is up to the OP to decide. But we do have an explanation. The OP will have to decide what was going on and what the motivation is.

As with a lot of relationshipfilter, people bring their own baggage here. They insist that they know the poster "could never trust him again," without knowing the first thing about the poster and the BF. Whether the poster can or cannot trust the BF again is something only the poster and time will tell. We don't know and it is best to let the poster decide.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:30 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The argument about the poster not being able to get the "No!" completely voiced doesn't make sense to me... Using this logic, anything is okay if you "surprise" the other person and do it quickly enough that the victim doesn't get a chance to respond.

Who navigates this previously uncharted sexual territory without taking it slowly and leaving plenty of opportunity for the other person to signal how they feel about it? Ramming it in without giving her the chance to speak or react is about the farthest thing from a sensual or loving act I can imagine. Call it rape, call it assault, call it love, call it our Special Saturday Surprise, or whatever you want, but that is some fucked up shit, and no waffling about whether she got to fully articulate her scream of horror changes that.

leaving aside the other pesky fact that she actually already stated she was not interested in trying anal sex. Not. As in "No".
posted by taz at 12:54 PM on March 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


The argument about the poster not being able to get the "No!" completely voiced doesn't make sense to me

It isn't an argument. Its what the OP said. People weren't getting that right and had her saying no and him continuing on despite that. However, her statement was that the penetration occured before she could complete the "no." Nobody seemed to pick up on that and it may be important to analysis.

I think it is her call whether she thinks it was rape. Only she can make that call. But we ought to get the facts right when providing our help.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:10 PM on March 17, 2009


I really want our relationship to continue. He begged me not to break up with him. I love this man, and this behavior was completely uncharacteristic.

I think a lot of people have ignored this statement entirely. OP, if you feel that you can stay with him after this event, continue to work through your feelings and have many, many talks with him about what happened and your relationship in general. As others have said, only you can determine whether you feel that you were raped or not. Only you can tell whether he's truly sorry, or just sorry that it didn't work out the way he'd hoped. You might file this away in your mind and if he ever does something else "out of character" to get his way and then becomes apologetic and contrite, you'll remember this incident and start to get a different idea of his actual character. That's a risk you seem willing to take, and that's fine.

I've had boyfriends say or do things to me that were truly out of character which hurt me emotionally or sometimes physically, and sometimes they were deal-breakers and sometimes they weren't. If I'd posted any one of those situations on AskMeFi, I'm sure I would have gotten a lot of DTMFA, which would have been correct in some cases and incorrect in others. If nothing else, I don't think that staying with your boyfriend for now or indefinitely is going to turn your relationship into any kind of abusive power struggle, particularly if you have lots and lots of communication with each other and with some trained help.

What would motivate him to do this, when I clearly voiced protest?

Only he can answer this, and I think you need to keep talking with him until you have a satisfactory answer (not one that makes you happy, but one you can accept).

I fear that I am going to be slightly apprehensive during our subsequent sexual encounters.

You sure are. And he needs to expect and totally, fully, 100% respect that, until you don't feel that way anymore. And then if something happens and you slip back and feel apprehensive again, he needs to continue to respect it even if you were ok for a while.

How can I come to terms with this event enough to have our relationship return to normal?

Therapy. Possibly for you alone but definitely for you both. You say He is open to couples' therapy and I would make any continuation of the relationship contingent on him backing that statement up and going. I know someone whose husband kept saying he was open to couples' therapy but would never make an appointment and always found an excuse to change or put off appointments that she made. That is someone saying he is open to couples' therapy when he is actually not, so make sure your BF means it by actually doing it. One session could make a lot of difference to you, simply by his demonstrating that he means it.

Best of luck to you. I can only imagine how confused, violated, and sad you must feel. I don't think it's a hopeless case, but it's probably dropped some of your illusions about this man and anytime that happens in a relationship things change a little bit.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:29 PM on March 17, 2009


MeTa
posted by prefpara at 1:36 PM on March 17, 2009


People weren't getting that right and had her saying no and him continuing on despite that.

She said she "clearly voiced protest". And what about having previously said that no, she wasn't interested in trying this? Does that somehow get canceled out over time? To be safe, should she wake up every morning (being sure to set the alarm early, before he wakes up, in order to avoid any surprises) and tell him, "Good morning, honey, I still do not want anal sex today. Definitely not. No." Leave little notes in his lunch bag? "No anal sex today! Luv U!"? Maybe a tattoo reading "NO ENTRY" on her ass?
posted by taz at 1:39 PM on March 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


OP, whatever you get out of this AskMe thread, I hope it includes the awareness that your feelings are valid, and that other people's opinions as to whether it was or wasn't or was close to but not quite rape don't invalidate what you're feeling. Others' opinions may inform your decision about how to categorize it, but you're the only one who can ultimately call it what it means to you. It is for instance possible, and a reasonable and legitimate reaction, to feel raped, and at the same time, decide (after having gotten answers from your bf and weighed the complexities) that it doesn't fit into the category "rape".

You are not overreacting.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:55 PM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


[This is a followup from anonymous.]
I am a female, the post is real, and thank you to everyone who has weighed in so far.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:08 PM on March 17, 2009


I'm really sorry this happened, and I'm even more sorry that it means he's either too icky or too stupid to stay with.

Even the most charitable explanations don't excuse him. There's just no context in which dry anal sex is a fun surprise. Even if all he heard of "your forceful "no" was "nuh", what could he have thought you were saying? "neat?"

I can't see a way that this doesn't reveal deep, fatal flaws in his character or conduct. At best, at best, he's an astonishingly selfish and thoughtless person. That is to say, even if all the thoughts and motives involved were worthy of the benefit of your doubt, he still isn't someone to stay with.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:15 PM on March 17, 2009


She said she "clearly voiced protest". And what about having previously said that no, she wasn't interested in trying this? Does that somehow get canceled out over time?

I don't think there's anything wrong with the poster taking this completely into account. Again, I take no stance on the rape issue. Just pointing out the factual points made by the OP. It appears that the OP reports that she wants to know why her bf did that despite a "clearly voiced protest" which, nonetheless, the OP reports was still in progress during the situation. I can't tell anyone what to think about that, or the OP for that matter. But the fact that the "no" was not completed before the penetration was not really picked up by anyone and I thought it might be important in looking at the OP's question.

I hope it includes the awareness that your feelings are valid, and that other people's opinions as to whether it was or wasn't or was close to but not quite rape don't invalidate what you're feeling.

I think that's critical. These are your decisions, OP and we can only help by answering your questions.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:16 PM on March 17, 2009


Like the woman being knocked off the boat by the swinging boom, sometimes things happen in a way that is really awful, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything, sometimes the cookie just crumbles in a way that is horrible. Shit Happens.

This is a totally inappropriate comment for a community forum. It's disrespectful to the community, condescending to the poster, and is every bit as biased and judgmental as the other comments in the thread. The poster asked for feedback from a community forum, without qualifications -- knowing that the comments will be anecdotal, inflamed, and potentially off-base. Respecting that forum -- and trying to give honest and straightforward responses - is the best that we can do.

I suspect that the "is it rape" question is part of what's being asked in the post. I don't have anything to add to that, other than to say, this is a horrible thing to imagine, and I'm really sorry it happened to you. You were clearly violated, and from the tone of your post, have been really traumatized. That's enough to merit intervention -- legal, emotional, or otherwise. So NO - YOU ARE NOT OVERREACTING -- and yes, you're right to try to get help from all the avenues available.

What worries me about the original post is that you're talking about the intervention in terms of "us," not "you" -- needing to understand HIS motivation, going to couples therapy, worrying about how YOU'LL respond in the future, when you're both having sex together. From what you described, it's the "we" that's in question here. Now that you've gotten advice from the internet -- go talk to someone you DO trust (who is not your boyfriend, and not the therapist you're going to see together) and talk through this stuff face-to-face --- to talk through what happened.

The first step is getting some distance from the situation, working through your feelings, and figuring out where you stand with you. Everything else - including his feelings, his intentions, and where your relationship goes from here - should come second.

Good luck, and I"m so sorry this had to happen to you.
posted by puckish at 2:18 PM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Got to say though that

neither of us is interested in pursuing anal play

does not lead anywhere near

and therefore, he might think that it's OK to give it a shot if he did.

Personally I wouldn't trust anybody ever again who'd done what you describe.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:21 PM on March 17, 2009


I just outlined this situation to my husband, who was very sexually inexperienced when we met, and who is pretty clueless about anal sex (as am I). His reaction, after his jaw hit the floor, was "No WAY did that guy not know exactly what he was doing!" Unless he is colossally stupid, how would he not assume that shoving his penis into your body (anus or vagina, that approach is not going to be terribly pleasant!) would be painful. The whole shower and massage thing really seems like a setup -- not like he spontaneously decided to "surprise" you... and that, to me, is unforgivable. At the very least, it's utterly and completely disrespectful for him to decide to spring this on you without talking to you first -- you are not a doll that he can just use like that.

this was a sexual assault. He knew what he was doing, and he knew that, if he suggested it beforehand, you would say no... so he set up a situation where he could go ahead and do it.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:39 PM on March 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry this has happened to you, but you were NOT raped (and I think you realize this). I think in this case the adage "time heals all wounds" can apply. So I say give it time, A LOT of time. You are not ready to continue a sexual relationship with your boyfriend--and if he's as into you as I'm gathering from your post, he will wait for YOU to initiate your next sexual encounter, he will not push you in any way. I think couples therapy is a good idea, and good on your s.o. for agreeing to it. So in sum, no you are not over-reacting, your feelings are valid and understandable, but if things are as they say they are in your relationship, this incident does not rise to the level of "over." It's a horrible case of misjudgement and trauma (on both sides, I'm sure he's losing sleep over this too), but I think in due time, you all will find each other again. Give it TIME.
posted by GeniPalm at 4:23 PM on March 17, 2009


GeniPalm, would you care to elucidate on why forced sexual penetration, after explicit refusal, leaves the victim "NOT raped?
posted by IAmBroom at 4:42 PM on March 17, 2009


IAmBroom, how does this equal "explicit" refusal? "I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish" Also this: "I am more interested in kink than him, but he tries to accommodate me every once in a while." Those two things to me leave gray area. Add to this that these two have been in an (apparenlty healthy) relationship for 2 years and the fact that the boyfriend stopped "immediately" and apologized and offered to go to counseling and the two showered after the incident and he keeps trying to make this up to his girlfriend, and I think you are hard-pressed to argue that this is "rape" in the rawest since of the word. It's just not. The boyfriend was wrong and he KNOWS this, the OP's feelings are justified, all that, but this was not an intentional attack on an individual, it just wasn't, and it's counterproductive to try to make it be something it wasn't. It only confuses things more for the OP.
posted by GeniPalm at 5:19 PM on March 17, 2009


IAmBroom, how does this equal "explicit" refusal? "I forcefully say "No," but before I can finish"

It's not a big word, takes less than a second to say. This is not rocket science and ultimately doesn't matter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Unexpected anal penetration can happen. In me and my former gf's case, it was due to a waterbed we'd never fucked on before. I was embarrassed and she was understandably angry. But it was also over very quickly and we talked through it. It was a complete accident.

But this sounds pre-meditated and pretty deceitful. Do you really want to spend any more time with this guy, knowing that he's capable of this?
posted by bardic at 9:06 PM on March 17, 2009


Reference: The Heap Paradox.

The greater question is what the nature of rape is, and the very first thing I thought was if this is rape, then what is a man drugging a woman at a bar and bringing her home, forcing sex on her, all against her will?

My personal concern is that we are attempting to enter the boyfriend's mind, but we can't; we have no way of assessing his motive or intent.

Yet the thrust of the he raped her argument is that he did choose to rape her: the very nature of rape—that the aggressor chose, against the victim's wishes.

The tenuous leap of logic is that rape happens by the choice of the aggressor—to forcefully have intercourse—but is ultimately defined by the choice of the victim—to vocally refuse it.

The problem being, of course, is that when one thinks of rapists one thinsk of creepy, violent, drunken men—not one's boyfriend.

There is sound logic for the case that the boyfriend raped her, but that conclusion comes with the very real price of diluting the act of rape to the point of cultural irrelevancy.
posted by trotter at 9:07 PM on March 17, 2009


The problem being, of course, is that when one thinks of rapists one thinks of creepy, violent, drunken men—not one's boyfriend.

The question seems *more* relevant, not less, if we're talking about a close friend or intimate partner (otherwise, there's no question, right?). Because everyone KNOWS that being attacked by a drunken stranger against your wishes constitutes rape. What's not so clear is when the attacker is someone you WANT to trust -- and when you're not sure (as the post indicates) of what their intentions actually are. When those lines are violated, IT'S IMPORTANT TO CALL IT WHAT IT IS.

Short of that, you're implying that the poster is overreacting -- that "shit happens," and that it's not as important as the "real" scenarios that are out there, or that rape is "culturally relevant" when committed by strangers, but not when committed by intimates. (Which is just plain wrong, and veers dangerously close toward blaming the victim -- something the poster is clearly already willing to do, given the conciliatory tone of those last three lines)

The "is it rape" issue matters, I think, because it's implicit in the question. "What is his motivation? Is this just me? Am I overreacting?" seems to have a really clear subtext: "Oh my god - Was I just raped by this person that I love very much?" and if the answer is yes, "What do I do about it?"

And if that's the question -- well, motivation matters, but so does acknowledging that the act happened in the first place, and calling it what it is.
posted by puckish at 9:58 PM on March 17, 2009


Puckish:

What I meant by "cultural irrelevancy" would better be described as "legal irrelevancy," meaning almost no one here is prescribing litigation, yet rape is a crime.

Yet the sentiment here is that the poster should cogitate and deem what he did to her as rape for the purposes of D'ing TMFA, not a police report.

If we call a thing A, and A is a crime, and crime chips away at the tenets and good will of society itself, then it would be virtuous of the poster to turn her boyfriend in.

What the poster's boyfriend subjected her to is reprehensible. I'm not convinced it's rape. We call rape a crime because it's inherently evil, and I fail to see a profoundly evil element in either her boyfriend or his actions.

I'd call the boyfriend an asshole, a miscreant, untrustworthy, and overall scum. But not evil.
posted by trotter at 10:20 PM on March 17, 2009


Okay, look -- as to the question of "was this or was this not rape?" I think the only one who can really make that call is the OP.

If she comes back in here and says, "you know what, I've decided that I think it's rape," then I will agree with her, cheerfully and supportively.

UNTIL THEN, though, I think calling it that is premature. My instinct says no it's not, but I'm not the one that has been in a relationship with the guy for two years, and neither are any of the rest of us. The OP knows things about the guy that the rest of us don't. The OP knows things about herself that the rest of us don't. Both of those things have an impact on whether or not this act can be defined as "rape" or "something else". If and when the OP comes in and says what she calls it one way or the other, I'll go by what she says.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:22 PM on March 17, 2009


There's a MeTa going for the side argument, folks.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:56 PM on March 17, 2009


Re: The ""No," but before I can finish"" defense of the boyfriend - It sounds to me like this was exactly the boyfriend's (maybe subconscious) idea.

They had a previous conversation about anal sex, and he found out the OP didn't want any. Therefore, what did he think would happen if he asked now? She'd say no. How could he get around that? Ram it in before she can say anything. Then, you have the weasel defense, "Oh, but you didn't say no! Whoops, I'm sorry."

This happens all the time in other (usually less serious) situations with people that know they're going to be denied explicit permission for something. They take it, then say they weren't explicitly forbidden to take it.
posted by ignignokt at 2:05 AM on March 18, 2009


That said, I don't know the man, even though I know that his action was very likely intentional. It is possible that he could own up to it and never do anything like it again. Admitting to you, a couples therapist, and himself that he was determined to have anal sex with you without your consent (in that kind of language, not this "I wanted to surprise you" bullshit) is a good start.

If he's not willing to even admit this, do not be surprised if something like this happens again.
posted by ignignokt at 2:15 AM on March 18, 2009


They had a previous conversation about anal sex, and he found out the OP didn't want any. Therefore, what did he think would happen if he asked now? She'd say no. How could he get around that? Ram it in before she can say anything. Then, you have the weasel defense, "Oh, but you didn't say no! Whoops, I'm sorry."

Precisely. He wanted what he wanted and found an underhanded way to get it. Dollars to doughnuts when he tells his friends about it the story is "Duuuuude I totally went to nail my girlfriend in the ass, and she didn't say no!"
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:21 AM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


[few comments removed - there is a meta for the side argument, take this there, thank you]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:50 AM on March 18, 2009


This happens all the time in other (usually less serious) situations with people that know they're going to be denied explicit permission for something. They take it, then say they weren't explicitly forbidden to take it.

Yep, a friend of mine says, "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission." (But he's not talking about sex when he says it!)

we discussed the fact that neither of us is interested in pursuing any anal play.

Some people keep saying this is just too vague for him to have real prior knowledge that she wouldn't be OK with him doing what he did. But how do you get from "not interested" to "it's OK to surprise my significant other with anal penetration?" Even if the poster had been as noncommittal as, "meh, not really my thing, I don't think," it's still not, in any way, shape, or form, consent for the performance of a new penetrative sex act.

The bf's actions raise big red flags about trust and communication. I wouldn't go forward in a relationship with a person who did what he did without serious counseling--couple and individual--to make sure something like this never happens again.
posted by Mavri at 9:39 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your guys an idiot. But as a few others have said, the flat out calls for rape, when no one was there, and only getting your side of the story, is very creepy. Only you can decide what to call it.

He's lucky you didn't press charges.

Oh stop with the hyperbole. Rightly or wrongly, the charges would have gone no where. If you think they would have you're as clueless as the boyfriend.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 2:53 PM on March 18, 2009


That sounds really traumatic way to have your trust violated, and you will need time to process it. It would be impossible for you to process all your feelings if you are also trying to help him process his feelings. It was nice that he was comforting you after he hurt you but he can't help you process your sense of violation since he caused it. You need some time away from him to help heal emotionally. This doesn't mean you will break up (nor does it mean you will stay together - both choices are up to you), but it will allow you to centre yourself. You need to focus on how you feel, what the experience meant to you and what you need to start trusting him again. He must agree to not contact you for at least a week (or longer, whatever you need). If you are living together he needs to move out immediately to give you space (with no financial cost to you of course).

Being apart from him will be hard on you but you can't work this through with him there. He may unconsciously be making you doubt yourself or turning your attention from yourself to him to soothe him or minimize your feelings so he won't feel guilty. If you don't give yourself a physical and emotional separation from him you will most likely find yourself dealing with this issue anyway a few months down the road, potentially blowing up over a much more minor incident that somehow triggers your feelings again. Couples counselling is a good idea but I believe many counsellors would suspend joint counselling upon hearing your story contingent upon you first having individual counselling so it would be wise to start individually. I hope you find peace within yourself.
posted by saucysault at 8:15 PM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


This post has been linked to by the website Jezebel.com, where one of the editors wrote a piece reflecting on it.

An excerpt:

"The thing about it is that he set the whole thing up. The shower, the back massage on her knees (one assumes hands and knees) from which she couldn't easily get away, the plan to "surprise" her by forcibly penetrating her anus without discussion, anal foreplay or any preparation... he planned a date rape. Period. If, say, they had been in a relationship without vaginal penetration and he had decided to take matters into his own hands by initiating their first vaginal sexual encounter without her permission, there would be no doubt in anyone's mind that she had been raped, including, likely, hers. But because she had consented to a prior sexual relationship, because she perhaps thought that acquiescing to the back massage was consenting to foreplay for a forthcoming sexual encounter, because he is her boyfriend, she's confused as to what happened to her.

As the book says, yes means yes. In this case, she not only didn't say yes, she wasn't given the opportunity to say no (or, technically, to say no a second time). Sexual access to part of a woman's body doesn't mean access to all of it. When I kiss a man, I am not giving him permission to handle my breasts. When I consent to a man handling my breasts, I am not consenting to him fondling my genitals. If I choose to perform oral sex, I am not consenting to vaginal or anal penetration. Consenting to cunnilingus does not mean I have consented to perform fellatio or to engage in penetrative intercourse. And consenting to vaginal intercourse does not mean that there has been consent given to engage in anal penetration. This woman's boyfriend knew this, and knew the answer was "no" and the lack of consent engendered his attempt to "surprise" her, in the apparent hopes that his forcible sodomy would result in consent-after-the-fact or, at least, that his girlfriend wouldn't realize that he raped her. Here's hoping that she does, and that she gets out."

Many of the comments are interesting as well. I thought this commenter had a very good point:

"Imagine a guy who has discussed anal play and pegging with his girlfriend. They've both agreed their not interested. Then one day she's giving him a back rub and presses a dildo against his asshole. As he is opening his mouth to say no, she ramps it up to the hilt. He screams, she pulls it out, only to find it covered with blood.

Would anyone suggest he give this girl another chance? I think most people would tell him to stop seeing her at the very least.

It is only because it was a woman being violated that people are arguing (on meta filter). Cluelessness and porn do not excuse it. We shouldn't expect less of men than women."

The full Jezebel post is here.
posted by gala22 at 11:07 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Since you are not answering the question and only raising others (using fallacious arguments no less), perhaps you should check out the Meta?
posted by P.o.B. at 12:05 AM on March 20, 2009


gala22, I don't know if you are aware that the person who posted this question asked that Megan at Jezebel update that post with her response, and Megan at first agreed, and then refused. You can find details in the MetaTalk thread here and here.
posted by taz at 12:31 AM on March 20, 2009


[Hiya, gala22. I'm one of the admins here at metafilter. I just want to hop in here to underscore what P.o.B. and taz have said: metadiscussion about this issue, about metafilter, and about intereactions with Jezebel's community needs to not take place here in AskMe but rather in the site-discussion part of the site, Metatalk.

There's an active thread over there, right there, where you're welcome to join the discussion; please take any further stuff on this front over there.]

posted by cortex (staff) at 6:39 AM on March 20, 2009


The guy should be sat down and informed, perhaps even required to sign a written document, acknowledging that the first step on the path to any adventure of this sort is #1 GET THE BUY-IN. A MUTUAL STATEMENT THAT, REGARDLESS OF IF SAID ADVENTURE WILL OR CAN ACTUALLY BE COMPLETED, THERE IS A STATED OPENNESS TO EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:56 PM on March 20, 2009


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