Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

What happened here?

I feel guilty even posting about this, but two years ago my spouse and I helped organize a birthday party for a mutual friend (z). He booked a weekend at a rental and z started up a Facebook event page, where the activities planned included drinking, drugs, and very specific ideas like fanfic reading, hiking, making art, playing board games and doing each other's makeup.

I packed up games and clothes and makeup for this purpose, and printed out a fanfic to read and brought most of my art supplies. What I didn't know was that z had also been planning an orgy with half the party but decided not to disclose that this would be happening to half the party (so that we'd know what we were showing up for -- particularly important as survivors with triggers pertaining to things like this). I didn't find out this was happening until well into the second night, when I was getting my makeup done by a friend after drinking all weekend, getting high, and doing whiffits. That's when some of the guests started taking out sex toys and preparing for the orgy they'd planned to have, and that's when I was propositioned in front of most the party about whether I wanted to participate. I hesitated because I knew I wasn't sober but ended up going along with it in hopes that it would help me to deal with the trauma of my sexual history (which I know is faulty logic), and because I worried I would be judged on my validity as a non-monogamous bisexual person by saying no (also faulty logic).

My partner heard what was happening and when he realized I was in there, knocked and asked for me. When I came out to talk to him he was crying and apologizing and just wanted to make sure I was okay. By then I had also taken a bit of ecstasy and was torn between "having sex with not my (first) rapist is liberating" and "oh god If I say this wasn't okay they'll see me as being unsafe to have sex with." I felt horrible, and still do, because while I'm furious they did this to me knowing full about my rape trauma and how I don't do sex whole intoxicated... I still made that choice and I feel really responsible for things getting the way it did.

When we left the party I started off defensive, but eventually started crying and talked to my partner in the car about what had happened. As soon as we got home, z had been shit posting about my partner, making up false allegations about what he'd said and done (things i can confirm were lies), compared him to their abusive parents, and blocked him -- and got literally the entire friend group, and everyone at the party, to do the same.

When i tried discussing this I was immediately gaslit by multiple people, one even saying I "never had sex" when they weren't even there, describing what I did as "play." I suspect they got this from their boyfriend who wanted me to give him a blowjob and left when I froze (and spread the rumors about things my partner said to him the next day that were "sex shaming" when that wasn't even remotely the case). I didn't have penetrative sex but I was topless and grinding with another woman with protection, among other things, so not only do I feel sickened by the gaslighting even now, but I'm hurt by the blatant homophobic cisnormative narrative she pushed forward even though they're also bi (and trans).

I feel violated, but because my partner and I are the only ones who were at the party who took serious issue with all of this, I have a hard time not feeling like I'm exaggerating in describing this as rape. Is it? Am I just shit at party culture? I don't know, I haven't been able to have sex since then and it took me at least six months to feel okay masturbating, but could only do it for short periods of time before feeling gross.

I'm confused and hurt, and I guess just looking for an outside perspective.


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