It’s the other side of #metoo: why’d they do it?
There’s currently a wave of awareness around sexual assault, harassment, and rape unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
The conversation that the #metoo movement has opened up is a watershed moment for us all – a time when men have been put on notice that their behavior is not okay and will no longer be overlooked or excused, and when women feel safer to speak up about the things that have happened to them, and when they have renewed hope that people will actually believe them when they tell their stories.
With all the talk about the things men have done to women, it doesn’t seem very important, or necessary, to hear the abusers’ side of the story. But a few years ago, a notorious Reddit thread set out to collect stories from the other side: men who’ve raped or otherwise assaulted women.
The discussion was shut down fairly quickly, amid fears of doxxing – and also because it was so disturbing. Calling it “a shitstorm of gargantuan proportions,” Reddit admins deleted the usernames on the thread, and eventually all of the comments themselves. However, the thread was eventually restored, and you can now read much – though not all – of it. Our curiosity got the best of us, and we read it (so you don’t have to). What follows are the highlights of a very troubling discussion…
Warning: this content is quite upsetting, and some readers – particularly survivors of assault – may want to proceed with caution.
1. He was horny
“I was a freshman and hooking up with this girl who got naked in bed with me, then said no. I was extremely horny and already close to doing it, so I ignored her and did it. She realized what was happening and tried to clamp her legs shut, but it was too late and I was much stronger than her. She kept whispering no, but I ignored it.”
2. He felt justified
“I was seventeen and had been invited by a pretty girl to go to a club with a few of her friends. As soon as we got onto the dance floor she grabbed me and started making out with me. This was one of my first kisses so naturally I was pretty shell-shocked. We ended up making out in the backseat of a car with her friends. I started fingering her. She grabbed my wrist and said ‘not here.’ I didn’t care. I kept on with her anxiously checking the front seat to see if her friends noticed. ‘Not here, they’ll see.’ For some reason it didn’t faze me. I felt justified. I could sense she was uncomfortable, but I continued.”
3. He wears a mask
“I am a post-college-aged male who raped several girls through use of coercion, alcohol, and other tactics over a course of three years. I was at a dark and horrible place in my life, that I’ve since grown from. I’m ashamed of the person I was. If the people who I’m close to now knew who I was, I would be ruined. I’m known for being a great guy, friendly and easy to get along with, a community and political activist, a fervent volunteer in the community, and a person who rises through the ranks quickly due to successes at work. That was my mask, and I was good at it.”
4. He enjoyed it
“I have raped both the girls I have had long-term relationships with, each on more than one occasion, and each time has been among my most enjoyable and memorable sexual experiences. Retaining relationships despite this fetish has been difficult, although my current girl is at least attracted to BDSM and consensual non-consent. I have succeeded in blaming my behavior on substance abuse, physical accident (it slipped), on claiming to have thought they were ‘playing along’ with a fantasy, on ‘not realizing’ they were too intoxicated to consent, and more.
5. He was confused
“She ran to my bed and didn’t want me to touch her. I didn’t understand what had happened. This hyper-sexual person who had offered to give me head suddenly didn’t want to touch me.”
6. He thought she wanted it
“I can’t remember how it happened, but me and this girl – she was maybe 17 – ended up play-wrestling, with me pinning her down. We were laughing, but when we made eye contact…it was the look we exchanged… The ‘I’d fuck you’ look. I remember exactly what I was thinking at the time. This girl gave me ‘the look’ earlier, she invited me into her bed. What teenage girl would pass up the opportunity to be with a 22 year-old guy? She must want it. I tried again, and slid my hands over her body.”
7. He felt pressured
I got peer-pressured into hooking up with this girl. I kept saying I didn’t want to, and my friends kept saying I had to lose my virginity. They said this for about a week, and finally New Year’s came, so I figured I might as well. We were both completely wasted. I was too drunk to get it up so I fingered her and ate her out, but she wasn’t really into it. So I stopped, then threw up all over her and passed out. I guess she ran out and told them I raped her. She never said stop or anything, but I could see how she could have frozen up in fear. I don’t doubt she felt molested, and I feel like an awful person.”
8. He went for it
“She was a good friend. I was drunk and super horny. I looked at her and knew I could never be with her. She had already hooked up with my friend. It was that feeling of never being able to do something, or have something. I looked at her and just saw something I would regret not trying for. So I thought if I could feel her I would know what it was to be with her. I grabbed her boob, over the shirt. I touched her lip and she moved her head. I stop dead thinking I woke her up, but she relaxed again. I started going upstairs but felt a sudden urge to lift her skirt. I ran my hand across her ass and between her legs. I was so drunk I turned on the light to get a better look, then quickly realized that it would wake her up and turned the light off.”
9. He liked it when they squirmed
“The great nights were the ones who squirmed, ones who didn’t want to give in. I’d have to shush them down, and try to work on them slowly enough so they didn’t know what was going on until it was pretty much already happening. I’m a tall, muscular guy, and most of these girls were really tiny and easy to pin down. To be honest, even remembering it now, the squirming always made it better. They didn’t want it to happen, but they couldn’t do anything about it. Most girls don’t say ‘no’ either. They think you’re a good guy, and should pick up on the hints. They don’t want to have to say ‘no’ and admit to themselves what’s happening.”
10. He craved acceptance
“I don’t condone rape or sexual assault. It’s a terrible thing to impose your will upon another person. But I think to commit these sort of things shows a significant and somewhat demented flaw in your character. I always (and still) have had a lot of trouble connecting with other people. Sex was the one thing I understood. Intimacy was acceptance. I craved it.”
11. He got bored
“I’ve never physically forced myself on a woman or drugged her, but I’m sure by many people’s definitions I’m a rapist. Being a moderately good-looking guy with a ton of charisma, I never had an issue getting what I wanted from women. It became boring to me. I found that girls who were raped were far more likely to do [non-vanilla sex acts]. I met quite a lot of girls who had been assaulted, and one by one I went down the list, using what I knew about them to get them to trust me, then using them as my sex toys. I did this to almost three dozen girls before it became boring and I moved on to other stuff.”
12. He knows it’s not okay
“Most girls don’t really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalize what they do. I see feminists and women on the Internet saying that ‘no means no’ and women should be able to get as drunk as they want and not be sexually assaulted. I couldn’t agree more. But the reality of the situation is that women have to be careful, because guys are one way when they’re hanging out and another way when they’re horny – or worse, drunk and horny. That doesn’t make what happened okay, but it is what it is.”
13. He loved the chase
“I wanted the thrill of the chase, and that’s what led me to forcing myself on girls. I would find attractive girls who were self-conscious about their looks. Girls who were pretty in their own unique way, but not the outgoing sort. Mostly introverts and girls who didn’t party or do wild things. Hopefully a girl who was a bit damaged, had a shitty ex-boyfriend or family issues, came from a small town, that sort of thing. So when I showed interest in them they’d be completely enamored, shocked that a popular, good-looking, and well-liked guy would be talking to them.”
14. He doesn’t feel guilty
“I consider myself to be adept at manipulating the feelings of others and do commit a large effort to my partner in other areas of life, in order to ensure that they remain satisfied with our arrangement overall [being forced to have sex]. I understand that it would be typical to feel guilty for this situation. As far as I can determine I do not.”
Image via shutterstock.com. **All quotes are via anonymous Reddit posts, and have been edited for length and clarity.**
Comment: Does it make any difference to you why a man sexually assaults a woman? Should we even care why they do it?