'I Was Raped... Does Anyone Care?' This Military Veteran Shares His Story Of Being Raped By A Woman, And How Nobody Took Him Seriously.
It's still seen as taboo for victims of sexual assault to come forward with their stories especially if the victim is male and the perpetrator female. This man describes his struggle with sexual assault at the hands of a woman, and what little validation and support he received as a result.
Many thanks to reddit user Br0kenMan for sharing your story and bring awareness to such an important issue.
I am not sure what I am hoping to accomplish by writing this post. Normally, I just don't think about what happened, I gave up trying to explain it to people I actually know years ago. And even here on Reddit, there's no place that is actually right for this post, where-ever I put it I am either going to be dismissed as a troll, held up as some kind of symbol, or... I don't know.
Maybe just typing it will be enough. I don't have to actually hit 'post'.
I've tried to talk to people about this, but it has gotten me nowhere. The only place I got any acceptance and support at all was a support group for victims of male on male rape, and even there, most of them laughed and/or told me to quit whining. I tried telling my ex-wife, once, shortly after we were married.... It didn't go well, I wound up telling her it was a joke, I made it up, boy I sure had her going....
She didn't think it was funny. It's not.
I keep dancing around it, even anonymously I don't want to say it outright. I'm a man, and about 25 years ago, I was raped by a woman.
Before that, when I was a young child I was the victim of physical child abuse with a sexual component. I don't think it could strictly be termed rape, she was spanking me with a hairbrush and decided that since I wouldn't cry and scream from that anymore, she was going to sodomize me with it.
I don't even know which one is actually bothering me right now, they're all kind of mixed up together, you know?
I don't think the bit with the hairbrush is really my problem, though. It was horrible, and I still have some medical problems from it, but I think it's easier for me to process. There's no ambiguity, no sense that somehow what happened to me wasn't really a bad thing, or that it was somehow my fault, or that I'm just not understanding it.... I understand it; She was a horrible person, she hated my father at that moment, and since she couldn't get at him she took it out on me. Maybe somebody did something like it to her when she was a child, that whole 'cycle of abuse' thing. Anyway, it's a bucket of suck, but it doesn't really gnaw at me.
The other is harder. I was an adult. Not just an adult man, a pretty big and strong one. I was in probably the best shape of my life, actively training in martial arts, I could crush a beer can in my hands, without opening it first (great party trick, when you're in your 20's and somewhere you don't mind spraying beer all over the place).
You could break a two by four over nearly any part of my body at that point, and I'd have shrugged it off.
I was in the military, and like a lot of young guys in the military I did a lot of drinking. If I wasn't on duty for a Friday or Saturday night, I was going to be somewhere getting at least slightly sloshed, if not totally loaded. Things weren't as freewheeling back then as I guess they are these days, but there was still plenty of one night stands and I probably had more than my share. It was pretty much the height of the AIDS panic, the sexual revolution came to a crashing halt just before I got to join the fun. But I was decent looking, and even in an environment that was about 90% male, I managed to get 'action'. And then I got engaged, and although I kept partying, I quit hitting on girls and I probably didn't drink as much or as often.
But one night there was sort of a spontaneous party in my dorm, there were girls there from the military, girls and women from the married housing, and some civilians too. Just one of those things that happen when the random shuffle of "I heard there's a party over there" brings a lot of people to the same place.
So I open my door and invite people to raid my stash of booze (always amazed me that the military would talk about what a terrible alcohol abuse problem they had, then sell us booze for less than half what it cost off-base. We couldn't afford to drink at a bar more than once a week, but we could get hammered every night out of loose change, on the good imported stuff that cost a fortune in civilian markets).
People shuffle in, people shuffle out, the booze on hand starts to run out and groups start saying "I heard they're doing something near the west gate" or whatever, and heading out (nobody had cell phones back then, this kind of whispers game was how it worked). I'm mildly sloshed and not wanting to drive, and not really wanting to be depending on getting a ride back from where-ever, so I just let them go off and head for bed (it's like 11pm or midnight, and I was on duty the next day, which didn't always stop me but I was trying to be more responsible).
I wake up to my penis being stroked.
My fiance had a key to my room (we weren't supposed to make copies, but a lot of us did and we had made them for each other) and sometimes liked to surprise me. I'm still mostly asleep and I just sort of go with it.
But at some point, it dawns on me. The hands I'm feeling are feminine, but they don't move like my fiance's. Her hair's wrong, straight instead of curly. She doesn't smell right. What the hell, my fiance is on temporary assignment on the other side of the country and not going to be back for weeks.
I freak the hell out and scramble out of bed (I wouldn't notice until later, but she grabbed onto me and left fingernail scratches on my penis and upper thigh, it actually bled quite a bit and I noticed the blood before I felt them). I turn on the lights, and some woman I vaguely recognize from earlier (she was checking me out and maybe flirting a bit) is sitting on my bed. Mid-30's, blond, pretty decent looking, what they call a 'MILF' now.
And she's really not understanding that I'm not interested in cheating on my fiance.
I don't remember the exact words of the conversation, but it was generally her saying "come on, let's f*ck" and me saying "no, get out of my room".
Finally, I've had enough, I grab her by a forearm, pull her off the bed, and push her out the door. She spends a couple of minutes pounding on my door and yelling things like "Who the f*ck do you think you are, you can't do this to me!", then she leaves.
I'm done sleeping for the night, I wind up getting dressed and going to work so I can use the computers at the office (my job was essentially just to be there if someone actually needed something, and back then PC's were really expensive and not something I could afford). To be honest, I was playing Minesweeper and Solitaire. I would have been in trouble if I got caught (and it wouldn't have been the first time) but it had been months since the commander had come in on a weekend, and I was the person who would be calling him. Nobody else was going to be in there unless things went sideways in a way they thought needed to be reported up the chain right away (and they'd drop it in my lap, so I could decide if it was worth calling in the commander). Working the weekend earned me brownie points, and I kind of needed them (I mentioned I was trying to be more responsible, well that was because I hadn't always been).
I'm stalling. I don't want to write this next part.
I don't really see anybody all day, nobody comes into the office, couple of phone calls telling me to log that they are reporting that they have filled out their logs and will be sending them in to be filed, typical military Mickey Mouse pencil-whipping crap.
I go off-base to grab some fast food, then head back to my room. I'm hoping my fiance will call, she generally did at least once every weekend (again, this is back in the days of by-the-minute long distance charges, and using the government phones for personal calls was Not Authorized, so we couldn't spend much time actually talking).
Shit, I'm still stalling, trying to fill this space with minutiae so I don't have to get to the point.
The "MILF" shows up knocking at my door. She tells me that if I don't let her in, she's going to have the SP's come and drag me out. I open the door, ask her "for what?"
She's going to report me for trying to rape her. She's told one of her friends that I had tried to keep her in my room so I could, and she's got little baggies with my skin from under her nails to prove it, and she can tell them I'm not circumcised, and that I have scratches on my groin from when she fought me off, and big finger-shaped bruises on her arm from where I restrained her. She's got physical evidence, she's got a believable story, and I have not always been the best example of military discipline and it won't be hard for her to convince her best friend's husband, the head of base security, that I need to get the full-on Leavenworth and Dishonorable Discharge treatment. Oh, and just to make it perfectly clear how screwed I am, her husband works for the JAG office, the office that would both prosecute and defend me in a court-martial.
At some point in this I've gone sort of numb and dizzy, sat down, and she's walked in and closed the door.
This was right after the military first started taking sexual assault seriously, they'd set up a special office on nearly every base to investigate and pursue it, and they were collecting scalps all over the place to show they were serious. Hadn't been any on ours yet, but we'd heard rumors and read news stories, guys were getting rushed into and through a General court martial within days of being reported (normally they took weeks just to convene). I was practically a perfect one I looked kind of big and scary, I was an extremely junior officer with no political connections and a spotty record (not bad enough to screw my career prospects completely, but enough that nobody would consider me worth trying to save even if they believed me).
Her husband was connected, several grades up from me and considered a good prospect for promotion, and she was wired into the informal shadow hierarchy officer's wives have, everybody who mattered on that base was married to one of her friends, she had other friends married into higher commands, the Pentagon.
I was so completely at her mercy, I would be asking permission to speak within days at most (military prisoners have to ask permission to speak, to change their clothes, pretty much every damned thing probably including asking to be permitted to wipe after using the toilet) if she did what she was threatening. A few years of that hell in Leavenworth, then a Dishonorable Discharge and a lifetime of being even lower than the typical ex-convict (just for the Dishonorable, they didn't really have Sex Offender registries back then, I think).
You can probably guess what came next, and I don't really want to talk about the details.
She used me for her personal sex-toy for the rest of the time I was in the military. She'd get bored of me, or her husband would be paying attention, or I'd be on temporary duty elsewhere (and I volunteered for every one of them I could get), and I'd get a few weeks respite. But she'd get drunk and strike out at the clubs, or her husband would piss her off, or she'd just randomly feel like it, and I'd have to do what she wanted.
After a while, it wasn't even the fear of a rape charge, I just couldn't imagine trying to explain myself.
My fiance broke up with me, she thought I was having an affair and I couldn't bring myself to explain what was actually going on. It was almost a relief, at least I didn't have to lie to her anymore, didn't have to fear what she would think of me if she knew.
I was really lucky that this was the period of the "Peace Dividend", and the military was paring down by hundreds of thousands. A junior officer that didn't want any part of a military career anymore could get released early and still get an Honorable. I managed to keep her from knowing it was coming until after I was on 'terminal leave', or she probably would have tried to block it.
I probably would have been transferred soon anyway, or her husband would have, but I just couldn't take it anymore.
I'd gotten lazy and sloppy (I was probably depressed, but officers weren't allowed to get mental illness or ask for counselling, and what the hell would I have said, anyway), pulled a bunch more minor write-ups in my file, I would have had a hard time making Captain and no chance at all of getting higher, anyway. There was no real attraction to a military life for me.
I got out. I moved on.
I tried counseling, I tried support groups (god, what a joke, I got called a liar and nearly thrown out of the first one I tried, only one that would even hear me out was the man-on-man victims, and half of those were gay and tried to hit on me). I tried to drink it away, I tried to fuck it away, I got married, I got divorced. I considered turning gay (turns out it's not a choice, guys don't get me to stand at attention).
I considered suicide.
No matter who I talked to, I get the same reactions.
They don't believe me, or they can't understand how it's even possible for a man to be raped by a woman (news flash, in your 20's a breeze blowing across it can get you hard, even (or especially) if it's the last thing you want). They ask if I had orgasms, they hint or outright say that I must have liked it. Counsellors want to talk about my self-emasculating masochistic sexual impulses, probably a result of my childhood abuse, a really high-brow way of saying I must have liked it and I'm lying to myself because I don't want to admit it.
I didn't like it. I didn't want it.
I'm not able to let myself be actually vulnerable with any woman, which destroyed my marriage and more relationships than I care to count. No matter how hard I try, I never can really trust them with my secrets, and the few times I've tried have made it really clear that is not an irrational fear.
Exactly one woman sat through the whole story, then she never spoke to me again. Through mutual friends I found out that she 'just couldn't respect' me, she wouldn't tell them why.
I put on 50 pounds and quit working out even before I got out of the service, and even though I know why I am self-sabotaging that way, when I diet and start exercising, all it takes is seeing some blond MILF checking me out while pretending not to and I'm in a panic to get to Burger King and binge-eat Double Whoppers and milkshakes, back to safety.
I'm a male victim of a female rapist.
And that is the most pathetic, least respectable, completely unworthy thing to be. And the only advice I have ever gotten about it is boils down to either 'shaking it off', or admitting to myself that I must really like being used and abused, or I wouldn't have 'let it happen'.
So, there's my story.
I'll admit right now I fudged some of the details to make it nearly impossible to identify me, even if my ex-wife or someone else I've told parts of it to happens to see this, they won't be sure. I'm using proxies and a throw-away account, and various other measures that should keep it from being traced. And if "she" sees it...screw her, she's not going to control me with fear anymore, maybe she'll even feel shame. I actually do feel better for putting it out there. And I'm going to go ahead and post it, even if it gets deleted right away, that will be closure of a sort. I'll know once and for all, there really isn't anyone, anywhere, that wants to hear it.
A final thought on the preconception of 'rapist' as being somehow tied up with being male. It suggests that there's something more male about the men who rape. If rape is about power, then men who rape must be more powerful, and if rape is defined by gender than they must be more manly. And the most powerful and manly of all must be the men who rape other men. Who is the 'Big Bad', the embodiment of both power and evil, in a prison movie?
It mythologizes rapists, makes them into these god-like figures, demons of lust, twisted paragons of masculinity.
It almost makes them admirable.
I can't imagine how anything could be more insulting to victims than to elevate the attackers like that. Or how anything could be more "reinforcing of rape culture". That it defines men like me, victims that happen to not fit into the mythology, out of existence? That just makes it worse.
There's something distinctly sick and wrong about that.
"It wasn't me!"
There's not much you can do when the righteous fist of the law comes down on you. Call it a mix-up, or call it a mistake, if someone's pegged you at the scene of a crime there's not much you can do but trust the justice system to prove you innocent. However, that's a gamble, and just because you've been given a "not guilty" doesn't mean the effects won't follow you for the rest of your life.
Reddit user, u/danbrownskin, wanted to hear about the times when it wasn't you, seriously, it was someone else, when they asked: