I was in my second year at university and had had far too much to drink. There was a guy there that night who I really liked, but he could not have been less interested in me. A friend of his on the other hand started to show a real liking to me and although I didn’t like him that much I went along with it – maybe to try to make his friend jealous, maybe just to be with someone – I’m not sure which. When it came time to head home he asked me if I wanted to go home with him – I said yes, a huge failure in judgment on my behalf. Someone offered us a lift. I thought he lived close to campus, by the time I realized how far he actually lived, it was too late to change my mind and turn back.

Everything was ok at first, we kissed in his room, one thing led to another (its sounds ridiculous I know), and before I knew it, I was standing in only my underwear.

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This kind of thing had happened before, and it was always harmless – we’d kiss for a while and then fall asleep, waking up the next day feeling a bit awkward but fine. I realized quite quickly that this was not what this guy had in mind. At the same time I realized how much physically stronger he was than me, trying to push him away and getting nowhere. The next few minutes are a blur, but I know that somehow I managed to get some distance between myself and this guy, rushed to pick up my clothes and bolted out of the door throwing on my jeans and shirt as I went. The walk back to campus was about 40 minutes and I cried all the way.

Shocked at what had just happened and angry with myself for allowing myself to get into that situation. In my head, playing out the different ways that the night could have turned out – if I had been more drunk, if he hadn’t been quite so drunk, if I had given in to the pressure and just gone with the flow.

One of the things that scares me the most about the experience, is that neither one of us discussed what was happening. We relied on behavior and signals which can so easily me misread and misunderstood. To this day if I am considering going home with someone I will always pull him aside and explain that in no uncertain terms will I be having sex with him that night. Just saying it out loud takes away any possibility of miscommunication and opening up the conversation eases everything. I haven’t had a problem with a guy since then.

I know there are a lot of rotten ill-meaning men out there, but I also think that for the most part, we are all just people, nervous of the same things and that by honestly stating what you are or are not happy to do, makes everything easier.

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No unfulfilled expectations, no awkward moments and no unnecessary pressure. Sex and relationships between men and women are complicated enough, why do so many of us continue to fuel the angst involved in talking about these things?

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