A Candid Convo About Consent

favorites, messy thoughts

Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and currently is traveling through Europe. IG / @emmawxyx

I don’t think I have ever done a post on sex or anything remotely sexual, not because I am against it but because it feels too personal. I am already fairly vulnerable on social media and opening up and talking about sex feels too overwhelming; you are letting in a lot of judgment and other people’s perceptions when you talk about something so intimate and controversial. After having so many conversations with girls who have shared the same experiences I have or worse, I realized I really have to speak up on female power and the concept of consent. When a personal problem is happening over and over to so many girls, it’s not a problem with the individual, it’s a problem with society and the perception of sex and consent.

I have had two sexual experiences where I didn’t consent to participating, one of which I adamantly said over and over, “stop, stop, I don’t want this.” to which he replied “this is long overdue.”

I kept this to myself for a really long time, thinking that it was my own fault that I wasn’t forceful with my words or thinking that I led him on, or that I went over late at night so it was to be expected. These experiences I have had are not uncommon at all. Almost all of my girl friends I have ever spoken too have been in a situation where they felt pressured into sex or sexual acts even though they weren’t comfortable. It almost blows my mind thinking that I don’t know a single girl who hasn’t felt pressured into sex. What type of world are we living in where our women are silently suffering over experiences they regret, or even worse, blame themselves for?

I’m writing this to let you know that if this has happened to you, you aren’t alone AT ALL. It is something that needs to be discussed way more, not only with other women but with our male friends, brothers, sons. I know that I have preached to so many of my guy friends that your girl should be begging you to fuck her, not the other way around.

I want you to know that YOU DON’T OWE ANYBODY ANYTHING. Not if he bought you a drink, not if you have been dating for three months, not if he has done a big favor for you, not even if you have had sex with him/her before. Your body is your decision. Please believe that the power is yours, and not theirs to take.

I want to share this conversation Iz Haley & I had a couple months ago that we happened to record because we thought it might need to be shared someday. If you get anything from it, just know that you aren’t alone in your battles and you have so much life & light ahead of you. You don’t have to dwell in the past, forgiveness is just over the horizon. You are light, love, and everything else you could imagine.

Iz & Haley are sharing their experiences with abusive relationship for the first half of the podcast, and I come in more around the 20 minute mark. If you are wanting to distinguish between our voices, Iz is the first one to speak in the podcast, and Haley first comes in at 1:45.

At the end of the podcast we made a pledge to each other & ourselves…
I pledge to love and respect my body enough to speak up when I am not being respected in a way that makes me feel comfortable. 

I encourage you to join in and write that pledge down in your journal, online, or just say it out loud to yourself.

Lots of love


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47 Comments

  1. This is the most important article on this site… is heavy, it brings up so much and its so sad to think that so many people will have these same experiences… The support that you give each other is SO important and its AMAZING that you released this even if it was hard because its lets survivors realize that they are not alone!!

  2. Anna says

    I can’t comprehend a fucking word. It’s insane. What kind of fucked up world do these boys live in? I admire you girls like I’ve never admired anyone ever. Ever. I honestly don’t feel like I have the power to give you advice, cause you’re so fucking strong. But hearing all of your stories got me crying. You are fucking strong, worthy, brave, beautiful and I could go on forever. I know that you’re aware of this. Never ever ever ever forget it.

  3. I just wanted to let you know that this article was the most amazing piece you’ve done! Thank you so much for sharing your stories, they really touched my heart. I loved that you opened the conversation up to both girls and boys, and even connected it to feminist issues. The Messy Heads inspires me so much, and has truly helped me better myself. Thank you for all that you do!

    Best Julia

    >

  4. wow. I’ve never commented on here before but loved the messy heads and emma and everyone for a very long time. but sharing this vulnerable honest true piece of you, all of you, I’m so grateful for that. so so grateful. genuiene conecction, for the first time I feel kind of like I’m almost there….
    thank you guys, keep up the amazingness in your being, good times, bad times, the glow is always there deep down in your souls. x
    love.

  5. Caroline says

    Thank you for sharing this piece that I think all women can relate to. This is an issue that is so close to my heart because so many of us go through these experiences alone, silenced. Your piece was thought-provoking and has inspired a journal entry. Please post more podcasts!!

  6. Ana says

    I was just thinking about this the other day. I was saying how as a women you are an object of desire, not allowed to have desires of your own.

  7. Grace Dessen says

    So refreshing and beautiful. These moments of women being there for each other and growing together and helping each other are so pure and important. From a girl feeling a little lost lately and far away from her friends, this was like a boost of female love and support via the internet. Thank you so much <3 <3

  8. This is powerful as fuck. I feel like this is a safe place to discuss – I was raped in March of this year. I am still recovering. This situation has stripped me down to the core, yet it’s planted in me a great passion for my own womanhood and to find myself. I speak openly of my experience to help me heal, to help others. I know it isn’t something to be ashamed of. I’ve taken up a course of study, Gender and Sexualities, ever since this has happened to me. I’m studying courses such as Studies of the Goddess and Studies of the Eco-feminist, Psychology of the Women, etc.

    Hearing this podcast hits home. It is so RAW and REAL. I resonate with it on such a level. I wish so damn badly I had a group of friends, a group of females whom I can open up to on this level. Your bond is special. Your ability to be so open and stripped to one another is so incredible.

    Thank you for sharing.
    It’s guiding me in my journey to heal.
    I am struggling, but I am moving forward.

  9. this is one of the most powerful things I have ever seen on the internet. it is so important to discuss how rape is not black and white. opening girls minds up to what an abusive relationship can be is so important. and to hear it in such a raw and real manner is heart wrenching. thank you so much this could really do great things.

  10. chills… just chills running up and down my spine. your tears brought me tears, and thank you for being so vulnerable. we love you.

  11. I am so grateful to all of you opening up about things that are so personal to you and things that you’ve never even said aloud before. I’m 16 and to hear this now was so empowering. I feel like I want to go back and note down and quote the things you said. This is so important and I am so so so thankful that I am able to hear this now, to feel as fucking powerful as I do after hearing this. I pledge to love and respect my body enough to speak up when I am not being respected in a way that makes me feel comfortable.

    Brecon X

  12. I just listened and shared this with my best friend. We were both in shock at how this conversation sounded almost just like our experiences. It hurts to hear the pain, and remind us of our own. But these are the type of discussions that are most important and are so often hidden away. Thank you for sharing this, it is deeply personal and emotional. This made me cry for real. Mentally signing the pledge at the end

  13. Wow. Just fucking, wow. I am still in awe of your words Em and how you write insanely raw and I love it, but I’m also just shocked about your experiences, and Haley’s and Isabella’s. Like, fuck. I can hear the hurt and pain in each of your voices but also, I can hear and feel the support you give one another, the love you share, the connection each of your soul’s have to one another and THAT is SO empowering.
    I’m also sad on a level that I can relate to this (on a very, very low level) but still I relate and I never, ever thought that the way I felt about this particular “relationship” was valid, because “I was always leading him on” and “he told me we were meant to be together, he said it could never be any other way” and because he was FUCKING charming as fuck, but also so damaging, calling me fat, saying how I would “change my mind” every time I told him ‘no’. So to hear this podcast, to have this podcast to listen to always, is so incredible, it’s helped me feel SO valid, like everything I felt and feel is valid and I’m not insane. So thank you xx

  14. Ashlee says

    This is a really good way to express yourselves. I think you should do more podcasts together!

  15. I really think this needs a trigger warning. It’s really cool to speak out about this with such honesty, but suicide and experience with assault is really dangerous for some people.

  16. Olivia says

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve literally listened to this so many times because it’s so fucking empowering and eye opening. I can’t imagine what you guys had to go through and you are so brave to open up about something like this. Thank you again 🙂

  17. Laura Day says

    Holy wow
    oh my goodness
    that was so raw and beautiful SO EMPOWERING
    You all opened up on something that is a true issue and problem that we have in our world today and it’s absolutely crazy the shit that humans suppress and we dont talk about them because we have been told that it is not okay.
    I was thinking the other day how its so weird because we have always been brought up with the ideal that men are better than woman, it is ALWAYS announced as BOYS and girls, MEN and women, brother before sister, husband before wife and it is FUCKED UP
    Pussys are powerful and its so true that without women and females the world can honestly not survive.
    Why are pussy’s seen as a bad thing and an insult anyone who ever calls anyone else a pussy literally makes me angry to my core that I cannot deal with them anymore
    This has opened my eyes to just the smallest part of our world thats such an underlying issue and if people talk about it and share their pain, they are viewed as weak or the victim but everyones pain is important and how dare other people compare someones pain to anothers

    I can’t stop raving about this to everyone

  18. Seriously you just put words on what I guess I’m feeling about what has happened with my boyfriend. And I love his good side, the part I fell in love with and even if we have a long distance relationship that’s really hard I feel like we have to let go. I just dont know how, might sound stupid… THANK YOU! I’ll spread this to my girlfriends!

  19. stella rastirfer says

    I feel so blessed and privileged to be a part of that conversation. I want to hug you all. These topics need to be talked about and out there. You all should feel very proud for putting this out there and being so brave. I can relate to all those stories and so can many other girls. Emma I was so overwhelmed with joy and happiness and hope when I stumbled across the messy heads and am rooting for you all the way, you are going to change so many lives. I wish I could have heard a conversation like this when I was 14 but it still so helpful four years later. I pledge with you all to never let a man mistreat me and make me feel uncomfortable and allow them to have power over me. You are all incredibly inspiring. We can fucking do this. We are strong women and we are going to make a change. Lots of love xxx

  20. Please, please do more podcasts! This was so amazing and empowering to listen to. I’m sending all of you guys so much love and light and strength. You are all incredible.

  21. It means more than you can imagine that you posted this! I’m sure that it was hard to be so vulnerable and honest with anyone who wants to listen, but it’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever listened to, you are the most brave, strong women I’ve ever heard speak.

  22. Danes says

    As tears are running down my face…
    I am so overwhelmed that I found this,
    to actually find other girls that I can relate to is a wonderful feeling.

    for once I feel understood and not alone!
    thank you so much for this <3

    It made me feel like I wanted to be apart of it and hug you all! muah

  23. Anonymous says

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us, you three girls are doing monster good work and i belive you are changing the way a lot of people think or better said, showing we can and are capable to think differently without feeling like aliens and most of all knowing that we are not alone 🙂 there was only one thing i thought was missing from this conversation, which is forgivig yourself and learning from your mistakes. i think in a lot of situation we have to also accept how we handled ourselves wrong and that maybe having done things differently would have been better. i believe we carry some guilt as to how events develop in our lives. i hope this doesnt come out wrong and i definitely mean no offense! help me out maybe someone can help. either way i mean no discrimination and absolutely aprecciated this candid glimpse into such a personal girl talk 🙂 xx

  24. I sent this in as an email to you, Em, but I also feel brave enough to post it here as well. The strength and bravery you three women had to come out and share your experience gave me the strength and bravery I needed to speak up for myself and use my voice as a tool.

    On November 17th 2014 I met the boy who became my first boyfriend. He was open and sweet and a little quirky and also the first boy to tell me how he felt about me. I invited him to my sweet 16 the Friday of the week that I had met him and we danced the whole night.
    November 28th. We were talking on the phone and he told me he loved me. I told him I loved him too.
    I, of course, didn’t know of love but this was new too me so I went with it.
    That whole entire week after he said “I love you” we talked on the phone and things would get sexual. He’d as how many times I would touch myself or ask about the first time I masturbated. I didn’t feel comfortable at all about any of this, but I let it happen because I was convinced that that was what love is. Keep note that even then I didn’t know what love was.

    We started to officially date on December 1st 2014 and then March 27th 2015 I had already lost my virginity to him. It was unprotected and I was scared for my life. I convinced myself that it should happen and I kept telling myself to do it for him. It was so painful.

    He then told his parents we had sex and they bought us condoms. It was the most awkwardest moments of my life, going over, facing his parents, then going to his room with him forcing me to have sex with him while his parents would be in other rooms down that same hallway.

    Eight months later I broke up with him because I found out he was cheating on me with two other girls, one of which he has been dating for two years. The other girl happened to live just a few miles from my house.
    His dad called me and asked if I wanted to see his son perform at a gig with his band. I said yes.
    His fucking father, who knew what his son did to me, was trying to set me up with his son so we could date again. He told me and my mom that I “make his son a better person” and that his son is “more mature around me.” I liked the idea of making someone better so I put him before me and allowed myself to wither away so he could thrive.

    Me and him dated for a whole year and a half until I got a message from this girl who sent me screen shots of what my boyfriend was sending her. He wanted to sext her. He said “I’m horney.” and she replied with “I’m not that girl anymore.”
    “I kinda miss that…” He replied.
    “I’m done doing this…”
    “Please. Just one more time. Once more. As a forget it type of thing.”
    “I don’t want to.”
    He then sent her a dick pic.
    She replied “Stop it. I don’t want this.”
    “Come on, You know you want it.”
    “I will tell your girl friend.”
    “Okay. I’m sorry.”

    I read those messages to myself while on the phone with him and since he had cheated before I knew I wanted to catch him in a lie. I told him some girl tried to add me on facebook and I asked if he knew her and he said “She’s an old friend who is crazy and thinks she likes me. Don’t add her.” and then I sent him the screenshots and asked him to open his kik and once I saw he read them, he hung up the phone.

    I was so repulsed by his behavior in cheating and in pressuring her to do something she so bluntly said no to. Then I realized I was in that same position the whole relationship.

    On New Years 2015 to 2016 I slept over at his house and woke up to him fingering me.
    Months before that we would have sex with me telling him “no” and trying to push him off me.
    He would physically abuse me by slapping me and pushing me against walls.
    He would emotionally abuse me by telling me “no one really thinks your beautiful.”
    Months before that I had people in school come up to me telling me he would go around telling people of mine and his sexual actions and stories. And he convinced me that it was a normal thing to do and I should do the same. He made me look like a slut.
    And this went on for months and months and back to the first week he would ask me sexual questions.

    An old best friend of his sent me a DM apologizing and when I asked him “What for?” He told me: “Remember that first few weeks you and *insert ex’s name* talked on the phone and he was asking you sexual questions about your body and what you do to yourself?” My heart beat so fucking hard. I shakily typed “Yes.” and he sent “I’m sorry…he had the phone on speaker and I was there with him. We both masturbated to you talking.”

    I, Kelci Brook Arellano, pledge to love and respect my body enough to speak up when I am not being respected in a way that makes me feel comfortable. Thank you Emma, Iz, and Haley for everything.

  25. This was so amazing. Thank you so so so much for sharing this. Lying there listening to you amazing women made me feel so interconnected with the female race – I don’t know how to explain it. I know that even telling friends and family about these things is hard so to share that on the internet is so so so brave and I am so proud. I love how beautiful your friendship is with eachother and I only hope that I can find friends that are as supportive and fucking incredible as you three. I actually made a blog post talking about the issue – would love to keep this conversation going it is so important that we change our fucked up society. I love you guys so much this post was amazing and so inspiring to listen to xoxoxo
    https://fallingfairie.wordpress.com/

  26. Made me cry, I will be thinking about your words for months, years, and the rest of our life. I don’t even know how thankful I am for this. You girls are so amazing, I look up to you all so strongly. Everything you say is truth. THANK YOU.

  27. Anonymous says

    This is the most amazing shit Iv’e ever listened to.

  28. Angela says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. When I do have sex I’m going to make sure I remember your words about being respected and not take any shit from guys.

  29. Natalie Quinn says

    this was honestly so amazing and real. i am only 15 and i was molested at 12 my a teacher an my school multiple times. i was so scared and i didnt tell anyone for a year. eventually he molested two 4th grade girls and they told their parents. i am so grateful they told but i had always lived with this guilt that i knew i should have told first and otherwise that would have never had happened to those girls. i know now it wasnt my fault but ill always hold a special place for them in my heart.i have never had a boyfirend or any sexual relations because i have seen all of my friends go through awful, and abusive relationships. and i always get shamed by my peirs saying ” youre almost 16 you should have a boyfriend now” and “youve never kissed anyone?” or ” youre still a virgin?” and crap like that and to which i reply: ” of course i am. not only have i never met someone who i liked enough to actually have a relationship with and the boys ive met arent mature enough to date or have a romantic relationship with me” and im greatful to have seen and helped my friends with what they went though because i leaned the easy way. And for my teen girls out there: DO NOT LET ANYONE FEEL LIKE YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO DATE BECAUSE YOU HAVENT HAD A RELATIONSHIP YET. ITS BETTER TO BE PICKY THAN TO HAVE TO HAV NO GOOD JUDGEMENT AT ALL. <3

  30. hello viewers my name Bruce Anna i am from USA i loved a guy and he promised me that he we marry me,i trusted him in that but he came out to be using me.he had all his fun with me i love him so much not knowing that he just want me in bed i was thinking our relationship will last for ever not knowing that he have met another girlfriend out side so he broke up with me with a little argument that do not oncal anything so after 1 yr i meet another guy that want to get marry but i m not able to tell him about what has happens to me..but i dont wana marry him like that.i waned to be a virgin again so i dissed to go online for help when soon some post that DR OLU the herbal herbs spell caster how he have be helping some guy for there penis enlargement so i just wana give it a try if he can help me regain my virginity back but now he did it for me everything work out for me with his herbal herbs medicine so if you are in need of his help contact him on his email address
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  32. Abby Chase says

    My name is Abby, when I went into high school my brother introduced me to one of his friends. I didn’t think too much about it until he started sitting with me at lunch. he was just a friend but he saw something else in me. I was blinded by his attempts to flirt and his weird questions that seemed way to personal to be asking. He was a senior and I was a freshman. The word got out that he liked me and people started assuming things. This guy has a lot of sex and I had no idea. One day I was invited to go to B&R by the park with a group of his friends. My friend Jordan was going as well so I saw no harm. Jordan eventually left and I had to wait for my mom to pick me up. During that time alone with him and his friends they did awful things that I would rather not say. The guy said the reason why he did that stuff was because I was so innocent and irresistible. That It was my fault. I now have a bit of trust issues with my current relationship. I hope to one day get past this and help people that are going through the same thing.

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