I had a very strong reaction to this piece, as I suspect that a lot of men have and would, I don’t know entirely if it makes sense to call something so personal a piece, I don’t actually know what to call it, I don’t want to question your logic or your reasoning for reaching the conclusion that you have but I must at the very least express my confusion about the story, I read it, and my concerns about the reliability come, in not being entirely sure what this guys entire manipulation was, what was the true violation where everything went wrong? Was the violation simply having sex with you without a condom a year after your original assault? And if so what constitutes what he did as assault entirely?
Did in the times that you had sex with him, particularly the first time when it basically ruined every chance you had to be a success as a couple, did you voice that you wanted him to stop? Did you tell him no? This is not clarified. I don’t blame you for your adverse reaction to the experience given the circumstances but at the end of the day, no ones feelings and opinions matter if we don’t voice them and let them be known, and if you didn’t stop him, you can’t call it rape. I say this as a man, in an attempt to express why so many men will react adversely to reading this, because the line between consensual and non consensual from this instance as you describe it were never truly drawn, and it’s important more people understand how sensitive, men are to rape accusations because of the furious impact that they have on ours and everyone involved lives, and if this guy is being blamed for something you experienced previously with someone else a year earlier, it’s simply morally unjust to put such a strong accusation on someone, who you also say was your best friend and known you for years.
As for the emotional manipulation part, I have a hard time believing you have strong enough evidence to prove premeditated manipulation of you in a court of law or public opinion, again this is someone I repeat, you’ve said, is the first person you’ve trusted with knowing of your assault, he had as you put it loved you for five years to this point. I view this from the perspective of a man who is not perfect in relationships and is fascinated with the idea of love and sexuality between partners. No one is given a booklet on how to love another unique individual properly. So mistakes in the process of it are understandable in most cases, And while you can make a case for yourself about his manipulation as you put it, from the outside looking in this can simply be taken as a man who has emotions, who is not going about this properly in any way but yet still someone who has a right to feeling how he wants to feel about something that is going wrong in a relationship that as far as we know he’s wanted to have for so long, and as a man who has been suicidal, and emotional and gone through the cycle in the aftermath of failed romances in my naivety, to say that any threat to end his own life is a manipulation against you is offensive to me because his life is not yours, and by insinuation you are making someone else’s despair about you.
As far as everything else, I can look at it your way, or I can view your presentation of this Alex character as a man, who understandably is emotional about his failures and shortcoming in a relationship given that he very much loved you from everything that we UNDERSTAND.
While it’s understood that you took everything he did in a very different manner, It’s important to men to take a stand in the sense that, your opinion and reaction to the experience isn’t what makes it rape and sexual assault and makes him manipulative, as men we can accept the pressure and weight on us to conduct ourselves in a extremely deliberate fashion, but in return those of us that are not any of those things demand that if something is truly rape, that you report it to the authorities, that you have evidence and you have that man put in custody. Otherwise as far as we’re concern your liable for slander lawsuits.
It doesn’t make your experience anymore more or less unfortunate, and it’s a real shame you had to deal with so much. But I just beg and implore you, to be a lil bit more sensitive if not more specific and particular about your characterization of it, because to accuse anyone of the things you accuse him of without the absolute most definitive clarity and certainty is unacceptable.