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I fully gave consent but I wish I hadn't

SystemSystem Posts: 8,585 Community Managers
Two months ago I had sex for the first time. I'm in my twenties (and religious) and I always thought I wanted to wait until marriage (just personal reasons).
But I met a guy on a dating app and we dated a for a few weeks. We would sometimes be at his place, each time testing out new things that I was comfortable with (with clothes on) and he would be pretty respectful. After one night of going out for drinks, he brought me back to his place and it was the first time he initiated sex (it was also the first night I was wearing more provocative clothes, so not sure if he thought I was leading him on; he kept saying how great I looked in my shirt) but I told him no to sex because I was feeling self conscious and not ready. So he talked to me for the longest time about how I shouldn't feel self conscious and I was feeling a lot more trustful of him. He asked to take things to his bedroom, and I hesitantly said yes, and everything happened so fast after that. He was constantly checking up on me, and I kept saying I was fine even though deep down I didn't want to have sex and I knew I wasn't ready.

So basically, this is all on me. I just pressured myself into it, thinking it was about time that we had sex because he wanted it and he's been nothing but sweet to me. I didn't check in with myself and ended up really hurting myself. I've gone through such a big turnover and become more in-tune with my needs and myself. I also went through a pretty low/dark time, but I ended things with him because there was something off about our relationship.

I just don't know why I still feel so empty and I can't shake off that night. I'm just looking for people with possibly similar stories or what I can do to finally move on.

Comments

  • Stars2Stars2 Posts: 20 Fast Newbie
    Sorry to hear that you felt you weren't ready even if you consented. I have been in the same situation but try not to worry about it too much. You did good in getting to know him first. There are people out there that have made bad choices too, some even worse.


    I once went home with a guy after a night out. But not because I wanted to. I felt I was forced to by friends. They were saying to him that he should take me home and have 'cuddles'. I saw my friend just leave me with him to get home with a stranger while she went off in a taxi! I could have said no and followed her but I was drunk and shocked she even let this happen.

    Shes alot older than me too but I still blame myself. I won't go into detail about it unless you want you to know but I too understand how you feel.
    Don't do anything you don't want to. If you're ever unsure at all for any reason then don't do it. And dont do anything sexual to please other people. Only yourself. In life you will have regrets , you get older/time goes by and that bad feeling will disappear but always be careful. take care.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you so much for sharing. I'm sorry you had to go through that, I can't imagine how your friend would have done allowed herself to leave you there. You don't have to go into any more detail if you don't want to. I guess these moments are just wakeup calls for us. I try to see it as a blessing in disguise and hope you do too with your situation. I learnt so much about myself and my needs, like respecting myself enough to hopefully stand up for myself in the future.

    But I don't know if it's the transition into my 20s that makes me feel so much more grown up about it all, or the experience itself that just drove me into caution, but I feel so different since. I've started setting up boundaries with my closest friends. I realized that I used to be a big pushover and let them say whatever they wanted to, even as jokes, but would leave me feel so belittled. I started becoming more honest with them and communicating more when they do/did things that upset me because I'm scared of being walked all over again and getting hurt. I'm not sure if this is just my true self coming out or if I'm trying to protect myself at all costs. But whatever the case, I've been doing so much better in school and I've started to love myself and find self-respect that I've never seen before...I just unfortunately think about the event and him a lot. I even find myself missing him sometimes! Haha crazy what emotions can do.

    Did you go through a similar process? You don't need to answer, but did you feel different or phased after your experience?
  • DreaDrea Posts: 292 Rampant Poster
    Hey Anna_s19,

    It's really good that you have shared your story on here as we're sure as seen above, there are already people who have felt this way before, and it is an important topic to talk about, which unfortunately people sometimes are too afraid to speak about. What you're going through is completely normal, and we all make decisions at the time which we may not be sure about, and later on feel like we should have said or done something else. With regards to your clothing being a bit more 'provocative', there should never be a hidden message behind the clothes which you wear. We all wear clothes which we like and rightfully so! I'm sure you looked great! However, clothes should not imply wanting to or not wanting to have sex, that is only something which should be established through words and communication, so please try not to feel like you were leading him on, because you definitely weren't!

    It's really great that you said that you learned these things about yourself from the experience, but understandably it still sucks to think about that night and it may make you uncomfortable. You shouldn't blame yourself for feeling the way that you do, because you can't control how you feel about these situations! It is nice of him that he talked to you and checked up on you and it happens so often that we just sometimes feel something is off and we're not sure about it. From personal experience, I also stopped dating someone purely because there was a gut feeling that something was not right, and as you mentioned, I learned a lot about myself too. This may not necessarily be the case, but it may still be an event fresh in your mind if it was recent and it may be taking longer to think less about, particularly if it was your first time and you had different views of sex beforehand. Often, when we go through these kinds of changes, if also unexpected, it can throw us off a bit and we feel a little lost or confused or unhappy.

    You seem to be doing really great and it's great that you are doing well in many other aspects of life such as your studies and self love! It is also perfectly normal to want to protect yourself from getting hurt again, and this often happens with bad experiences! We naturally as humans become extra cautious when we go though something which put us in a negative headspace that we then do everything to avoid it again! A good example is if you burn yourself on hot food, often the next few bites, you're much more cautious of eating, and you make sure you blow on your food a few more times so it doesn't burn you again. This is similar with other experiences such as relationships. Sometimes you go for it again, or other times you take a break and sit it out for a bit to gather how you feel.

    Like you've said, it's great to speak up for yourself and it's a very liberating feeling! You are the only person with the right to control yourself and your actions, and no one else can do or say things for you! You may have felt pressured during this time, but try to take a few breaths and remember that you get the say, and you are the one with the power over yourself!

    Try to go out and discover new things! For example, take on a sport, or cook somethings nice, go out with friends etc... This way you start to build a new chapter, and what you went through can be an experience which you found to be negative, but also one which you learned from, however that can be a closed chapter, and from today, you can start a new one!

    Hope this helps, and look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Drea:heart:
  • MaisyMaisy CymruPosts: 211 The Mix convert
    Is it all on you?

    ​I agree with Drea- what you were wearing, even if you feel it was more provocative, shouldn't matter. You aren't responsible for 'leading him on' at all. Another thing, is that after you said no to sex and said that you felt self-conscious, this guy talked to you for the longest time that you shouldn't be self-conscious. While that can be a nice thing to have someone reassure you, in a way, it can also add pressure. And this makes sense when you hesitantly said yes because you thought it was about time to have sex, and that he wanted it etc. And again, even though he did keep asking throughout, it's understandable that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying no at that point. Something that I recently read talked about consent being an enthusiastic yes. The reason for this is some people feel pressured into sex, and it's more of a reluctant yes. So to make things clearer, consent should be enthusiastic where there is no doubt that the other person wants to engage in sex.

    ​Him being nice and wanting sex, shouldn't override your own feelings. So while I understand that you feel it was all on you- you said yes, you didn't say no, you didn't check in with yourself, don't forget that if you already said no to sex the first time, the guy should've respected that and not tried to talk you around. No matter how nice he is or how he might want sex.

    ​I think it's understandable that such an event would leave you feeling empty and unable to shake off that night. It is good, however, that you are becoming more in tune with your needs and are putting up boundaries, standing up for yourself etc. I also think it's understandable that you would miss him at times, or not be able to get your mind off what happened. I think talking to others and keeping up with self-love and self-care can help. And as Drea said, find new things to try and take your mind off it. But if you feel you are still struggling, don't forget that you can always get counselling, if you feel it's something that might help you to move on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Drea and Maisy, thanks so much for that support.

    You both hit it spot on and said things that I was too scared to write. I definitely broke things off because I had a bad feeling about him. I realized after we had sex that my entire being was telling me something wasn’t right and that I was feeling very sceptical. It was almost a relief telling him we should stop seeing each other but still, for a month and a half later I still felt pretty gross. I was slowly starting to get over it until a few days ago when I read a whole bunch of articles on a current sexual allegations in the media and some of the things authors wrote hit hard at home. I’m never one to throw words around, but for a little while after that night, I was definitely confused, but also frustrated with him. Of course I blamed myself but deep down I wish I could tell him how that night made me feel. when I broke things off with him I deleted his number and the dating app so there’s no way to contact him-i wouldn’t know what to say either. I just feel like he got away with something and I tend to shut myself up because with all the serious events going on, I don’t know if my situation is even considered the least bit legitimate. All I know is that I felt angry at myself, empty and embarrassed. I guess that’s all the validation I need. It just simply sucks haha it definitely showed me the importance of clear communication, that’s for sure.

    Again, I considered talking to a therapist but the idea scared me because I don’t want to blow this out of proportion on my end and I don’t want to open up the wound again (although I feel like I already did that these past few days).

    Consent definitely comes with full enthusiasm! Lesson learned. It sucks that he didn’t sense my unenthusiasm. I read somewhere where a girl is more likely to be used for sex if she’s already been vulnerable or hurt before. and again I’m not throwing words around, but having definitely felt somewhat violated, I’m just scared it’ll happen again.

    ***
    I don’t want to offend anyone and I know my situation is SO much different than other bigger and serious ones. I know some people may not agree with me since I had already technically given consent, which is what throws this into more of a grey area. It’s just nice to put my thoughts out there.

    ***

    Thanks again!!
  • tashtastictashtastic Posts: 30 Cool Newbie
    Hey

    First of all, I just want to say that it's great that you've decided to talk about your experience and how its made you feel :)

    Like Drea and Maisy have said, just because you did say yes doesn't mean that you have no right to regret what happened. In the heat of the moment, it's so easy to make decisions we're not so sure about, for fear of upsetting or losing the other person maybe? I know that I've made so many bad decisions for this reason, especially when making new friendships.

    It's okay that you're still feeling like you can't move on. This has clearly had a big impact on how you've thought about yourself, changed your behaviour to some extent, so it's completely natural. I know it can be quite scary to think it might happen again, maybe this is why you feel like your putting up boundaries with your close friends etc? I guess now you know what it's like, you can try and read the signs of when something isn't quite right, but like you said the most important thing is clear communication

    If you do want to talk to a counsellor, you can try getting one through your gp or through a self-referral service if there is one in your area. If you feel comfortable with it, this might be something to consider to help you understand and move on. A few sessions may be all you need.

    Don't feel ashamed about how you feel, just because some people have gone through worse doesn't mean your situation is not important :heart:

    I hope this helps
    Tash :)
  • FranFran Posts: 118 The Mix convert
    Hey!!

    You have been very brave to share your experience and I strongly agree with what has already been written.
    First of all I want you to know that you have every right to consider how you're feeling important. Seriousness and gravity are not something absolute, but everything becomes serious or big if referred to us, so don't feel like you shouldn't be talking about what happened to you as if it wasn't relevant, because it actually is relevant.
    If you feel angry, empty and embarrassed is okay; I want you to think about it as something temporary, because if you are feeling this way now, it doesn't mean that you'll feel this way forever. Talking about your feelings is the first big step that you can do to overcome your bad feelings.
    It's great that you are interested in going to a therapist, because it would give you the possibility to express even more your feelings. Opening a wound hurts for some time, but then it also helps you close it. You seem to have pretty well understood how talking can make a great difference.
    I have read an article that said that writing also helps thinking and expressing feelings. You can write your own diary and express your anger and everything you are experiencing.

    Your situation actually is legitimate. It is way to easy to categorize situations with "bad" or "good", but only living them it is really possible to understand that things aren't black or white, but there are plenty of shades. So you can definitely regret what happened even if you gave your consent! it doesn't matter that you said it was ok, you have every right to regret or to have second thoughts about it because you are human.

    You say that you feel embarrassed and that's ok; you can also think that you are not alone and that it is really common to experience bittersweet feelings when having such involving experiences.

    You are the same person as before, you're still a young religious girl. What happened doesn't change who you are. Also, things happen because two people are involved in them. You weren't alone, so it's not on you. Don't think as yourself as guilty just because he seemed sweet to you, because there's no guilt and nothing to condemn. It's an experience that can show you how important it is to have a clear communication.

    I agree with the idea of concentrating on new activities, especially if it is something really involving and that can help you have a distraction and also to have some fun. Physical activity is really useful when it comes to "stop thinking" because it helps you focusing on something different from your feelings.
    Also talking to a therapist as you are considering would be great. your gp could help you find the right one or maybe you could contact someone you already know, if you do. Just remember that talking is really good!!

    I really hope you can start feeling better!! :heart:

    Fran
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