Teaching You a Lesson or Sexually Assaulting You?
Taking off a condom in the middle of a sex act…it happened to me a couple of times. One of the most notable ones was one of the last of 4 sexual assaults in my early 20s which culminated in me realizng that I had survived a series of different sexual assaults between the ages of 17 and 22. This was just the last of 4 that I would allow to just roll over me like a big crashing wave that nearly drowns me and pushes me down, spitting sand and salt but told to just recover and keep surfing. I was urinating blood in the toilet. I thought it was an STD. I went to Planned Parenthood and one of their routine questions traumatized me. “Could you be at risk of being pregnant or having an STD?” The last guy I slept with that took the condom off in the middle of our sex came to mind. I had to say,”Yes.” and take the pregnancy test. It was traumatic at the time, what has become more routine for me now. Watching Jerry Springer in the clinic lobby bitterly thinking that for sure I felt violated that I had to endure pain and uncertainty because of his irresponsibility. This one was definitely his fault because he took action to violate an unspoken trust agreement between two people using a condom that that condom should stay on during the entirity of the sex act. It turned out I had kidney stones and that was why I was bleeding internally but the blood in the toilet was so traumatic that it forced me into a path of rape trauma healing of all my assaults, deal with boundary violations, go to counseling and understand PTSD. I FELT that the guy who took off the condom violated me, and I experienced it physically (through the kidney stones) and emotionally as such and so to me, it was an assault. Would the police classify it as such? Of course not. Does this guy think he sexually assaulted me? Of course not.
Fast forward eleven years, 3 of the last of those I’ve worked as an escort in LA and beyond. I have practiced boundary negotiations with hundreds of clients, customers, dates, boyfriends, and whoevers. Things still happen. Violations are part of the occupational hazards of this job. I work with the herpes virus using barriers to protect my clients and reduction of unprotected oral, when possible. Recently, the client knew that there wasn’t a condom on and continued to have sex with me. We had used a condom earlier, but the second time he put it in I didn’t realize there wasn’t a condom until about 15 minutes into it. I stopped to ask and he replied, “there isn’t one.” I was pissed. “That’s it.” I said. “We’re done.” I started packing my work bag and headed for the shower. With more body language I let him know that I was not happy. While I was in the shower, I wanted to resolve the issue so that somehow I could make it out of there on good terms. This guy had just gotten out of prison, did drugs and clearly didn’t think that not using a condom sometimes was an issue. I should be worried. I told him that. “when IS the last time you got tested?” I asked. “They test you when you go to prison.” he says. He claims that prisoner rape isn’t as common as the movies make it seem and that he never shared a needle. But you and so many too many men I’ve been with think not using a condom on every contact, every time is excusable for the sake of pleasure, or horniness. But, in this case, I believe it is also my responsibility to realize that a condom is not on, even though the penis holder is clearly in an position of power. I’ll take some responsibility for [you fucking me without a condom]. Just so I don’t have to process what you did like another sexual assault. He tipped me very well. I’m not sure if it was because he felt guilty or not. I must have made him feel bad. He gave me his phone numbers and said I could call him for anything. In the end, because I didn’t leave angry, I was able to not feel so violated. It doesn’t always resolve itself like this. Unsafe sex is an automatic ejection from the game. I think though, you should always be aware of whether or not a condom is in use. And if you are calling yourself a pro you should always be on top of that, literally.
I did feel initially violated but felt like instead of getting angry and calling him a rapist, I would try to gain an understanding about what HIS thinking, if any was.
“Do you think that what you did was wrong?”
Well, it turns out I am the forever carrier of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and apparently even unprotected rubbing of my vagina with other genitals can infect you with herpes sores. An ex-lover recently called me at 7am freaking out about sores all over his dick, which we guessed he contracted from rubbing himself against me without a condom 20 ? days ago in a romantic non work setting. I believe that it is possible to have safe sexual experiences with people with herpes, obviously. The condom violator definitely should have contracted herpes if the one showing signs of herpes got it. It was, as a matter of fact on the SAME DAY. (I am a hoe, afterall).
So, taking a condom off with a girl like me can get you herpes. Because I got that 7am call, I felt compelled to call the condom violator and disclose to him and tell him to get tested so he wouldn’t infect more people. Most clients don’t want to have unsafe sex. Pro sex with me is usually pretty sterile but there is that occasional guy who dreams of raw sex as the ONLY way he can get off. They don’t even ask or realize how easy it is to transmit herpes. They don’t realize that I have to worry about MORE than herpes, but other STDS AND pregnancy. To me, cold sores are not life threatening even though they don’t have a cure. This last lover seemed to have symptoms pretty bad. I sometimes feel like just taking those types of guys for suckers, snatching their money and giving them a lecture about WHY they should be more careful, but I wouldn’t fuck them first, probably just take their money, which I end up doing in the course of the type of sex work I do on a regular basis. Agency work is sometimes cruel like capitalism often is and it has nothing to do with STD disclosure.
I understand that there are MANY people who think that prostitutes are trash [women] spreading diseases even if they don’t all have diseases and even if we are not all women. I write this as part of my process to debunk the diseased whore stereotype at the same time as BE ALIVE within it. I think it is as important for me to come out and be me as it is a HIV+ gay man who also lives the stereotype but feels the need to be out about it. We can always say what we would or should do, but until you have an STD that you should or need to disclose you really don’t know what it is like to have to deal with…
I’ve never had a major multiple blister syndrome like what he described, neither did anyone else that I’d been with, including my 2 year live in boyfriend.. Too bad for my dear young 21 year old lover though, I did warn him while he was doing it, gave him the opportunity to stop. He not only didn’t stop but was extremely almost convincing me to let him in further w/o protection! Will it teach him to use a condom more because now he has to? I could be like the Trashman, aiming to unethically teach guys with indecent unsafe sex proposals a lesson about waht that could bring them in the long run. The idea of having a real life vagina dentata is somewhat enticing, however. Trashman’s character (which they have found to be a performance) is deviant and malicious. Mine is not. I simply don’t want to stop having sex. Not yet. I am also not in a position to stop doing sex work right now. So did the condom violator violate me or did I violate him by not disclosing my status, or by even working while knowing that I have an STD? Herpes is something you have forever, and I’m not showing any signs of outbreaks (and if I do, they aren’t major), so you can imagine it’s tough for me to accept a chaste and celibate future. Forget whether or not money is exchanged. I believe that he would say that he is somehow off the hook because I am the one who gave him something, that he PAID TO GET! I would say, if I didn’t already have herpes, I surely would have gotten it then, and he will surely pass it on in the same way. He didn’t really see the importance of getting tested, I did make him realize that he could spread it to all the little speed freaks that he “helps” by giving them a hotel room to stay in.
In my recent mission to make things right in different ways, I called him and told him. He, being a “full blown drug addict” (his words) didn’t really care it seemed. He wasn’t upset. He wasn’t showing any signs of herpes. But, our conversation did make him use condoms more he said. (but I’m sure he doesn’t understand that he violated me too). He appreciated my honesty. He believed he was a man of solid morals. A good tweaker. (they always believe they are good). Once the 21 yo lover told me of his outbreak, I told this guy, whom I only had the phone number of because he wanted me to buy weed from him. My conversationS with him were not too deep and definitely drug induced on his part. His intent to harm me was not there, I figured, but I realized that BOTH of us need to protect ourselves from each other’s withholding of information at the same time! I don’t feel guilty and I don’t feel violated anymore, but that could unfortunately be because I have a lot of practice dealing with this type of thing or it could be that I took so much time to process and discuss it with each of the peope involved, writing about it on blogs and to myself..?