[Content notice: Rape and sexual coercion]
Last night I went on my first Tinder date, and it was horrible!
We met at a coffee shop, and as soon as we sat down in the outdoor seating area, he kissed me. I was surprised, since we had just met minutes before, but I was also like, Okay, I feel like making out, and while it’s weird to make out in public (because I feel like we’re imposing on the people around us), at least it’s safe (as opposed to going home with him).
After a couple minutes of kissing, he was like, “This is pretty public, do you want to get out of here?”
I suggested that we chat more, because I thought he seemed sketchy and I didn’t feel safe going home with him.
As we chatted, he kept saying things that reminded me of things that a guy I went on a date with a couple of years ago had said. Things about how he was the nicest/sweetest guy ever, best guy to be my first Tinder date, great with women, awesome at having sex (which I’m sure we define very differently, but that’s a topic for another article), and how I’m amazing and different and unique.
This stuff was really rubbing me the wrong way, partly because it seemed sleazy, and partly because the aforementioned guy from a couple of years ago raped me at the end of our date. So it was uncomfortable to be in a similar situation with someone who seemed to be thinking in a similar way.
He kept kissing me throughout our conversation. I was enjoying kissing him despite the creepiness factor, because I was attracted to him, and I felt like kissing, and I felt safe in this public place. Plus, kissing prevented him from talking and saying weird shit.
But then things got weirder when he started insisting that we go back to his house. I spent a ridiculously long amount of time convincing him to let me say bye and go home (maybe like half an hour?). He kept saying no no no and giving endless reasons for why I should come over. I tried to walk away, and he walked with me. A few times he grabbed my arm or held my hand, gestures that made me feel trapped, but were socially acceptable because they could be seen as affection.
Unfortunately I didn’t know how to get to the subway station, so I couldn’t count on that as a definite goodbying destination (and I didn’t want to clue him into the fact that I didn’t know my way around). After way too long of this, with me continuing to get more and more insistent and assertive about going home (while keeping a friendly tone so as not to escalate the situation) eventually he let me leave.
I was really shaken up when I got home, and it was confusing to be a little horny from making out (I was already feeling sexual before the date anyway) while also feeling quite scared and somewhat violated. I vented to my sister (thank you for listening!), listened to a short guided meditation to wind down, and went to sleep.
This morning when I woke up, I was so relieved that I was free from the situation, and that he didn’t seem to be stalking me. I was also still a little horny. But I felt weird about getting sexy with myself given that I had this very recent threat on my mind. I even smelled like him still. It seemed sort of messed up somehow.
But then I was like, I’m not going to let that jerk control my relationship to my sexuality in this moment! So I masturbated, and even with a bit of nervousness in my brain, plus him calling me four times during it (which I didn’t answer), it was really nice! It felt really good physically, but it also felt so good emotionally/mentally to take ownership of my sexuality in that moment.
I can’t escape the fact that my experiences with rape, other sexual assaults, relationship abuse, etc. affect my relationship to my sexuality. But I can say, Fuck all that shit and the people who did it to me!* and continue to have a ball being an enthusiastically sexual person. I can decide how and when I express my sexuality. And I can make it fabulous and fun and unapologetic!
In the spirit of loving and taking charge of my sexuality, I’m currently working on a zine about my vibrant sexual love for men! It’s called “Boys” and it consists of me gushing about my love of flirting, connecting, and being sexual with men. Here’s a sneak peek:
With resilient, ferocious, hungry, & playful sexuality,
Anonymous Pleasure Pie contributor
*More or less, I’ve forgiven some.