I’m a guy. Sexual violence, sexual assault, rape — that can’t happen to a man, can it? It can’t. That’s what I’ve been told by the media and my peers. Men can’t be raped.

Not true in the least.

Let’s go back to my freshman year. I’m scared, lonely, depressed. I feel unwanted. Not to mention that “friends” from back home keep asking me whether or not I’ve slept with anyone yet. I keep saying no. They question my masculinity.

But then I meet a girl. She seems nice. She talks to me at least. Makes me feel wanted. That’s a good thing? She invites me to a party. That night, when she picks me up, she’s already drunk. I can tell by the smell on her breath and her awkward stumbling. We go to the
party. I drink a few. My first time drinking in college. My first time drinking ever. I feel drunk. She invites me back to her room. I figure, why not? I’m excited. Yet…more so scared. But I’m a guy. I can’t show fear or apprehension.

We kiss. Some clothing comes off. But then I’m feeling even more scared. I’m nervous. I’ve never done anything with a girl before. She keeps going. Taking off more clothing. She starts working her way down. I tell her to stop. But she doesn’t. No. Please. I’m not ready for
that. I don’t want that. I barely know you. She doesn’t listen.

It took me a whole year before I became comfortable enough with myself even to think about trying to meet a girl again.

If someone says “No” — whether it’s a girl or a guy — NO means NO. Guys can be victims of sexual violence. Just because the traditional view of rape portrays men as rapists does not mean that men cannot be raped.

Please know that it’s not easy as a guy to say that you were raped. I tried telling a guy friend of mine about it once. He laughed it off. I tried telling a female friend about it. She thought I was joking, since “men can’t be raped.”

Anyone can rape. And anyone can be raped. Please remember that.