Dating and Relationship Advice – Rape and Date Rape

I know for the most part phicklephilly has always been about romance, love and dating. It’s normally pretty light-hearted, but there is a darker side to dating that must be explored. Maybe the more we know the safer we’ll all be.

What Is Rape?

Rape occurs when sexual intercourse is non-consensual (not agreed upon), or a person forces another person to have sex against his or her will. It also can occur when the victim is intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Rape includes intercourse in the vagina, anus, or mouth. It is a felony offense, which means it is among the most serious crimes a person can commit. Men as well as women and children can be raped.

Many times, the person who commits rape uses violence to force the person to have sex. An attacker also can use fear alone to commit rape. Rape can cause both physical and emotional harm to the victim.

What Is Date Rape?

Date rape also is when one person forces another person to have sex. It, too, is a felony offense. The difference between rape and date rape is that the victim knows the attacker socially. Perhaps he or she even went out with his or her attacker more than once.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Raped?

If you have been raped, follow these steps:
•Don’t wash or douche. You do not want to wash away any evidence that could be used against your attacker in court.
•Call the police and tell them what happened. If you are afraid to call the police, call your local rape crisis center.
•Go to an emergency room. While there, you will be examined. A doctor will make a record of your injuries and treat you. Samples of any fluid left in the vagina or anus (especially semen) will be gathered. Hair, pieces of clothing, or other objects left by the attacker also may be taken. These samples may be used to help identify and convict your attacker.

 

Was It Really Rape?

Some victims feel like rape is their fault. Although rape is never the victim’s fault, feelings of guilt can prevent the victim from getting help. Remember, rape can really hurt a person’s emotions. Even if you get over the crisis of the attack, you may develop painful feelings later. It’s important to get help for yourself as soon as possible to avoid serious emotional complications, even if you do not want to press charges against your attacker.

If you aren’t sure if what happened to you was rape, a rape crisis counselor or doctor can help you sort it out.

 

How Does Rape Harm the Victim?

Rape harms the victim both physically and emotionally.

Types of physical harm due to rape can include:
•Broken bones, bruises, cuts, and other injuries from violent acts.
•Injuries to the genitals and/or anus.
•Being exposed to diseases that can be passed on during sex, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
•Unwanted pregnancy.

Types of emotional harm include:
•Shame
•Embarrassment
•Guilt
•Feelings of worthlessness

 

You also may have problems with:
•Fear
• Depression
•Anger
•Trust
•Attraction to men (if the attacker was a man)
•Consensual sex later in life (inability to enjoy sex without intrusive recollections of the abuse)
•Flashbacks (reliving the rape in your mind)
• Nightmares
•Falling and staying asleep

 

Will I Ever Feel Well Again After Being Raped?

Rape can leave physical and emotional scars that last a long time. Some victims find that emotional scars never go away. Long-term counseling can help you to deal with guilt, fear, depression, anxiety, and other emotions. Many victims also get help by joining support groups.

How Can I Protect Myself From Rape?

Unfortunately, there’s no sure way to protect yourself from rape. Even people who take steps to protect themselves can be victims. But, following common safeguards, like these, is still a good idea:
•Be responsible for your actions. Stay in control. Don’t get drunk at a party and ask a stranger to drive you home, for example.
•Don’t walk alone at night. It takes just one trip alone to your car to be attacked. Walk with a friend.
•Don’t get talked into something you don’t want to do. Make your own choices and stick with them.
•Learn ways to defend yourself in the case of an attack.
•Trust your feelings. If a person seems threatening to you, don’t continue the friendship.
•Learn about rape and why people rape. This knowledge will make you more alert to possible attackers.

 

 

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Sun Stories: Summer – Return of the Outlaw

I’ve been working a lot lately, but the good news is our girl Summer from last season has returned to take some shifts for us. She’s our best hire to date, so I’m glad she’s finally back.

My darling Cherie has gotten a babysitter for Saturday night, so after work she’s going to jump in the car and come for a little visit. Which means we have limited time so I know certain things need to happen. This is the first Saturday I’ve had off in a while, probably almost two months. I get up, hit the shower, much-needed manscaping occurs, and I’m dressed and out the door. I didn’t make my bed this morning because later It’ll be stripped, and then made with fresh sheets for the arrival of her eminence.

I leave my place on Pine and walk north on 19th. The square in Rittenhouse is full of the usual cast of characters. Families together, children playing, dogs being walked, People chilling on the benches, friends sipping coffee and chatting. You can always find a tranquil moment in this metropolitan oasis.

First point of business is, I must go to my favorite Saturday breakfast spot, Rachael’s at 19th and Sansom. It’s been too long. I go in and of course they know my name and know what I want. I pay for my order and then go sit and one of the bar seats along the windows. I love the place because it’s small and intimate but is a classic neighborhood breakfast/lunch spot that doesn’t need to do dinner because that’s not what they are. Tasteful neon signs glow in the front window, but aren’t overbearing or obtrusive to the dining experience. You simply feel that you’ve stepped back in time, and I love that.

I love sitting in the same spot at the window whenever I go there. I read articles on my phone and look out the window and just people watch. When the weather’s nice there are plenty of lovely folks carrying on with their weekend plans.

Breakfast/brunch arrives quickly with diner like speed, but with home cooked elegance. This is a lovely repose to charge up for the coming day.  It’s all perfect just like always. (I like consistency in my life.) When I’ve had enough, I throw a few singles in the tip jar for the cooks and head out.

I get a text from our part-time employee, Summer.

“I am so hung over.”

I send her a pic of a bottle of Jameson in a bicycle water bottle holder.

“LOL! My boyfriend Jax is bringing me a breakfast sandwich.

I know she won’t bail on work because she’s tough and doesn’t shirk responsibilities like some of our other past employees. (Or maybe she’s just been luckier than they have!) She’s a young girl, in college, good grades, smart girl, but what di I do when I was 20? Cut loose and partied hard. I didn’t go to college. I went to L.A. and rocked the fuck out for a few years.

I’ve got a few things that need to happen today, but none are pressing at the moment. I light a post breakfast celebratory cig and walk north on 19th. I get to JFK Blvd., and head east to 18th street, where I know there’s an entrance to Suburban Station and I can get down there on the weekends through this portal.

I need to hit the dollar store in Suburban. The Dollar Store is a glorious fixture of this fine city. I’ll tell you why. First of all, everything is a fucking dollar! Living in this city’s really expensive. If I need a bunch of cleaning supplies for the house, and I mean everything right down to sponges, and I go to one of the major chains? Easily the bill will exceed $40 to $50 to stock your house with the stuff you need.

You go to the dollar store.

$14 bucks. Maybe $11.

I shit you not, my friends.

I used to date a Wall Street lawyer back when I lived and worked in NYC. She ALWAYS shopped at the Dollar Store. She made great money but knew better than to get fleeced by the main stream brands. We would go to the dollar store and load up! She was smart. She worked hard for her money and she intended to keep it. I learned from her.

I go in there and I’ve only come for one thing. Two bottles of laundry detergent for the salon. I know we’re nearly out and there are towels to be washed! (I forgot to pick up chocolates for Cherie) I need to travel light. I could have gotten a shit ton of stuff there today, but I don’t feel like lugging a bunch of things around on my day off.

Must conserve my energy and strength for tonight’s events.

I get to the salon and Summer is there and she looks banged up.

“You look like shit. Is that in style now?”

“Fuck you. Hey, this is my boyfriend, Jax.”

Jax is a tall, nice looking boy who stands up and shakes my hand to greet me. I like that. He has manners. He has dark curly hair and caramel skin. Summer has already told me that he’s of mixed heritage. Maybe someday if we can end racism in this country we’ll all look this good.

“How’d you get so banged up last night? Where did you guys go?”

“A few places, Xfinity Live, and then Tavern on Broad.”

“What were you drinking at the end, Summer?”

“Tequila.”

“Mmm tough one.”

“I puked when I came in here this morning.”

“But you made it in and we’re open. How come you don’t look like this bedsheet with two cigarette holes burned in it, Jax?”

“Hey!”

“Kidding Summer.  She’s so sensitive!”

“I know, man. I’m good. I guess I can hang.”

I like this kid. Doesn’t lose his shit when his girlfriend gets blackout drunk on tequila and makes sure she gets home safe. Even brings her breakfast and spends the entire day with her at the salon.

I do like this guy. He even goes across the street to Chipotle and gets them both lunch. I assure her that it’s okay for her to sit down and eat. It’s off-season and the place is dead. I’ll handle the counter. No one comes in for the half hour they dine. In a bit she’s back at the counter and I’m chilling in the waiting area chatting with Jax.

“Summer. Look up the last time I tanned.”

She does and it’s been a week. I’ve been doing so good, but I’ve slipped off the bronze god wagon. I should tan but I don’t want to be red for tonight. But the more I think about it, Cherie won’t notice my new haircut, or if my face is red or if anything has changed. Because Cherie sees the inner me. For some reason she’s attracted to me. Well… I get some of that. I do have special powers that match with hers. Despite everything going on in both of our lives, it’s a match. I love her and it’s just wonderful to be next to her. To make her laugh, spend time with her, and be intimate.

I’m a big fan of “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.” I don’t even want to tinker with this glorious train that sails down the line with elegance and stability, despite the challenges ahead on the tracks.

I decide to tan, but I’ll do it a bit later. Cherie texts me that she won’t be coming to the city until 6pm. Which in reality means, 7pm because of delays, construction, traffic, parking, and whatever else could arise on her journey to see me.

Cherie is a saint.

I head into the tanning booth for the full 9 minutes. I plug my phone into the unit and listen to my music (Greta Van Fleet – Highway Tune) while I tan. I hop out after 8 minutes and get dressed.

It’s time for me to go. I’ve got things to do and Cherie will be down here in a few hours. I bid Summer and Jax farewell, and head out into the humid afternoon sun.

 

Is it time to say so long to swiping?

While dating apps are as popular as ever, they might not be the best way to meet a potential romantic partner. That’s the takeaway from a recent survey, which found that only 8% of people polled said that they hooked up with their significant other via online dating or a dating app.

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What was the most common way for couples to meet? Through mutual friends, according to the survey, which was conducted by market research company ReportLinker. An impressive 39% of respondents replied that they met their spouse this way—just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Meeting at work came in second place, with 15% of respondents answering that they met their significant other at the office. Next on the list was in a bar or public area (12%), through a sport/religion/hobby events (9%), family (7%), and school (6%). Just 1% of poll takers said that they met their beloved at a speed-dating event.

The poll results cast doubt on the prospect of finding lasting love online, and instead relying on friends (or your local pub) to help you find The One. When asked what they thought was the main drawback of online dating, 30% of single respondents said that potential love interests on sites and apps were “not serious” and 21% said “more lies.”

RELATED:

Still, singles continue to search for a significant other digitally. Respondents who said that they were currently dating online had a profile up on an average of 2.4 websites.

The results were based on replies from 501 singles and 551 coupled-up people in the U.S. Speaking of couples, the survey also found that 6% of the people who described themselves as having a spouse were still registered on a dating website or app.