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My junior year in college was not good. I'd gone from being a promising freshman with straight A's and a heavier than average course load, to someone on probation who had more incompletes than I thought I could ever finish. I suppose the professors thought they were being merciful by giving me an incomplete rather than a D or an F, but those I's were a weight I lugged with me into the next semester.

Meanwhile, I began to put on weight and became generally slovenly. I had been rather popular with boys. As an attractive young woman who was also smart, boys were always telling me that they liked me "as a person", "not for your looks, but just for who you are." Well, fifteen pounds proved all of them wrong. Now that I think about it, it's laughable. I wasn't even fat, just not as cute.

There was one man who didn't change his opinion of me. He liked me when I was skinny. He liked me when I was chubby. Soon I would move in with him and get skinny again.

He graduated and I dropped out and we moved into a ground floor apartment in Brooklyn. This was long before Brooklyn was hip or cool. When I would tell people that I lived in Brooklyn they'd say, "Oh, I love Park Slope. Is that where you live?" No. It was Brownstone Brooklyn however and even if you've never been there, you've probably seen the pictures of the townhouses with the high stoops. We lived in the apartment below the stoop. It was poorly maintained. There was a slow leak in the ceiling that the landlord wouldn't fix and a growing dark spot of mold around it.

My job as a receptionist paid about twice minimum wage and by the time I was done paying my share of the rent, I had almost nothing left. My boyfriend's job paid a little bit better and he picked up more than his fair share of the other bills and would have a little spending money at the end. Meanwhile, I had none and was totally dependent on him for just about everything except the rent itself.

Even at his young age, he had a history of sexual dysfunction. Sex cause him a lot of anxiety and he had a great deal of difficulty maintaining an erection. This caused him to wonder about his sexual orientation and he had tried, prior to meeting me, to have sex with men with similarly disappointing results as his attempts to have sex with women. I spent a lot of time stroking him and speaking softly, trying very hard to be reassuring and non-intimidating, and eventually we succeeded. It was the first time he had successfully had sexual relations with another human being.

Although this was a breakthrough, it hardly meant the end of his dysfunction. I would still have to be, throughout our entire relationship, gentle, sweet and reassuring in bed. One harsh word, and he would be unable to get an erection for a week.

Early on in our relationship, I expressed to him some discomfort with the notion that a permanent monogamous relationship with a man might mean that I would never again sleep with a woman. It was part of our arrangement that I could have girlfriends, but not boyfriends. I soon acquired a girlfriend and, unhappily, my boyfriend hated her. He was terribly jealous and soon he started developing an irrational jealousy about my male platonic friends. Of course, I was thin and cute again by this point and that little cluster of males who orbit around you hoping for your relationship to end had come back. My boyfriend couldn't distinguish between those men and the ones I considered friends. To him, they were all potential rivals.

Ironically, one of the things I lost when that relationship ended was an intellectual fellowship. Outside of the very bad dynamics regarding sexuality, we had a good relationship. The friendship part of the relationship was very satisfying, perhaps the most satisfying I've ever had. However, the romantic and sexual dynamics were bad and getting worse.

One day, we were walking down Third Avenue, it was a beautiful day and he said to me, "How about we go get a marriage license." I laughed at the notion of marrying on an impulse. It turned out, that it was not an impulse. This was an insecure man's way of proposing. I laughed it off at that moment, but the subject came up again. My short answer was that we should go for counseling and see if we could get the relationship onto a healthier plane before taking the plunge. He refused counseling and I refused marriage. I loved my boyfriend, but I could see that the relationship was not healthy.

At this time, we were using as our main form of birth control the diaphragm and occasionally condoms because the pill hadn't agreed with me when I tried it a few years earlier.

One morning, I woke up with semen between my legs. At first he denied having done anything. Finally, after a little "talk" he promised to not do it again. It happened several more times. He insisted that I enjoyed it even though I was asleep. Although he promised after each incident to stop, he didn't seem to really understand why it wasn't okay. After all, I never said no to sex when I was awake. Normally, I wanted it more frequently than he did. He didn't seem to get that a woman's sexual availability is not something that is permanently "on" or permanently "off," but consent is something that you need to give each and every time and can be withdrawn.

Finally I became pregnant. He got it in his head that it was not his. That, since we had always used birth control, at least when I was awake, I must have cheated on him. That I might have gotten pregnant during one of the encounters that occurred when I was asleep and no birth control was used, didn't seem to occur to him.

When I told my girlfriend about being pregnant, she chewed me out about not being more careful about birth control. That was when I told her about the nighttime violations. She said, "You do realize you've been raped, don't you, because you sound like you're not aware of it."

She was right. I wasn't. I saw it as part of my boyfriend's rather complicated sexual dysfunction about which I had been, overall, very understanding for five years, being in the position of the nurturer and helper. I had even been afraid of speaking to him to harshly about his new tendency to penetrate me and ejaculate inside me while I was asleep because I didn't want to trigger one of his periods of impotency.

So, I received no help or comfort from my boyfriend regarding the pregnancy since he held to the notion that it was the result of an imaginary tryst with another man. He started pushing me around physically. If we'd get into an argument, he'd shove me against the wall and shout at the top of his lungs in my face. I could see that we had hit something of a death spiral in the relationship and I wanted out, but I was financially trapped.

I went alone to get an abortion. It was a small office and there were two other women who were also undergoing the procedure that day. One was a young woman, perhaps eighteen, who was there with her boyfriend who held her hand and looked as nervous as she did. The other was a woman who was going on forty. This was going to be her fourth abortion. He husband refused to use birth control but he also didn't want to have children. When she'd get pregnant, he'd blame her and she'd have to have an abortion. It was a stark illustration of one person in a healthy relationship and another person in a truly sick and self-destructive on. It drove home to me that I wanted to be in a healthy relationship, not a sick one. I didn't want to be that other woman, going on forty and desperately trying to make a relationship work that would never work.

Shorty after the abortion, I went out with some guys from work. They were platonic friends and we went to Barrymore's in the theater district for what turned out to be more than a few drinks. I came home the next morning. When I walked in my boyfriend was sitting at the kitchen table drumming impatiently with his finders. "Where were you last night?" "None of your business." At that point he got up and started hitting me and I fled.

Later that day, I called my parents and explained what happened and asked if I could borrow money pay for the security and first month's rent on my own place.

Originally posted to FourthOfJulyAsburyPark on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Rape and Domestic Violence, Sluts, House of LIGHTS, and Invisible People.

Poll

Sex while a woman is asleep is

79%198 votes
10%26 votes
3%8 votes
1%4 votes
4%12 votes

| 248 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  You're better off (9+ / 0-)

    You may have loved him, but you're better off.

    That kind of situation gets worse before it gets better, as I'm sure you're aware.

    I hope you're dealing ok with it. :)




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:50:50 AM PST

    •  ^^^ Better off out of that environment /nt (5+ / 0-)




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 01:52:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks. This was over twenty years ago. (5+ / 0-)

      There've been other men since him.

      •  It sounded like (10+ / 0-)

        It was awhile ago.

        I've had my share of fucked-up relationships. In fact, I've never had otherwise. I used to think I was the common denominator, but then I realized it wasn't all my fault.

        As much as I wish it were different, I'll take a lonely single life over a relationship full of jealously, suspicion, and paranoia, and rage.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:09:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's about where I'm at these days. The one (8+ / 0-)

          thing that can get me running is irrational jealousy. I've realized that it's not just annoying, it's actually dangerous. The only time men have physically threatened me in a relationship, jealousy has been at the root of it.

          That said, I've met plenty of men who aren't jealous, but it's the one thing I no longer tolerate for even a minute. Over the years, I've gotten a lot less patient about making things work. Back then, I was still a little naïve.

          Society feeds into it, though. When I was married, my female friends would call me and tell me my husband was cheating on me. They had no way of knowing. They said they knew because that's just what men did. I said, "Whatever." When I first got married, my husband and I had a chat. I said that I didn't want to be anyone's jailer. I wasn't going to ask where he'd been and who he'd been with. I just didn't want to live like that. Personally, I think he never did cheat on me. I don't want to say that it's not a big deal, because that doesn't quite express it, but I just wasn't going to let being married turn me into a paranoid harpy.

          •  I've been on the "irrationally jealous" side (5+ / 0-)

            Of the relationship, though not to the degree you experienced, and never in a violent way... I don't have it in me.

            I'm sensitive, and there are definitely women out there who make a sport out of mindfucking sensitive guys. It's amazing how easy it is for the simplest things to be misinterpreted as something far worse than they actually are, especially when there's prior insecurity involved.

            Add drugs and/or alcohol and the problem gets amplified 100-fold.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 02:50:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I suppose I should be thankful for small favors, (6+ / 0-)

              the boyfriend in the diary didn't drink much or do drugs. Neither did I, unless I was out with other people. So we never had a drunken argument, at least.

              I have some notions of the dynamics involved that can make relationships difficult for me. They haven't all ended over the same problems, but there is a pattern that's affected quite a few of them and I really don't know how to avoid it with becoming a different person.

              Basically, I'm usually open to compromise, but I'm far from a doormat. However, a boyfriend might not realize that until there's a conflict. Suddenly, after six months of saying yes, yes, yes, darling, whatever you want, I say absolutely not, no way. It can be something as trivial as what movie to see. Suddenly the man is livid. What happened to their darling agreeable little sweetheart. I'm not the doormat they thought I was. Usually, that's the beginning of the end.

              It's hard to believe, but I actually had a year and a half long relationship end because my boyfriend couldn't accept the fact that I simply won't see violent movies. Ah, well. He's still alone, too.

        •  nothing is almost never 100% one person's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, DeadHead

          fault in a relationship, if I did not screw up the sentence too badly.  If it is too screwed up, blame it on this twilight state I have been in for almost a week now

  •  Not to sound critical (4+ / 0-)

    but how could you not wake up?

    And are you sure he was actually penetrating you, or just relieving himself on you?

    95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

    by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 04:47:53 AM PST

    •  Some folks (7+ / 0-)

      are heavy sleepers, some are light sleepers.  My mom wakes up at the drop of a hat; after years of cell phone text message alerts going off all night it takes a considerable amount more noise to wake me up.  

    •  I wondered about the not waking up part also, but (4+ / 0-)

      if he doesn't take very long it can happen. I have a friend who mentioned she was a heavy sleeper and sometimes waking up towards the end of what had started when she was asleep- it wasn't rape because it was mutual enjoyment to them. But she told me of another friend whose husband only takes a minute or three to finish and so if you put those two types together you could end up with the scene described by FourthofJuly.

      •  Mutual enjoyment does not constitute consent nt (4+ / 0-)
        •  I mean people who agreed while awake that that (3+ / 0-)

          sort of a wake-up was acceptable fun.

          •  Okay, that I understand (3+ / 0-)

            If you've had thorough talks and established rules beforehand (and you know for sure they still count), of course, that's perfectly alright. It really was the wording about mutual enjoyment that made me respond.

            •  Note that such "pre-granted consent" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

              is not only morally problematic (more on that in just a second), but is outright illegal in many jurisdictions.  For example, in a famous case in Canada, the supreme court ruled that an event, which began as a woman consenting to be strangled during sex, who then passed out, sex continued, she came to, and consented to the continuance of sex, was rape during the time she was unconscious.

              The problem is that a person may be just fine with having sex at a given point in time but that doesn't mean they're always going to be fine with it.  I mean, are we to believe that because a person gave consent to be F*ed in their sleep at some point in the distant past, who then, say 2 years later, gets into a fight and is furious at their significant other, goes to sleep, and then wakes up to them F*ing them uninvited, that that's "consent"?

              No.  It's not.

              •  That's why I said (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

                that you need to know those rules you made still count. Such consent is not something I'd want to give anyone, even a trusted husband, but I can understand couples who have had serious lengthy discussions to establish this want to go ahead with "sleep sex" - whatever pleases them if it's not harmful, fine.

                BUT, in cases like the one you stated, that's obviously rape however one looks at it. An unconscious person can't consent, of course, and I'm doubting the woman established the specific rule beforehand that when she passes out from strangulation he can keep on going. Even if she did, it's a supremely disgusting and sickening thing for a man to do and according to the law, it'd still be a crime because verbal/written agreements between couples aren't exactly legally binding, of course.

                I would never give blanket consent for sex when I'm not awake - but I get that some people can be thorough in their talks and have fixed rules about these things. None of my business. But it's a seriously slippery slope, I agree. When a couple were having a fight and he waited to f*ck her until she was asleep - that's rape in my eyes as well as in the law's (even if they'd established that specifically he could have sex with her in her sleep even after a fight). If a woman feels violated during or after the act, it's rape, end of story. Even if you had some kind of agreement beforehand.

        •  Boldface emphasis on the above point! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

          If no affirmative consent is given beforehand, it's rape.  The lack of negative consent does not make it not rape.  The lack of post-facto complaint does not make it not rape.  Period.

    •  I'm an incredibly heavy sleeper. For a time, I (9+ / 0-)

      had six alarm clocks scattered around the room and set to go off at slightly different times. To be honest, I don't really know why people would think that it would wake you up. It wasn't like he was trying to cause me pain. In fact, I suspect he was trying to not wake me up. A man can slide in and out of you pretty easily. I tend to sleep on my side curled up. There's relatively easy access from behind in the position and, how do I put this politely, vaginal dryness has never been a problem for me.

      Finding semen inside your vagina is usually a pretty good sign that someone has ejaculated in there. I'm going to guess you don't have a vagina in which a man has ejaculated, because it's kind of an odd question. It's really, really evident. It's a different consistency and smell than the vaginal secretions. Some of it seeps out between your legs, most of it probably, but some stays inside.

      Sorry to have to be so graphic, but since you don't seem to believe me, I kind of have to.

      Also, I got pregnant. Now the diaphragm could have failed, but I tend to think it was the unprotected sex without my consent.

      •  light sleepers don't understand heavy sleepers (4+ / 0-)

        can be part of it.

        I wake if I hear a sound...a step...in my room. I live alone...no reason for a sound to occur.

        very light sleeper. Could never sleep through sex. When partnered, as I was for years, I could not sleep if my boyfriend even touched my arm.

        but I believe you of course...have known heavy sleepes like yourself. It' s like a different state of conciousness, one that I don't have

        you were brave to post this story. glad you got away from him

        •  I sleep really lightly too most of the time- (4+ / 0-)

          footsteps or a clunk wakes me. Then, every so often, be it deprivation or what, I wake up and someone has been practically moving furniture around in the room and I naver heard a bump.
          My ex could have the alarm clock running, beeping full blast, the tv at high volume, phone ringing and someone loudly calling her name  and she would emerge looking at you as though you had lightly tinkled a crystal bell.

          Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

          by Thousandwatts on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:27:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Was he incredibly small? (2+ / 0-)

        Just asking, because as gentle as I can be, it still hurts my wife every time.

        95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

        by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:20:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can't imagine anyone except the most naive or (4+ / 0-)

        arrogant person,  not believing you.
        I have seen people sleep through all sorts of things without drugs or alcohol even being involved.

        Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

        by Thousandwatts on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:21:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not doubting her recount of what happened (0+ / 0-)

          just trying to understand how it's possible.  I really just don't understand how it's possible for someone to take off your clothes, enter you, and finish with you waking up, unless there was drugging/drinking involved.

          95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

          by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:28:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I usually sleep in the nude. Just a habit. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Avilyn
            •  first time shame on him (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

              after that though, i would have been sleeping in layers.

              95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

              by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:13:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, EVERY time shame on him. (3+ / 0-)

                Whether or not she was making wise choices, it was always morally reprehensible what he did.  And from the sound of it, anyway, she was falling into the "dutiful girlfriend who gets used to abuse" role.

                You don't blame victims because, among many other factors, there can be many reasons why victims feel compelled to not remedy bad situations.

                •  you blame victims (0+ / 0-)

                  when they continually put themselves in harms way.  You also blame the actor too.

                  95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

                  by PRRedlin on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 03:42:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Spoken truly like a person (3+ / 0-)

                    who's never been in such a bad relationship situation.  Abused partners / spouses aren't idiots.  But they also are forced to deal with a wide variety of other factors, from lingering emotions for their victimizer (which leads to or believing their lies about how they've changed / won't do the bad behavior again, or making excuses for them) to a financial inability to part, to all sorts of other complications - children which can be used as a way to hurt the other partner if they don't do what is desired, complicated entangled joint assets, knowledge which can be used to blackmail or embarrass the other person accrued over the course of the relationship, and on and on.  Abused partners and spouses don't stick with their abusers or let themself be abused because they're idiots, they do because the situation is a lot more complex than you'd like to play it out to be, and avoiding abuse isn't always the best option.

                    In this case, it sounds like there's a lot of the lingering emotions thing, which is a very powerful factor.  As much as you'd like to believe that the reality is "one violation and all of your emotions for them go by the wayside", that's not the case.  My former spouse abused me progressively more and more over the course of our 11 year relationship before I finally left.  My TV today is at a slight angle because I once got shoved into it so hard it bent the stand.  But you can't just "turn off" emotions.  And you can't turn off sympathy for another person you know well or stop making excuses for their behavior.

                    My spouse had serious depression and emotional problems which I long suspected were tied to the same at-birth brain injury that caused their epilepsy.  They'd go from totally loving to screaming or even hitting me in a heartbeat.  There were a few times where I even feared for my life.  But it was all in a flash and then it was all back to normal with the same person I had known and had feelings for all that time.  And you pity them.  It's not their fault they're like that, right?  At least that's what goes through your mind.

                    Only the diarist can address the specifics in her case.  From the sound of it, though, they were in a long-term relationship, so clearly there were feelings involved.  Clearly he had sexual problems that she had pity for.  Clearly she was financially dependent on him and didn't want to do anything that would end up with her on the street.  Clearly she, at least at first, believed his lies about how he wouldn't do it again.

                    And Clearly He Was In The Wrong Each And Every Time He Did That.

                    So I suggest you put your blame on the obvious perpetrator here and not on the victim and her complicated situation.

                    •  One of the reasons I wrote such a long diary was (0+ / 0-)

                      to give some sense of the complexity of the relationship. One of the reasons I started the story when we were in college was to include the part where other guys who were interested in me lost interest when I gained approximately fifteen or twenty pounds. And that boyfriend and I had been getting along perfectly, including the period before we were dating when we were "just friends", where non-sexual things were concerned. So, I had this odd sense of gratitude and real sense of being cared for as a person when the relationship started.

                      I think it's easy to fall into assumptions or stereotypes about what sort of person is abused or what sort of person is an abuser (I don't mean you, Rei; I mean people in general.) I was far more sexually experienced than he was and generally more sexually confident. Of course, that probably increased his insecurity. At the same time, it was probably insensitive of me to ask for an open, or at least partially open, relationship. He agreed to it, but in retrospect I think he felt like I had the upper hand in the relationship.

                    •  If you visit a friends home who smokes like a (0+ / 0-)

                      chimney, the first time you can claim ignorance.  But if you are allergic to smoke and you go back time and time again, who's fault is that?  The friend who smokes knowing you are allergic, or you for entering that home?

                      There are victims of assholes, but there are also victims of themselves, who put themselves in harms way knowingly.  At this point they cease to be victims.

                      95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

                      by PRRedlin on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:15:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right. Because a relationship is like going to a (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

                        friend's home.  Rather than one of the most complicated things humans get involved in, one which can involve losing children, all of you're life's assets, dealing with powerful and complex emotions, and ending up on the street.

                        And someone smoking in their own home is like a boyfriend raping his girlfriend in her sleep.

                        Right.  Great analogy.

          •  Not everyone sleeps in clothes (3+ / 0-)

            And some people are heavy sleepers; which may or may not be compounded by other medical issues.  For example, I have pretty severe apnea.  Before I got my CPAP machine, my husband would spend half the night literally shaking me, trying to get me to roll over and stuff.  Never woke me up, never felt it.  Hell, I've slept through hurricanes.

            The Girl Who Loved Stories
            I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

            by Avilyn on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:50:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There was just an article on Cracked about people (3+ / 0-)

            who slept through the most "amazing" things, like the kid who slept through the sinking of the Titanic (and his subsequent rescue), multiple people sleeping through plane crashes who woke up having no idea what happened and having felt nothing, etc. etc.

            I understand light sleepers don't quite get how incredibly deep others can retract especially during the REM phase (which altogether takes up 25% of a person's sleep). But seriously, if the diarist has the incredible courage to talk about what happened to them, why are you even questioning them? There are enough accounts of rape happening while partners where sleeping (as recalled by witnesses, the partner who experienced pain and other indications when they woke up later and/or having a vague recalling of having been penetrated while they couldn't do anything, by confessions of the perpetrators, etc.) - if you didn't know, why just not Google it? Is this the appropriate place to question it?

            And deep sleepers have huge trouble waking up, as well. If they're sleeping and they're in their REM cycle and you try and wake them up they experience things like sleep paralysis (being semi-aware of everything but not being able to move at all) or are so far gone they either don't register anything, they register something and don't remember it the morning after, think they are dreaming or just don't wake up whatsoever.

            •  as i stated above (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

              i'm not questioning whether it happened, but HOW.

              95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

              by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:13:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Dad slept through an earthquake. (3+ / 0-)

              Of over 6.0 intensity where he was sleeping.

              Note: Given this and historical data, if New Madrid 'goes' in the middle of the night, he WILL sleep through it. In fact, he will probably be THE ONLY PERSON IN THE STATE to sleep through it.

              Yes, some people do sleep heavily enough that the world could end around them and they would not flinch.

              Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

              by Cassandra Waites on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:26:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I've been woken up by the phone, had short (4+ / 0-)

              conversations and gone back to bed and never knew it had happened except the other person mentioned it to me. An the sleep paralysis, I've experienced it, too. Part of being a deep sleeper is waking up slowly. It took me years to realize that the only compensation was to get to bed early enough that the alarms don't really matter.

              •  It bugs the heck out of me when people (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

                are incredulous about things in other peoples' lives simply because they don't experience themselves.  It blows me away all of the people, for example, who don't think that restless leg (which I have occasionally, as does my younger sister) is real, that I'm just "making it up" or something, that it's some conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry to sell drugs (sorry, I had it long before there were any drugs on the market, and I don't take any drugs for it).  There are whole threads on the net of people making fun of the concept of restless leg syndrome.  It's not damned funny when you're the one who spends hours awake when you're exhausted because your limbs feel like that feeling when you've been sitting for hours on a plane and you just need to get up, times 100, without it going away immediately when you actually do get up.

                Thankfully, I only get it rarely.  My little sister gets it a lot more often than me.

                Another thing I've gotten (thankfully only occasionally) that I've had people incredulous about is paralysis during sex.  I'm not talking about something emotional or anything like that, but literal "can't move my extremities" paralysis.  Starts in the fingers and spreads until my hands are locked in a crab-claw shape, then goes up the arms.  Not sure how far it could go, I've always stopped when the tingling that precedes it starts to get to my abdomen.  A doctor that I talked to thinks that in some situations I breathe too much which lowers my blood CO2 below normal, making my blood too basic and preventing it from carrying oxygen right (hyperventilation tetany).

    •  It happens. (3+ / 0-)

      My girlfriend did it to me one day when I was sleeping, after a night of thorough "not in the mood"s. Not the best night of my life.

      Also, "relieving himself on you" is not what I would call innocent, especially with repeated denials.

      Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

      by ConfusedSkyes on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 05:24:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I wasn't saying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        that relieving himself was innocent, etc.  But if she was asleep, then she never knew if it occured or not if it didn't wake her up, that was my point.

        95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

        by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:22:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a light sleeper and I have (5+ / 0-)

      known heavy sleepers all my life. Just try to wake them up. It's not easy sometimes. My kids' dad was like that. The alarm clock is useless because he sleeps right through it. Even after we broke up and moved away from each other, I'd be sleeping in the living room, visiting for the Xmas holiday, and I'd have to go all the way upstairs to his room, turn off his alarm and make him get up because the damn alarm is so loud, it wakes up everybody in the house except him, who's lying right next to it. Then you have to shake him by the shoulder several times, sometimes for several minutes.

      Me, on the other hand, I'll wake up at the slightest noise or movement on the bed most times, unless I've gone to sleep after drinking more alcohol than I should have.

      Anybody who sleeps that hard is vulnerable to anything while they sleep.

      "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

      by GenXangster on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 06:11:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I'm just like your kid's dad. I can actually (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GenXangster, Avilyn, Cassandra Waites

        scare people who aren't expecting it. If you want to wake me up from a deep sleep you have to shake me roughly and shout. Later, it was a problem with my ex-husband who could wake up to the alarm on his watch. However he hated the loud, blaring alarm that I used. Our compromise was that he had to wake me up and he said some days it was not easy.

    •  You don't have to penetrate a woman to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, Avilyn

      absolutely get her pregnant. Just get close enough. And if he didn't have sex a lot, then that meant he had a lot of swimmers, this could also be extra true if he were also healthy and young.

      Sperm can live hours outside of the penis and the vagina. Add to that if he were not fully erect,  or not well endowed then it might not feel like sexual intercourse at all.

      Besides when you trust the person next to you in bed, even if you are a light sleeper under other circumstances, you might not be next to your partner, simply because you feel safe.

      •  Somehow I skipped words. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, Avilyn

        You might not wake up, if your partner moves around simply because you feel safe next to them, non-threatened.

      •  but you have to remove clothing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        to get to that point.  

        I believe the diarist, just confused as to how someone can sleep through that.

        95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

        by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:30:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Answered this above. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Avilyn

          By the way, it's probably your tone, but I have taken offense to any of your questions.

          •  have *not* taken offense - sorry. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Avilyn
            •  good because i did not mean any offense (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

              just trying to understand how this can actually happen to someone.

              If i try for some "hey hey" with my wife while she's sleeping, she instantly wakes up, says no, and makes me feel like a bad puppy.

              95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

              by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:12:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am the light sleeper in the house, and probably (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Avilyn, Cassandra Waites

                of all the family members in any direction. My spouse and children sleep through anything and everything. Sometimes I envy them that ability. To sleep so soundly. People are different in this respect. Some of it natural, some of it conditioned, but different nonetheless.

                I sleep deeper when I am surrounded by my family, than I would in other areas, because I feel safer. That is usually how it is for people in caring relationships. It's can and should be a major component--feeling safe.

                Some people, unfortunately are not always blessed with trusting, safe relationships where they can sleep without a care on their mind. And some, like this woman, found out after the fact.

                How did he get her clothes off? They have no kids at this point. She could have been in the buff and that would not be unheard of. That is another component of trust. Being able to be naked around your S.O. and feel safe, even if you are asleep and naked.

                A thoughtful partner would not go there at all.

  •  well, yes and no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

    I've been on the other side of it.  I think in a long-term relationship like marriage there are gray areas.  You wake up in the middle of the night and your partner has a nice erection, sometimes it's fun to start something.  Sometimes he would wake up, sometimes not, but he never complained.  Granted, that wasn't intercourse, intercourse would have woke him up for sure, but a handjob or oral counts as sex.  On the other hand, there was no risk of getting him pregnant!

    First off, I want to say that your old boyfriend of course was an abusive jerk and you were well rid of him.  I see three possibilities:

    1.  He was having sex with you knowingly while you slept and not worrying about getting you pregnant.  This is a terrible violation.

    2.  He had a serious sleep disorder, similar to sleepwalking.  Some people have this, they do all sorts of crazy things in their sleep.  Sleep sex is quite common in these people.  And his bizarre reaction to your pregnancy seems to indicate this possibility.

    3.  He has a kink for unconscious women and he was actually drugging you and having sex with you.  I find it remarkable that you never woke up during intercourse, and have to suspect that he was slipping something into your drink.  That would be taking criminal risks with your health.  This possibility fits in with his controlling, abusive personality.

    •  but would you penetrate a sleeping sex partner? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

      (with a toy if you lack the needed equipment)...it might be different

      not sure but I think rape is defined as penetration only (of someone who didn't or couldn't consent). For many people,men as well as women, penetration can be a more vulnerable thing.

      I get your point in a long term relatioship some things may be implicitly and/or blanketly consented to.

    •  Well I've had other lovers and some of them have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn

      woken me up for sex, not infrequently starting in a half dream state. I think it's a little bit different, although its hard to explain to a third party where the line is. Of course, when in doubt, talking beats getting you're lover upset. I can remember touching my husbands penis in the middle of the night. Sometimes he'd mutter, "No." and I'd let it go. Sometimes he'd reach out and pull me towards him. Sometimes he's be very asleep and didn't wake up, at which point I'd forget about it. He did similar things to me at night. But when he perceived that my interest wasn't there, or I wasn't going to wake up, he'd stop. And, most importantly, he was perfectly capable of saying, "Last night I wanted to do xyz, but I wasn't sure how you'd feel about it so I didn't." Then I could say, thanks for not doing that or, "Oh, that would have been nice, go ahead next time." Like they say to little kids, "Use your words."

      •  see, I went further than you (0+ / 0-)

        if my partner didn't wake up.  I don't think we ever discussed it, but there were enough times when he waked and was a happy participant that I never thought anything of it.

        After reading some of your other comments about what a sound sleeper you are, I really do think this was a case of a sleep disorder in the worst-case scenario.  The two things that make me think your boyfriend had this sleepwalking type of sleep disorder are that he had zero memory of it, to the point of his bizarre freakout about your pregnancy, and that he was able to perform when he couldn't when he was awake (some ED is caused by anxiety, pressure to perform).  Most women would wake up midway, and then he would know he had a problem, but with you sleeping through it, it was a bad situation.

        NOT that I'm defending him, he's a huge jerk and you were well rid of him, but this sounds more like an illness than a crime to me.  Some people who are like that attack their spouses violently in their sleep, some have even killed them. It's quite a serious disorder and can be very hazardous to the sleeper and those around him.

        •  No, I'm wrong, my apologies (4+ / 0-)
          One morning, I woke up with semen between my legs. At first he denied having done anything. Finally, after a little "talk" he promised to not do it again. It happened several more times. He insisted that I enjoyed it even though I was asleep.
          So he was aware he was doing it.  Super creepy.  Certainly after you told him to cut it out and he continued to do it, it's definitely rape.
          •  Yes, I was about to say that. He did admit to it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Avilyn

            I think it was partly what you said in possibility number three. I left out some of the details, but he had some real sexual dysfunction. He really liked sex to be as close to motionless as possible. It had to be really calm, smooth and predictable or he would lose his erection. Everything revolved around him not losing his erection. If I wasn't the sort of person who gets aroused very easily, this probably wouldn't have been workable. There were moments, early on when I worried that he might have a bit of a kink for unconscious women, because that's how still he liked me to be. So, we have a combination in which he doesn't need a lot of rough thrusting to get off, just gentle penetration, and I sleep like a log.

            He probably didn't drug me. That I think would be one step too far even for him. As I understand it, those drugs mainly work with alcohol and he and I rarely drank at home. If that happening coincided with drinking, I would have picked it up very quickly.

            One of the reasons for telling this story in the manner I did was to point out exactly how complicated and hard to figure out any given situation might be.

  •  I'm rather horrified at this (3+ / 0-)

    ex boyfriend. His sense of reality was seriously warped and he seems like a sociopath.

    That makes my blood boil that you weren't safe sleeping around this guy.

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 05:59:53 AM PST

    •  Sociopath is not quite right. But he did have (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GenXangster, Avilyn, Cassandra Waites

      issues with women long before he met me. He was a college senior when we first got together, not a hunk, but basically pretty good-looking, smart, funny, and he had never had a girlfriend. As I mentioned, his few attempts at sex, with both men and women, were failures because he couldn't maintain an erection. Before we tried, we discussed this and the problem wasn't physical. It was psychological. So he had really, really big issues. Basically, he was really intimidated by women. Terrified might be a better word.

      A few years later, he apologized to me and gave me to believe that he had sorted at least some of it out. In any case, he regretted what he had done, which isn't typical of a true sociopath.

      •  Forgiveness (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

        Just out of curiosity, did you forgive him for what he did, and how did forgiving him make you feel?

        I've had two "incidents" in my life (both in the past year) and I forgave the second guy.  I actually felt bad forgiving him, like I was excusing his behavior, but it honestly seemed to bother him what he had done and how much it had upset me (he had been drinking) and he spent over an hour trying to apologize.

        •  Several years after it all, he asked me to join (0+ / 0-)

          him at a diner. He specifically said on the phone that he was asking to meet in a public place because he didn't want me to feel threatened. It was actually a long talk. He didn't so much as petition for forgiveness so much as he wanted to tell me how bad he felt about all of it now that he had some perspective.

          There was one other incident after I left him where he showed up at my apartment, where I lived, and had always lived, alone. He came in and then refused to leave. Finally I had to call the police. It was a really weird incident.

          We were both relatively young and his first serious relationship not only ended when he didn't want it to, but it ended very badly. I do think he did some soul searching so something like that wouldn't happen again. I haven't heard from him since, so I don't really know.

  •  20% of people think it's not rape (6+ / 0-)

    I believe any penetration without consent is rape by law, isn't it?

    I guess if a partner give blanket consent "you can have sex with me when I sleep" that could count.

    if some of you are men who think it's ok or just not nice, be sure you know what your sex partner thinks about not knowing about it ...ask them how it would feel or feels. You might be surprised.

    what if they feel it's rape/a violation?

  •  Since you told him that you didn't want him to (4+ / 0-)

    do it, it definitely was rape.

    That being said, I once had a girlfriend who would get pissed off at me because I didn't wake her up by having sex with her when she was still asleep.

    Life is strange.

    I'm happy that you got out of that unhealthy relationship... it definitely only would have gotten worse, imo.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 06:11:36 AM PST

  •  The whole thing smacks of an abusive, (7+ / 0-)

    manipulative bastard. It is not uncommon for an abusive male to impregnate the female he is abusing, in order to anchor her to him, because he is afraid she will leave him otherwise.

    It is rape, but my impression is that the attempt to impregnate you was on purpose. And that disgusts me even more.

    You said no to repeated proposals, he was jealous and afraid of loosing you. He refused to deal with his dysfunction, but felt totally entitled to do that.

    That is no reason to bring a life into this world.

    I am so glad you left. I am so very sorry you went through something like that.

    Here is a story that talks about abusers and the sabotage of female Birth Control:

    Birth control sabotage has been revealed to be a common form of partner abuse. In a report released earlier this week by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 25 percent of women callers to the hot line, who voluntarily answered questions about birth control and pressure to get pregnant in their relationships, reported some form of reproductive coercion.

    The callers said their partners hid birth control pills or flushed them down the toilet. Some refused to wear condoms or poked holes in them. One woman’s partner became furious when she recently got her period.

    What this man did to you, is far beyond just rape, which all by itself is a reprehensible crime.
    •  I suspected that even at that time. Although he (5+ / 0-)

      didn't express a strong opinion, he did at first assume that we would go ahead and have a child. His expressions were generally on the passive side, so he didn't put pressure on me. But it goes hand in hand with the fact the he wanted to get married and that he was jealous and possessive. Don't forget the off handed way in which he brought up the subject of marriage.

      It's funny, if he had just said yes to counseling earlier on it all might have been different.

    •  And while I agree with you completely, the (0+ / 0-)

      direction and general tone of the conversation really makes me ask questions about when abuse occurs- not opening the whole can of worms, but what you and I looking in are clearly seeing as an abusive situation with a completely twisted male imparting his condition and world view as "normal", the vibe I am getting from the diarist is "yeah, after I woke up with semen between my legs a couple of times after asking if he did it, he denied it, then he agreed not to do it again. (!?)" I paraphrase, but captured the gist.
      I see it as a problem, but it's not my life or call- if it was financial blackmail, that makes sense up to a point, but that it doesn't just redflag bell and whistle go off, raises questions about a) Who really decides and b) What it the measuring standard?
      I know there are field specific boundaries/guides but it's interesting that these are given as subjective reflections of incidents with very little judgement attached.  ?

      Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

      by Thousandwatts on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:23:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I didn't quite get what you're trying (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avilyn, DeadHead

        to say. I've tried to describe the situation as accurately as possible without going on interminably. We had a five year long relationship during which things deteriorated notably during the last year or so. Once it hit that real downward spiral, things started getting worse quickly. As I mentioned, I had some very serious money problems, so I wasn't able to just leave. In fact, towards the end, he probably knew that I'd leave if I had enough money.

        If I had asked my parents to borrow money earlier, would the have given it to me? I don't know.

        I think it's important to understand how a relationship that starts out okay can go down hill slowly. At what point did it become abusive? Was it really only those last few weeks? Probably not, but it's a slow slide and the exact moment is hard to pinpoint.

  •  It's not about sleep. It's about consent. (4+ / 0-)

    I dated a rather insatiable girl for a couple of years who enjoyed "waking me up."  I laughingly encouraged her to continue as often as she liked, and she pre-consented to me doing the same.  Sigh.... good times...

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:30:21 AM PST

  •  Situation was awful, but I don't like the title (0+ / 0-)

    What happened to you was clearly rape and unprotected rape, but "sex while sleeping is rape" is simply not a defensible statement. There are plenty of people in solid relationships that have no problem with sex while sleeping. And the poll choices are horrendous and loaded.

    •  "Sex with a Woman Who Has Not Given Consent to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn, Oh Mary Oh

      Sexual Contact and Cannot Give Consent Because She Is Asleep at Such Time as that Sexual Contact Occurs Would, under Most Circumstances, Be Technically Considered Rape but Would be Difficult to Prosecute," would be a more accurate title.

      But I'm not going to change it.

    •  Yes, it is, jsmall99. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

      In most jurisdictions, there are no exceptions to "sex while sleeping is rape".  Period.  Doesn't matter if you're dating, doesn't matter if you're married, doesn't matter if once upon a time they said it's okay.  And it's there for a reason, because if they ever change their mind (for example, you get in a fight one night or whatnot), and you do it, you're suddenly f*ing an unwilling person.

      Criminality is based on what the perpetrator knew at the time of the crime (doesn't matter if they "forgive you afterwards" or "let it continue" or even "enjoy it" - the post-facto is irrelevant).  When it comes to rape, the standard in most jurisdictions is not "no means no", but "yes means yes".  And a sleeping person cannot say or otherwise indicate yes.

      For an extreme case, google "R. v. J.A."

      You are both morally and legally wrong and the diarist is correct.

  •  T&R, Republished (2+ / 0-)

    to House of LIGHTS.

    I'm sorry for what you had to go through, and glad you're out of that relationship.   And I admire your courage in telling your story.  Thank you.

    The Girl Who Loved Stories
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:00:32 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

    I have been unkind to myself for a long time about a relationship like the one you describe.  Why do women always think it is their fault and they need to be kind. Yechhh.  

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:36:24 PM PST

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