Statutory Rape Is Rape. And We’ve Ignored It For Long Enough. – PULP Magazine

You may think I was just a slut, that I deserved what I got. You may even believe when I say I felt in control.

He had liberty spikes.

They might have been blue, in fact. This was 1987 when this was still weird, especially in my Midwestern state. I guess I had a crush on him. I didn’t know him well, but we shared friends, frequented the same nightclubs, mostly on underage nights. I was 13 at the time.

I had lots of crushes back then, on people of all stripes. The group I was in challenged gender norms, sexuality, and traditional limits of just about anything our parents stood for. This was before we even knew what to call it; we didn’t have the terms transgender or non-binary. We just knew we wanted to challenge everything.

We pierced our own skin because it was hard to find a place that would do it for you, especially anywhere but your ears or nose. You couldn’t just go to the Walgreens for black lipstick and nail polish. We shaved our heads and wished Manic Panic lasted longer. We experimented with hairsprays, eggs, and glue mixtures to make our hair stand on end in mohawks.

Or liberty spikes.

He took my virginity — or did I give it up freely? — in my own bed when my parents were out of town. Just a couple quick missionary humps and it was over. I don’t recall foreplay, talking, or if it hurt. Probably because it was over so fast or perhaps, as I knew even then, his dick was small.

I don’t think I cried, told him no or to stop. I just wanted it to be over. I recall feeling pressured to have sex by people who should’ve had my back. They were all older than I was. I guess it was a rite of passage but without the fanfare, ceremony, or pride.

He was 19, maybe 20.
I was 13.

In the morning, I remember it just being awkward. I knew he wasn’t my boyfriend and I didn’t want him to be.

By light of day, he didn’t look as mysterious or subversive. He was just some guy in ripped jeans, a bomber jacket, and mascara running down his face. I’m not sure I felt any different. It certainly wasn’t a sweet, romantic, coming-of-age experience like in the movies, but I don’t recall expecting it to be. Even by 13 when other girls were squealing about first kisses and slow dancing, I knew life was not always happily ever after. It was conventional and utilitarian, but it did change my life.

My middle school friends, if you can call them that, weren’t having sex. They were experimenting with kissing and petting, thrilled with the feeling of getting away with something. I didn’t tell anyone at school I was no longer a virgin but instead played along with their toe-dipping into the pool of sexual activity, knowing I had already cannonballed in.

We didn’t talk about statutory rape or rape much at all then. At the time, I wouldn’t have considered my experience to be rape; I knew girls who had been raped. Their experiences were violent and clearly unwanted. They said no and fought back against their attackers. I didn’t. I thought this was just what girls did: you had sex with men.

Read the rest of this essay at PULP Magazine