I am a happily married lady in a poly relationship.
My husband and I date other people and have had no problems with it. We have two rules about dating: 1) complete honesty and full disclosure; and 2) we only have unprotected sex with each other. I was on a date with a new partner last night and then we went back to his place to make out. We decided to have sex for the first time, talked about condoms and agreed that we were going to use them. He didn’t have lube and the condom got dry after a while, so he pulled out and we went back to making out. He suggested we not put one back on because he could pull out in time, and I said that it was out of the question and that we absolutely had to use a condom. (Seriously, throughout the evening I think I mentioned the condom rule a dozen times.) So we’re making out and waiting for me to get lubricated enough to go again. He pushes his dick against my pussy opening and I say, “No, we can’t do that.” And he replies, “Oh, don’t worry—I’ve got it.” Which I take to mean that he has put on another one. We have sex for a few minutes and then he pulls out and cums on my stomach. Fuck.
I feel terrible about this for multiple reasons. And I am conflicted as to whether I’m responsible for this happening or not. I talked to him about it before I left that night and he said that I seemed like I had consented with my body language. In all honesty, I wanted to have unprotected sex the same way I think that everyone does. And I guess I had been rubbing up against him. But isn’t that what everyone does when they’re making out? Should I have been more explicit about condom usage? Could I have been?!? Should I have just stopped everything after he suggested that we not use one? I feel betrayed and dirty and sad and guilty. I’m all mixed up about who was responsible for what. I feel like I “cheated” on my husband.
Who's The Failure Here?
P.S. And FYI, I told my husband immediately after and he doesn’t feel that I did something wrong. Please help me figure this out, I’m don’t know how to understand what happened.
My response after the jump...
First off, WTFH, you made yourself crystal clear. You consented to sex on the condition that condoms were used and condoms weren't used. You are not at fault here. He is.
But I gotta say...
I've never had sex with someone—I've never rolled around and made out with a guy—and not noticed the moment when he paused to put on a condom. Ripping a condom packet open, making sure you've got the condom right-side-up, rolling it down your dick: all of that requires both hands and momentarily shifting focus away from the person with whom you're rolling around. I've never fucked a guy who could put a condom on so stealthily that I didn't perceive it. There are no condom ninjas. So anytime a guy started to go for it without pausing to put a condom on, WTFH, I knew. And I objected/insisted/punched, etc.
In this particular case, WTFH, the dude said something ambiguous and you didn't ask for clarity. (You didn't even look down.) So it seems possible that you may have heard what you wanted to hear. When he said, “Oh, don’t worry—I’ve got it,” it's possible you heard, "Oh, don't worry—I put a condom on," because you didn't want to think this guy was the asshole he clearly is. What would that say about your taste and your judgment? Or maybe you heard "Oh, don't worry—I put a condom on" because, as you stated in your letter, you wanna have unprotected sex the same way everyone else does. And perhaps, in this instance, in the heat of the moment, this asshole's self-serving and highly ambiguous statement and your prior insistence on condoms created an opportunity to have unprotected sex without your having to take responsibility for choosing to have unprotected sex.
I'm not trying to make you feel worse, WTFH, and I'm not saying it's your fault. But we sometimes we find ourselves in situations where ambiguous and/or misunderstood statements, our own powerful desires, and conscious or subconscious acts of self-sabotage result in us doing something we didn't want to do and we deeply regret. Please don't mistake me: I'm not exonerating the asshole who violated you. It's possible, I suppose, that he made a sincere mistake that he feels terrible about. But I doubt it. Anyone who say things like, "But it seemed like you consented with your body language!", can't be trusted in the sack or anywhere else. I believe he mislead you on purpose to get the condom-free sex he wanted.
You need to give yourself a break, WTFH. There's no need to feel dirty and sad and guilty. We all make mistakes, we are all taken advantage of at times. You have a right to feel betrayed and violated and I think you should call the asshole and give him a piece of your mind. Then make up your mind to take pride in the fact that you told your husband what happened and comfort in the fact that your husband reacted with compassion and understanding.
@amandamarcotte Can I get a ruling here, Amanda? Did I blow this response? Second opinion? slog.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/mob… — Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) March 12, 2013
@fakedansavage It sounds like he stretched the definition of "ambiguous" to the breaking point. I would have avoided second guessing her. — Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 12, 2013
@fakedansavage Probably worth saying, "For future reference, guys who test boundaries should not be trusted to do what they say." — Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 12, 2013
@amandamarcotte Agreed, and feel like I did- guy's an asshole, can't be trusted. But would you call this rape, as some of my readers have?— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) March 12, 2013
@fakedansavage It's not prosecutable, but for friends this has happened to, I find labeling it a kind of sexual assault can be clarifying.— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 12, 2013
@fakedansavage As in, it helps women see why seeing that guy again is a bad, bad idea.— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 12, 2013
@fakedansavage That's why I don't like seeing this as a black-or-white thing. We have degrees of assault for a reason.— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 12, 2013