The worst night of her life was a fairy tale compared to two of my most harrowing relationships. Aziz Ansari asked that anonymous contributor to babe.net, repeatedly, how she wanted it. A great opening for: “Not at all, please!” These guys never actually asked me what I wanted.
The first one started out as a loving departure kiss. We mutually agreed our relationship had ended, but it turned into goodbye rape somewhere in the middle of the send off. It was unfortunate that I didn’t scream, or ask for what I wanted, which was no more, please! I turned from his longtime lover into a lifeless doll, and he didn’t even notice or didn’t bother to care. He got what he wanted, which was to leave an indelible impression of what men want when they negate all humanity in favor of temporal narcissistic bliss.
This person later acknowledged that he crossed a line with me that one time. He was deeply regretful and ashamed of his lack of consideration for my safety and well being. I forgave him because that was my choice to do so, and I felt strongly that he never wanted to cross that line ever again.
The next person, SW, crossed the line so many times that I lost count. I had dug myself into a relationship with a financial and emotional parasite. He paid just one bill, while I footed the rent, food, utilities, his cellphone, his clothing, portions of the cost to run his fledgling business, as well as gifts to his family members at my most altruistic (or detrimental) moments. He, in turn, scrutinized my every move, utterance and gesticulation–sifting through them for faults he could foist in my face to remind me what a terrible person I was, a “cunt”, to be precise, and a thousand times over in a single sitting at that! I was never really good enough to be in a relationship with him, as he was willing to get on a train and ride all the way to his mommy’s house at any given minute just to prove that he didn’t need me paying 90% of his bills. And besides, he was going to pay me back “someday.” He didn’t know how, but he would start making payments just as soon as he could, even if our relationship was over, because I shouldn’t be spending any of my student loans to continuously support him (for several years running), or so he kept promising me. So by the time he began to suggest that I knew I wanted it, “come on, you know you want it” being his favorite go-to faux-romantic catch phrase, I was used to suppressing what I wanted in favor of the more demanding narcissist in the room. I often gave him exactly what he wanted without ever being asked what I truly wanted–just told.
By the time I began declaring NO, and asking for what I did want, it became a battle of wills (perhaps because he had grown so accustomed to getting his way whenever it suited his lustfire). An argument would inevitably arise regarding how I was “measuring up” in our relationship, which would sometimes last a ridiculous hour. I realized that I had to set boundaries with him if I didn’t want to be treated to a nightly mindfuck whenever I wasn’t in the mood to get lucky. I began sleeping in my kid’s room on these no-you-don’t-know-what-I-want nights, which led to his new dead horse beating that my mothering was questionable and clingy (it wasn’t like I was avoiding coerced rape to retain my sanity or anything). At the time, I thought of it as my problem, not his manipulative pattern of sexual assault to undo! It took re-reading an old journal roughly 2 years after this relationship had ended for me to realize what a genuine creep he was, and that what he was doing could be defined quite declaratively as rape. This is the guy who once shredded a flimsy bedroom door with his head and fists, leaving me with bruises to my back and wood shrapnel stuck in my arm, and then claimed that if I called the sheriff on him for it, I would get a 5150, and he would be dubbed a “hero” for breaking down a door to make sure I wasn’t suicidal (in a moment when I was screaming that I just needed a time out without a lecture about what a child or a cunt I was for needing to take a moment to catch my breath)! I ignored this and so many red flags and it wasn’t until the last year or so that he started coercing me into sex against my will because he knew “it’s what you want”.
I’ve grown into quite the troglodyte since reviewing those #GetOut journal entries. All to avoid my last offender, who never once bothered to arrange a payment plan for the tens of thousands of dollars that he bilked from me with sing song IOUs, much less acknowledged that what he did (at least a dozen times) was coercive rape. He used to apologize for “letting the monster out” during our most heated of arguments; I always wanted to protect our mutual friends from that ugly monster that he so quickly shifted into whenever he deemed me a lowly cunt (and that wasn’t even his rapey monster). Now, he rubs elbows with those friends on a daily basis as I attend to a hermit’s corner just to avoid punching him in the face. The statute of limitations isn’t even up yet, you know? I should have told everyone what a monster you were, SW, when it was still fresh for the record. Too many people are awfully suspicious of victims who take time to fully realize what they’ve survived!
Aziz, asking directly, how do you want it, and allowing her the agency to answer, to change her mind (without repeatedly insisting that she definitely wants it), that’s what I’ve grown to expect in a truly loving relationship. That’s what any individual should expect in a healthy consensual relationship. I can’t help but feel that Aziz has learned to be exceptionally more mindful of what his lover wants, while continuing to ask what she actually wants, which is more than I can fathom from #TheRogueMonster.