The first boy who ever kissed me…
Some things are hard to talk about because they hurt.
I haven’t been able to talk about what happened to me because I didn’t know why it hurt.
No one talks about the grey areas; the “maybe”s and the infinite space between rape and not rape. It’s the place where “Hey baby, you want a ride” yelled from a strange man in the dark is brushed off as harmless. It’s a place where “well you went over to his house at 2am… what did you expect?” is said by a friend, or a mother, or a counselor. It’s a place we have all been but are too afraid to emerge from at risk of becoming “the victim”.
The first boy who ever kissed me…
I remember sitting in his car on the way home feeling as though something had been not given, but taken away from me. My insides felt raw and angry and I wanted to cry but couldn’t come up with the reasons why. When I got home and sat down on my couch in the living room, I could tell my mom knew I had been kissed and I was sad for her that I wasn’t happy about it. I wanted every cell in my body to be happy about it but I just couldn’t seem to feel the right feelings.
My first kiss had always been something I dreamed of as a little girl; and no, my hopeless romantic 6-year-old self did not count stealing a kiss from Blake Storm on the playground at a real first kiss. I wanted sparks and in 3rd grade, I wanted it to be the tall dark handsome boy at the sock hop. A year previous, I imagined the moment I ran into my crush in the schoolyard holding my box of crayons as the moment my lips would be no longer untouched but really, that moment only ended in me spilling my crayons everywhere as the bottom of the box gave way and this boy walking away without a second glace. Freshman year of high school, I hoped it might be the charming oblivious boy who sat next to me in biology; Sophomore year, maybe it would be the tall athletic one who sent me texts from beneath the desks in my French lecture class.
Of course, imagination and reality don’t always line up. In my idealistic head, a kiss was a sacred, uncomplicated thing that led to true love and chocolates. No one tells you about the expectation… the lack of communication… the constant guilt that follows when a kiss turns into something much more than a kiss.
I told him I was inexperienced. He knew I was nervous because when I revealed that I had never been kissed before he said “I know.”
I told him I didn’t want it to go any further, but my dress was already off and I began to feel like I was out of control.
I told him no one had seen me like this, and he teased me saying my boobs were less than expected and my pubic hair, more than it should be.
I told him I was uncomfortable and he said “Don’t worry, they aren’t scary,” as he guided my hand.
I told him to stop as he “jokingly” held himself over my exposed body.
I told him I didn’t want to lose my virginity like this as he thrust forward before laughing and pulling away saying “I wouldn’t take your virginity anyway; you would get too attached”.
The first boy who ever kissed me asked to be friends with benefits as he laced up his shoes to take me home.
The first boy who ever kissed me teased about the cruelty of me “blue balling” him as we walked to his car.
The first boy who ever kissed me told me I owed him. I owed him. Because he had given and not received.
I am sharing this story, not because I want pity or revenge. What has happened to me will never change no matter what the future holds. I have come to accept my reality and, although there is anger in my heart, I have made peace with my past.
No, I am sharing this story because I know I am not alone. I am not the first to blame myself for what they did. I am not the first to hide from the truth because it was too painful to face. I am certainly not the first to be sexually assaulted.
I am sharing this story because in my vulnerability there is strength, a strength that I will share with those not strong enough to speak for themselves.
That’s what “This is Not Consent” really is for me. A message that if we stand together against sexual assault, we can make a difference.