(Content note: this post contains an account of sexual assault.)
This is something I have already written about on Twitter and Facebook. I'm writing about it here primarily so that there's a more permanent record, something I can link back to without having to burrow down my timeline. But also, I think, because I need to try and write about it in a format that allows more nuance and reflection than a Facebook or Twitter post.
And actually I have written about it at length, sort of, here, but only in the context of another topic, and as an illustration of how hard it can be to engage in sexual activity as a woman with a penis. But even in writing that piece, part of me still minimised what happened. Part of me still wanted to chalk it up as just a bad experience. But it wasn't just that.
If you've read the link above, then you can skip the next few paragraphs, but I don't know, you might not want to read one long-ass McKenna think piece halfway through another , or you might want to finish this, then read the links later. Whatever. But I think it's important that you know what happened. So.
Before I even accepted that I was trans, I knew there were things about my body that I hated. One of those things was my penis. I hated to be reminded that this was what I had, this ugly, violent cudgel of a thing. I liked orgasms: but I hated the thing I used to reach them. When I masturbated, I did everything I could to keep my attention focused away from my equipment. And when I thought about having sex - all I knew was I wanted to find a way of avoiding it during that too.
So it took me a long time to lose my virginity. When I did, I tried my best to do anything other than penile insertion. I got my partner in the act off through only the use of my fingers (I genuinely remember thinking this was great, because it was having sex like a lesbian), and I was kind of hoping that would be it. I had deliberately focused on getting her off because I thought that if I did she would be satisfied and we could avoid the tricky penis-related part. I suppose you could call it defensive fucking.
Only, it didn't seem to work. Instead of relaxing and enjoying some post-coital hugging time, she reached down and began trying to get me off. I tried to tell her I was fine, that we didn't have to, but she persisted. Uselessly, as it turned out, because thanks to my nerves about the whole penis-in-vagina thing I was feeling about as turned-on as a haddock. Noting my inability to get an erection, which she seemed to view as a challenge, she started pulling at me in a violent, aggressive way, seemingly intent on getting me hard through sheer force. All the while, I was still trying to tell her that this was fine, that we could stop now, that I would be happy if we stopped now, that in fact I wanted us to stop now.
And then she looked up at me, said 'I want you to know I don't normally do this', and went down on me. And this is the point when I flat-out began saying no, because if PIV sex was hard for me, I HATED blowjobs. Something about them seemed violent and horrible, like the porn I'd sometimes seen with my male friends, massive, monster dicks that I felt no connection to at all being shoved into women's mouths - that wasn't for me. It seemed even more focused on the part of me I hated. So being given one was too much. So I told her, even as she moved her head into position, that I didn't want this. And then when she started doing it I asked her to stop. I pleaded with her to stop. And eventually I screamed at her to stop.
And, thankfully, she did. And for years, whenever I told this story it was this which I would hang on to. That she stopped when I screamed. Not the first time I said we could stop, no, admittedly; and not the second time - but when I screamed, she stopped. And so that meant it couldn't be...
For thirteen years. Whenever I told anyone about this I would always say that it couldn't be...anything...really...serious because at the point where I started screaming, she stopped.
But I've came to think, lately, that the stopping is not the important part of that story. At all.
And I think that's all I can write about this right now. I started writing this at around 8am and it's 2pm here now. I had more that I wanted to say, but those things will have to wait for a follow-up post. This thing happened. Someone did something to me without my consent. I asked her to stop and she didn't. Then I screamed and she did. And for a long time afterwards I said that because she did stop then it wasn't...
But it was.