CW: Mentions of sexual assault
I thought that because we loved each other, we could naturally become one. How did this happen?
The orchid that was blooming on the bed
It happened in an instant
and you didn't notice.
Your temperature was rising.
You thought you were giving me water, but you were actually giving me hot water.
The wilting orchids didn't even have time to raise their voices.
And quietly stared at you with narrow eyes.
One night in my sophomore year, I got romantically involved with my partner at the time, and we had sex. But I never expected to be strangled or pulled by my hair...
I had never seen porn videos before, so I didn't know that there were people who like stimulating sex and get thrilled by it. Surprised by the sudden event, I was scared and my body stiffened. I couldn't say anything, so I endured it.
Sex is a romantic way of conveying love, but it can become a weapon that can hurt your partner if you lack the correct knowledge or if communication is not good.
BDSM and “rough sex” are becoming more commonplace. This is because it has become easier to access various information on the Internet in recent years, and pornographic sites are becoming more popular.
What is BDSM?¹
BDSM is an abbreviation for these.
Discipline or Domination
Sadism or Submission
It’s a sexual activity in which one partner inflicts or receives pain to control another partner or to make one feel better.
“Rough sex” is a term used on the internet, referring to hard and violent activities, such as “choking by strangling the neck”, “pulling the hair,” and “slapping the buttocks.''²
I think there are many people who are reluctant to talk about sex information in detail openly. Therefore, you may refer to information on the Internet or porn video, but you must be careful.
Not everyone likes doing or being treated like that! And above all, those acts are accompanied by “danger.”
In particular, “choking” during sex is very dangerous. In fact, there have been cases in which lack of oxygen has had adverse effects on the brain, leading to death.³ It can’t be justified after an accident by saying, “it was what the other party wanted.”
And don't forget the mental damage as well as the physical damage. People with an experience of abuse may also trigger flashbacks (a strong, vivid recollection of their trauma experience). Even people who have never experienced such a thing in the past can be frightened if they’re suddenly strangled.
There may be guides on the internet for safe ways to have rough sex. However, there’s no “perfect safety” for “choking.”
Activities related to sex shouldn’t be done out of curiosity, but it’s important to investigate safe methods and control the extent of the activity. Above all, it’s most important to properly obtain the consent of the partner.
However, when it comes to “sexual consent,” isn't it rather complicated? It’s difficult to control your emotions once the activity has begun, so respecting and understanding one another may be hard as well.
If you want to do something or want to be done, ask the other person “in advance.” Discuss in detail what kind of behavior is good or bad, and if it’s impossible, decide on a “signal” to stop the behavior midway through. This is because it may be difficult to say “No” directly to your partner during the activity.
"You have to satisfy your partner"
"What do I want?"
Listen to yourself and respond to it. No matter what your partner say, you can always say “no” if you don't want it. If that makes your partner angry or grumpy, the person may not be the right person for you. It can be difficult, but sometimes it's so important to let someone go to take care of yourself. There’s no need to continue to suffer.
If your partner won't listen, you can leave without saying a word.⁴
I think that sometimes it’s difficult because the body stiffens with fear. Don't blame yourself if you can't protect yourself at that time. You've fought enough. However, it was a very difficult situation. It's not your fault.
If you’ve been traumatized, talk to a professional psychologist or counselor. If you don't know what to do, and you’re in Japan, call #8103, the national common number for counseling victims of sexual crimes. You’ll be connected to the sexual crime victim consultation desk of each prefectural police that has jurisdiction over the area where the message was sent.⁵ Or contact the One-Stop Support Center for Victims of Sex Crime and Sexual Violence.⁶
In the United States, The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has a 24-hour sexual assault hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).⁷ There is also a hotline with a chat function.⁸
We can convey “love” through “sex” only after taking risks and communication methods into consideration.
Definition of BDSM from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus Cambridge University Press
Herbenick D, Fu TC, Valdivia DS, Patterson C, Gonzalez YR, Guerra-Reyes L, Eastman-Mueller H, Beckmeyer J, Rosenberg M. What Is Rough Sex, Who Does It, and Who Likes It? Findings from a Probability Sample of U.S. Undergraduate Students. Arch Sex Behav.
Cocoran, L. 2022. Women Are Finding Themselves Being Strangled During Sex — The Consequences Can Be Deadly. ELLE Australia. https://www.elle.com.au/culture/sexual-choking-strangulation-dangers-26953
Hirai, R. Oashi, M. 2021.『尊重されるべき意思がある 。知っておきたい、「性的同意」のこと PART 2』. SPUR. https://spur.hpplus.jp/sdgs/watashitsuzukeru/2021-10-22-QyaZFGA/
警察庁, 警察の犯罪被害者等施策, 各都道府県警察の性犯罪被害相談電話につながる全国共通番号「♯８１０３（ハートさん）」https://www.npa.go.jp/higaisya/seihanzai/seihanzai.html
内閣府. 2022.『行政が関与する性犯罪・性暴力被害者のためのワンストップ支援センター（一覧）』. https://www.gender.go.jp/policy/no_violence/seibouryoku/consult.html
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support. https://www.rainn.org/resources
Legg, T.J. Holland, K. 2019. Sexual Assault Resource Guide. https://www.healthline.com/health/sexual-assault-resource-guide#online-forums-and-support
Translated by Rio Ishida
Edited by Emiru Okada, Maya P. Kubota
Graphics by Claudia MacPhail