This is not a post about any given rape case currently in the news; it's a comment on the conversation that happens again and again around all cases. Any time a rich/famous/powerful/attractive man is accused of rape, someone is bound to say, "But he's so rich/famous/powerful/attractive he could have any woman he wanted. Why would he want to rape?" There are any number of possible answers, but I'm thinking of perhaps the simplest one. Maybe he wants to rape because he's a rapist.
I met a rapist once. For a long time, I couldn't bring myself to call him that, because after all, he didn't rape me. I fought him off, I put my pants on and walked away. Then one night, I admitted that, unless his behaviour that night was some one-off aberration, he has very likely raped other people.
I declared myself to be open to anything he and his friends felt like doing, and I meant that. Fucking two of them at once or five of them one after another - if they thought it would be fun, I was up for it. I made just one stipulation, largely for the benefit of my then-unborn child: they all had to use condoms.
He began by putting his dick into my arse, without the benefit of lube. He wasn't gentle, but I'd enjoyed rougher sex than that before; it was really just a moment of discomfort and then all was well. At least, all was well until I noticed that he was no longer wearing the condom I'd so carefully put on him.
I asked him where it was, but he didn't give me a sensible answer. Instead, he started trying to put his dick - unprotected and fresh from my arse - into the other hole. I don't have a lot of hard limits, but that is a rare example. I moved away, put my hand over my crotch, and told him to stop messing about and find another condom if he wanted to fuck me. His only response was to keep shoving his dick at me.
I don't know how long I spent trying to reason with him. I know that I told him several times to stop that and get a condom, and I know that I had to keep my hand over my crotch throughout the conversation. Eventually, I realised that getting through to him was impossible, and I started putting my clothes on.
For a long time, I found his behaviour baffling. There I was, consenting to anything he was up for, and he tried to do the one thing I had explicitly not consented to. How does that make sense? If someone offered me that range of options, I would want to do something we could both enjoy. Maybe gratify a long-held desire that was only waiting for a willing partner, but certainly not do the one thing sure to piss my partner off. It made no sense.
But when I thought about it, I began to see a very grim kind of sense. He was reading me as female, and he started out by doing something a lot of women would not consent to. When I didn't object, he moved on to the one thing I'd already said I didn't consent to. And when I repeated my non-consent, he kept going.
There are all kinds of cultural narratives that say sex is a way of putting one over on a woman, of getting something from her that she doesn't really want to give. He was taking those narratives to their logical conclusion: the kind of sex he wanted was whatever I didn't want. I don't think he wanted to have sex with me at all - I think he wanted to rape me. I can't think of any other explanation for the way he acted.
For some men, consensual sex just doesn't do it. However rich/famous/powerful/attractive they are, however many women fall willingly into their arms, they will always want to force themselves on women who are unwilling. Because they are fucking rapists.