Dear Drunk Boy Lying Next to Me on Couch,
I drank too much tonight. You did too. This is a party. That’s what we were supposed to do. You tried to kiss me after my last shot, but I said no. I told you it was wrong to come onto me just because I’m fucked up. I’ve been sober with you dozens of times, and you’ve never made a move. So why tonight?
Is it because I needed to lay down? Is lying down a universal cue for any man to lay with me? Did you interpret my intoxicated state as an open invitation? It isn’t. You assumed, and you were wrong. And when I told you no, you didn’t stop. And I lay here, pretending to be sleeping, just to see how far you’ll go with a girl that you believe to be unconscious. I guess I should count myself “lucky” I’m lucid enough to stop you, if I need to.
But “luckily” for me, you don’t go that far. You keep your dick in your pants. But your hands… You hold me like I’m yours to hold. You pet me, like an animal. Except, unlike an animal, my coat isn’t attached. You take it off. You feel me up. You touch my skin against my will. Without consent. Without permission. And unlike all the women who are too drunk to say no, I said no, and you still did.
So why am I surprised? Maybe I’m surprised because you seem like a nice boy. Because you seem respectful when you’re sober. Because you don’t act sexist. Because you don’t act like a player. Because on the spectrum of men, you seem better-than-average. A gentleman, even. So to think that you, a respectful, better-than-average boy, who I thought I could trust, still feels entitled to touch me against my will, unsettles me.
It scares me.
But that isn’t what surprises me the most. You touching me without consent — to be expected. You, a man, taking advantage of a woman at a party when she’s drunk — standard procedure. Keeping your hands off my body is my responsibility, not yours. I guess I should thank you for reminding me. I guess this is what I get for being female. Why should your persistence come as a surprise? Who am I to deny you permission?
So that isn’t what surprises me the most. You holding me, caressing me and petting me, kissing my neck. You, the nice boy, violating me. What surprised me most was when you held my hand. Because it was so sweet. Because it was so innocent. Because it didn’t seem malicious. Because it seemed less like aggression or possession and more like loneliness. It confused me because, for a second, it felt like you were just as vulnerable as me.
Maybe you’re not a monster. Maybe you just want somebody to be close with. Maybe you don’t know how else to be close with me. Maybe you are a nice boy, after all, just lonely. If you are, the physical closeness you’re forcing isn’t what you’re looking for, and forcing it won’t help you find it. You want somebody who wants you too.
Maybe you’re scared to ask permission because you’re scared that I’ll say no. Scared I don’t want you. Scared that I’ll deny you. But I can say no either way, and you not asking me won’t stop me, just like me saying no didn’t stop you. And even if I didn’t say it, the absence of a no is not a yes. The yes is not implied. Implied consent does not exist. Sleeping is not implied consent. Being single is not implied consent. Being available is not implied consent. Me being drunk is not implied consent. Me looking nice tonight is not implied consent. Me being female is not implied consent. You being drunk is no excuse.
Just because you want it doesn’t mean it’s yours to take. Maybe your chances would be better if you asked.
PS. Joke’s on you. I’m covered in scabies.