Want to know how I lost my virginity?

As a teenager I was in West Germany and a West German woman (not teenager) offered to give me a ride back to my hotel. We met at a beer garden where she was buying me beers “so I could taste her culture.”

I was not used to drinking alcohol. In fact, until three days prior I never had beer or any other alcohol. Later in life I came to recognize she was buying a large number of drinks for me with the intent of getting me drunk.

On the drive to my hotel she pulled off the highway to a park and forced kissing, felatio, and ultimately sexual intercourse on me.

I told her to stop. Repeatedly. She didn’t. I was raped.

“Hold up!” you might be saying. “A woman can’t rape a man! If a man isn’t interested he won’t get an erection!”

You might also be saying, “A man can easily overpower a woman and get away!”

And you might also be saying, “You chose to accept the beer she offered you. You could have said ‘no.'”

Think about this. A common defense against rape charges relied upon whether the woman climaxed or not during the rape. If she climaxed, she enjoyed the sex, and therefore it wasn’t rape.

A woman climaxing during rape is a physiological reaction. It is not consent.

Likewise, a man geting an erection during rape is a physiological reaction. It is not consent.

The idea of “overpowering” a rapist is also a misconception. Because I am man it is assumed I have greater physical strength than a woman. This makes it easy to escape a rapist.

“Overpowering” is more than physical strength. It’s the mind’s ability to comprehend an unknown, immediate, and dangerous situation and make a rapid decision. It’s being able to push through the psychological and physiological “freeze” reaction of the human body. To say a man can easily overpower a woman is not to understand what happens to a person’s rationality and reactions during rape.

And finally, it is correct, I could have refused the beer she was buying me. If I didn’t get drunk this wouldn’t have happened. I should have been less naive. And I could have said “no.”

I did say “no.” She raped me anyway.

I sought the counseling at the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico three years ago to help me make sense of what happened to me 30 years ago.

This is a short list of misconceptions and stigmas I learned from my experience.

  • All men want sex and as much as they can get.
  • Men are stronger than women so if the man doesn’t leave it means he wants sex.
  • A woman buying a man drinks to make him more sexually compliant is not the same as a man buying drinks for a woman for the same intent.
  • Men don’t ever regret having sex.
  • If a man gets an erection that is proof he wants sex.
  • Men don’t feel shame after a sexual encounter.
  • Men don’t blame themselves after being raped.
  • Without being sexually penetrated it isn’t rape.
  • It’s “unmanly” for a man to report any type of physical abuse by a woman.

And lastly, a man can’t be raped by a woman. Period.

Because of these long-standing societal stigmas, it’s nearly unheard of that a woman is ever charged or convicted of raping a man. Worse, because of these long-standing societal stigmas, it’s nearly unheard of that a man will report any type of abuse by a woman including rape.

If you’re still skeptical of whether or not I was raped by this German woman, let me share what I believe she thought was a sexy, alluring comment before raping me in her car in that park by the side of the highway.

“I’m going to seduce you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Women Can Be Rapists Too Meme

Epilogue: I’ve been trying to write this article for over a month now. Prior to this, I’ve spent three years trying to draw up the strength to admit I was raped. I’ve shared my story. I hope other men do, too. Stand Up To Stigma.