When I was 13, I was the first girl in my class to lose my virginity. I was also the first girl to have a 'serious' boyfriend, meaning someone I was with for more than three weeks. I'd met him through a group of older friends, who were 15 at the time, and seemed entirely more experienced and exciting than myself.
He told me he loved me after four days of 'dating'. This didn't seem strange me, I felt like I 'loved' him too. He was the first boy who had ever shown me undivided, absolute, interest, and the fact he was 17 seemed to make me feel like I'd struck the jackpot even more. It felt like he could have his pick of any older girl, but he'd chosen me, and for that I felt special. His habit for prying on young girls I later realized was because he knew they felt this way towards him.
After the first week he began to pressurize me into sexual activities. We went on a date to a park, which I thought would be a cheesy, romantic picnic date, but we had only been sat down for five minutes before he ushered me into the woods and stuck his hands down my knickers. At first I wasn't sure that I liked it, that I was ready, but when I voiced these concerns with his weight on top of me, he told me this was something he needed from a girlfriend. He didn't have to say anything else, it was clearly implied that if I wasn't going to put out and satisfy him, he would find a girl that would.
These types of sexual encounters went on for weeks, and as I became more comfortable (or used) to them, I found myself enjoying them. I felt as though I hadn't yet 'lost' anything, only gained experience that my school friends were jealous over.
One night, I, he and a group of our friends went down to a quiet forest area where we could drink our Smirnoff ices in peace, without the fear of our parents catching us. My boyfriend always liked vodka, and he could handle his drink a lot more than me.
He took me off for our usual playing around, but this time he began to take my jeans off. I was drunk, very drunk, more than I should have been off the two small bottles of Smirnoff ice I had drunk. I protested, embarrassed at being undressed in the middle of a forest, and he became angry, telling me he had waited long enough for me to be ready to 'do it'. I remember feeling sheer panic at the thought of losing him, of him leaving me with my trousers round my ankles in a spinning forest. He had brought out an orange condom and it looked petrifying. I had never seen one expect on train station floors and PSHE classes. He looked me firmly in the eye, his weight on top of me, and said 'if you love me, show me'. At 13, I had no idea of this kind of manipulation. I just thought 'well, I do, so I should'. It was excruciating. My body hurt so much, it felt like it was doing its best to physically protect him from invading me. After maybe 4 minutes of excruciating pain, I physically pushed him away by his chest. He was pissed off for the rest of the evening that he didn't cum, and we hadn't 'fully done it'. I bled, which was horrific and frightening. The next day, I avoided seeing him because I was scared he would want to have sex with me again. He didn't. He was done. He broke up with me by text the day after. When I told a few of my friends that I had slept with him, two of the ones who were there told me he had put straight vodka in my Smirnoff ice. They assumed it was just to get me merrier, in the spirit of having a good time. They were too young to realize the seriousness of the situation. I wanted to tell my mum, I wanted to tell her how badly I had messed up, how torn apart I was by it all, but I couldn't because I knew she would think I was loose, a slapper, very stupid, and all it would do was make her worry for the next 5 years I left the house.
It took me until I was eighteen to realize that I was assaulted. Someone put alcohol, unintentional to me, in my drink, in the hope that I would be drunk enough to submit to his pressure of having sex. The way men manipulate women was never addressed in school, by my parents, even on television programs at the time. I had no idea how crafty, how persuasive and how pressurizing they could be in order to make you have sex with them. I didn't feel like a victim of sexual assault, because I wasn't physically attacked, or raped down an alleyway (like you always imagine a sexual assault to me at 13). The issue of consent has only appeared in the most recent years, and for me, it came too late. I didn't know I could be abused by my boyfriend, forced to have sex through verbal pressure and persistence. I feel less burdened over the years of dealing with what happened, but it's also made me feel more passionate about encouraging young women to feel less shameful about their sexual experiences, as girls like me never felt they could speak up to a superior, or to anyone really, and had to suffer in silence. The first adult I spoke to about it was a fellow eighteen year old. Thanks for taking the time to read this.