When I went home for the summer after my freshman year, I decided to go on Tinder. There would be no chance of running into someone from school, and thus it couldn’t be awkward. After many conversations that started and ended without going anywhere, a girl and I decided we would go on a date. It was my first Tinder date, my first date with a woman and essentially my first date ever, other than awkward straight high school dances.
We decided to meet at a coffee shop near the state university and would see how it went. By all accounts the date went well; we drank our coffees and chatted about anything that came to mind: school, work, family and future plans. Light-hearted conversation to get to know each other was better than the limited conversational forums on dating apps. We finished our drinks and sat at the university duck pond, watched kids run around and the ducks move out to go eat in the grass. We held hands and talked about desires to work out more and funny stories of people we knew. Eventually, we decided to go to her place.
I wasn’t sure what I expected. I had hoped for maybe a casual make-out session and then I could leave. Mainly I wanted to see her dogs, which she had talked about. Slowly, our conversation shifted into making out on the couch. Casual questions became more and more demanding. “Can I touch your boob? Just over the dress.” Turned into touching my boob under the bra. She soon had me responding and touching her as well. At that point, I thought my feeling bad was simply due to lack of experience. “Can I touch your legs, I’ll avoid the crotch?” Morphed into, “Just over your panties?” Shifted into, “What if I just don’t penetrate you?”
Gradually, the boundaries that I had thought were firmly set slid away. It felt good physically, though I grew nauseous the farther we went. We moved to her bedroom and took off the sundresses we were wearing as she pulled me into her bed. Eventually, the night ended with me relaxing into her before getting up and saying, “I have to go, it’s late,” and practically running out the door.
She expressed her concern, saying she hoped she hadn’t pushed me into anything and that she was worried I did not have a good time. I said it was fine, ran away and never replied to her messages. The pit in my stomach grew every time I thought about what had happened.
The next day, when my friends asked me how my date went, I said it was fine, told them,”We got coffee,” and quickly changed the subject. I denied what had happened for a long time, because queer rape doesn’t happen: I was just overreacting.
But rape is not just a straight people problem. It can happen to anyone regardless of identity or orientation.