A Transcription Of My First Rape, a guest post by I. Smith (TW)

ImageFirstly I would like to extend an enormous trigger warning for this post, which not only mentions but describes a rape in minute detail from a very brave survivors point of view. This post is just one example of how most acquaintance rapes happen.I hope in sharing this piece other survivors will feel empowered enough to take on their own catharsis, or not, if they choose to.
If you would like to submit your story please use the contact form,and I hope I can help you find your voice anonymously.
– VE

This is perhaps the post in which I bare more of myself than I ever have before.

 
The following is the transcription of my video diary, recorded at the age of eighteen in 2004 and transcribed as follows at twenty in 2006. It describes my first rape, the first time I had sex, and it has been edited only for names and places to protect my privacy and that of other innocent people, as well as to protect me from any libel charges. (I did go to the police about this incident, but what happened was, as you will see, too much of a case of so-called “he said, she said” to convince the local police department to proceed with any charges.)
 
Other than names, locations, and similar identifying details, nothing has been censored. Everything that has been censored is noted in brackets. All other text is exactly as originally transcribed in 2006.
 
This transcription was made in an attempt to aid me to write a letter describing these events which would then be sent to the administration at the university where my rapist and I were both students when this occurred. I intended to use this letter–which was never actually written–to ask the administration to take action against my rapist.  However, I made my second suicide attempt before I was able to make this report, and thus this transcription has existed solely on my computer until now. No one in the world has seen this transcription. One person has seen the video diary from which the transcription originated–a close friend at the time I made it, who supported me through this experience–and thus, up until the time of this post, this information in full has been privy only to me and one other person in the entire world.
 
Why am I publishing this? I want to expose the horror of rape in order to make the world understand how horrific it actually is, and thus to help other survivors who may not be in a position to tell their own stories, or may have decided they do not want to do so. Secondly,  I am aware that the other account of rape I have created for this blog–the rape of November 17, 2012–was a situation of kidnapping, drugging and violence. I want to draw attention to the fact that not all rapes are as violent, but they are just as painful, just as immoral, just as horrendous. Rape is rape is rape is rape is rape. This first rape was perhaps the most damaging for me psychologically; not that I have not been damaged by the more recent ones, but this one had a devastating impact on me. Roughly two weeks after this incident, on September 29, 2004, I made my first suicide attempt.
 
The reason this transcription is in sections is that it is transcription of a video diary recorded on a cellphone. My cellphone would only record for a few minutes at a time. Thus, the video diary was created in small sections. When I transcribed it in 2006, I attempted to stay true to the nature of the video diary by numbering the sections that corresponded to each time the video feature on my cellphone cut off and the times I was forced to begin a separate recording.
 
Please note that while the given name of my first rapist–Alex–begins with an A., this is not the individual referred to as “A.” in the open letter I attempted to send to Occupy Wall Street, and this is not the same incident. That incident–the second rape–is described in my first post on this blog, here
 
You are the first people in the world to read this story. Thank you. However, I would like to advise you that the material below is a graphic description of my experience of rape, and ought not to be read without the understanding that this text may be HIGHLY triggering. Please continue only if you wish to.
 
 
 
QUOTED MATERIAL: THE TRANSCRIPTION
 
rough transcription of [I. Smith]’s video diary from the period in which she described the incident of 9/15/04 with Alex [last name removed].
 
1.
 
i came back here because i wanted to talk about what happened with alex and finally tell the whole story but sometimes… i don’t know, i don’ t know if i’ll be able to do it.
 
it was tuesday september 14th. there was a talent show that night. he lived in my entry way his name was alex [last name removed]. and i went with him and [C.] my old roommate and my friend [J. B.], we were supposed to meet there and i went with them to the talent show. and i was sitting on the grass in front of [university building] which is where the talent show was being held. i was sitting on the grass next to alex and i remember thinking alex might be hitting on [C.] and being jealous. and a girl sang, [fellow student, name removed], and then [fellow student 2, name removed] played the guitar, and [fellow student 3, name removed] djed, cause he’s the [rank removed] turntablist in the country, and [fellow student 3] was awesome, and everyone got really excited. and i don’t know, alex and i touched sometimes. i was wearing my green cargo pants, and i was wea… [cuts off]
 
 
2.
 
so um i didn’t get to finish what i was saying the last time i recorded myself about alex so i’m going to try to do it again. it’s so hard to talk about but here goes.
 
it was tuesday september fourteenth. i went to this talent show which was on the steps of mem church with alex [last name removed] who lived in [dormitory room removed] in my entryway and [J. B.] and [C.] was there and a bunch of other people. and we left the talent show. i had been holding his hand and like flirting with him during the talent show. and i left with him and [J. B.] and we went back to his room to hang out and [C.] and other people went out and i can’t express how much i wish i had gone out with [C.] because everything would be different and i would be so happy…. i don’t know. um. i left and went back to alex’s room with [J. B..] and a bunch of other people and we hung out in his [Alex’s] room and we were holding hands. before we went back to his room, he and i had this joke that the speakers that [C.] and i had gotten for our room which were like little computer speakers were better than his speakers which were like all big, and he said his were better, and we said ours were better, and so we were joking about it and we held hands and joked about it and then he brought everyone upstairs to see how his speakers were better than mine. and then we went back to his room and i sat on his couch. it’s the couch that’s facing the tv so when you enter the room you see the back of it and if you’re sitting on it you see the tv with the big speakers. there’s a donnie darko poster on one wall  and a franz ferdinand poster on one wall. and i was sitting on the couch with him and we were joking and talking to people and laughing, and i was holding his hand and he was holding my hand and once i was like “my speakers are better” or something like that and he got up and was like “no more” or something like that and i was like “no!” so he came back and tried to put my arm under his arm but then he was like “oh that doesn’t work” because we couldn’t hold hands like that because his arms are so much longer than mine. and i still remember the way they felt, his skin is somehow really delicate and thin, and warm in some places [cuts off]
 
 
3.
 
we were in alex’s room and we were sitting around there talking and joking and he looked at my ring, the ruby ring, and i told him my sister gave it to me when i was sixteen, and he played with it and he looked at me and said “i like it” and he said “yeah?”–I mean he looked at me and said he liked it and i said “yeah?” and he looked at me and smiled and he said “yeah” in this flirty way, and i don’t know, and i just thought it would be okay, and i didn’t understand, and i don’t know… everyone left at like two-thirty. i guess he kind of told people to leave. and his roommate [name removed] was in the room at that point, sitting at the computer checking his email. and alex said “you want to go hang out upstairs in your room for a while?” and i said okay.  and we left, and he… i walked up the stairs in front of him and his arms were on my shoulders, his hands were on my shoulders, taking me up the stairs. and we got to my room. and he, um, the, um… I had gone up during the time we were hanging out downstairs to put a bra on because I hadn’t had a bra on under my shirt, and i wasn’t sure i wanted to go far enough to take my bra off, so i wanted to have it on so that i could decide if i wanted him to see me totally topless or not. cause i could tell something was going to happen. and we went to my room, i unlocked it, we went in, and i turned the light on. i was wearing my green cargo pants, these ones, here that you can see, and the same sneakers, my [brand removed] sneakers, only i left them downstairs because i took them off when we were hanging out with people. and i was wearing my green [brand removed] top, it’s got like beige lace on it, it’s a tank top, and i was wearing a blue bra from [brand removed], dark blue, and blue panties from [brand removed], they’re, like, cotton. and… we…went into the room, and i turned the lights on, and i said, “i’m sorry it’s so messy, i’m so much messier than [C.],” and he said, “which side is yours?” And I pointed to the side with the cherry bedspread, and we went over and we sat on my bed, and i don’t think we said that much, because he started to kiss me right away. and i could feel the scruff of his goatee against my face. and he leaned over on top of me and i started to lay down and he said “careful, you’ll hit your head.”
 
 
4.
 
i guess this doesn’t stay on for that long but… i moved and giggled, and, um lay down, and he was kissing me, on top of me kissing me, and kissing my face, not really my face but my jaw area, and he put my ear in his mouth, and bit it. he bit me a lot. and he began to take my shirt off, he took it off, and then he kept kissing me, and then we rolled over so i was on top of him and i started kissing him but my hair was down so it started falling in his face. and, um, then he reached behind me and started to unhook my bra but he could only unhook one of the two things so i got the other one. and he was like “i’m really bad at this,” and i was like, “okay,” and i got the other one. and i felt weird about how fast things were moving, but i thought it was going to be okay. and, um, then. i don’t really remember how his shirt came off because i didn’t take it off. i didn’t take any clothing off. um. of either of us. and he… so he was on top of me again, and he… started kissing me, and kissing my chest, and he like bit my breasts, and started licking them and biting them. and then he started taking off my pants. and i said “no,” and he said “no?” and i said, i felt bad just saying no, so i said not right now, and i meant not tonight, i’m not going to do this now. cause i thought that maybe things would end up okay, and we would hook up some other time, and it would be all right… is this recording? yeah it’s recording. and he said ok and so he didn’t do it again but then he was kissing me and biting me more, and then a couple minutes later he tried to take my pants off again, and i… felt weird about it, but i sat up a little and i watched him take them off. and i let him. and then i said, “Alex, I just want you to know, I’m not going to have sex with you tonight.” And he said “Okay, that’s okay.” And he said “all right”. and then we started kissing some more and he started reaching inside my [under]pants and um fingering me. and, um, it kind of hurt, but i wasn’t going to say that, and i started making noise because it hurt, and he said “are you okay?” and i didn’t want to make him feel bad so i said, “no, it feels good.” which was a lie because it hurt. i think he must have had at least two fingers in me. and it hurt. and i…i don’t know how his pants came off, but after a minute he was like “we need to go get a condom from my room.” and i was like “no, we don’t, because i told you i’m not going to have [cuts off]
 
 
5.
 
I said “No, because I told you I’m not going to have sex with you. I shouldn’t.” And he said, “What’d you say?” And I said “I said I’m not going to have sex with you.” And he was like “No, what did you say after that?” And I said “I said I shouldn’t.” And he was like, “Oh.” And I don’t know, I always wonder if he thought that I shouldn’t meant that I wanted to. But I wasn’t thinking about changing my mind. I meant “it’s a bad idea.” Um, and so, um, and then i said “is that okay” and he said “yeah, it’s not my decision to make. you know, [name of initiative removed] and all that.” because [name of initiative removed] is our [university name removed] sexual assault prevention training thing they do at the beginning of the year where they have these speeches and these scenarios to tell guys not to assault girls. and, um, he, um [indecisive mumbling] he said, “yeah, it’s not my decision to make, [name of initiative removed] and all that.” he seemed frustrated. but i said “oh, yeah, i feel so empowered,” and laughed it off. and leaned over and kissed him again. and um, i just, i can’t understand how it happened. but a while later it was just really clear that he wanted to have sex with me. and he was naked at this point. i don’t know how it happened. because i didn’t take off a single article of clothing from either of us. And he was on top of me, and I said, “Alex, I’m not going to have sex with you.” And he said “Okay.” And I said “I’m sorry, is that all right?” and he said “well i’m not going to make you do something you’re going to regret.” i said “i’m a virgin,” and he said, “what?” Oh this was before that. I said “I’m a virgin,” and he said, “what?” And I was like, “I’m a virgin, are you surprised?” And he was like, “Yeah, kind of.” And I said, um, i said, “well, I am.” And he said “is that some kind of religious thing?” and i said “No, I just am.” And he was like, “Okay…” And I was like, “So I’m not going to have sex with you because I’m not going to lose my virginity to someone i’ve known for only a few days.” and he said, “okay,” and i said, “is that all right, you understand, right?” and he said, “i’m not going to make you do anything you’re going to regret.” and i said, “Okay. Thank you.” I thanked him. Um. And then he was on top of me, kissing me more, just kissing me and kissing me and I kissed back. but then, after a while, he [cuts off]
 
 
6.
 
And he was on top of me, like missionary, and he, um,  held his penis in his ha– Oh, before this i, like, gave him a hand job for a little bit because i felt guilty about telling him i wouldn’t have sex with him and he, like, changed the motion of my hand. cause it wasn’t good enough for him, i guess. i didn’t really want to do it, so i didn’t really care. and that was when he came on top of me and he started, um, trying to find the correct positioning to get himself inside me. and, um, i remember his face in the half-light and how it looked. cause he had asked to turn out the lights before. and i had turned them out. and he had asked for music awhile before. like asked whiningly, like a little kid, and i said, “it’s all [C.]’s, we can’t turn it on,” so we didn’t have any music on. um, so he was on top of me, trying to find a way to get his penis inside me, but i guess he couldn’t find it right. so he said, “help me,” and i held his penis for a minute but i said, “no, i can’t, i can’t do this,” and he turned me on my side and i looked at the wall, and i felt something enter me, and i felt myself break, and i felt him inside me, and i was just thinking, “oh my god, is this really what this is, did this really just happen?” because i couldn’t imagine that he would really do it, cause he said he wouldn’t, he lied, and he said he wouldn’t, and i thought that he would respect that, but… i just felt him inside, and i just stared at the wall, and hoped that i was dreaming, or that it wouldn’t take that long, and that it would just be over. and i just blanked out, and i guess i must have said something to make him pull out, but i don’t remember doing anything at all. and then i felt him pull out of me, and i turned on my back, and i saw him backing up with his knees bent, and his arms, like, his hands held up like a criminal, and he looked terrified, and he said, “no, no? Okay, fine, I’m done,” and I just felt so sick and guilty that he said “I’m done,” like he could just throw me away. And he lay back down and I kissed him, and I felt so guilty that I had to do something and like I couldn’t just kick him out of my room cause that’d be mean, so i … kissed him and kissed down his chest, and i started licking the top of his penis, and then i put it in my mouth and started giving him head. and i didn’t really care what it was like. i didn’t care how much he enjoyed it, i just wanted him to get off and get out of my room. um. so i put it in my mouth, and he started holding on to my shoulders pretty strong and giving me the rhythm he wanted, and [cuts off]
 
 
7.
 
and after a while he was breathing deep and he said “almost there”… “almost there,” and a little while later i tasted him in my mouth, sour and disgusting and i swallowed it inside of me. and then i lay back down, and he was laying next to me, i was on the inside of the bed and he was on the outside, and i heard something in the hall and i said “i think my roommate’s coming in,” and i didn’t really know if it was her but i just wanted to get him out. so he put his clothes on and i put on my blue [brand removed] sweatpants and my [university] t shirt, and he went downstairs. he kissed me before he left. he said “i’m sorry i was so pushy” and he kissed me. and then he said “i better leave before i get you all riled up again.” and it shattered me, the fact that he said that, i just, i’m just never going to forget the look on his face, his little smile, and this, i can’t even describe it. um. he went out, i closed the door after him. umm. and i went outside to go to the bathroom, and when i wiped myself all this blood came off. and that was when i realized that i had really had alex inside me, and that even though i said no he didn’t stop, and it was wrong, and then i went back to my room, and [cuts off]
 
 
notes [made at the time of transcription]:
 
i went back to my room. then i went downstairs to alex’s room to get my shoes which i had forgotten and when i got back i had locked myself out of my room. i tried to sleep in the corner of the hall but eventually [two girls, names removed] down the hall let me sleep on a beanbag chair on their floor. 
 
why did i go downstairs to get the shoes? because i felt numb. the emotional impact of what had happened didn’t hit me till a few days later. i didn’t even cry about it for a week or so after it happened.
 
anyway, it turned out [C.], my roommate, had also locked herself out of our room, i went looking for her the next morning and eventually we ran into each other in [location at university]. we went back to the room, got someone to let us in, and talked. i told her what had happened and she convinced me to go to the [university sexual assault office, specific name removed], though I was at first unwilling to go. She walked me over and brought me to [counselor, name removed]’s office, where I talked with [counselor] about what had happened. Then I went to get tested for STDs and to get the morning after pill at [university’s health department].
 
Thanks to those of you who have made it this far, though i hold nothing against those who felt it was best for them to turn back earlier. This is the most personal post I have ever made in my life–it is from my own records, and while a letter based on it would have been intended for an audience, this transcription was intended solely for me–and I cannot tell you how terrifying and liberating, all at once, it is to post this publicly.
 
This may not be a classic movie rape scene. I may not have been beaten up. I may have gone along with certain sexual acts. But I firmly, and multiple times, made it clear that I refused to have sex with this man. This is rape. This is what it looks like.
 
I have one last thing to say: I have kept the videos from which this transcription was made. I am aware that Alex, the man who raped me, at one point intended to run for public office. I do not know if he still plans to ever will, but I do know which state he currently lives in. I doubt that Alex will ever read this, but if he does, I have the following message for him:
 
Alex, if I ever hear a word suggesting you are running for public office, the videos of me at eighteen telling this story, crying and sobbing, will go to every single news organization in your state. This is not a rashly made decision at the time of this blog posting. I have been aware for several years that, if necessary, I would release these videos. I realize these allegations are not supported by the decisions of any court of law. But I will, if necessary, release these videos because those who would vote for you have a right to hear what you have done. Yes, the veracity of my statement will be up to debate due to the lack of a court decision. But your prospective voters will hear my story and judge for themselves. I will not let you acquire even the smallest amount of political power without making public what you have done. Once the voters  have seen me speak, they have the right to judge for themselves. But they will hear me speak, I promise you. 
 
Keep this in mind. That’s all I have to say. 
I. Smith, 2013, USA

“I” is a strong campaigner against rape culture, launched the “Musogyny” project aimed at highlighting rape culture in popular music, and created the “Tell OWS to stop harboring a rapist” campaign. She is a tireless, fierce and inspirational survivor.
You can follow and support I here : https://www.facebook.com/stillnotshuttingup

“How Porn Has Destroyed My Generation” Guest Post by James Marchant, age 17.

Image

I’m saying something that I’ve not really seen many men say, or at least, many men who don’t have moral issues like their faith guiding them towards this conclusion – Porn has fucked up my generation.

Now, I know there will be people out there calling bullshit on this before I have a chance to explain, and that’s okay. If you’re happy with the amount you watch and what you watch – fine. It’s not my place to tell you what to do, but this is just about my experiences and what I’ve seen.

In modern classrooms, during your early years of secondary school you get the full sex education rap. That meant for us a ~30 year old VHS tape featuring a woman walking out of a shower and talking about the fact she has a vagina. It developed over the years, learning about safe sex a bit more and what we were meant to do should we end up with a girl. It was pretty basic. The only mention of gay sex was a brief clip in the tape where they stated it was bad for you and the age of consent was 21.

This leads me in to my first point – that sex education isn’t being taught by schools anymore. There’s a lack of honest debate in schools about sex – the classes you’re given are basic and don’t go beyond the fundamentals. If you are questioning your sexuality or have more in depth questions you aren’t even told where to get information. You aren’t taught good consent, you aren’t taught to respect your partner and you aren’t taught the emotional impact of sex. So, where will young people pick up on this information? Porn. And it doesn’t take much to figure out that learning to respect your partner through the medium of pornography isn’t the best idea.

Why watch a teacher awkwardly draw and label a crude meter-tall penis on the board, when you can go home and watch a skinny Asian girl take 3 cocks without batting an eyelid? Young people fire up their search engine of choice and what was once a quick search for boobs with SafeSearch disabled rapidly develops into a twice-daily trip to PornHub where they sample all the delights that the internet has to offer them.

Access is a problem, since parents are now giving their young ones computers, iPhones, etc with unrestricted access to the Internet. You might argue that parents should install monitoring software and web filtering software to ensure their darlings don’t gain access to any illicit websites but it is difficult and expensive to filter at hardware level, which is required for using anything besides a desktop computer. It can also be hugely inefficient for the parent, as it can block legitimate websites, which leads to frustration with the system, and ultimately it’s removal. But you cannot blame parents for the problems that porn brings.

So I’ve covered what leads young people onto pornography, but not the problems with porn itself.

Porn is meant to be a fantasy, an escape. You’re meant to leave your brain at home, have a quick one and be done with it. But young people are easily susceptible to the misrepresentation of sex. After a while watching it, the viewers find it hard to differentiate between fact and fantasy which leads to their real world expectations being brought into line with that of the porn industry. This is my second point – that porn is unrealistic and damaging young people.

I was asked by a female friend, worryingly, if men expect anal sex from a partner. I responded with no and wondered where the question had come from. It turns out that a number of her friends had been told by their boyfriends that it was normal – but the only place I’ve found it common is in pornography. It’s not even like that is the worst of it. Pornography has to get more extreme in order to keep people addicted when they become desensitized to the more vanilla stuff. They add in all kinds of fake, unsustainable and crazy shit to keep people watching and continue squeezing ad revenue out of them. The widespread acceptance of harder pornography is meaning the fringes are becoming the mainstream and the view of sex given in pornography is being skewed to a complete extreme.

With the wider user base found in the Internet, porn is having to develop at an alarming rate to keep young men hooked through the rest of their lives, even during a relationship or marriage. What they experience in real life isn’t anywhere near what their mind does when the pants are down and the incognito window is open. It is damaging young men’s minds and warping their expectations into what they see in porn, even if they don’t realize it. It’s hard for addicts to even realize they’re addicted. There’s a disconnect between the romantic side of sex and what men and being told to want.

But what are they being told to want? Porn is teaching men to use women, that they are just objects of sexual desire that exist solely for their pleasure. It teaches you that women want sex no matter what, even if they don’t seem like it at first. It borders on normalizing rape and violence against women, by teaching men to control and use women for sex. This is a dangerous idea to be spreading, especially to people aged around 11. It contributes to the rape culture we live in, with victim blaming because “all girls want it”. Sexism is rife even in young people. Why? Because they’re told through porn and other media to control and demean and treat women like shit.

And is this going to be easy to fix? No. Porn is big business, and business usually wins. If you decide to give up watching porn, it’s a personal thing. I think you’ll feel better in the long run, and your partner should like it. It’s not easy but it is worth it. If you have kids, teach them the dangers before they find it themselves.