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In our culture, sex and power are rarely as simple as 'yes' or 'no'

By Rose Cooper - posted Thursday, 8 April 2004

It was a Saturday night in the summer of 1979-80. I was with friends at our favourite pub. My boyfriend at the time was a 27-year-old barman who worked there. I was barely 18. The plan was that we’d hang at the pub till closing and then hit the nightclub. Eventually my boyfriend told me he’d been harboring a huge crush on a female co-worker and he felt very sure she was beginning to succumb to his charms. I can’t remember the exact words he used but it was along the lines of: “I need to break up with you, but if I can’t get her into bed this time, then I’ll probably take you back.”

I wasn’t in love with this man, we had only been going out (read: sleeping together after he knocked off work) for a few weeks, but the blow to my ego was devastating. Seeing as I was already at a pub with friends, the natural course of action was to throw a pity party and get drunk.

It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out from these two opening paragraphs that I didn’t have a lot of self-respect back in those days, so what happened next won’t come as too much of a shock.


We went to the nightclub; I was fuelled with bourbon and (what I thought was) bravado to have a great night in spite of my humiliation. If blurred memory serves, fairly soon after we arrived, I struck up a conversation with a fellow who was vaguely familiar to me. Naturally, my freshly-jilted status made a great icebreaker. Pretty soon we were on the dance floor and he was all over me like a cheap suit. I can’t remember much about what I was feeling at this point, I just knew I wanted to wipe my humiliation away with the attentions of this guy. He thought I was super-hot and of course, I was back then, as most burgeoningly nubile 18-year-olds are – but I was also clueless. I thought I’d done well to hook-up, not the other way around.

When my friends signalled that they were leaving I wanted to go too, but they waved to me in a “you go girl” kind of way and didn’t wait for me to respond. After the dance I went to get a taxi but the guy talked me into letting him give me lift home. Before we left, he went to grab a mate of his. They kept me waiting for several minutes while they indulged in some animated discussion. It was like my guy was trying to talk his friend into something. The situation struck me as odd, but I didn’t read anything into it.

I don’t remember much about the drive because the alcohol was really catching up with me. Not far from where I lived, there was a secluded spot where couples often went ‘parking’. He turned down that street “just for a little while, then I promise to take you home straight after.”

Although I was very drunk the feeling of alarm broke through. I was definitely no longer feeling any attraction to this guy; I just wanted to go home. He pulled over and started kissing me. He wasn’t taking no for an answer and my instincts were that it would be safer to go along with him than try to do a runner. At that age and in those days I also thought I had no right to say no at that point. I told him I felt uncomfortable with his friend watching so he kicked his friend outside to go for a walk.

In no time we were having sex on the front seat. I was hoping it would be over quickly so he’d take me home, so I pretended to enjoy it. Then suddenly, he withdrew and straddled my chest, forcing me to give him oral sex. I was completely stunned, but he had me by the back of the head and I was too scared to say no.

Then, literally in a matter of seconds his mate had opened the car door, climbed in and started having sex with me. I was pinned, I couldn’t move. There was nothing I could do.


I was too scared to bite. I just cried and prayed it would be over quickly.

Ironically, true to his word, he drove me home afterwards. I kept my face averted from both of them and bawled my eyes out. When I got out of the car he said “I hope we can do this again some time”. I slammed the car door amid their raucous laughter and ran inside.

It might be pertinent to add at this point, that neither of these guys were professional football players.

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About the Author

Rose Cooper is a freelance writer and actor who has contributed to many national publications over the past 20 years. She was Australian Women's Forum Magazine's most prolific contributor as well as their Sex Advice Columnist. Her areas of expertise include comedy, women's health and sexuality issues, relationships, theatre and pop culture. For more of Rose's articles visit:

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