The Ugly Side Of Being A Single, Attractive And Available Heterosexual Woman

Painting by Anna Borowy represented by Janine Bean Gallery

Painting by Anna Borowy represented by Janine Bean Gallery

I had a very bad experience with a man this weekend, and it made me think back to similar times when I was mistreated. I jotted a few of them down.

It seems to me that, every time something like this happens, people’s advice is the same: Don’t go home with a man. Don’t have sex with a man you don’t know well. Don’t be naive enough to trust a man you do know well, etc. Then there’s always the “Oh well you were looking for sex, you should’ve known this is the way it goes” and “If you didn’t expect to be treated this way, you shouldn’t have put yourself out there/been so easy.“

Women are always asked to modify their actions, but men are never held accountable for theirs.

To me this seems to be endemic of our society, and, more and more, I’ve begun to think “hook-up culture” is just another word for rape culture. It’s the idea of consenting to sex, the idea that women are going along with it and enjoying it just as much as the man, but, really, it provides an excuse for some men to get away with taking advantage of or degrading sexual women without being held responsible.

It’s the idea that, when a woman consents to sex, she’s consenting to it any which way, and being treated like a piece of meat is just part of the package she’s agreed to. How can we change things without keeping our pussies closed? I’ve had some truly wonderful and reciprocal experiences. They weren’t all like this, but emotionally the bad ones overpower and taint the good ones.

There’s the guy who seems the gentleman and who disappears after I tell him I’m not ready to have sex on the 3rd date. There’s the guy I go home with for the first time who within 5 minutes of making-out is shoving his dick in my face expecting me to go down on him. Years ago, there was the guy I occasionally slept with, who one night tells me he just “isn’t into it” unless it’s without a condom or anal, and then, despite my protests, proceeds to shove his unwrapped cock in my cunt and pump away thinking I’ll just get so lost in the moment I’ll stop asking him to put on a condom. I have to physically push him off and out.

There’s the lover who shows up drunk at my door needing a place to crash for the night, and when we go to bed he starts pushing my head down forcibly. I resist, and he pushes harder. I shout “No” and he keeps pushing. Finally, I manage to wrestle my head away from his iron grasp and ask him what the hell he thinks he’s doing.

He says “Oh, I thought you liked it rough. I thought you wanted that.” I say “no,” and that he should leave. He refuses to, saying he’s drunk and it’s late and, because he lives in a different town, he would be out on the street all night if I kicked him out and I would be an awful person if I did that to him. Then he turns his back on me and falls asleep in my bed while I’m left there with my whole body shaking.

I’m not even going to bother mentioning the guy who promises to return the favor if I go down on him first (which then of course he doesn’t) or the guy who holds my head down when he cums and forces me to swallow.

Never mind the guy whom I hand a condo, and then, after we fuck, I go to pull the condom off, and realize he Never Put it On. Or the lover who I buzz in, and, when I open the door, stands there with two of his buddies, who push their way into my apartment, hands all over me, telling me tonight’s my “lucky night,” that I get to have 3 guys at once. After hours of them haggling and me saying “No,” I manage to get my buddy alone, and he tells me he’ll send them home if I agree to have sex with him that night.

I’ve never been raped, and I only have a few nights I don’t remember, but I’ve been coerced time after time after time. I’ve said “No” many times and either been made to feel guilty or been placated until I went along with something I didn’t want to do. Is this what consenting sex looks like? Is this what being sexually liberated in our society looks like? Does being a single woman who enjoys sex mean I have to constantly defend my body and my morals because, if left to their own devices, men will revert to treating me as nothing more than a collection of holes for their own use? Is this acceptable? Is this the price a woman has to pay if she chooses not to be celibate?

Anonymously submitted to ArtParasites