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Home » Me » I dated a Christian Grey once …

I dated a Christian Grey once …

******* Trigger warning *******

This entry contains a sexual coercion situation. This is sensitive stuff for lots of us. Please,  I don’t want you to end up in therapy because of whatI wrote. If sexual coercion situations upset you, please read with caution.

*********************************

No, no, not someone into BDSM. Someone abusive …. like Christian Grey.

So, no big secret, I decided to get out from under my rock and read all 3 Fifty Shades over the weekend (honey was our of town for a bit, so that gave me plenty of free time). I’d heard all sorts of comments about it, from love to hate and everything in between.

This is by no means a comprehensive discussion (and I may spoil it for some people); I just want to get some of my impressions out and share some of my thoughts.

I didn’t want to pay for a book that a) was originally conceived as fan fiction of Twilight (and I am against Twilight), b) had been e-published, c) probably depicted violence against a female based on comments I’d read.

Lucky me, I found the pdfs of it and read it on my iPad gratis.

Some aspects of the book I enjoyed, in a weird way, I guess: I’m a brunette, so seeing having one as the main character was somewhat good (but she’s a while brunette, not a latina like me) . She was interested in British Literature, as I used to be (somewhat) at her age. She met her “prince charming” at nearly the same age as I did meet and date my Mr Grey. I did find erotica appealing and the fact that in some way, the main character, Anastasia owned her sexuality, her desires and (eventually, somewhat) asked for what she wanted.

That’s the extent of what I found “positive”. Everything else, from the writing, the plot, Christian’s attitudes and behaviours … it all made me shudder.

Nope, not the supposed BDSM scenes (which I kept waiting for and never really got … sure, a butt plug here, a whip or flogger there … that’s about it). So, the comments I’d read about people turning bright red upon reading the sex scenes were … overrated, IMO. The true problem is Christian’s abusive, manipulative behaviours and the fact that the same “prince charming” crap keeps getting bombarded to us. That we need a man to complete us, to validate us. But above all, that with just love and patience and submission, we can fix what’s wrong if we end up with a physically or (in this case) mentally abusive partner.

Having said all that, and somewhat setting the stage, I want to share my story.

_________________________

In 2001 I was a sophomore in college. I had my life planned out, I was going to start applying for med school in the fall of 2002 and life was going to be awesome. In March or April of that year, at the last minute, I decided to apply for a summer research program out on the East Coast and was accepted. That summer I ended up going to a well known public school in New England and doing a project which I hated with passion. That same summer, I met my very own Christian Grey. He was a bit taller than me, a bit pudgy and very smart. His smarts and looks instantly attracted me and I was taken by his smile. I could see a lot of pain in his eyes and I wanted to heal him, to make him smile for me and for the world (sounds familiar?). We ended up dating for almost a year, then he broke my heart the first time, but we patched things up. I will spare you most of the details, but he was very controlling (what I could and couldn’t wear; my contact with my family (eventually I turned against them)). It all started slowly, with a timid but forceful ‘If you break up with me, I promise you I’ll disappear, you’ll never find me and you’ll never, ever know about my whereabouts and it’s going to drive you crazy’ spiel. But I just shrugged and continued with our relationship. He was the first boy I’d ever let into my heart, truly into it, and I didn’t want to give up on the promise of a bright future (I was 19 at the time and I’d lived a very sheltered existence up until that point, I thought the first man I’d kiss would end up being my husband). We did many things together, from studying for exams (he was in the same school as I was), to going to family functions.

Then the summer of 2002 came about. We ended up in separate states and he promised to visit.

In one of those visits, a friend drove him to the dorm I was staying for the summer. We went out for dinner and then hung out, and because my room had an extra bed, they spent the night there. My sweet Mr Grey slept in my bed and our friend slept in the bed across ours.

We’d ‘played’ with each other, gone almost all the way, but I’d been able to stand my ground and avoid having intercourse. Up until that night.

That night my very own Christian Grey used all his power and charm to subdue me and beg coerce me into sleeping with him. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were in bed fooling around and I was half naked. He drops his pants, drops his undies and starts asking. At first he asked, that he did. Then he used a bit more force. I was still saying no. I said no … so many times. I said no. Eventually, after much begging, bargaining and promises (that we’d get married, that intercourse would help me get rid of my painful periods, ha!), I relented. I said yes. In a soft voice I agreed to let him in. I cried. What convinced me was that he said he wanted to lose his virginity with me. He wanted to be my first and only. He knew that was my weak point. And I relented.

I was in pain. I wanted him out. But I had just agreed to go forth. I couldn’t turn my back, could I? This is the first time I’m openly admitting it. My heart is racing as I type these words … I couldn’t back out. I’d already given my word. Who was I to back out?

I can’t remember how fast things happened. But I remember the tears. I had a bit of pain and discomfort … but more than anything, I couldn’t believe that the special moment I’d been told about by my mom and by movies and magazines had a) gone that fast and b) gone so awry. I wanted hearts and flowers. And I got none of it. I had a friend passed out in the bed across mine, I had a very hormonal boyfriend who had just convinced me by breaking my will, that it was OK and that we’d be OK. That sure, it wasn’t romantic or special, but it happened. I was his. I remember him saying that, I was his, I was all his.

Throughout the year before that night I’d been systematically broken down. He always complained about my big mouth and about not being able to keep it shut when I was with his family. I’d begged him to correct me. I wanted to avoid pissing him off, causing any sort of issues or conflicts. I begged to be disciplined so I could become the perfect girl he wanted. I opted not to wear certain clothes, for fear that he’d have a hissy fit and accuse me of being a slut or of capturing the attention of other guys and make him look like an idiot. Christian Grey did that. His weapons of choice, of power, were his penis .. having sex … and the mind games he played. And it was the same with my Mr Grey.

I eventually learned to like sex, to use it as a weapon to quiet my Mr Grey whenever I pissed him off.

Eventually his promises died. He cheated on me (I only learned about it 3 years after we broke up … but as usual, I suspected it). He eventually got married and I believe he’s had progeny. I pray that his progeny will never meet someone like him. He’s still probably not aware of the damage he did to me or how he broke me down.

I wasn’t aware of it until I learned about sexual coercion and about how I had the power to say no, but I didn’t use it. Because I didn’t know that it was a possibility.

I had all these patriarchal ideas in my head, and that didn’t fit into what I was experiencing. In a way, I felt like I deserved it, because I was being a ‘slut’ in the eyes of my family and my church. I was throwing away everything that was good and wholesome … thus I deserved to have my first sexual encounter be one in which I was coerced, in which there was another person in the room, someone that could wake up and perhaps could have stopped. But I was afraid of disturbing his sleep with my cries.

_________________________

Reading 50 Shades helped me realized that having someone controlling, someone exerting power over you, especially if you’ve not given your consent, is toxic. It is damaging.

I applaud that we’ve made progress into helping women own up their sexuality, say what they want and under what conditions, and hopefully be respected. But I do not applaud the glorification of a control freak, a stalker, as Christian Grey is, and how many of us swoon over this “ideal” man.

My ideal man listens to me, rubs my back when I’m tired, is my nurse when I’m ill. My “prince charming” loves hearing me laughs and hates when I cry, and does everything in his power to make me smile. He cares for me and for our cats. Helps me with the dishes, offers to cook for me, and washes my clothes when I’m out of time. He’s a good, respectful sexual partner and is interested in making me feel like a queen. He doesn’t stalk me, or disrespects me, and would never belittle me … and I am so glad I married him instead of my ex, Mr Grey.

_________________________

This clip is very awesome, and is one of the few that help put everything in perspective when it comes to 50 Shades and how the relationship of these characters is.

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5 Comments

  1. genrepair says:

    Sorry you had to deal with a fuckhead like that. I think we all have a controlling significant other at one point in time in our romantic career and it helps set the boundaries of a normal relationship versus an abnormal one. But hot damn that guy sounds like a grade A sociopath.

  2. […] present in nearly every single interaction? Shall we take a look at some testimonies from the survivors of abuse who are watching with horror as their own experiences are repackaged and sold back to them […]

  3. Elizabeth says:

    While I appreciate the honesty of this well written and heartfelt experience……I am confused. And I am writing from someone who has had many experiences and unfortunately one that includes rape so this is difficult for me to relate to. I understand the need to control and manipulate because many women end up with men that are the purest form of a narcissist or actual sociopaths. But no one can truly “make” you do anything unless they physically force you. It’s our job to listen to that feeling in our belly that says “absolutely not”. It’s our job to break away and it can be very difficult. I am so sorry for that .
    My mother was in a physically abisive relationship with my father, she got out after I was born. Yes his control methods went as far as getting her pregnant on purpose (hence me).
    While your first time was probably not ideal, I was also raised in a Christian home so I also thought I’d save myself for marriage, I waited till after high school with a boyfriend. I don’t regret it. I was also married for 8 years and I appreciated having had partners before because I married someone 9 years my senior and it felt like we matched sexually. My mothers second husband was controlling in that he made her slowly stay away from family, she couldn’t wear nice clothes, he was very jealous including of me so I was treated very abusively growing up as a child. Luckily my dad straightened his life up and became successful so he and my mother were able to co parent successfully.
    I have also been in a post marital relationship where my boyfriend is turned on by being the dominant and honestly, it drives me crazy. The point of domination is that the control in the bedroom gives them sexual satisfaction but the truest pleasure they feel is being the “only one” that can make you feel that way. They want to a tually be the cause of your pleasure you can barely handle. Feeling safe and loved by a man like that can be very rewarding. Not all women are sexually comfortable to be with a man like that. He makes sure that I feel beautiful, the visible act that I drive him crazy is a feeling I can not describe. He worships my body and every man should do that for his woman. And when he holds me later the connection is deeper. And some of his things and fetishes (as BDSM is a fetish) exceed mr. Grey but we work well together. He makes me comfortable and I want to try things with him. Like in the book there is “vanilla” moments and red room of pain moments. He doesn’t withhold sleep in the same bed. He wants love and lust and friendship.
    I do realize his desires do come from a certain “place” in him but he is also a father so there is a different side to him. While he may not have the best financial situation as a father with sole custody, he He is so nurturing emotionally the sex is an immense indent ive honestly we are just two people who relate in life and who match well sexually and physically.
    I am so sorry to hear that this person manipulated you because my ex husband was like that. He was once the sweetest man if ever known. He really did do everything for me…….but it ALWAYS came with a price. He’d withhold sex to punish me, was a functioning alcoholic, pill addict. He never would go through with getting a diagnoses he would just make sure he could always get his pills. After he virtually cheated with his ex girlfriend he promised to get help, that didn’t even last a week. He missed the counseling appt because he left his lunchbox with his pills at work and it was my fault because I had “put so much pressure on him to show up to counseling that he grabbed the wrong lunchbox”. His own mistake was somehow my fault. I had even brought his favorite lunch and a change of clothes for him to meet me at the counsellors. That was the breaking point for me. When we would argue he would threaten to hurt the dog or himself, he did threaten me once if I didn’t stop talking. I did all the bills but because he had insomnia I was never allowed to speak of them or it’d start a fight. I did everything and it took such a huge toll on me it turned me into someone I hated. He didn’t withhold me from family but over the years, every visit to them became horrifying. He would throw tantrums and degrade me in private because I was so excited to see my family half the time, he’d ask for something like visine and after telling him exactly where he could go and get it, he would scream at me because I wasn’t “paying attention to my husband”. I developed a disability and had always been the primary earner because I worked steadily….when my back went out and I needed major surgery and almost died, my recovery was too much. His insecurities surfaced in a way that became frightening and reared their ugly head. It’s too much for any couple to deal with let alone a man who has insecurities (that’s why they control because it’s their own problem). I am just now 2 1/2 years later from my surgery starting to improve. I work very hard part time. And now we are going through a divorce. When he moved out, a literal weight lifted, honestly even though I truly have a problem, my lower spine is fused and prevented me from paralysis, most of the pain almost improved immediately after hed been gone a week. That’s how much we can let someone have an affect in our lives. I’m glad you got out of this relationship it obviously was not healthy on your end. So in a way I get this.
    Most women have an experience with a boyfriend or guy that begs them for sex when we don’t really feel like it and we give in. Almost every girl in modern culture has been there. Most of us under 50 didn’t have a magical candle lit virginity losing. I appreciate people that can wait till marriage but honestly, the body craves its own sexuality if you have a healthy understanding of yourself, after 20 years with someone it fizzles out and becomes depressing and that sounds like prison to me to marry someone you dont even know you have a physical connection with. You don’t buy a house without seeing it well, looking at the bones, the bad. You don’t buy a car without test driving it. There’s no recipe for what makes a relationship work, we just do the best we can.
    I didn’t mean to demean your experience or post, the truest form of unhealthy domination is rape and unfortunately this happened to me, Someone put something in my drink and I had had a few drinks already. It was a party in my own home. I don’t remember much but I am lucky that I was okay and my best friend lives with me and was my support system through it. So I’m hoping you can see why it’s hard to relate.
    I do t mean to write a post “against” yours. I just didn’t find it relatable to the 50 shades story. The point is that his love for her overcame his need to control in the bedroom because when you truly love someone, you don’t need to control them, just hold them accountable. That is healthy. A balance of both in the relationship, as long as it’s to enjoy each other because there is true comfort and or love it’s a beautiful thing. But tou are definetly right The control
    Shouldn’t exceed the bedroom. They should never tell you how to live your life. Thank you for sharing as in sure your experience and honesty bad probably reached other women and made them feel not alone. You are beautiful and wonderfully made! So happy to hear that you made it out, and that you opened up to share because it’s healthy. Hopefully your mr grey got help for himself because that control is just sad. No one deserves to be the brunt of it. Blessings to you and your family and life.

  4. Summer says:

    I just wanted to comment that I understand that in the book Christian is controlling and o on. But for the most part Ana always stood up for herself except maybe on a few occasions. Only in the first book does she do things she hates because she loves him and he acts like he wants to hurt her. However is the last two books, he stops. He tries to let her make her choices. He doesn’t want to hurt her and scare her. He does however use sex as a weapon, but Ana did too, not only when christian was mad. They just had lots of sex. Which can be very healthy in a relationship. But he tenders his heart in the other books and even says he is trying to not be controlling. He does feed her, wash her clothes, helped with the dishes I believe on one occasion, and takes care of her. He doesn’t say, ” I did this for you so now you have to do this for me.” He only wants to please her, because in his reality she is controlling him. Plus she came to his place wanting to lose her virginity. Not one time did he ask to have sex. He even told her she didn’t have too, even before he knew she a virgin.
    Just my opinion and just sharing my thoughts.
    I’m sorry you went through that experience though. I know what all that feels like except I didn’t get any of the charming effects off of it.

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