Trigger Warning – I’m not certain this post requires a content warning. I have decided it’s safer to err on the side of kindness.
We’d been drinking for hours with our classmates celebrating the end of finals. Dancing. Laughing. Finally too drunk to care about being good hosts, my boyfriend and I slipped away from the others to his bedroom, escaped from our clothes, flopped into bed. He was rowdy that night, bigger than himself: rolling me flat with sloppy voracity, hungry mouth sucking my tongue, chortling, nibbling, teeth knocking. I was happy playing a bit more rough than usual. Still, it was a surprise when I rolled over onto all fours expecting a romping version of our usual fucking and felt the painful stab of his hard penis ramming at my anus.
I shrieked and lurched away from him.
He didn’t persist.
This is the part where I’m supposed to say, Thank god. Or I was lucky. But I don’t want to. I know countless people aren’t spared what I was spared. Damn the entire universe that I (or any person) feels lucky when a could-be rapist doesn’t rape. It shouldn’t be that way. Yes, I am grateful, and I do count myself as lucky, yet that doesn’t change the fact: I absolutely hate that not being raped is an indication of luck.
This post isn’t about rape though, it’s about limits.
The details of that night are hazy, but I’m guessing what happened was that—because the boyfriend and I had discussed our histories, knowing I had had anal sex before—he naively assumed it was within my limits and drunkenly followed his impulse. When I asserted my limit (with a shriek) he complied. Maybe that’s all there is to be said about limits.
Or maybe not. It’s more complicated than that, isn’t it?
Limits shift depending on who the players are. Years ago, after sending me a generous and beautiful bouquet of red roses on Valentine’s day, an acquaintance asked me to dinner. My answer was No. With him, dining together was outside my limits. The same year another man took me to a baseball game, bought me an ice-cream cone; he was sweet. I tried to summon an attraction for him, but there was none. With him, a kiss goodnight was outside my limits. More recently, a new lover asked me repeatedly if we could record video of ourselves having sex. With him, then, the answer was No. That’s not to say I’ll never choose to perform for a camera.
Limits can be lines in the sand, malleable and moveable, as long as each person controls his or her own sand.
This post was written for Wicked Wednesday, a site where writers share erotic stories (fiction and non) every week. The fun is hosted by the insightful and generous Marie Rebelle of Rebel’s Notes, whose endeavors you can support at Patreon.
Read more fab Wicked Wednesday “Off Limits” entries here!