As a mother of two little girls I cannot help but think of the adversity they will have to face as women in this crazy world, and all of the penises they will have to ward off. There are so many of them and some of them are going to want to have sex with the unspeakable- my daughters! While I would love for my girls to remain celibate until they are married, I realize that is not very realistic. It’s also not practical to trust the entire world.
Take for instance the time I woke up with my pants unbuttoned and a cold hand cupping my medium-sized Cs. It was a few weeks before Christmas break and I was getting fondled by one of my college “friends” on the New York City subway while a homeless guy sang Jingle Bells in the background. Happy Holidays to me and my lady parts. We were all getting an early Christmas present that year.
I woke up to awkward fingers trying to find my areolas and a noticeable draft hovering over my midsection. I could see my laced-lined panties peeping through my pants. I squinted in an attempt to understand what was happening. The top button on my favorite jeans was missing. My left breast was pouring out of my grey v-neck shirt. My legs were separated in seemingly complete submission. And a man next to me was belting out Christmas Carols as though his life depended on it.
If I am being completely honest my initial anger came from the ripped button. How dare he ruin my favorite pants? What the hell was he so eager to get to down there? I wasn’t hiding 100’s in my vagina.
It was when his ice cold hands found my nipple that I became super clear on what was happening to me. I was being sexual assaulted right there in the open, on the New York City subway, and no one was doing a damn thing about it.
I had admittedly gotten a bit frisky during a dorm room party earlier in the evening and had allowed my friend to do body shots off my navel. I however in no way consented to twat shots and a full breast exam. I stood up from my would-be exam table on that dingy subway ready to deck something other than the halls! Santa be warned. This guy was ready for the naughty list. Blinding rage surged through my entire body.
The next dizzying reaction came when I looked across the way at the three guys that were with us. All of them were wide awake. A bit hammered, but basically alert and therefore had front row seats to the peep show. That’s when my internal record skipped. I started screaming at the poor man child and his henchmen. I also wanted to scold myself for not going home with my girlfriends an hour earlier. The four guys we were hanging out with would get me home safely, I had insisted. The fact that I was drunk and so obviously outnumbered at 2 am haunts me. I was a college freshman in a big city who trusted everyone I knew. I was prey for the taking.
Harry Handerson slipped at least a dozen, “I’m sorry, I’m just really attracted to you” notes under my door the following week and had the henchmen vie for his sainthood every time I encountered them on campus. He was a really good kid who was just really drunk and really into me. He had no intention of doing anything else. I cut ties with all of them immediately. Call me crazy, but I make it a rule to never allow anyone to have fun at my expense without my willing participation.
It’s funny because back then I knew I was violated. I knew my sense of safety was tarnished. But I didn’t take what happened to me very seriously. I chalked it up to being too drunk and too friendly with a boy that I thought was my friend. I was afraid that my boyfriend would think I was acting too “easy.” I let Harry do shots off my stomach after all. So I told my boyfriend, licked my wounds and put the story in the vault. It was my fault after all.
Well, ladies, I’m here to tell you now over fifteen years later – it wasn’t my fault. I did not deserve to be treated like a sex doll. In the process though I learned that trust is something you earn and that confidence cannot be found in the people you hang out with. It’s inside you and something I then looked for in the men I surrounded myself with.
My little girls are going to have to learn some lessons through their own experiences, but I’ll save them the trouble on this one. The man that touched me that night had an unconfident penis and that is not someone I want my daughters to encounter. They deserve a person who earns the right to touch them in those forbidden places while they are conscious and consenting….. You know, once I have removed their chastity belts, said my novenas and married them off.
Nicole Tynan is an advertising executive by day. Momma by day, night and carrier pigeon…. And struggling writer by whatever free time she has left! She loves a good f-bomb and believes there are only so many hours in a day to deny yourself from using it. Because if you don’t let it out verbally you may end up seriously constipated, just like your three-year-old that only eats Mac & Cheese! Her favorite thing in the whole world is face hugs. You know, when you rest your cheek against your snot-nosed kid’s cheek and you end up with booger-residue on your face. Nothing more fulfilling. Nicole’s work has been featured on Medium and you can also read her tales of woe and wonder on her personal blog LettersPennedinPink. Get excited. NOW. I’m not yelling; you are.