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The Other Side Of Rape (Part 2)

The Other Side Of Rape (Part 1)

At this point a million thoughts are racing through my mind.

What just happened?

What did I do?

Did I hurt her in some way perhaps?

And the tears, what the f*ck?

This is not good. This is bad, real bad.

My own confusion and fear threatens to overwhelm me. This was definitely not how I had imagined things turning out. Remembering the way her body suddenly tensed sends shivers down my spine. There was something ominous about But despite the chaos in my head I somehow manage to keep a calm demeanor and I ask again.

‘Are you OK?’

No response.

She just averts her tear filled eyes from my inquisitive gaze. The tension in the air threatens to suffocate both of us but before it does she quickly wraps a towel around her torso and heads for the sanctuary of the bathroom. First she pushes me off her mid coitus and now runs off to bathroom. I get the message loud and clear. She doesn’t want to be anywhere in my vicinity, but why? Her rejection stings but that feeling is immediately overtaken by guilt for feeling that way in this situation. This is not about you. Or is it? There are only two people in this room and she is clearly traumatized by something. I have no idea what it is though.

F*ck!

All of sudden I become hyper conscious of my own nakedness. My eyes scan the room for my jocks. And as I put them back on fear and confusion writes itself all over my face. She isn’t gone for long and when she returns from the bathroom she sits upright on the bed with her knees pulled back towards her chest and her arms wrapped around her knees. I am still desperately trying to make sense of what is happening. I slowly take a sit on the edge of the bed, making a deliberate effort to keep some space between us. Even though I am not entirely sure what is going on yet, my instincts tell me that I need to make her feel safe and considering she pushed me off her mid coitus, I’ll be wise to keep my distance for now.

I still have no idea what is going on. One moment we were both lost in throes of passion and in the next she tensed up and just pushed me off from on top of her without saying a single word and then burst into tears. I had no idea why. I don’t know what to do now. I try to search for the answers behind her tears but all I see are the letters that anxiousness, shame and hurt have scribbled all over face. She seems just as confused and scared as I am. I want to tell her that everything will be OK, but I am not sure I even believe that. I want to console her, but I have no idea what I am consoling her on. Given the sudden turn of events it’s highly likely that I am the problem. The monster she needs to get away from. But that doesn’t make sense. Nothing about this whole scenario makes any sense at all.

‘Talk to me, please, I don’t understand what just happened and you are freaking me out right now’

At that she starts crying again. This is bad, real bad.

After what felt like forever she finally said something. In between her sobs all I managed to pick up ‘… raped’. The rest was pretty much incoherent. My heart stops. That word ‘raped’ sends chills down my spine and my head collapses into my hands. Is she saying that I ….Before I can finish that though she continues ‘I was 15 when my uncle raped me and just before when you were on top of me I had flashbacks of that horrific experience. I haven’t had an episode like this in a long time so it really caught me off guard and it’s just brought up a lot of emotions’ I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I also felt a temporary relief that it was not me (directly) that had hurt her.
‘Did I … rape you?’, I asked hesitantly still trying to come to terms with what was going on. (And maybe selfishly seeking some reassurance that I wasn’t at fault) ‘No, you stopped when I needed you to … Thank you. It just that sometimes certain things trigger flashbacks and I become overwhelmed’ As she said this shame and guilt weighed down on her voice and it trembled.

Regardless my mind still couldn’t wrap itself around how anyone could commit such a barbaric act on what I imagine was at the time a beautiful young Nubian Princess. And a close trusted family member at that! This upsets me and I find myself consumed by anger for her rapist. For the rest of the night we just sat across the bed from each other as she narrated her ordeal and how it still affected her. This she explained was what she always felt the need to be in control. She explained to me that when her uncle had violated her it wasn’t the sexual act itself that left the deepest scars. It was the power and control he had over her during the rape still that affected her the most. Since then she had issue with letting anyone else be in control especially during sex. And when it comes to others aspects of her life being in independent for her gives her some semblance of power and control over her life.

And as she continued sharing her ordeal my confusion and anger morphed into empathy for and her story. She went on to tell how to this day she resents her family for ‘allowing’ her uncle to violet her in such a heinous manner. How when her friends talked about how they lost their virginity she had to make up a story about how she lost hers because she was too embarrassed to tell them she was raped. She said because of this she found it difficult to bond emotionally with anyone. Even though she still enjoyed sex it was only when she was in total control. She didn’t always want to be in control but every time she did let go the memories (almost always) came flooding back.

Listening to her narrate her story I sense that this whole process is more about her dealing with her demons in this moment and not necessarily about reassuring me or playing the victim in any way. The more of her story she shares with the more I realize that even though her uncle had stolen the innocence of a beautiful young Nubian princess she had still grown into the beautiful Queen of Sheba. Even though in some moments like this she might feel lost and vulnerable, she was still and would always be a Queen. And it is that vivacious, confident beautiful woman that I will always remember. The beautiful young Nubian Princess who grew up to become the Queen of Sheba.

Since that episode I have tried to as learned as much as I can about how men can help victims of sexual assault. I remembered my own panic and confusion in a time when she needed support and this has stayed with since. If I ever I found myself in a similar situation again I wanted to be in a better position to offer more support. With that in mind I have shared some of the things I have learned about the role than men in particular can play in helping rape victims heal below. If you as man ever find yourself in a situation where a rape victim turns to you for support hopefully some of this information will help.

A Man’s Guide to helping a Woman who has been raped

According to Matt Atkinson of the organization Resurrection after rape ‘ Males can have some of the greatest effects on a woman’s recovery. Depending on how we approach our role as helpers, we can either make her experience worse or better; we can either react badly or devastate her, or we can be one “key” in her recovery and healing. Since half of raped women turn to a male as their first source of help and advice, we play a crucial role in both the short-term and long-term experiences she has after the assault.
Although we men often want to help the survivor, we are often unprepared to be effective. We might think of rape as a “woman’s problem,” or assume that it’s something they can just “get over.” Or we may assume they’ll never “get over” it; that she will always be impure or “dirty” because of what someone else did. Maybe we realize we’re even angry at her, being critical of her decisions (“you put yourself in that situation!”) or wanting violent revenge against her attacker. As a result, a lot of poor decisions are made by well-meaning helpers.

Rape myths that men can help end

• Rape is a power crime, not a sex crime. Sex is the method of rape, not the goal.

• The victim is not responsible–even slightly–for what a rapist has chosen to do. Even if we
disagree with some of her decisions during the incident, some of her responses are instincts
(not choices), and even when she does choose some of her actions, no choices make rape
deserved, natural, or even likely. Only a rapist’s choice to attack makes a rape happen.

• All humans–men and women–have three instincts when we feel out life is threatened: Fight,
flight, or freeze. None of these choices is “better” than the other, so we should resist judging
a victim who did something other than “what I would have done in that situation…”

• Nearly all rape survivors will blame themselves or feel guilty after the rape. This is an
unhealthy but natural way for her to psychologically protect herself by trying to figure out
what she “did wrong,” so she’ll be able to “fix it” and keep it from happening again. It is
Important that you not go along with it, and even disagree and insist that none of it was her
fault.

You can help her by:
• Knowing the myths, and not falling for them

• Understanding what she is going through and why she blames herself

• Listening without asking prying questions, but also reminding her that she is not to blame

• Allowing her to make decisions to regain control (except the decision to blame herself; you
will gently but solidly teach her that she is not at fault)

You can access the full guide HERE

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Other Side Of Rape (Part 1)

Scars can be physical, emotional or mental. Whatever their shape or form we all bear them in one way or the other. Our scars are part of what makes us human. They are a testament to our fragility and vulnerability.They serve as reminders of our mortality and they always tell a story of the places we have been and what we have been through. Some of us wear them as badges of honour, displaying them for the rest of the world to see. These are usually the more visible physical scars. The ones that boldly declare that, ‘I have overcome and I am a warrior.’

But when it comes to the emotional or mental scars most of us work very hard to hide these from the glare of the world. However, more often than not it is these scars that become an integral part of who we are. They define us and our relationships with others, for better or worse. In most cases these scars are a result of a traumatic experience. Unfortunately most people don’t get the help they need to deal with the trauma that brought about the scars.Even though these scars are indelibly imprinted across our hearts and psyche we don’t always acknowledge how much they change us.Instead we worry about how the world would judge or treat us differently if they knew the stories behind these scars. And because we hide these scars from our friends, family and lovers they never familiarise themselves with our struggle and will never quite fully understand us or our actions.

Once in a while though someone comes along and they get close enough to see the scars that we are so desperately trying to hide.In such cases we are then forced to deal with the very demons we have been trying to pretend do not exist. And if we are lucky these people might help us deal with the lingering trauma that remains from these scars. If we let them.

I have written about some of my own scars both physical and emotional on this blog before. It has often been a cathartic process that has gone a long way in helping me own my scars. Today I want to write from a different perspective, that of the other person, who inadvertently discovers another’s scars and what that experience is like.

I once became close with this woman who on the surface was one of the most beautiful, vivacious, confident women you could ever meet. She was an independent and focused career woman. She had literally grabbed this life thing by the balls and had it at her mercy. When she walked into a room people noticed. She had this indefinable mystique and aura about her that seemed to simultaneously draw you in and keep you at a distance. Everyone seemed to know her and if they didn’t they wanted to get to know her. But her physical presence was merely a superficial mask that hid an even more amazing inner beauty that manifested itself in her graciousness, intellect and wit.

And from the get go I was enamoured with her. In so many ways she embodied many of the qualities that I find attractive in women. She was also a few years older than me. At the time we met I was 27 and she was 30. She alsomade it abundantly clear from the very beginning that she wasn’t looking for anything serious. I was totally on board. In fact I was just happy to be in the presence of such an amazing woman, but before I get carried away let me get to the story of how we met.

The circumstances of our meeting were quite fortuitous if I am to be entirely honest. It had been a rather quite night out at one of my favourite lounge bars. And as I was getting ready to call it a night I started making my way to the exit and that is when we literally bumped into each other. In the process I spilled the drink she had in her hand. Real smooth, I know. Embarrassed I apologized profusely for my clumsiness and offered to replace her drink. She gave me this smile that said aaawww cute, before politely declining my offer saying she was on her way out anyway. Maybe it was her smile, (it definitely was her smile) and also the fact that she took the whole incident within her stride that resonated with me and before I knew it I instinctively offered to make up for it another time. This again was out of character for me as nine times out of ten I would have just walked away with my tail between my legs but I didn’t. She already had a hold of me and to my surprise she agreed. As exchanged numbers one of her girlfriends mouthed ‘Girl he cute’. For once it seemed my clumsiness had turned to be quite the able wingman.

We met up post spill gate a couple of days later and we hit it off immediately. What started off as sundowners turned into another late night in which she invited me to join her and a couple of her others friends. Seeing us you would have thought we had known each other forever. Over the following days and weeks we increasingly spent more and more time together. During that time we were seeing each other I began to notice that she liked to be in control. Initially I put it down to her being older than me and it didn’t really bother me at first.

This was until we started getting intimate with each other. That is when I realized that her need to be in control extended to our sex life. She always had to be on top and always resisted any attempts I made to take the lead or change the status quo in any way. Admittedly she had the most unbelievable pelvic muscle control so I wasn’t really complaining too much. She knew what she wanted and how she wanted it and I was living la vida loca.

Everything was going well but I still struggled to understand her need to always be in control on the sexual front. Was it because I was younger than her and she assumed that I didn’t know what I was doing or wouldn’t be able to satisfy her needs? The more I thought about this the harder it became to just ignore this aspect of our ‘relationship’.

One day whilst laying in bed post coitus I casually teased her on her need to always be in control during sex. I hinted that I would surprise her if she let me. She immediately shot me down. In a flash she went from warm and relaxed to agitated and defensive and this caught me completely off guard. This was the first time I had seen this side of her. I quickly abandoned my attempts of getting to the bottom of the whole issue, but this was only after she had told me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t like the way things were I could be on my way. She reminded me that she made it clear from the beginning that she wasn’t looking for anything serious. ‘This wasn’t a love thang.’ Anyway I dropped it and for the next couple of days we carried on as usual and pretended this little episode never happened.

Unbeknown to me I had struck a raw nerve with my teasing and I was soon to found out exactly how much in the most dramatic of circumstances. A couple of days later she encouraged me take the lead for the first time. At first I was hesitant but she cajoled me with her teasing and unlike her days earlier I gladly obliged. I felt her gradually let go and let me in ways she hadn’t before and as we both lost in the intensity of each other and it was beautiful … at first. Then mid coitus her body tensed rather abruptly. I froze mid stroke. Before I could say anything she pushed me off her and she started sobbing uncontrollably.

‘Are you OK? No response, just more sobbing.

She clearly wasn’t OK.

To be continued …

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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It Takes Three To Tangle, And Just Two To Tango (Part 4)

It Takes Three To Tangle, And Just Two To Tango (Part 3)

It was quieter now as we walked further away from the club. And as we walked, I could feel a sense of excitement building. None of us spoke a word the whole time, despite the fact that we were all quite inebriated. I guess everyone was lost in their own contemplation of what was unfolding.

What were Lola and Hannah thinking? Where they having second thoughts? Excited? Scared? I couldn’t read much from their body language save for the fact that they seemed unusually amiable for two people I had assumed shared a mutual animosity towards each other. Maybe it was the anticipation but my heart was racing as we approached my front door and I finally caught up with the girls. I reached for the doorknob and unlocked the door ushering Hannah and Lola in. This is it.

There is no turning back. I immediately make a decision to finally start playing a more active role in this unfolding adventure. I set about making the girls comfortable by putting on music and then making a bee line for the kitchen for the kitchen so I can make some drinks for the three of us. Luckily I still have some Tequila left over from the pre-drink up from earlier in the night with the usual suspects … my boys. They are not going to believe how the night ended for me. I could never have imagined it in a million years but here I was, about to live the fantasy.

Jose-cuervo-tequila

When I return to the kitchen I am holding good old Uncle Jose Cuervo in one hand and three shot glasses in the other. I am out of mixers, but I managed to find some cut up lemons from earlier so it’s going to have to be straight shots. Not that anyone is going to mind. I quickly survey the room as soon as I make it back to the lounge. Lola is dancing rather provocatively and as her hips sway seamlessly to the dancehall rhythms of Kevin Little’s “Turn Me on”. Damn, this girl can move. Watching her dance seductively in the middle of the room I am remember why I have been sleeping with Lola on and off for so long even though I can’t really stand her when we are not busy getting our freak on. Lola had this knack of sending me the most lurid sexts every time I swore I had hooked up with her for the last time. Sexts that always seemed to get me from flaccid and disinterested to Django unchained faster than you can say Broomhilda. Lola was insatiable. A nymphomaniac in every sense of the word. But so was I.

Across the room Hannah is sitting on the edge of the couch watching Lola dance, an incongruous mix of curiosity and envy written on her face. When she looks my way and as her eyes meet my own I see a flicker of excitement register in her eyes as she stretches her hand out for a drink. As I pour the shots Lola pulls Hannah from the couch and they both start dancing body to body. The taboo excitement of the scene that is unfolding in front my eyes is heightened when both girls start touching each other slowly and sensually as they continue dancing. That is my cue and I quickly take a shot as I make my way to the girls. After handing them their shots they sandwich me between them and as both their hands explore my body I am now completely drunk on liquor and power. I feel like an Adonis. I chuckle to myself and as they begin to undress me right there in the lounge I have this boyish grin on my face. Up to that point in my life, it was the best moment I had ever experienced.

Even though Lola had since always claimed that it was her first threesome experience, she seemed like a seasoned pro as she led the two of us through it. There seemed to be a voyeuristic element to the way she basically allowed me and Hannah to get comfortable as she lingered on the periphery for a while before joining and displaying unreal multi tasking abilities. Still no one said a single word. And from then on we all seemed to go on autopilot. If there is one thing I have learnt from that and many other experiences during those hedonistic times, it’s that human beings are extremely accommodating and adaptable when life presents itself with a novel opportunity for a sexual escapade.

Later the exertions of the entire night having taken their taking a toll on me I had simply collapsed on the carpet between the girls and just laid there staring blankly at the ceiling.

To Be Continued …

 
 

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It Takes Three To Tangle, And Just Two To Tango (Part 1)

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A while ago I set out to write a series of blogs the purpose of which was to explore some of my past relationships. I wanted to look back on the influence those experiences have had in shaping me into the man that I am today … For better or for worse. It was supposed to be an exercise in introspection to see how much I have grown, changed or otherwise. It was an attempt to write my wrongs. In the process I hoped that someone out there might learn from some of my experiences.

A recurring theme in the few posts that I actually completed was the domineering role that my ego had on my decision making especially when it came to matters of the heart. This wasn’t too much of a surprise because I know I can have a big ego. Unfortunately I did not follow through and actually finish that series of blogs. After only three posts I quickly shifted to writing about less emotionally demanding topics. Why? Well, because I was at a crossroads as to whether or not to write about a particular experience or should I say season in my life. I found myself questioning what good it would do anyone to share that story. I was unwilling to confront my own demons. I wasn’t sure I could even tell that story in its unfiltered entirety. Anything else would not do it justice.

At the time I couldn’t summon the courage to confront myself within the blank pages margins. It was too daunting. So I chickened out. It was hypocritical of me for several reasons. For starters I pride myself on always following through on whatever personal goal set for myself. In that regard I failed. And that more than anything is why I am here again going around in circles working my way into actually finishing that series. Also the whole point of that series was to take stock of where I have come from, where I am, and where I want to go. It was never supposed to be easy. If I was true to the process it was going to be challenging, but only by overcoming those challenges and confronting my past would I be able to gleam anything meaningful from the whole process of writing and sharing those stories.

In the three posts that I wrote on my past relationships with women all the relationships I wrote about where your conventional and stereotypical boyfriend/girlfriend monogamous relationships. The revelations about how big my ego is and how it can often get in the way of any meaningful relationship were not really groundbreaking. I already knew this. I was just sharing and acknowledging it on this space. Writing my wrongs per se.

But this story that I avoided writing about until now was totally different. That season of my life was characterized by most reckless behavior both emotionally and physically. Although I probably played Russian roulette more with my penis than I did with my emotions. The emotional recklessness I displayed at the time had more to do with the feelings of the people I interacted with at the time. Nonchalant aptly describes my attitude then. Hedonistic, my way of life. It was also the most revealing, selfish and honest period of my life up to that point. It is a period in my early twenties that blasted almost two years from when I was 22- 24 years old. It is a period that I hardly ever talk about or reminisce over. In fact I avoid it like the plague.

A big part of the reason I didn’t write about before is that I have never known where exactly to start. I also worried about how it would be received and whether or not it would somehow awaken any sleeping dogs. Granted this all happened a long time ago now and all the parties involved have moved on but hey, you never know with these things. I was also embarrassed of some of my behavior and didn’t know whether I would be true enough to the story. But then I am aware of how much clarity and closure I have been able to get from writing about even more traumatic events in my life and that is what gives me the confidence to go ahead this time. I have been able to hold myself accountable to myself by simply writing my wrongs on the blank page. It might seem like a trivial way of dealing with issues but it works for me. So that is what I am going to do. As for where to start, in an ode to the anarchism that prevailed at the time I will start somewhere in the middle of that story. On the night of my 23rd birthday party.

The night of my 23rd birthday party is blur that is fragmented by random flashes of memory. If it wasn’t for the pictures I have of the day I’m not sure I would have be able to properly reconstruct some of what happened that night. Neither would I have been able to tell you who was there or what mischief they got up to. But there is one scene that I vividly remember without the aid of pictures or even friends. There is no need to reconstruct it because the images are indelibly etched in crystal clear high definition quality in my memory.

I am in my backyard. Everyone else is either in the house or elsewhere. Well, not quite everyone. There is one other person with me in the backyard. I am laying on my back, intoxicated out of my mind, with no idea at all how I even got here. I don’t realise it at the time but I am ruining my friend and housemates $300 white blazer I had borrowed for the night by laying in the grass like that. Anyway, like I said there someone else in the backyard.

I can make out the silhouette of a woman. The southern cross forms a beautiful backdrop above the silhouette that my drunk self appreciates for a second as I become more and more aware of my surroundings. Now I can feel her gluteus maximus gently cushioned on my person. My pants are pulled down to my knees. I feel the cool summer night’s breeze against my legs. I feel myself inside her. I have no idea where her pants are or when they came off. But she is the teetotaler so I am sure she will feel in the blanks for me later. We have been here before. One too many times in fact. Not in this exact spot in the backyard, but definitely in this situation having casual sex with each other in the most random of places. It has often thrilling So whilst I have no recollection how I got here I am relieved because this is a familiar body. I know all it nooks and crannies,it’s contours and all it’s intricacies. I have navigated my way around it’s curves countless times.

We are not dating. We are not even an ‘item’ per se but we are very familiar with each others bodies. We are ‘friends with benefits” or to put it more bluntly we are F**k buddies. We have managed to keep the boundaries clear and the arrangement has been mutually beneficial and fun. We see each other in spurts. No fancy dinners, no roses, no gifts, no bullshit. We satiate each others libidos with zero emotional distractions. Get in, get off, get out. And so far it has worked. Ours has been a clandestine affair grounded in sexual hedonism, a mutually beneficial and satisfying one at that. None of my friends or even hers knows of our little arrangement. Most of her friends would probably be shocked. That is the way we like it and want it.

But as I meet her gaze I am confronted by her tear filled eyes and for the first time I realise that she is sobbing softly. Now this is a first. I am more accustomed to her lustily pinning me down with her eyes, her luscious lips curved into a knowing smile. Not today, now it’s just her bottom lip that’s quivering uncontrollably. This is uncharted territory and the realisation sobers me up quickly. I try desperately to put together the jigsaw in her eyes but my head is throbbing incessantly and I am struggling to make any sense of what is actually going on. As she reads the puzzled look on my face, she mumbles to me between sobs “ I can’t do this anymore Taf … ”

To Be Continued

In the meantime you can have a read of the blogs I mentioned earlier in which I explored my past relationships here and shared some of the lessons I picked up from them

I Have Never Been IN Love

Where I Wanna Be

The Pretender

 

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Writing My Wrongs

 

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Let’s Talk About Sex

Lets talk about sex

The first time my Dad gave me any advice that could be considered relationship advice I was 19. It was just a few weeks before I left for my university studies in Australia. There was no big prelude to give me any sort of inkling as to what this was going to be about. He just cut straight to the chase saying to me “I trust that me and your mother raised you the right way – with morals, to be always respectful and God fearing. At the stage that you are right now there is not much we can really forbid you from doing. Especially now that you are going to be living alone, 12000km away from home and us your parents. We wouldn’t let you go that far and spend the money that we are spending if we didn’t trust that you fully understood what is expected of you. You are young adult now. A man. You are going to have certain urges, be even more enamoured than you are with women now and vice versa. That’s perfectly normal. But I wouldn’t be doing my job as a father if I didn’t educate on the potential consequences of recklessly following through on those urges. Everywhere around us people are dying of AIDS. It’s no secret that’s what killed your uncle. But people, and even families avoid discussing it. And yet people continue dying. I am not going to tell you not to have sex, but what I will tell you is that if you choose to please always take precautions and use condoms. Respect and love yourself enough to at least take that precaution. That being said I would rather you didn’t rush into it” And just like that he was done.

Condoms

I was gobsmacked. I had never discussed girls, let alone sex with my dad until that moment. It was something that had always remained unspoken. I mean even at 19 I was a virgin, a baby and maybe even a bit of a prude. Yeah I liked girls but I had never seriously been in a situation where sex was an objective or even a possible outcome. My six years at an all catholic boys boarding school had seen to that. I had had girlfriend’s but it was mostly innocent. Whilst I had fooled around a bit, the actual act of sex had not been an even remote possibility in my mind’s eye.Not forgetting that it was logistically impossible. I spent 8 months of the year at an all boys boarding school and the rest at home with my parents. If the street lights came on and I wasn’t home, somebody was going to get hurt real bad. I never missed curfew.

But here was my dad telling me to use condoms. Where from? How? Why? To him it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to have sex some time in the near future. I wanted say to say to him “Don’t worry dad, I’m still a virgin and I plan on staying that way until I get married.” But I didn’t. Eyes to the floor I just kept quite and nodded hesitantly.

In retrospect I am glad I didn’t say anything. It seems my future self knew better.  Because only a few months later now at university I lost my virginity. And thanks to that practical advice from my dad, the only thing I seemed sure about during that forgettable experience was the need for using protection. How quickly things had escalated from just a few months before when I had my self imposed vow of chastity. And it wasn’t even with a girlfriend or someone I loved. This was just some random girl who though I looked like Will Smith (I don’t) that I had only hung out with a handful of times. Left to my own devices and away from the shelter of boarding school and my parents my resolve weakened.  I easily succumbed to the casual hook up culture that is prevalent in university life. No one actively pressured me to do it, it was something that all of a sudden felt like the next logical step.

I remember though that I was too embarrassed to tell my partner in crime that I was a virgin, but I am sure she figured that out. I had no idea what I was doing and a little over a minute later it was over. I cringe just thinking about it. I didn’t have any regrets though, even though I had previously planned to stay celibate til marriage. At that point that was the right decision for me and seeing as I placed no value at the time of doing it with someone I loved, I am glad my dad had that talk with me. Just hearing it from him had made sure that it was always going to be at the forefront of my mind.

Years later, I was much older but not that much wiser I was back home at my parents. Having lived away from home for years I had grown some balls and figured I could pretty much come and go as I pleased. On one such occasion I ended up sleeping over at a girls house. When I sheepishly returned home in the early hours of the morning my dad wasn’t too impressed and he let me have it. This talk I brought onto myself. After establishing that I had slept over at a female friends house, he went on to ask me if we she was my girlfriend. She wasn’t. She was a friend (with benefits). Although I didn’t disclose the benefit’s part.

No matter, that was just the launch pad he needed.  He pointed out that I was grown man fully capable of making my own decisions, but he was my father. And he wouldn’t being doing his job if he didn’t say anything. No one else might tell me this but I had to hear it. He pointed out that I was an eligible bachelor, with a very bright future in front of me. Most women will see you as a good match and probably fall over themselves to be with you. And that could make me a target. Whilst I had achieved quite a bit he knew very well I wasn’t responsible enough yet to be a father. so he gave me this advice. If you are going to sleep with someone, at least make sure that on some level you can visualise that person as the potential mother of your child. If the very idea of that person carrying your child makes you uncomfortable then keep your pants on.

The point he was making was that by indulging in sexual intercourse, protection or not I needed to be cognisant of the possibility of pregnancy. The expectation was that once that happened there was no shying away from the responsibility that lay ahead. He put it to me that I wouldn’t end up happy if I ended up marrying someone just because they got pregnant. Neither did I want to be an absent father or have someone else raise my kid. The way he saw it, I needed to be more thoughtful of the potential consequences of my sexual ambivalence. And the way I took it, if I can’t envision whoever I sleep with being the mother of my kids, then I shouldn’t be playing Russian roulette with my penis.

At this point in my life that is the most relevant and practical advice that my dad could have given me. And I am grateful for that.

 
 

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