Without insulting the intelligenza of my wonderful audience below are a few simple maths sums…
2 x 10 = 20
5 x 4 = 20
5 + 10 + 4 +1 = 20
X = 20 (in algebra)
80 ÷ 4 = 20
2(5 + 10) -10 = 20
A few months back I wrote a post called The Road to Rejection, detailing my first memory of romantic rejection at the ripe old age of 10. This is an unintended sequel, that takes place ten years later, as my naïve innocence was corrupted by dealing with a reality that was nothing like mainstream Hollywood influenced me to believe.
By the time I was 20 years old, my first relationship had ended and my confidence had taken an impactful blow, I didn’t think I could recover from. I was in an uncharted emotional space where I didn’t have the capital to invest in another relationship, yet I still yearned for female companionship. It was at this point “Ms X” provided me with the perfect blend of what I was looking for.
(Sidebar: Unlike the prequel to this sequel, the identity of the person involved must remain anonymous, so I will refer to the participant involved as Ms X, as not only is this in good taste, but it’s very possible she might be out there reading my interpretation of events)
Ms X and I were never officially “an item” but were good friends and without question there was an upspoken, undercurrent of sweltering sexual tension, so tangible you could almost touch it.
One evening Ms X invited me back to her humble abode, to hang out, and when I arrived all the Hollywood clichés were in place; soft burning candles from IKEA, light refreshments and soulful ballads playing in the background sung by R&B super group Boyz II Men.
We conversed, laughed, flirted, and smoothly ushered our way into 2 a.m. and while I attempted to stay ice cool on the outside, my brain cells were desperately gathering evidence that would determine whether I could make the evening (or should I say morning?) an intimate one.
The rolling tide of attraction was strong, so I moved with the momentum, as we awkwardly transitioned from the downstairs sofa to the upstairs bedroom.
Everything felt organic, as I continued with my attempt at foreplay and just as the moment was approaching for the two of us to become one, Ms X deeply exhaled..
“Huh?” I said.
“No, I can’t, I just don’t want to.”
“Are you sure?” I replied (desperately clinging onto hope that Ms X would change her mind)
“Yeah, I’m sure”
And with that I had no other option but to discontinue, as I felt awkwardness, confusion and rejection assault my insecurities all at the same time.
But why share this story in the first place? What value does this true-life yarn possibly hold?
I am a bit fed up of the implication by Angela Lansbury or anyone else, who thinks that unwanted sexual interaction or harassment falls on the side of the victim…it doesn’t. Regardless of gender, a victim of harassment or an unwanted sexual advance is not held responsible for the undesirable act simply because they were wearing an item of clothing that was too tight, consumed a little too much alcohol at the Christmas party or are deemed too physically attractive.
I was invited over, everything was consensual, we were in her bedroom, heartbeats were accelerating as our bodies, passions and insecurities were being exposed. Of course, you could attempt to put together the threadbare, misguided argument I had unspoken licence to move with my primal, sexual urges because I had reached a point of no return, so there was no going back?
I don’t buy it.
Emotions are complicated and not the easiest feelings to navigate or control all the time. I do not pretend for a moment that I have mastered mine. I’m wide open to the fact that mistakes can be made and signals can be misinterpreted, we are allowed to make mistakes but what value does a mistake hold, if we make no attempt to learn or grow from it?
This form of rejection hit me harder than most, as I did not think (at the time) it was possible to reach such a level of physical intimacy, then have the wind change direction so suddenly. But at no time did the body of Ms X, belong to “my primitive desire” and respecting that simple fact meant that neither of us walked away from the situation with the title of perpetrator or victim.
Some problems need more than one approach to arrive at a common answer…helping children deal with rejection or disappointment is one method we can use or teaching young people (and older) that no matter how sexually advanced things get, you always have the right to change your mind. Legislation is another way, open conversations between men and women is another because you need all variable methods, both simple and advanced, to help us arrive at the same answer.
Until next time.