Truth Or Dare — The Last Resort For Incels.

A game of forcing consent.

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I don’t really know whether this is exclusively an Indian issue, but it is an issue. A criminal issue. Yet so overlooked.

As a victim of molestation by a college classmate during a game of Truth and Dare, I am thorough with the procedure. Two male classmates called me over for drinks at their house. Worried, because as a woman, I should be, I was very reluctant. But they insisted saying they were ditched by some other friends and would really love some company over. I trusted them enough to say yes, but was skeptical enough to take my roommate with me. I was also seeking security in the fact that they were both dating two girls from our class itself. They wouldn’t possibly cheat on their girlfriends, right? Or do something to a girl who will meet their girlfriends the next day in college, right?

I had been staying indoors and not socializing enough and thankfully, the two of them chose to have me over. We reached their place, they were cool and friendly and I thought we were in good hands. Then they suggested the game of Truth and Dare. Too much too soon. As the drinks kept emptying and the game kept proceeding, we knew what they wanted. From harmless sexual questions to daring each other to strip, they had started working on their sinister plan. The plan to get us used to the idea of sex by the time we were too drunk to say no. Sick. I still feel sick looking back.

None of it suggested by us, they had already asked for lap dances, flashed us their dick and slowly yet steadily, it was our turn to entertain them. Sexually. I was not interested, especially not because I was committed. But who cares. They surely didn’t. Both of them had their eyes set on their choice of victim. And were waiting patiently for the infamous “seven minutes in heaven”. Hell for us and we knew we had to escape. Now.

because some people just don't get it.

I nodded and while one of them took my roommate to another room I texted my boyfriend to call me immediately and when he did, I faked a conversation about him wanting to meet me urgently. Because this man could cross me, he wouldn’t cross my boyfriend. Because my boyfriend is a man. And I’m his possession. Touching me meant challenging the man I belonged to. And which coward wants that afterall?

We were drunk and I had to make sure I didn’t anger him or hurt his ego if I wanted to leave unharmed. I acted like I was so excited for our seven minutes but I had to leave or my boyfriend would “kill me” if he found out. And once I had my boyfriend mentioned in the conversation, I started the most torturous 10 minutes of my life. Where he played his “please” card.

Please touch my dick once, please, please. He won’t find out, just once. Just a quick rub. Please. Don’t go without doing anything. So what? Even I have a girlfriend. Come on, just this once,” was all he kept saying on loop for the next, what felt like an eternity, 10–15 minutes. And I had to politely refuse. Politely enough that his fragile male ego doesn’t suffer any injuries, or I would. Refuse him of something that is mine to decide, yet was at his mercy. My Body. It had gotten so bad that at one point I was convinced I couldn’t possibly leave without touching, his now fully exposed, dick. Because he had spent time, effort and money on me. So he deserved to get at least some return on investment. And so I did. To escape. And immediately released it or I’d puke.

I managed to open the shut door and take a step outside that room. To my horror, the other guy was all over my closeted, queer, non consenting roommate. That was it. I had brought her here, I had to save her. And us. I kept my cool in all my intoxication, politely interrupting them and playing the role of the scared girlfriend whose boyfriend is looking for her and thus has to leave a place she is otherwise thoroughly enjoying. After another 5–7 minutes of politely refusing their incel-ish requests, we finally walked out. Unharmed. Free. And extremely traumatized.

I washed my hand with water from the first store I saw. We were still very drunk and I was waiting for my boyfriend to show up. When he learnt of everything, he had questions. What on earth is this game? And why is it so rape-y? Although the way he reacted to it was wrong on other levels, him questioning the game and its rules was totally fair. As a very locally raised, small town Indian guy he had never had the circle to play this game and for a foreigner, it doesn’t look so good.

The dynamics of this sick game goes like this. You spin the bottle and the one it lands on, has to choose between truth or dare and has to participate in the following task accordingly. As kids the questions look somewhat like “who do you find most attractive in this group?” and “prank call your mom and tell her you’re kidnapped.” And start looking like “What’s your favourite position?” and “show us your boobs”. Although not always, this is the general tendency of this game and there is this peer pressure to participate how the group wants you to, keeping aside your own situation, or risk being the buzz killer.

Drinking, which is again a very unhealthy yet prevalent culture among young adults, ruins it even further. It creates the premise for blurring the lines, for uninformed, manipulated decision making and pressured consent. It is now a given that if you are a person who is, for whatever reasons, not interested in engaging in any kind of sexual activity, you need to not even be present on an occasion of a get-together involving drinks and the opposite gender, because truth and dare, drinking and then being forced into something you’ll regret and be traumatized about forever, is the inevitable course of the event.

Sexual liberation for women was intended to empower women and give them more control over their bodies but it has unfortunately taken a turn that again serves men. What was something only a husband once demanded, has become something any man can demand from a woman because the modern woman is sexually liberated. She can have sex with whoever she wants. So as long as she wants or it looks like she wants or she has been manipulated to want or has been forced to want or has been pressured to want. She’s consenting. She’s in control. She’s doing it for herself. And later “she has done it to herself.”

I was informed of a few more victims of this guy from our class itself. I am not aware how much of a solid criminal he is at this point because his audacity is sky rocketing and there isn’t much to stop him. No, I didn’t take any action against him, except for my boyfriend who threatened them and word being spread in our class making them lose face and being kicked out of a tuition because the kind sir was informed and wasn’t planning to tolerate.

I hope no one questions my decision to not take action, because this is India. As an Indian woman, it is expected that when I went over to his house for drinks, I had consented to having sex. Why else would a woman agree to drink at a man’s house? To avoid the public scrutiny and social harassment I was bound to face as a result of this, I stayed quiet. He would only get bolder while I’d be wary of walking around on the streets. To not lose my life, career, mental peace and respect in society, I had to make a very difficult choice. But #metoo.



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