This is our truth, tell us yours
This post discusses v graphically being raped, please exercise self-care.
I have been avoiding the story of the woman who has been gang raped by village elders in India. As some of you know I was gang raped whilst back packing, I wrote here of the corrective nature of it, it was a way of punishing me, they beat my partner, but raped me, to put both of us in our place. The story came on Radio 4 pm just now though and I can feel those old familiar triggers, the racing heart, the churning stomach, the dryness in my mouth. They took away my consent, and I still live so many years later with what they did, those few hours, that they probably never remember brought to the front of my mind by the story of a sister thousands of miles away.
There is anger though today, not at them, I laid those ghosts to rest, but at other, powerful people who wish to take away my right to consent. Today you were on the radio too Mary, gloating as your campaign against sex work is gaining support within the European Parliament. You claimed that because I am paid for sex I do not consent to it, that because I wouldn’t have the sex without the money it is rape.
Really Mary? You want to tell me what rape is? You want to say that choosing to exchange sexual services at a time and place of my choice, with the content pre negotiated and agreed if the same as being grabbed by a group of men and pulled screaming into the undergrowth. Sometimes I still feel the branches sticking into me as their weight bore down on me, I can feel them now. Scratchy, pricking against my skin. I think perhaps I focused in on them to distract from the weight of the person raping me, their breath, their cock pushing into my vagina, the laughter of the others, the taking of turns, the orgasm of my body betraying me. Focus on the discomfort instead, of the prickles sticking into me, think about that and you might make it through the next minute, then the next, and the next.
When I stumbled away, unable to cry, unable to scream or shout unable to do anything but wonder if it was over I don’t remember thinking, well that was just the same as if they had paid me. I had lain on those branches, the ones I can feel now, in my warm safe home, long after my attackers had gone. I couldn’t move. Of course thats just the same as popping for a shower after meeting a client and wondering if we shall have chicken or pork for tea.
Then in the months afterwards, as I had HiV and other std tests, and waited for the results, that is just the same as only ever using condoms, of choosing to practice safe sex and choosing to get myself checked regularly at a friendly and supportive GUM clinic. I mean someone pays me for that condom covered sex, so it’s just the same as those men who left their spunk over and in me, those men who choked me and laughed, those men who took turns and drank beer and laughed, how they laughed.
So thank you Mary, for reminding me that my consent doesn’t matter, that just like the men who raped me I don’t get a say in when I have sex, or with whom. Constn, something it took me years to reclaim is being stolen from me again, this time by women who want to punish me for having a job they don’t like, thanks a bunch for that
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