Rape · SexualConsent · Sexuality

Threats from Without and Within

Men are more kindred to me than any female friend I’ve had. It’s easier for me to relate to men. All through school I’d play D&D with the guys and avoid the feminine angst of my girlfriends. For much of my life, even as a sex worker, I never felt physical fear of a man…except this one time…
In late October 2000, my first husband and I were in Key West Florida. We had just settled in after moving there from Wyoming for a seasonal resort job. The annual Fantasy Fest was at its height, with roughly 50,000 extra people on the island. Everyone was sweaty, horny and drunk. Nightly during the Fest, the populace would parade down Duval Street, seeking bars, booze, and sex partners. My husband was blitzed on beer, and my primary sober job was squeezing us between the throngs of humanity. Somewhere after the second block, three college age guys slid behind us. Thousands of people were smashed against each other from sheer numbers and these three got way too close. After a few minutes I kept noticing one of the guys behind me started to give me short little pushes against my back. There wasn’t any room to turn, so I just wrote it off to the over crowding. A few minutes later, he started to talk shit, it seemed like to no one in particular. At first, it was innocuous: where were the hotties, when do we get laid. His friends laughed him off. The pushing soon began to get a bit more physical, a bit more sharp. The further down Duval Street we wandered, the bigger the crush of humanity. The guy behind me started talking more shit, about how hung he was, how frustrating it was that he couldn’t find any pussy worth his skills. The pushing became poking with his fingers up my back and arms. The sound levels became deafening, so as we went on I understood him less, and felt the pushes get harder. At the top of Duvall, we drew to a stop to let people go across the street. This guy suddenly grabbed the back of my shirt, pulled me back against him, and hissed in my ear.
“You know, we could just grab a fat ugly chick and rape her in the alley. There’s enough of her for all three of us.” That voice was as full of malice as I’d ever heard.
Just then, the crowd thinned. I shoved my husband between a group of people, jerked myself loose from his grasp, and sped away. I turned just briefly to see who this bastard was. That’s when I truly realized the danger: these three guys were all over 6 ft. The prick who had a hold of me had to be about 6’4, and muscular. He threw a kiss at me as I dragged my husband away toward a better lit area. His buddies just thought it was hysterically funny. I heard them laughing as I hauled my husband home.
The next morning, I got to see the damage. My shirt was torn, and I had small bruises on my back and arms from where he jammed his fingers. My husband was furious, both at the asshole who did this, and at me for not letting him know. This burned me up and emotionally hurt. My husband was sloppy drunk, and in no position to defend me. He was an almost abusively jealous man, and accused me of enjoying the attention. It was a huge slap in the face; I felt like I got victimized twice. It was a blow to our relationship that caused a slow burn kind of resentment that never ceased, even up to my husband’s death two years later. Was I raped? No, but I was roughed up, and verbally threatened. Was I protected by my spouse? Nope, in fact he turned the whole situation back on me. Even after my husband died, and I later became a sex worker, I never felt as threatened as I did at that one moment in time. There was nothing I did to provoke this guy. He was drunk himself, and saw a couple in front of him with a incapacitated man and sober woman. He very possibly just wanted to cause mischief; or conversely, could have been angry, frustrated, and dangerously serious. I’ll never know. I didn’t ask for it, and it did leave a mental scar.


One thought on “Threats from Without and Within

  1. I don’t know which was worse.Well, actually I do. No stranger has ever hurt me like a familiar. Being crushed in a crowd has it’s very own unique python anxiety.
    …too fat to fit in the wood-chipper…what do you want me to do?
    I love me some you!


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