My Own Disclosure

My Own Disclosure

No, I didn’t get sexually harassed by Demi Moore at a tech company like Michael Douglas did in Disclosure.  Nothing quite that dramatic, but something did happen to me.  Before I tell you, let me ask you a question.  Can a man be sexually assaulted?  I’m sure most of you will quickly say, “Well of course he can!”  However, in the back of your mind, do you really believe that?  Tell you what, let’s stick a pin in that and get back to it later.  First, let me tell you what happened.

My wife and I went to the Dover Downs Casino in Dover (Duh), DE for the Labor Day holiday weekend.  We had been there many times and we usually did pretty well at this casino.  However, the last few trips we weren’t doing so hot and this trip seemed to start out the same.  On the last night we were there we were playing video poker at an outside bar area where you could smoke or vape if you were so inclined.  The machines weren’t actually at the bar.  They were around the corner from the bar in kind of a secluded area.  We liked playing here because we could run up to the bar and get a drink without having to wait for a cocktail waitress to come by.  Our luck started to turn around when we hit a few big jackpots.  Within a couple of hours we had turned $20 into over $500 and were well on the way to making our money back and possibly even coming out ahead.  That’s when “she” entered the picture and put a damper on everything.

I had to go to the bathroom and the closest one was back inside the main building of the casino.  So it took me a bit to get there, do my business, and get back.  When I got back to the outside bar area I saw a girl sitting two seats down from my wife but I could tell they were having a conversation.  When I got up to our machine I could clearly see the girl was trashed.  We were feeling no pain either but nowhere near the level that our new “friend” was.  I say friend because this girl was watching us play and telling us how much she loved us and we were going to be her new best friends.  I just chalked it up to her being drunk and thought she was harmless.

We played for about another ten minutes and my wife had to make a trip to the ladies room.  As soon as my wife was out of sight this girl slid right into the seat next to me and got real close.  I started to get uncomfortable but as of yet she was still just watching me play and I continued on.  I played maybe three more hands when she put her arm around me and told me that I should cash out and take the ticket to another machine that she knew paid off well.  I told her I was just fine where I was and she responded by telling me it was her birthday and I should do what she wanted.  When I again told her no thanks, she slid her arm off my shoulder and put her hand in between my legs.  Before I could even react, she grabbed my schlong and gave it a squeeze!

I reached down and worked to pry her hand off me.  That’s what she was waiting for, because while my attention was focused on getting her hand off my disco stick, she used her other hand, and in one deft motion, punched the cash out button on the machine, grabbed the $500 plus ticket that printed out, and took off running!  Oh but she wasn’t quite quick enough.  In half a step I caught up to her and got her in a head lock with one arm.  She started flailing about screaming that it was her birthday and I couldn’t treat her like that.  Birthday or not, she wasn’t getting a $500 present from us!  I used my other hand and was able to wrench the ticket away from her, luckily not tearing it in the process.  I then shoved her away from me and she sat down in a chair and started to wail that I was being mean to her on her birthday.

That’s when my wife showed up and wanted to know what the hell was happening?  I told her we needed to go get security and led her back in the main building.  On the way, I just quickly told her that the girl had tried to steal our money.  We spotted a security guard and I told him what happened in a little more detail than I had told my wife.  When I got to the part where the girl had grabbed me in the nether regions my wife went ballistic!  She tore out of there and back to the outside bar.  The guard and I were running behind her trying to catch up.  The stupid girl was still there and my wife lit into her.  She got right up in her face and started yelling about how she was going to fuck her up for laying hands on me.  The security guard and I were able to get in between them and more guards showed up to quell the situation.

Before I tell you how it ended let me get back to my original question. Can a man be sexually assaulted?  Well of course he can.  Maybe I should have asked a different question.  Do people treat a man who has been sexually assaulted the same as a woman who has been sexually assaulted?  Ahh, maybe that one isn’t so clear cut.  There is a reason I am asking this.  Read on.

I came to realize that my main concern was that the girl had tried to steal my money.  Now I was perturbed about her grabbing my manhood, but in no way as upset about that as I was about the attempted theft.  My wife?  Just the opposite.  While she didn’t like that our money almost got stolen, she was way more pissed off about the penis grabbing.  She repeatedly told the security staff that she wanted to press charges for sexual assault and if they wanted to throw in attempted theft that was fine too.

The security staff was obviously not concerned with the sexual assault.  The head of security told me he reviewed the video of the outside bar and while he saw some altercation between us he did not see her grab me and wasn’t even sure he could see her try to run off with our money.  So they let the girl go but told us they had her information.  My wife was so pissed off she demanded that the police be called.  The security staff told us that they did call the police several times but in the two hours that followed the incident they never showed up.  I wanted the girl to be arrested for the attempted theft but at this point I was getting tired of the whole thing and just wanted to go back to my hotel room.  I finally convinced my wife to go back to the room with me.

She was not a happy camper and when we got back she jumped on Facebook and posted about the incident and how she was not happy that security had not taken a sexual assault seriously.  In the hours to follow there were several comments and almost unilaterally, all the women commenters showed sympathy for the situation, while all the men commenters made jokes about it.  I responded back to the jokes by making jokes of my own.  My wife did not like this one bit and chastised everyone, including me, who was making jokes.

That’s when I realized she was right.  How have we been so conditioned to not take it seriously when a woman sexually assaults a man?  I mean, I was the victim and I wasn’t even taking it seriously!  What if that had been my wife sitting there and a man did the same thing to her?  I would have been livid!  Think security would have taken it more seriously?  So why we may vehemently state that there’s no difference, I don’t think it’s as cut and dried as it should be.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.


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8 thoughts on “My Own Disclosure

  1. #IBelieveYou. You were sexually assaulted, but because of the entirety of the situation, you downplayed it. Had she penetrated your asshole with her finger, rather than grabbing your dick, you might have reacted more like the female victims of sexual assault do. You’re a dude. You weren’t aroused; drunk chick was drunk and not trying to arouse you; no “sex” was intended on either part. So you wrote it off and got more angry about the attempted theft.

    Your wife knows. You were assaulted. Would you have felt more angry/threatened/victimized if the drunk chick had been a drunk dude? Or someone just physically stronger than you, who’d punched you in the face or gut, rather than feeling you up? I bet your answer is “yes”… which means you were assaulted, but having been socialized to define “assault” differently, you didn’t recognize it. Possibly still don’t.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. Hopefully, some good will come of it. Somehow. Maybe just in the rewiring of the masculine brain.
    emelle recently posted…RT if you … 🙁My Profile

    1. That’s a good analogy and my answer would be yes. I totally didn’t view it that way and neither did the male security guards. My wife was so pissed that all my male friends and I were making jokes about it. I didn’t get it at first until I took a step back and realized how different we are wired. But like you said, the good thing about that is that it can be rewired.

  2. This says a lot about how messed up the way we talk about sexual assault is. In spite of a lot of discussion and a lot of information too many people still assume–wrongly–that men can’t be victims.
    Yes, I definitely believe you, and I hope your story and others like it can prompt more and deeper discussions about consent and privilege and how anyone can be a victim of sexual assault.
    Christopher recently posted…Alternative Thanksgiving.My Profile

  3. I’ve never been in a similar situation, but based on what you’ve said here, I remember that argument (I think I might’ve first heard it in Disclosure) about the threatening use of power as the most traumatic aspect.

    I get it. She violated you. And she clearly pissed off your wife (I can almost see Monica tearing into some woman if she were to try something similar as well). But I get the sense that you never felt truly threatened by her. And that may be why the attempted theft struck you as the most offensive element of her drunken assault at first.

    Still… I would have been offended as well.
    gabe recently posted…I found a Vampire (and he’s totally cool!)My Profile

    1. I don’t think I ever did feel truly threatened, just pissed. You’re right. That could very well have affected my priorities in the whole incident.

      I just realized that with the recent spat of sexual assault revelations of some prominent men against women, that this post may be viewed as some type of rebuttal. That is far from my intention. I take every assault case seriously, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or victim. I actually had this post written up a week after the incident and sitting in my draft folder for a while. When I chose to post it might have been some bad timing on my part.

  4. I wasn’t quite sure what to comment at first, but I definitely wanted to say that of course sexual assault can happen to men, and that I’m sorry you went through that. I’m glad your wife took it seriously and defended you.

    Attitudes about sexual assault certainly differ in regards to the gender of the victim. I think the idea that men are supposed to be strong, aggressive and in control at all times lets men down in so many ways. Emelle (another commenter) had some good things to say about what we learn to view as assault and what we don’t.

    I suspect, as you have suggested, that the security guards would have responded differently to allegations of sexual assault made by a women. However, they still may have been dismissive, just in different ways and with different justifications (“Well, were you drinking?” “what were you wearing?” “boys will be boys!” etc).

    1. You make a good point about other type of dismissive attitudes. If I were to take away anything positive from the whole incident, it would be that I now have a greater understanding of what women have to put up with when confronting an abuser.

      Thanks for visiting and making a comment!

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