He was introduced to me by mutual female friends, who knew and trusted him. "Great guy" – and he seemed like it. He was handsome, tall, educated, he opened doors and walked on the street side of the sidewalk. He took me on real dates and paid for everything without hesitation.
On the dates he opened up to me about why he hadn't been in a real relationship for a while: his ex girlfriend had been abusive.
The abuser had been a member of a different sorority than me, so I didn't know her, but I knew enough negative things about that sorority that I was happy to believe that one of their members was abusive. He also told me that after they broke up she warned all her sisters that he tried to rape her, and it really hurt his feelings and made him paranoid about trusting women again.
He assured me that the rumors were completely false and that they never even had sex.
I felt so bad for what he had gone through, and consoled him about it. I knew what it felt like to be abused, so having this shared suffering made me feel closer to him.
And all was well. Until we got into bed together, about two weeks into our relationship.
The second the bedroom door closed, he turned from polite gentleman into a sexually aggressive fiend. We had jokingly talked a little about rough sex when he had accidentally found my erotica, but not made any commitment – not even arranged a safe word. So I was bewildered when he just threw me around like a doll and did whatever he pleased with my body. I had stopped being a woman with agency and was now just a piece of meat.
At one point I asked to be on top because he was jackhammering me and I was in pain. He totally ignored me and kept hammering. He was over a foot taller than me and very physically fit, so I couldn't do anything to stop him other than meekly ask.
And he didn't stop.
It was one of the worst sexual experiences of my life. After that I ditched BDSM entirely as even remote possibilities and threw my kinky miscellany in the trash – even the gag gifted leather whip. If this is what a "great guy" can do without any implements, imagine what a fully levelled pain daddy can inflict with abusive tools like handcuffs and butt plugs. I shudder to think of what could have happened if he had been aware of the whip hiding in the bottom drawer.
The next day, I texted the girl who set me up with him and told her what had happened. She upheld that he was a "really great guy" and his ex was "crazy." There's that word again – "great" guy.
I couldn't let go of this dichotomy of his non-bedroom self and his bedroom self. So next I tracked his ex down on insta and sent her a DM saying that I had a bad experience with this guy and needed to know if I was crazy or not.
Her side of the story was shockingly familiar, but with a twist. When he had pushed her boundaries and didn't stop when she said no, she punched him in the face. She got her stuff and started to leave. When he tried to keep her there, she hit him again.
Unlike me, this girl is a collegiate softball player and has a hell of a right swing.
Still, this is the abuse he faced. He basically attempted to rape a women and she hit him in self defense. This is why he had "trust issues." This is why he "wanted to take things slow" (not sex, just relationships).
Moral of the story?
Believe women when they say a man is abusive. Be skeptical when women say a male friend is a "great guy" – he might have them tricked too, or they could be under the Cockholm syndrome spell. And when a guy tells you a sob story about how much his ex hurt him, remember that her side of the story is probably very different.