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wasn’t assaulted or raped. Adults are responsible for the
boundaries of their consent and SASA put very few limits upon
what he was willing to do. My spidey sense was tingling at
the thought of entering, not once, but twice, an unfamiliar,
darkened apartment that belonged to persons unknown. (Yikes!
Run!) Once inside, SASA lies down there to take his fellatio
quite submissively in the dark from a stranger, gender and
age unknown. Then, while he’s making movies in that shite
between his ears (in a pathetic attempt at orgasm—I agree
that it’s still all about his unsheathed dick, and no one
else, let alone any eye for the potential danger to anyone
else in the room), SASA is mounted and inserted into what
he agreed to online: an asshole. Literally and figuratively.
Finally, he begins to worry about his own protection
and stops all the action, leaving, unfettered.
SASA literally withdrew his cock and his consent right then
and there, not a moment before. No meant no. When SASA
expressed it, this sad encounter immediately stopped.
Dan, I do not see rape or criminal sexual assault in these
facts because SASA was a willing penetrator/perp orally for
certain. As to the anal sex, he arguably signed up for the
tail at the beginning of his tale (offer, acceptance, performance—it’s
damn near a contract as well). Here we have consent coupled
(ahem) with clear evidence of intent from the alleged victim.
However, all this legal analysis just leaves me cold, wondering
about SASA, the other perp, and whether or not SASA should
just go make a police report aside from legal considerations
and outcome. I say this only because on the one hand, maybe
this is an internet predator who needs a warning shot across
his/her bow. The creep may warrant a warning in the form of
a visit from the local authorities before someone does get
raped, assaulted, killed, or HIV. Just one simple act of protection
by the police, as it were. (By the way, what are the jurisdiction’s
laws regarding the knowing, undisclosed transmission of HIV
where SASA lives?)
On the other hand, we live in a fickle world, Dan, and the
cops may well point that cannon at SASA as well. What was
the age of the other participant? Why couldn’t he/she go to
a bar? Those ramifications could be quite serious for SASA.
We all possess a constitutional right to act stupid in this
country, although it does not always rise to the level of
criminal behavior. SASA exercised his constitutional right
and might actually learn something from it: Responsibility
to himself and responsibility for others’ welfare in light
of his desires and behavior. The golden rule.
Lawyer Languishing In The Heartland
am a practicing criminal defense attorney in the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts. I have handled many cases, including attempted
SASA has a very difficult decision to make—is he willing to
put himself up to the agonizing ridicule, the consistent attacks,
and the humiliation of going on the stand in a criminal rape/sexual
assault case? Never kid yourself—the victim is just as much
on trial as the alleged assailant in a rape case. Period.
It’s not fair, it’s not unfair. It’s the way it is. The victim
is judged by the jury, by the prosecutor, the media, the lawyers,
and anyone else associated with this type of case. Even his
own family. Can SASA stand the mortifying intensity of having
his decisions (good and bad) put under that kind of microscope?
Only he can answer that question. Here is a glimpse of what
he is up against:
The guy who attracted SASA to the “dark apartment” is going
to claim any or all of the following:
That he met SASA on the internet and both stated explicitly
that they were either gay or bi-curious;
That the victim said he had never done this before and was
That they agreed to meet at the assailant’s apartment;
That the victim had a fantasy he always wanted fulfilled regarding
dungeons or mystery screwing or something in that light;
That the victim was very willing at first, but then got cold
feet and took off;
That the victim called the assailant back and stated
that he was still willing to go through with it (and hence
came back a second time);
That the victim and assailant spoke several times that evening;
That when the victim returned, he got naked of his own accord
and they began sexual intercourse;
The assailant can claim that they either reached climax or
that they stopped when the victim asked him to stop. Either
way, that’s not rape.
That the victim left then called him again.
All of the above, unfortunately, can be corroborated, either
in whole or in part, by SASA (with the exception of the bi-curious
SASA will claim that he thought the man was a lady. But the
assailant has so many things going for him that it’s an uphill
battle for SASA to even prove this. I see nothing but bad
things here for SASA. The fight would be hard and, I suspect,
let me say, as a Public Health Nurse who works with trauma
victims, I wholeheartedly support your advice for SASA to
stay in therapy. Victimization of this kind can leave lasting
and debilitating emotional scars. It’s important for SASA
to deal with this incident in a safe and healthy way so he
can hopefully go on with his life. As far as pressing assault
charges, the first instinct is to say Yes! Certainly! This
man should be punished! However, this may not be the best
way for SASA to seek closure. While I believe more men should
come forward after sexual assaults, it is not always easy
to get a conviction on such a charge. The victims in such
circumstances are often subject to a further victimization
at the hands of the justice system that is worse than the
original assault. I believe SASA should consult with police
and an attorney to assess the viability of such a charge.
If anything, he should provide information about this person’s
online activities to police so they can perhaps prevent future
assaults. SASA needs to examine, with his psychiatrist, the
best and healthiest way for him to close this chapter of his
Turner, RN, BScN, BA
Public Health Nurse
SASA: I’m not a rape counselor, lawyer, cop, or anyone with
a degree in anything useful. I’m just a rape victim. Listen,
only you can answer the important questions in this situation.
1) Was it rape? If you think it was rape, if you feel/believe
you were violated, then it was. You have to trust that.
2) Should you press charges? To answer this question, you
have to answer the most important question of all:
3) What is best for you? People get caught up
in a lot of nonsense about doing the right thing or getting
revenge or seeking justice or just not drawing any attention
to themselves. You need to take care of yourself because no
one else is going to do it for you. And trust me, pressing
charges is a whole other ordeal. Our justice system is not
there to serve justice to the victim. If 12 average people
can relate to your situation and worry it would happen to
them, then justice is served. If 12 average people can’t,
then you will be told it’s your fault. And that’s if you even
make it to trial.
And are you prepared to recount the whole incident five, six,
10 times to various officers, hospital workers, lawyers, etc.
minute by minute? And if you manage to keep a smidge of dignity
intact, can you deal with being told repeatedly how you
are to blame? The rape victim always gets blamed. And
in your situation you’re going to hear crap like, “I didn’t
think a man could be raped,” and a lot worse.
You’re probably going to get lots of e-mail from survivors,
counselors, and who knows who else advising SASA to run screaming
to the cops and whoever else will listen about his traumatic
sexual assault. I hope not—but just in case, as a rape survivor,
I wanted to throw my two cents on the table.
SASA voluntarily (that is, consensually) walked into a freaky-ass
sexual situation with someone he didn’t know. He also voluntarily
walked out of it as soon as he became uncomfortable, which
is key—he was by no means powerless. He should take responsibility
for his actions and not blame the person who said “I want
to meet you under bizarre circumstances and have oral and
anal sex with you while wearing a towel on my head in the
dark” for doing exactly what she/he (to mimic SASA) said she/he
would. I’m not condoning the mystery person’s behavior, but
SASA’s finger is pointing the wrong way as he plays the blame
Hopefully lots and LOTS of people will point out the fact
that the word “assault” would never occur to SASA if he knew
he’d found himself in a woman’s ass, not a man’s.
Obligatory note to those meeting people online (or anywhere)
for the first time: Don’t go to a stranger’s home. Ever. Especially
Calling Out Ridiculous Non-responsibility
I can’t believe you let this guy off so lightly. C’mon, now;
he’s getting a blowjob, and all of a sudden he’s up to his
balls in ass? Golly, how’d that happen! I admit that a well-trained
and well-lubed ass may be able to swallow a penis in no time
flat, but even if our presumed pervert went to all that trouble,
it’d be quite a feat to pull off that maneuver without the
erstwhile suckee wondering what all the fuss is about. And
what about the other odd details of his story? A towel covering
the face? Seriously, WTF?
You know it’s a thousand times more likely that SASA had a
completely consensual homosexual experience, and is now going
ape-shit about it. His fear of HIV/AIDS may be real, but his
long, elaborate, I’m-dumb-as-shit-but-I’m-still-a-victim story
is a lie.
Lies I’m Told Of Ruinous Incidents Suck
And Seeking Advice” claiming rape would be considered a nuisance
case. He admits he freely went into a strange and dark apartment,
stripped down naked, and went into the bedroom for the purpose
of having anonymous sex. He allowed a person with a concealed
face to go down on him and was trying to climax. When the
person repositioned him/herself (while he was “not paying
attention to her”) you and I both know SASA thought he was
about to have unprotected vaginal sex and didn’t care. But
because it turned out to be anal sex, and it turned out to
be a “he,” then it suddenly becomes a rape?! I think
even John Roberts would say, “Give me a break!”
In response to SASA’s letter, I do have some advice/concerns.
I’m in the much-maligned HIV/STD field (I remember from a
past column how much you LOOOOOOVE us), but I have some guidance
(1) A normal psychological reaction (especially in the wake
of fear) is for individuals to completely minimize exposure.
So I’m somewhat skeptical of the “30 seconds” your dick spent
inside of . . . well . . . somebody’s ass. It was probably
longer, and that means that the risk of HIV is still there.
Definitely get tested again in three and six months.
(2) People get all flustered by the big ‘H’ that they forget
about all the other diseases out there. Definitely
get checked for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Those
three are runnin’ rampant in various parts of the U.S.
(3) While legally there’s probably a case for lack
of consent, unless local law distinguishes, you don’t have
to give “piecemeal” consent. Going to somebody’s house for
sex is consenting for sex. If it got taken a step further
(you thought oral and it became anal), you still gave initial
consent for sex. Basically, I’m saying while you could
build a case, you are more likely to be laughed out of numerous
precincts, law offices, and other orgs before somebody finally
takes this seriously. Why? Well because . . .
(4) You really, really, really fucked up. Really. There are
so many “horror movie get the fuck out” moments in that story
that most municipal people will look at you and say, “Uhm,
didn’t you realize something was shady here?” If you
manage to get out of it without an STD, I’d suggest thanking
whatever deity you believe in and moving on. What happened
is wrong, but there’s so much culpability here that finding
mitigating circumstances would be hard.
Thank you so much for running SASA’s letter last week. It
came to mind today as I entered a similarly darkened room
in my neighborhood. The “woman” who had placed an ad in the
local escort pages removed her robe by candlelight, and had
the same long, dark hair and nice C-cup breasts as her pics.
But when we started touching and getting close to each other,
something about her muscle tone set off a warning. I moved
my hand in to check her true gender. When she repeatedly moved
my hand away, I looked at her straight in the eyes, and opened
myself to the truth. Her facial structure could easily be
a man’s. I got myself up and out of there, and was able to
get half my $500 back. “Her” parting comment was, “Are you
sure you’re looking for a woman? The way you look, I think
you really want a man.”
I feel for SASA, and thanks to him and to you, I learned something
from his experience. Sign me,
I had an experience almost like SASA had a few years ago.
A friend and I went to meet these two “women” that we met
from a chat line. We got there and the house was dark. One
of them was talking to us in the living room while the other
was “getting ready.” I felt a strange vibe almost immediately
but couldn’t communicate anything to my friend in front of
“her.” To make a long story short we were there for about
five minutes before the one that had been talking to us left
the apartment for some reason. The one that was getting dressed
cracked a door and poked his/her face out and asked for a
cigarette. I got up to bring the cig and that’s when I noticed
something not quite right with her face. After giving the
cigarette to her she closed the door and I turned back to
my friend and said something like, “Let’s get the hell outta
here! That was a fuckin’ man!” We left immediately and ran
down the stairs of their building.
About a year later I saw the first “female” on the front page
of a local newspaper. The story read something like “Transgender
man rapes teen.” It was pretty big news around Boston for
When I read SASA’s story I was stunned and I could relate.
The “victim” of this tale is a 21-year-old straight male who
was manipulated into a sexual rendezvous with a dangerously
adventurous, presumably gay man disguising himself as a woman
to seek the sexual charms of a straight guy. The person I
relate to in this bizarre story is the deceptive gay man.
For the last 10 years I have struggled through this pathetic
and dark world of lies and manipulative mischief. At the age
of 24 I was horny but had no money, was busy in school and
had no sexual outlet at the time. Emotionally, I thought I
was in a good state of mind. WRONG!
Playfully, I called some phone-chat personal ads. The gay
ones cost money and I could not afford them, and I was also
aware that my high, feminine voice would not be in high demand
on any gay phone-sex line. I noticed that in the straight
chat lines the men also had to pay—however, the women did
not. As a joke I decided to call the straight chat line just
to see if I could fool anyone. I could. Some men knew what
I was up to and loudly voiced their disgust. However, most
men were easily fooled. What started out as harmless fun has
turned into an ugly mess that has put my life in danger numerous
times and made me an emotional mess.
I began spending almost all my free time on the phone, sacrificing
any hope for a quality romantic relationship, only to waste
time wallowing in the obscene attentions of all these strange
men. For the first time in my life I felt men were listening
to me. It was all lies but they were listening.
Here is where I start to sing the blues. My childhood was
not good (I know, boo hoo). A quick summation: I am the only
child of a white, schizophrenic mother and was abandoned at
birth by my black father. At the age of eight, I basically
became my mother’s caregiver. I was also a pretty little gay
boy. When men or boys did pay attention to me it was always
negative. To this day I can’t remember one instance of a man
saying or doing anything for me that was kind. The phone chat
line in its twisted way has proved to be the catalyst in giving
me the awakening I needed. I learned that I hated men, specifically
straight men. The chat line progressed over the years from
simply providing phone sex to arranging to meet guys in public
places just so I could watch them waiting for “her,” which
of course was me. It has most recently progressed to having
these strangers come into my apartment for oral and even anal
sex in the dark because I was too “shy” to be seen with the
I have had hundreds of sexual experiences with these men in
the last 10 years. Some have been bisexual; however, I am
sure most have been straight. I’ve been with some men who
are incredibly handsome and some physically repulsive. In
the heat of the moment looks did not matter much to me. I
have had men who have figured out what was going on during
the sex act and have freaked and stormed away too shocked
to respond. Only once have I been sexually and physically
assaulted. In that terrifying moment my misery, shame, and
pain was so great that I did not really care if I died. I
think most men whom I’ve been with have not been violent simply
because they were so stunned that any gay man would do anything
so obviously dangerous.
I know that I am not the only one who struggles with this.
I am sure there are many factors that contribute to gay men
behaving the way I have. One theory is that effeminate gay
men simply are not desired in the gay community. The majority
of gay men want muscles and masculinity, not petite and sweet.
Some gay men are more turned off by effeminacy that obesity!
The places where effeminate men can attract the attentions
of horny masculine men are places where they can get away
with being women in disguise (internet and chat lines).
To the 21-year-old who was so traumatized by his experience,
please, if you can, accept my apologies. However, Dan, I disagree
with you in saying that we who commit such acts are “extraordinarily
evil faggots.” There is a sad, dark undercurrent to why we
do these things and at this time society is not yet able to
face this. I hope my story helps in explaining part of it.
We are deeply troubled, living in a world that hates not gay
men as much as effeminate gay men. As sexual outcasts without
visibility to our problem, we are alone in our pain. I know
your readers probably want me to simply climb down from my
cross and get over it, but for an effeminate gay man to go
through life being the object of ridicule since birth to simply
shrug it off and get over it is not realistic. Believe me,
it is a slow process to learn to love, forgive, and respect
men as an adult when as a child they displayed only hatred
to me. It has not been an easy life. This is only part of
my story. I no longer believe it is so unique.
Voice In The Dark
I couldn’t track anything down about that story online, but
it sounded very much like a first-person version of an urban
legend. I mean come on, it’s a cautionary tale of the first
order, you said so yourself. The only part missing was that
the dude didn’t get AIDS, which he likely would have in an
urban legend. Just a thought.