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COLUMN

Savage Love

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Twenty-one-year-old female here. When we were both 14, my first boyfriend took advantage of me. I wanted to explore my sexuality a little, but things went further than I wanted. One day, we were kissing with him on top of me. We were both fully clothed, and he started rubbing up against me. I didn’t realize he was dry-humping me until after he had to leave to clean himself up. He never asked for my permission. Once I understood what had happened, I felt violated. He’d also groped my boobs on another occasion without asking. He broke up with me a couple months later. I haven’t spoken to him in seven years.
For the most part, this hasn’t scarred me too much. However, it’s very painful for me to think about what happened. I also avoid having sex with someone on top of me, because it reminds me of what happened and I start panicking. I want some closure so I can move on with my life. I don’t want to report him to the police because it’s not necessary – it happened so long ago. As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t rape. But I do feel like I was exploited, and it was not consensual.
I want to contact him and ask him to apologize. A sincere apology would help me get over this. The problem is that he lives on the other side of the country, and I have no way of contacting him besides looking him up on Facebook. I don’t think FB is the right place to talk about this, but it’s not possible to talk in person. How can I get in touch with him in a way that’s appropriate without having to see him?
Would’ve Said No

Let’s game this out.
While it’s possible your ex-boyfriend did this on purpose, it’s also possible that this was an accident. I’m not excusing his behavior, particularly the nonconsensual boob groping, but as a former 14-year-old boy myself, I feel obligated to toss this out there: Very few boys have achieved complete mastery over their dicks by age 14. Sometimes those things go off when we do not want them to. And accidentally blowing a load in your pants during a hot-and-heavy make-out session is an experience that most boys find deeply humiliating.
You were there, and I was not; you dated this dude, and I did not. If your boyfriend was a generally decent guy, and if there’s a chance this was an accident, contacting him – even via Facebook – will probably get you the apology you want.
But if it wasn’t an accident – if he was a selfish, manipulative piece of shit who took advantage of your naiveté – you’re unlikely to get the apology you want. Because if your ex-boyfriend was a selfish, manipulative piece of shit at age 14, odds are good that he remains a selfish, manipulative piece of shit at 21. If he’s an asshole, and you speak to him about this, you’re unlikely to get the apology you want. Ask yourself how you’ll feel if he responds to your request for an apology with GIFs of people laughing their asses off. If the answer is “infinitely worse,” don’t contact him.
P.S. Two more tips to avoid feeling worse: Don’t go to the police with this, and stay out of the comments.

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