Dear Head Pro,
I just want to say that I absolutely love your column, and find your advice the perfect mixture of acerbic and humorous. I've been having this issue I've been thinking about for a while, and I knew that you would be the best person to weigh in on this.
So there's this guy that I had been seeing/hooking up with towards the end of last semester. He's a really nice bro - smart, cute, with a bit of dorkiness wrapped in there. I honestly think he's just an overall nice guy and I really enjoy smoking blunts with him and subsequently having mind blowing sex afterwards. That being said, I was talking to one of my sorority sisters and when I had showed her his Facebook page, her jaw dropped. It turns out that he had been the guy from Halloween weekend. On Halloween, my friend had just gotten seriously black out drunk. When she finally came to hours later, the guy was on top of her. She said that she told him to stop, but that he just kept on going. She came to me the next day crying about the whole situation and just feeling like she was taken advantage of, and I remember feeling like I would seriously chop off the balls of this guy if I ever met him.
Now that I'm romantically involved with him, I'm torn. My friend said that it wasn't really a big deal and that what happened shouldn't stop me from pursuing anything with this bro. From everyone else who knows him, they say he's a really nice guy, and my experience with him makes me agree with that statement. But of course for this betch, it's chicks before dicks. I refuse to pretend as if this never happened, and I need to confront him about it. That being said, this is a seriously tricky issue to talk about, and I don't want to come off as I'm accusing him of raping some girl. I just want to ask him his perspective on what happened that night, as there are always two sides to a story. Is there a way I can bring this up and for us to move on from this smoothly?
Dazed and Confused
Dear Dazed and Confused,
Not unlike being the 3rd guy in a FMMM four-way, you’re in a tough spot. Rape laws are written in a way that offers maximum protection for the victim, and while that’s the way it needs to be, they do leave room for a lot of abuse and misinterpretation (essentially they makes it illegal for two people to get drunk and fuck, which is kind of the cornerstone of western civilization). Unfortunately for your friend (and to a lesser extent, you), this isn’t one of those gray areas. If at any point during sex, someone (male or female, doesn’t matter) wishes to stop and the other persists, that’s rape. Period. I don’t know what went on that night, and I know how hard it is when you’re smashed out of your mind to hear, understand, or want to follow directions, but to protect victims we can’t have it where we make excuses for those who fail to conduct themselves responsibly just because they were shitfaced.
That said, while what happened was rape, I’ll tentatively say that I don’t think this guy is a rapist. Violent rapists use rape as a means to feel powerful and in control, not to get laid. Even the kinds of guys who drug women or prey on the intoxicated chicks are looking to fulfill more than the natural desire to get their D wet. I don’t know any of the circumstances surrounding the two of them, but if the two of them were both blackout drunk it’s entirely possible things appeared (to both of them) to progress in a consensual manner. I’m not rationalizing the way things ended up, but depending on how they started out, It’s likely that this wasn’t predatory so much as it was two people getting too drunk for their own good.
Regardless of what the circumstances were, I understand your concerns. It’s like frequenting a restaurant you enjoy, only to have your closeted bulimic friend say she got food poisoning there. Sure the place seems fine to you and she mysteriously throws up after every meal she eats, but better safe than sorry. In this case, I don’t think going to the guy is the right thing to do. As understandable as it is to want to assuage your own fears, defer to your friend on this one. Even if she says she’s over it, see what she thinks about you confronting him with it. She may not want anyone, you or him, speaking of it again. Or she may not care. But she was the one traumatized here, so it’s her call.
If she does say it’s ok and you still want to bring it up, be gentle. It’s entirely possible that he doesn’t remember, or does remember and feels vile, which is really all he can do; he can’t un-rape her. Being accusatory won’t get you far. Ask him open-ended questions, maybe something like “hey do you remember that time when you hooked up with xxx?” and see where he goes. No matter what he says, you’re going to have some choices to make, none of which you’ll like. He may not remember meeting let alone sleeping with her, or he may remember it well but have a very different perspective. Either way, you have to decide how to proceed. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, and remember that even good, honest people sometimes do make mistakes, even awful ones.
My good friend from college has been obsessed with this one kid for years. Although they both have had other flings/boyfriends/girlfriends ect. she thinks that they will, like, get married later in life. Also if you haven't already guessed, she is kind of a nice girl. A couple weeks ago I visited said friend and got to meet her friends, including this kid she "loves." Well now I fucking understand why - he's perfect. Being a betch, I rarely admit when a bro is worthy or whatever but this is an exception. We ended up hanging out with him for the next couple of days at his gorgeous mansion on the water in Cali.
One night he had a bunch of people over (alcohol was abundant) and when I was trying to be, like, a good person and ask him about his feelings toward my friend, he starts making out with me...duh. Meanwhile my roommate is right in the next room and watches the whole thing go down. Awk. She asked me about it later and didn't seem pissed, especially because the whole night she was like egging it on. Usually I would just brush the whole thing off but it has been weeks and I still can't stop thinking about him/his perfect body...lame.
Anyways I am going to visit again soon and I have no idea what’s going to happen. There is obviously the possibility that this kid just wanted to hookup with anyone that night, but what do I do if he tries it again? I didn't seem like he was into my friend but if I did anything I feel like it could cross the line from betchy to plain bitchy. Thanks in advance and keep up the good work pro.
Betchy vs. Bitchy
Dear Betchy vs. Bitchy
So, your friend is basically Charlie from It’s Always Sunny, is what I got from this. That would make this guy the waitress, and you Danny Devito. Congratulations! I feel your pain, because nothing’s worse than a friend who unintentionally acts like a cockblock, but both of you need to figure some shit out if you want to resolve this.
As far as you’re concerned, I’m all for getting it in with the people you want to get it in with, but you need to figure out what’s more important - your friend, or a one-off hookup in Cali? I’m sure he’s “perfect”, but the world is full of good looking people with good bodies, or at least it is if the Olympics are to be believed. Which they are, obviously. Besides, if he’s making moves on you right after you told him your friend liked him, maybe perfect isn’t the word you’re looking for. Sweet, maybe, but not perfect.
More importantly, your friend needs to get her shit together. I don’t know how far along you guys are in college, but it really doesn’t matter because planning your future with a guy you’ve never dated is a bigger sociopathic indicator than putting cats in the microwave. The kind of guy who’s good looking, charming, and wealthy is not secretly pining away for the mousy librarian doing macrame in the corner. I mean, given that they’re friends, doesn’t she think that he would have, I don’t know, approached her? She can rationalize all she wants, but bros are not the type to be too shy to go after someone they’re interested in. We’re very heroic in that way, actually. You’re welcome.
My suggestion? Just fucking tell her. Tell her he put the moves on you and you were shocked, shocked because obviously he flirts with her all the time (I don’t know, make something up). She’ll probably get mad at you more than him at first, but whatever. The kind of girl who masturbates to the image of baking brownies for a man she’s never even kissed probably isn’t the type to freak out too much. Next time you go visit, just kind of see what happens. Maybe she’ll stop geeking out and try to entice him a little. Maybe he’ll try to take one or both of you to pound town. Either way, it should be entertaining.