Why you should care
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Coke Crimes #278: Wheelchair Sex Assault
EUGENE, SIR: As you may decipher from the email address, I’ve actually gone through the tiny inconvenience of concealing my identity and, sitting here, I still can’t figure out if I’m trying to protect myself or them.
But I’ll get down to brass tacks: After a party, I took a taxi with a longtime friend and her longtime boyfriend. He was insistent on going to their house for more drinks and, unbeknownst to me, coke up his schnoz. But with McDonald’s in our laps, me and my friend just wanted to starfish our mattresses and pig out in our respective homes.
He made a kindly offer to help me into the house. I’m confined to a wheelchair, and after taking me backward up the ramp to my home, he sexually assaulted me in the doorway with my friend waiting in the taxi. I’ve wondered why I didn’t scream or punch him in the face, and I actually feel ashamed I didn’t. I always thought if I were ever in that position, I’d be the epitome of strength. I went into shock. I didn’t know what to say or do.
My grandma answered the door just in time to stop anything further from happening. I went into defense mode and said he should go to the taxi and leave me there, that I was fine. He was close to our family though, so my grandma thought nothing [of it] when he pushed me into my room while I was attempting to stop him. What followed was more of what happened in the doorway. He lifted me out of my chair, threw me on the bed, landed on top of me and attempted to kiss me. Only stopping when I shouted for my grandma.
At the time with a few drinks in me (not drunk), it didn’t seem as insidious as when I woke up. Now I have a mutual friend’s wedding this weekend where he and his girlfriend will both be. Yes, she’s still with him, and yes, she knows. Her take was that he wasn’t trying to be intimidating in his attack.
The thought of seeing him again, even if it’s across a room, makes me sick. He shouldn’t chase me away as I’ve done nothing wrong, and I want to witness the marriage of my friend. However, I also feel I shouldn’t be in that position in the first place, and that I’ve come a long way since it happened. And why should I put my mental health at stake for him? Is a gift in the post in order, or should I defiantly wheel into the room and put him to shame? — Anon
Dear Anon: The short answer, if it isn’t too late, is to, of course, GO. If we let the creeps and losers frame our world, what kind of world will we be left with? However, given how creeps and losers think, he may assume that your presence is proof positive that you didn’t mind and, indeed, might want more.
This is where the adage “forewarned is forearmed” comes in handy. I don’t know how you feel about sterner measures, but it seems to me that moments like this were made for pepper spray. In the face. This will most assuredly help him “get it.”
But as emotionally satisfying as this might be, this is not the most stern measure, and that, of course, would be having him arrested for sexual assault. The idea here being to cause him as much difficulty and unpleasantness as he’s caused you. In this way and perhaps in this way only, you’ve communicated that going well beyond “no” is not nearly as sexy as he seems to think it is.
The ramifications and what this would do to your “friendship” with your friend are really a secondary consideration in light of the cavalier way she’s viewed the assault. In other words: You probably don’t need friends like this. My vote? Bring down the hammer. But I’m Old Testament in this regard, so you should do that which best accords with your feelings. But, as a favor to me? Please consider the hammer.
EUGENE, SIR: My penis is small. I’ve read lots of articles on small penises and know I’m below average. I’ve made my peace with this and the generalized response that it’s not always the size that matters and there’s someone out there for everyone. But I want to head this off at the pass: How do I get across in a funny, not-pathetic way, that I’m no giant? Should I even bother? I think disclosing is best. Your thoughts, please. — Tom Thumb
Dear Tommy T: Disclosing is decent and gets it OUT of your head and into the conversation, which is a much healthier place for it to be. Why? Because it’s easy to negotiate when you’re dealing with knowns, and realistically speaking, any day where everybody is talking about your penis is not a bad day at all. Disclosing also takes some small amount of chutzpah — Yiddish for balls. And if there’s buyer’s remorse post facto, oh, well. They knew what the job was when they took it.
Now, about how to get it across, I’ll reference a story I once heard about a famous professional basketball player who, on the date night that was the night that he and the woman who repeated the story to me were to go to bed, he asked at dinner if she “knew what they said about guys with large hands and feet.” She said she did. He went on, “Well, sometimes it’s not true.” She responded with a query of her own regarding whether he was able to perform cunnilingus. His answer? “Like a champ!” Deal done.
So listen, learn and plan accordingly.
Pay 4 Play
EUGENE, SIR: Can a prostitute refuse to have sex with me? I mean, if I pay and show up and she doesn’t like me, is she like a grocery store and can refuse to serve anyone? Or is she bound by the laws of her trade and must serve anyone who pays? — Asking for a Friend
Dear John: Anybody can refuse you anything for any reason at any time. If life has taught us nothing, it’s this. Also, in many places, prostitution is illegal — meaning the discussion about what should and shouldn’t be done goes right out the window. Hope this helps.