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This was written as a response to a prompt calling for 400 words on the theme of willfully ignoring red flags.

I communicated with Dominick through OKCupid and texting for about a year. He just wanted to meet for sex. I was conflicted. He asked if there were any sex acts that I didn’t like. I told him I didn’t like anal sex.

He pushed. I relented. Our first date was set at a hotel near my house. He traveled about two hours to meet me. There were two bars in the hotel. We each went to a different one before we realized there was more than one. He walked into the bar where I was sitting. He looked like so many of the men I had met online. I knew he was expecting me to check into a room with him. This flew in the face of all of my personal safety rules. I knew I was making a mistake. We pretended we were on a real “date” for about an hour and a half. We had two drinks.

I quietly texted my sister and explained the predicament I had put myself in, and started to take steps to get myself out of this. Maybe she could call with an “emergency”?

I knew as we were walking to the elevator that I was making a potentially very big mistake. I kept walking.

In the middle of consensual sex, Dominick decided we would have anal sex. I loudly shouted “No” three times. He said he was almost done and finished up. I quickly got dressed and ready to leave. He wanted to hang out. It was my son’s 16th birthday. I needed to get home and away from him.

I felt enormously relieved when I got in my car to have gotten through this experience with a feeling of shock and regret but nothing more serious than that. I was lucky to have learned a lesson without serious repercussions.

Dominick texted me to let me know I was an amazing woman. I let him know that he had raped me. He turned the tables saying I checked into a hotel room with him, took off my clothes, got in bed with him and went through the motions of consensual sex. This was all true. Fact is, any form of nonconsensual sex is rape. I knew this would be a case of my word against his. I blocked his number.

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Young stroke survivor, mother, champion equestrian, tambourine player, storyteller,

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