Has My Husband Sexually Assaulted Me?

Some time ago, my husband turned to me and asked, “Have I ever sexually assaulted you?”

A number of my own questions immediately popped into my mind. “Are you an idiot?” “Why the hell would you ask me such a stupid question?” and “Don’t you know?”

This was quickly followed by a number of potential answers, foremost being, “If you had, you’d remember because you’d have been arrested, gone to prison, got divorced, and been murdered in your sleep, not necessarily in that order.”

I found his question vaguely offensive and was tempted to let him know with a sarcastic remark but I couldn’t interpret the expression on his face. He looked sincere. So I settled for saying, “No.”

He turned back to the TV and never mentioned it again.

But his question stuck with me because it is far more complex than it appears on its face.

First, let me say that I’ve never been sexually assaulted  Not by him, nor by any other man. Our sex life is reasonably satisfying and completely vanilla. We’ve never played bondage or simulated rape games that might have been misinterpreted as a real assault.

So why would such a question have occurred to him?

Let’s begin with assault. He said, sexual assault, he didn’t say, rape. The concept of sexual assault has replaced rape in law and that terminology has drifted into popular culture.

Traditionally, rape meant penetration of a woman’s vagina by a man’s penis without her consent. Penetration of her mouth or anus was called sodomy and was sometimes illegal even with her consent. If sodomy was not consensual, it was almost invariably considered equivalent to rape in seriousness.

Rape and sodomy omitted a great many violent sexual acts against women, including violent sexual humiliation, injury to sexual organs, and so forth. These could be prosecuted as any other assault, but there was a feeling that the sexual component made them were more serious than simple assault or even aggravated assault.

Thus, the catch-all term, sexual assault, was written into law. But this was expanded far beyond rape and sodomy to include some minor violations such as touching a woman’s breasts through her clothing without her consent.

Was my husband asking me about forms of sexual assault other than rape that he may have inflicted on me?

Occasionally, when I’m getting out of the shower he is moved to pull me into a hug and caress or massage my breasts and buttocks. He does not ask my consent and I’m not especially fond of him doing that, not because it’s a sexual assault but because I’m damp and chilly and he’s keeping me from getting dressed right away. Annoying but not a crime by any stretch.

Sometimes, when we’re watching television, he is moved to grab a breast and give it a gentle squeeze. That’s also annoying because it distracts me from the program. And because I suspect that he’s motivated to do it, not because he is overwhelmed by my animal sexuality, but because he’s seen a pair of young, firm tits in a bikini or tight sweater on the screen and he’s fantasizing about her as he’s mauling me.

Is this what my husband was asking? If I considered his sometimes ill-timed groping to rise to the level of low-grade sexual assault? Groping that would never land him in prison or get him murdered in his sleep. I can imagine myself saying, “Officer, my husband grabbed my tit when we were watching TV together. I want him arrested and sent to prison.” Surely my husband isn’t concerned about any such ridiculous scenario.

Does he do anything else that might be considered sexual assault? Maybe he’s thinking about the foolish feminists of the sixties, like Dworkin and MacKinnon. Some of them went so far as to claim that any sexual intercourse in which the woman does not experience an orgasm is rape. Their logic is that if the woman does not enjoy the act as much as the man, then she is being abused by the expectations of the patriarchal power structure. Even if she consented.

Certainly there have been times, many times, in our marriage when I was not in the mood and my husband was. So, sometimes I spread my legs for him just to stop him from whining, even though I knew that there was no way that I was going to have an orgasm myself.

But I never resented that. I never felt like I was being bullied or forced into sex. There was no question that if I had said, “No,” he would have accepted my answer; and gone away to pout a bit. And, though I was not sexually stimulated by those acts, I wasn’t physically or psychologically damaged by them, either. I was simply a little bored, about equivalent to any other chore, such as washing dishes or doing laundry. The difference was that the sexual chore took a lot less time than housework. Ten minutes and he was done. I only wish I could get the vacuuming done so quickly. And that a clean house would make my husband as happy.

After considering the physical acts, the only way that remained to interpret my husband’s question is psychologically. We both know that occasionally I get groped a bit and sometimes I agree to sex when I’m not quite as horny than a bitch in heat. He couldn’t be asking if  he did that so he has to be asking how I felt about it.

The exact wording of the question becomes critical. My husband did not ask if I like being groped or guilted into giving him sex. He knows that I don’t like it because I never pretend that I do. I’ve never faked an orgasm in my life. By asking about assault, he must be asking if I dislike it so much that I consider his behavior rising to the level of a crime. Not a felony, but a misdemeanor. The sexual equivalent of illegal parking or stealing a bath towel from a motel room?

That makes his question loaded with an accusation because it implies that I act as though I’m being assaulted when I generously give his needs priority over my comfort.

If that’s what he’s trying to imply, then he deserves more than a sarcastic retort; he deserves a swift kick in the nuts.

I think I should think about his question a little longer before I strap on my steel-toed work boots. I don’t want to over-react. Not until I’m certain what he meant.

I’ll let you know when I finally figure it out.

Yours, Ashley

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About Ashley Zacharias

I'm a post-modern woman who lives a vanilla life and dreams about kinky adventure. I write BDSM pornography but have no interest in acting out my fantasies in real life. Find my work on SmashWords.com and Amazon.com
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7 Responses to Has My Husband Sexually Assaulted Me?

  1. D. Lindsey says:

    This is a very interesting post, and I think, possibly, you are not reading his body language correctly. From your posts, I deduce that you have been married for more than a few years. I am sure that when you were first married that he found you attractive and from your comments, still does.
    When he fondles your breast while watching a Hollywood starlet with a couple of gallon of silicone he may be saying, “She may have big hooters, but to me you are still One Sexy Looking Woman.
    It’s very likely that when he gropes your breast or buttocks he is really saying, “God, Honey, you are still hotter than a two dollar pistol. I can’t keep my hands off you.”
    There can be no greater compliment a man can give his wife than that he desires to share the joy and pleasure of intimate physical relations with you – more frequently than you do – a greater complement. Consider it a blessing.

  2. Emma smith says:

    Is it sexual assault if i am groped in my sleep on my bust under clothing? If ive said no to him touching me before we go to sleep. If i had let him before i slept would it be assault if he knows i am asleep?
    Is it assault if he grabs my breast on or under clothing in a rage shaking it saying u used to let me touch you there? Is it rape or assault if he shouts at me for three to four hours at night till i have sex with him out of wanting to sleep or not get yelled at for the night and thr next day? If he shouts at me if im not naked in bed or wearing a sexy nighty … if he shouts at me till i do as he wont let me sleep. If he says its his right to be able to put his hands under my bra whenever i sit next to him. Even if ive told him i dont like it. Whats normal?

    • You are describing abusive behavior. The difference between what you are experiencing and I experience is that I consent to whatever I do. Even if I don’t always enjoy it, I don’t hate it, either. I know that I can refuse at any time and he will stop. Sometimes I do and he does. It doesn’t sound like you can discuss or negotiate this with your husband. I recommend, strongly, that you Google “abuse hotline” with your city name and talk to someone about what is happening to you. You should explore your options and then decide what you want to do.

  3. J says:

    I think such a post is sad and that your way of writing on the topic is offensive to those who have been abused.

  4. Heather says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been able to use your point of view and the comment made above to determine that my husband has sexually assaulted me as well as the other abuses i’ve suffered during our relationship. I’ve gotten out, now have to put a life back together…

  5. in says:

    Hi Ashley,

    Second post in two reads – you must have a good website.

    If you would take a guys perspective:

    Guys these days are, in many ways, being made to feel like everything they do is wrong and that we are perverts.

    Now, in no way am I saying that men are victimized, but I am saying that we are being told that all that we do is wrong. Hold a door open for a woman and get sneered at ‘because she’s a modern woman and doesn’t need a man to help her’… even though he was just being polite, the same as he would have been had it been a man following him.

    Rightly so, men are starting to be very careful about how they interact with women, and so your husband was probably just trying to work out if, in your mind, his unwanted sexual advances had made you felt like a victim of assault. From what you’ve said, some women would say that he had. My wife would probably say that I do the same to her a lot (although I’d like to think that we’ve never had sex without both being more than willing participants – that may be ego or age speaking)

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I think he’s just trying to establish that what he recognizes as unwelcome attention isn’t THAT unwelcome 🙂

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