Last November, after a string of relationships with males had gone fallacious, I made a decision to go to Los Angeles for just a few months to attempt to fulfil my lifelong dream of getting intercourse with an A-list movie star. I’ve romanticised LA ever since, aged 14, I stumbled throughout that pinnacle of actuality TV, The Hills. I fell in love with the thought of this star-studded metropolis; a spot the place everybody can do a headstand, nobody drinks wine at lunch, and it’s completely regular to drive your automotive whereas outrageously stoned.
The primary time I visited LA, I went to Girl Gaga’s home. The second time, I danced with Drake’s dad in a membership in west Hollywood. On this third go to, I stayed with my finest pal in her household’s pool home, and the A-lister in my sights was Cousin Greg from Succession.
Throughout that journey, a few of my pals and I made a decision to fly to Las Vegas for one night time to go to a music competition. Las Vegas isn’t actually my vibe. It jogs my memory of a closely edited Instagram image: it seems good at first look, however in the event you squint, you discover the lies – the lamppost curving across the individual’s waist, and the superimposed eyelashes.
As we touched down, I used to be acutely conscious I solely had 24 hours within the metropolis of sin, and I used to be decided to take in all of the demented power it needed to supply. Taking a cue from the 40C climate, I used to be on warmth. I bounced from on line casino to on line casino, a Marlboro Inexperienced in my mouth and a spicy margarita in my hand. I used to be in my aspect. There wasn’t a single soul I wasn’t flirting with. Later, my pals and I made our technique to the competition, the place everybody was stoned and had forgotten easy methods to dance. Itching to hold on the night time, we headed to a membership. I stored considering I might see Pitbull about to return on stage, however there have been simply plenty of bald males.
At this membership, I met a person. I can’t bear in mind his identify and it’s doable I by no means even requested him. I bear in mind he was from Colorado, as a result of I requested him if he knew Heidi Montag from The Hills (he didn’t). He was handsome. I fancied him – though not fairly as a lot as he fancied himself. He seemed just like the form of man who nonetheless used Fb to maintain updated along with his pals. A person who would caption an Instagram put up “haters are my motivators” with a rocket-ship emoji.
But it surely was Vegas. And what occurs in Vegas stays in Vegas, proper? So I flirted with him, turning my London accent up so I sounded typically like an additional in Bridgerton, and at others like a personality from Prime Boy. After a pair hours of shouting in one another’s ears over the thumping bassline and awkwardly gyrating to Alesso, we determined to depart our pals and go to one of many all-night casinos. It felt enjoyable. Who is aware of, I assumed, perhaps we’ll get married.
As soon as we have been within the on line casino, neither of us truly gambled. As an alternative, I made him take footage of me subsequent to fit machines, which I despatched to my WhatsApp group with the ladies at residence. We didn’t ask one another private questions, both. It simply wasn’t the vibe.
We tried to get a lodge room, however with out success. Quickly we have been traversing the Las Vegas strip, looking for someplace, wherever to have intercourse. One thing you must find out about me is that I’m open and unashamed about my intercourse life, and these sorts of hijinks are often my bread and butter.
Ultimately, we headed to the lodge the place I used to be sharing a room with my pals. The person from Colorado who didn’t know Heidi Montag and I stumbled throughout a stairwell solely utilized by lodge employees. We bought located and I took my Converses off as a result of I had probably the most terrible blisters, which had left bloody stains on the within of the trainers.
On this bizarre, personal stairwell we had intercourse. It was enjoyable. Up up to now all the things I’d achieved with this man had been consensual. I wished to do it; I used to be having fun with the joy.
After we had intercourse, utilizing the one condom I’d optimistically packed, I advised him I wished to return to my lodge room. As we tried to depart, I realised that the door we had are available in via was locked. I couldn’t get out. I phoned reception and advised them I used to be a visitor within the lodge and that I used to be caught. The girl on the opposite finish began to chortle. She drawled, hardly attempting to cover her contempt: “Oh, you’re caught within the stairwell, are you?”
Making an attempt my finest to not sound hysterical, I snapped: “I’m caught and I wanna get out so you should ship somebody. Now.” In her finest customer support voice, she assured me that somebody would come quickly.
The person from Colorado who didn’t know Heidi Montag didn’t appear too pressed about the truth that we have been caught. I waited impatiently. An hour handed. Nobody got here. I fell asleep on the chilly metallic stairs, utilizing my bag as a pillow.
Once I awakened, the person from Colorado who didn’t know Heidi Montag was having anal intercourse with me. It damage like hell. I politely requested him to cease. Apparently taking this to imply the anal aspect, he responded, casually: “I put it in there ’cos I couldn’t discover a condom.”
“No. Cease fully,” I stated.
He didn’t. I attempted to push him off me, however his physique was a lifeless weight. I used to be being pressed into the steps. I might really feel my shins being indented by the sharp edges, and I might really feel it bruising.
Ultimately he got here. No, not the safety guard I used to be praying would allow us to out of this stairwell, however the man from Colorado. His physique slackened on high of me and I slid out and up.
I used to be achieved ready for safety. Calmly, I left him there. Bloody sneakers in tow, I walked down flights and flights of stairs and ultimately discovered a door that had been left open. I made it to my lodge room and bought into mattress. I couldn’t consider it. I used to be 27, midway the world over, and this man had tried to damage intercourse for me.
As a standup comic, and writer, I’m ceaselessly praised for my “sex-positivity”; as somebody who’s open and unashamed about intercourse – the nice, the unhealthy, the fanny farts, and so forth. As soon as, somebody described my stage persona as a “sexually promiscuous girl geared up with the arrogance of a person who went to Eton and the vocabulary of Tracy Beaker”.
I’m a comic who loves to speak about my vagina; about what’s gone in and what’s gone out, and even what’s been inside a five-yard radius. My intention was by no means to be a “sex-positive comic”. It was simply that males, and my intercourse life, supplied me with a lot materials. I do know my openness about intercourse has helped folks. That’s one thing I’ve been advised so much by younger girls; that my comedy, and my e book, Amazing Disgrace, has made them really feel much less alone. I take delight in feedback akin to: “Whenever you write about intercourse, I really feel as if I’m listening to my very own ideas.”
Nevertheless, within the aftermath of that night time in Las Vegas, I felt resentful of this sex-positive label, and I felt responsible for feeling resentful. Each time somebody requested me, “Why didn’t you go to the police?” I felt as if the joke was on me. Me? Go to the police? The lady who as soon as bought up on stage and advised a room of 400 those that she doesn’t even want lube when she does anal is now claiming that she was anally raped? The lady who has bragged about what number of public locations she’s had intercourse in is saying she didn’t wish to have intercourse in a lodge hall? The identical lady who rode a dick-shaped cloud on the quilt of her e book? The lady who describes herself as a slut, who has brazenly mentioned which STDs she’s had? The one who has stated that males inform her she “smells like intercourse”?
To me and my pals, this openness is totally regular, however once I checked in with the fact that, in a police station, could be used towards me, I spiralled. I used to be imagining the methods I’d be ripped aside. I considered passages from my e book, my Instagram, or my standup being taken out of context with a purpose to paint me as this whore who was deserving of her comeuppance.
Then I considered what folks may say about my account of that night time.
“Properly … she did have already got consensual intercourse with him? Possibly he was simply confused?” “She stated she was flirting outrageously.” “She did say she likes the joy of spontaneous intercourse.”
The factor is, I do know I didn’t consent. I couldn’t have. You can not consent to one thing if you are unconscious. It’s that easy. Once I awakened and requested him to cease, and he didn’t, I used to be doing the alternative of consenting. What he did was fallacious. However sadly, I understand how this stuff play out.
Within the final decade, we’ve seen repeatedly that rape victims don’t obtain enough safety from authorized techniques. My pals and I comply with rape trials and the best way they will finish prematurely, as a result of we wish to know what may occur to us if we went to the police. We now have memorised the info. We all know that within the yr to September 2021, in England and Wales alone, 63,136 allegations of rape have been taken to the police. Solely 820 resulted in a cost or summons. That’s 1.3% of rape accusations.
The bodily proof that may guarantee a conviction must be collected within a week, so if somebody decides weeks, or months, and even years later that they wish to go to the police, their case could possibly be weakened. All too typically, it’s your phrase towards theirs, and their phrase is male, and it’s louder than yours.
As one girl who went to police with an allegation of rape advised the BBC: “It felt as if I used to be the one being investigated.” Her case didn’t make it to trial. Whenever you go to the police, your telephone might be taken away from you. Previous messages, photographs and correspondence on courting apps can be utilized as proof, together with medical information, together with alcohol use, psychological well being points, STI historical past. Not each survivor of rape is provided for the stress that each one of this entails.
When it occurred to me, I used to be additionally keenly conscious that I used to be within the US. A rustic the place rapes on faculty campuses are hardly ever dropped at justice. A rustic the place Brett Kavanaugh might be appointed to the supreme court regardless of accusations of sexual assault, which he has denied. And now, a spot the place that very same courtroom is stripping girls of autonomy over their our bodies in overturning Roe v Wade.
Realizing that, and figuring out what narrative could be created round me, I simply thought: I’d reasonably not. Are you able to blame me?
I have typically puzzled what that man thought, after I stormed away from him that night time. I’m certain he knew he’d achieved one thing fallacious. Did he really feel responsible? Did he fear that I’d go to the police? Or did he assume: she received’t do this. It made me really feel weak.
Of these two moments, the one earlier than I fell asleep, which I’d loved, and the one I woke as much as, which was a violation, it felt like one had fully taken away from the opposite. The rape had made me really feel completely uncontrolled of my physique. It was attempting to make me scared of intercourse, and of males. It made me really feel as if I used to be only a spectator.
I might have seemed again on that night time with a hilarious story of the time I shagged within the lodge employees stairwell. However as a substitute another person’s actions ruined that reminiscence for me, and there wasn’t an excessive amount of I might do to get again at him.
I had actually thought that extra was altering by way of the collective male psyche. I’d hoped that since #MeToo, males now had a greater understanding of consent, of why sure occasions or actions aren’t acceptable. However after Las Vegas, I’ve had just a few uncomfortable experiences speaking to males which have made me query that.
Not too long ago, I used to be at a competition and a man got here as much as me to ask for an image. His girlfriend was an enormous fan, he defined, and she or he’d be so jealous that he’d met me. After I took an image for his girlfriend, he caught round, and began chatting to me and my pals. After some time, he tried to kiss me. I used to be baffled: this was the identical man I’d simply taken an image with to ship to his girlfriend. I stepped again and stated: “Erm, you might have a girlfriend.”
He laughed. “Yeah however, you don’t care, do you?”
I used to be deeply offended. In fact I cared that some man who simply used his girlfriend as a purpose to speak to me was attempting to get with me. Why did he assume I wouldn’t care? It bugged me for ages.
The next week I used to be on a date with a man who had slid into my DMs and appeared good. I advised him what had occurred on the competition.
He stated: “Properly, what did you anticipate? It’s ’cos folks assume you’re unfastened.”
I used to be shocked. “Why the fuck would folks assume I’m unfastened?”
“As a result of I swear all you do is speak about intercourse.”
I used to be enraged. As a result of I’ve spent years encouraging younger girls to really feel empowered masturbating, or to ask for extra sexually, or to develop boundaries, that signifies that I’ll get with anybody?
Not lengthy after that date, I used to be on the pub with some pals. In confidence, I advised a male pal what had occurred in Las Vegas. He wished to know if this expertise had modified how I felt about males. I defined that I nonetheless love and belief a great deal of males and that, in actual fact, the comedy present I’ve written and am taking to the Edinburgh fringe is about my obsession with males. The present, it’s price including, has no point out of rape.
He considered this for a second and requested: “Do you assume there’s a connection between you being so obsessive about males, and also you getting raped?” I felt nauseous. How can somebody I do know, and will belief, recommend that my obsession with males bought me raped? It made one thing actually clear. The world likes to reward a sex-positive girl till she is difficult the very issues concerning the world which have made her wish to be sex-positive.
I could be a cocky, self-proclaimed slut, who wears revealing tops, and writes reveals about being obsessive about males, and I may also be raped. These two issues can exist on the identical time. I do know this, as a result of it’s what occurred to me.