A reader writes:
I really must agree that there is a double standard with male rape. By all accounts, I have been a male victim of heterosexual rape within the context of a relationship. Many years ago, I was living with a woman who had a pretty strong sexual appetite, at least in terms of frequency. She wanted sex generally at least twice a day, and for at least one or two hours. And as a young twenty-something, I was happy to accommodate her most of the time (wasn’t it glorious to be 20!). But every now and then I would have to beg off – either I was busy, studying, or just worn out sexually.
One night after a few days of avoiding sex, she woke me up in the middle of the night by stroking me.
Then she held me down with all her strength and basically forced me to have sex with her. I was really tired and really not wanting sex with her because of some tension in the relationship, so I wrestled against her. Now, she was almost my size and actually pretty strong and very insistent, so it quickly became apparent that I would either have to seriously kick her ass, or just go along with it. I undoubtedly could have beaten her off, but I gave in and just went along with it as the course of least resistance. I asked myself, was not having sex worth beating the crap out of my girlfriend?
So she satisfied herself and got off. It occurred to me that I had been raped. I don’t really know what else to call it. I didn’t want to have sex. She forced me to. Isn’t that rape?
I guess I was technically raped, but I was not particularly traumatized by it. I was annoyed. I don’t equate that experience with anyone else’s in any other context. I completely get why “real” rape must traumatize the hell out of people. But we also must understand the incredibly complex panorama of human sexual experience and why I just put quotation marks around the word “real.” If our genders were reversed, she could have gone to jail for years for what she did. But that wouldn’t have been right. Whether we want to admit it or not as a society, there are shades of fucking grey all over this topic.
Update from a reader who, if nothing else, illustrates the mainstream attitude toward the subject:
I’m sorry. If you’re a grown man and can be “forced” to have sex against your will by an unarmed woman, then you are simply an unbelievable pussy. And, no, you do not “have to seriously kick her ass.” Frankly, I doubt that the candy-ass whose baloney you posted could have done that in any case.
Besides, how could he have penetrated her without an erection? This tale is bullshit in every level.