20

Yes, as severely as rape
Yes, but less severely than rape
No

25 comments

When I was 18 and “dating” a 38-year-old man, I went over just to watch movies and eat, and by the end of the night he was literally begging me to kiss and just stay the night. We went back and forth for about a half hour with me saying “not tonight,” “I didn’t feel like it,” and other expressions of the word “no.” I wish I could’ve screamed no and ran out of there, but although I wasn’t afraid for my physical safety, I was afraid he would think I was rude, which was to me (at the time) a fate worse than death.

So I relented, and the whole time I wanted to die, and then I had to sleep over with him touching me the entire night, before waking up in the morning and having sex again and then anal. I rationalized it for months as if it wasn’t a sexual assault, because I could’ve said no. But I was too emotionally weak to do so, having dealt with two prior clear sexual assaults (which he knew about!).

All this to say that years later, I so clearly view coercion as rape, not least because those men know exactly what they’re doing. Those are predators looking for the weakest prey, just ones they don’t have to use physical violence to subdue. I strongly believe they get off on wearing a woman down to the point where her will is subsumed by his.

Sexual coercion should be punished the same as rape, and in some ways those predators should be seen as more sadistic due to their plotting and persistence.