I have never been raped nor have I had sex unwillingly. I have also never had a casual experience; although, I have been shamed by many men who had hoped that by belittling me, they would get what they wanted. I am talking about being called a “prick tease.” Many times.
What I never understood was that I was doing something wrong by just kissing. Now, I will admit I’m not just talking about a kiss goodnight at the door. I’m referring to inviting my date in to continue talking and perhaps kissing after dinner or a movie. Sometimes we would just talk and listen to music, but other times the date would end with a good amount of passionate kissing.
When I was in my twenties, I remember sometimes kissing for hours, but when his hand began a journey of its own, I would take it in my hand before I’d let it touch a place that would give me discomfort — my breast. Many times a man would take the hint right away, but sometimes that hand would keep wandering off, and I’d have to play sneak off and grab for awhile before I’d use my words — “No.” And most of the time when I said, “no,” that wouldn’t be the end of it. That’s when I would hear “You’re a ‘prick tease.’”
I would argue that I was not because I was enjoying kissing just as much as he was and that I wasn’t kissing him to arouse him — it was because I loved kissing him, and that it was difficult for me to be the one to stop. He almost never understood — or didn’t want to — and these men almost never asked me out again. I didn’t understand back then. I didn’t get that I shouldn’t have bothered telling him that I wasn’t a ‘prick tease’ and honestly just wanted to kiss. I get it now that he probably wasn’t even enjoying the kiss because by enjoying it he would have to be in the moment. He wasn’t. He was only thinking about his desire to get me into bed… and add one more notch to the bedpost.
Originally written as a response to Emma Lindsay’s story “Whose Pain Counts?”