THE BLOG
04/21/2014 11:35 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

When the Party Stops: A Rape Victim's Story

2014-04-16-RyanCreery_HP.jpg

This story was written and performed by Ryan Creery for the live, storytelling show Oral Fixation (An Obsession With True Life Tales) at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary on March 13, 2012. The theme of the show was "One Night Stand."

"Ryan haunts me with his brave prose. So many of us have found ourselves in a one-night stand situation. This story serves as a serious reminder that no means no," offered Oral Fixation creator Nicole Stewart.

Five years ago, I moved to San Antonio just after losing my virginity in the Northpark parking garage to a salesclerk that had his eye on me in the fitting room -- exceptional service, indeed. The experience made me realize that I hadn't been living enough, so I decided to make a change: Let go and, quite literally, let loose.

I had lived there only a few weeks when I met Steven. He was also new to the area, and was looking for someone with whom to paint the town slutty red. Our friendship grew really quickly. Before I knew it we had become roommates, drinking almost every night, playing wingman to each other's hook-ups. However, one late autumn night changed everything.

We had both started drinking immediately after work, so by the time we reached bar number four, I was a loose cannon. It was one we frequented often, with dark corners and handsy customers. While ordering our usual dirty martinis, we met two smooth-talkers; we'll call them Ron and Jeremy. Steven seemed to be hitting it off with Jeremy, so I took the cue and got myself nice and cozy with Ron.

He was a giant of a man, 10 years my senior and twice my size with shoulders that could've been mistaken for Mount Rushmore. I think at one point I may have asked him if he had presidents on his back. His wide jaw and heavy brow-line made him look slightly aggressive, but his warm voice and dark, closely trimmed beard softened his face. When he spoke he looked straight into my eyes, intimidating me at times when he'd make sexual innuendoes. If I looked away too long, he'd touch my chin and guide me back into his entrancing dark eyes. A part of me was scared of him, but most of me desired his attention. My skin responded to the slightest of his touches. When I turned from him to order a drink, I watched the hairs on my arm stand as he grazed his fingertips along my lower back.

At last call, they invited us to an after-party at their place. We accepted. Steven drove, following them into some cookie-cutter neighborhood on the other side of town, and parked in front of a dark house that looked exactly like its neighbors. Jeremy offered us drinks, which we gladly took, and guided us into the living room. We dove right into torrential make out sessions. Steven and Jeremy on one couch, Ron and I on the other. On the outside, it probably looked like two tornadoes about to collide.

Ron whispered in my ear, "Let's go to my room." Without a pause, he scooped me up from the couch and carried me to his room like a bag of laundry. He tossed me on the bedspread, yanking my pants off as I lay there. The bed was soft and cold on my skin, the room completely dark. I lay on my stomach as I heard him fumbling with his clothing. He pulled the bedspread down to the floor, the sheets underneath felt crisp and smelled like fresh laundry. He climbed on top of me, straddling my back with his massive weight. When I felt his engorged erection against my leg, I trembled. Think of a coffee thermos, a Coca-Cola bottle or a tube of cookie dough. My brain started racing with panic. It was like the feeling you get just before you get onto a roller coaster: adrenaline mixed with fear.

Through my breath I said, "Where's the condom?" He said, "It's okay. I'll take care of it." His hands began canvassing my body as he bathed me in rough kisses. His touch became more and more aggressive and greedy. No longer did I have his warm eyes to look into or his soft touches to keep me aroused, just him pumping his cock against my back and grabbing my arms to hold me still. His heightened aggression scared me. I realized the sooner it was over, the sooner I could leave, so I demanded, "Get the condom."

He let out a frustrated grunt and got it. As I inhaled the sheets, I could hear Steven and Jeremy still in the living room, talking. In that moment, I realized how badly I didn't want to be in that room with Ron, and how much I wished I wasn't so drunk. But I didn't have time to respond. Without warning, or lubricant, Ron plunged inside me, almost fully. It felt like 400 bandages ripped from a hairy arm. I couldn't bury my face in the pillow deep enough to muffle my scream. If I hadn't been so drunk, I probably would've been crying from the pain.

"Hold on, it hurts. I need a minute," I said over my shoulder through gasping breaths. But he never stopped pumping. After a few moments he said, "I'm almost there" then quickly turned me over on my back and pushed back inside. The pain was so intense it was almost numbing.

"No, stop. It's hurting," I said. He kept pushing. No matter how many no's I repeated he never let up. I tried to reach for the nightstand, hoping to feel a lamp to rid the darkness that surrounded us, but he pressed his hand firmly on my chest when he felt me try to free myself. His panting grew deeper, then his grip slightly loosened as he came. I grasped the edge of the bed, leapt up on my side, and switched on a small lamp. I looked down and saw small smears of blood on the sheets, then his erection, unsheathed. He had pulled the condom off at some point; it lay on the floor beside the bed.

The moment was so sudden I didn't even have time to react."Get the fuck out!" he screamed. He grabbed me by the back of my head and shoved me off the bed with his other hand, slamming my left shoulder against the corner of a wall. I stumbled out of the room with my clothes, a piercing pain in my shoulder and collarbone. Steven was standing in the hallway with shock on his face. On the way home he kept asking what happened, but I couldn't speak.

I took a week off from work; the pain in my rectum lasted for several days. I couldn't bear to leave my house the whole time, except to see a doctor. I found out that there was no major damage, but I could still be at risk for HIV. For the next three months, I lived convinced I had contracted it and I blamed myself for getting into the situation. I thought about how I might tell my parents. When I came out to them two years prior, one of the first things they warned me of was getting the AIDS virus.

Because neither Steven nor I remembered where the guys lived and none of us exchanged numbers, there was no way for me to confront Ron. I resented how he turned my body into a shell and made my heart a broken-down fortress. In one night, my mind had become a war zone and my trust, a ghost. Spring was just about to bloom when I went in again for testing: negative. Though I was relieved, I couldn't shake those feelings of shame and embarrassment. It was then I realized I needed to forgive myself.

But still, for two years I was haunted by those blood-stained sheets. I stopped having sex completely. I was done trying to find a life in reckless behavior, but Steven wasn't, so I moved out. Without that tenuous bond our friendship was doomed, and I saw clearly how fickle our relationship really was.

It's been four years since that night. Sometimes, the pain in my shoulder still pulses. And sometimes, my trust slips a little. But I've learned to love without waiting for the bruise and to make love feeling like I deserve it. I've learned that it doesn't matter how drunk someone is, or how much he or she leads you on. Rape starts with the first "no."

It's called a one-night stand because it's only supposed to be a short moment of your life, something you can just walk away from and maybe brag to your friends about. But if it changes you and leaves you with scars, can you still call it a one-night stand?

Subscribe to the Queer Voices email.
Get all of the queer news that matters to you.