It's not news that the Modern Love column is typically an example of the Times turning into the world's creepiest personal ads section. But this weekend's entry was probably one of the off-the-charts ickiest; it concerns Columbia student Ashley Cross, whose affair with an accused rapist changed her mind about a lot of things:
During this time my friends couldn't fathom why I supported him, much less continued as the willing girlfriend of a convicted sex offender. But for me the experience had fundamentally altered my previously programmed reaction to stories of alcohol-fueled date rape on college campuses. No longer was my response autopilot compassion for the girl. No longer would I assume the guilt of intoxicated boys in the company of intoxicated girls everywhere.
In other words, Ashley realized that those whores were asking for it. But unfortunately, lasting bliss with her rapey bf was not to be, for one important reason:
Desire, once joyful, became a source of stress, something dangerous and potentially ugly that needed to be suppressed, and an awkward civility overtook our love life. Anything sexual between us became for him an urge not of primitive pleasure but of apologetic shame.
Regardless of how much I reassured him that everything was fine, he grew increasingly afraid of touching me in an authoritative way. In public, we stopped kissing or even holding hands. And during sex, any sound I made alarmed him, and he'd recoil, so I learned to stay silent.
We totally understand Ashley's point of view: a rape conviction can sort of impede a relationship, sure — but bad sex? That's a dealbreaker.