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A few years back I met a man at work and we really hit it off. We would see each other off and on hang out and watch movies together etc. I was young and had only had one boyfriend before him and he knew this. He was a big guy and about 8 years my senior. One night I drove out to his house to show him my new car and we went up to his apartment to watch a move as we usually did. He asked me if I wanted to watch it on his room. I didn’t think much of it and said ok, because up to this pont I trusted him. When we got to his room we laid down on the bed. He told me he wanted to "do something." He started to take my shirt off and I said I didn’t want to do this. Then he told me to lay back. Again I told him to stop and to please not do this. He pulled my pants down and proceeded to perform oral sex on me. I was too terrified to do anything. He was so much bigger than me and was getting angry that I wasn’t doing what he was asking that I just laid there. Afterwards I got dressed and left. Never told anyone went home and acted as if nothing happened. I just told my mom and sister a few days ago. I have two questions… One, is forced oral sex considered a form of rape? The other is should I talk to a therapist? I have had three boyfriends since and whenever I am in an intimate situation sometimes even just kissing I all of a sudden start to feel like I am going to cry and be sick. My face gets hot and I have to pull away. I am approaching 28 and am still (aside from the above event) a virgin and the thought of sex terrifies me. Please advise. Thank you.

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While I am not an attorney and cannot comment on the legal nature of the question you pose about oral sex, but, I can give my opinion and I believe that any type of sex that is forced, oral or otherwise, is rape. Anytime a woman says "No" the man must stop and there is no room for the man to "interpret" what the woman is saying. I suppose that he could claim that once you entered his bedroom and laid down on his bed you consented. That is ridiculous and untrue. Once he started to remove your shirt and you told him to stop the story should have ended there because he was obligated to listen to and honor your wishes to not go any further. Once you said no and he continued he was committing rape. The fact that he was angry makes it even worse because he is a large and imposing man and you were frightened.

With regard to your second question I have no doubt, in my mind and in my opinion, that you should see a therapist. Whenever a person is in a situation where they are frightened into performing acts they do not wish to do it is traumatizing. The trauma alone is reason enough for you to enter therapy. In addition, there is the issue of having been raped and that is important for you to deal with in therapy.

My hope for you is that you can overcome this trauma, find a man who you can fully trust and enjoy a fully intimate, warm and loving relationship. It will take time and therapy to learn to trust again but it is fully possible.

Best of Luck

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