date rape

The mid 1970’s saw Gay Liberation hit Sydney. Before that there had been CAMP, the campaign against moral persecution, which said nothing to me about my dick and that I had the hots for blokes. GAY came along; yes, it was new & trendy. Years later, I was told it had an old French meaning from the time of the troubadours, gai meant disreputable. Remember in Chaucer, the two guys are singing, come hither love to me.

David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album had come out; we had a nude party in Kings Cross, people smoked joints, that night someone handed round half mandies. I tried it and went into another zone for a bit; that was the drug experience of my mid twenties.

I was working as a switch bitch, using my knowledge of French And German as an International Telephone operator. Most of the people were hippies of one kind or another. I often noticed a rather quiet guy but never spoke to him much; suddenly one afternoon he asked me back to his place for spaghetti and red wine. I said ok. He made the pasta and tomato sauce, basic stuff, I’d had a few red wines and finished the meal. Then, I began to feel really off colour, whoosy, dizzy. Was I about to throw up? I panicked and said I needed to go home. The guy tried to persuade me to stay, but also kept out of arms’ reach, as if I might get physically aggressive. Finally he opened the door and I stumbled down the steps of a terrace house behind Circular Quay, towards the railway station. I remember getting to the platform where I needed to catch my train; I must have been very out of it because the station attendant came over and started to talk to me. I realised I had only had three glasses of wine, far less than what would normally have caused the level of inebriatuion I was experiencing. I told him I’d been drugged. He quite rightly expressed concern that I might fall under a train if I continued my journey. But the alternative of waiting there and being taken away by police horrified me more. The shame. I took deep breaths and boarded the train to my suburb.

When I next encountered my host at work he looked very sheepish. I don’t know if I persisted with the realisation of having been drugged. A huge deterrant was my awareness of how delinquent my personal culture was anyhow, how aberrant I would seem during the making of a police complaint. I was gay, which was illegal in NSW at the time. I regularly smoked dope; that fact would inevitably emerge during a conversation with the police.

Years, decades later, as reports circulated in the gay community and via its newspapers, of a serial date rapist, I remembered my dinner date and its aftermath. Had I succumbed to the effects of the medicated wine, who knows what would have happened. The rapist was not in fact psychotic or violent; clearly he lacked confidence to attract a sexual partner and instead made use of a chemical relaxant to get his jollies.

I don’t envy girls who have had the above experience. Rumours regularly emerge of a residential college attached to Sydney University where the inmates have formed date rape clubs; as children of the wealthy, they consider what they fancy to be their prerogative. But that’s another oick universe.

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About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
This entry was posted in campaign against moral persecution, come hither, date rape, gai troubadour, mandies. Bookmark the permalink.

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