I posted the above on my socials a few days ago but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about it to all allow me to process things better and also maybe to start a conversation about consent in general.
Let me give you a little bit of history on my relationship to this person, let’s call him Rugg – I knew Rugg online beforehand through Instagram, we used to chat regularly and often commented on each others posts and things, and then in January 2019 I travelled from Cambridge to London to attend Beefmince at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, this was the day that I first got to meet him and we instantly hit it off and spend a lot of the night making out and talking – a few weeks after this I took a trip to London to stay with him for the weekend and this is when we were able to get to know each other, sharing stories about our lives and realising that we had similar experiences with abusives exes, I guess in a weird way this shared trauma bonded us somewhat and in hindsight I think it created a expedited level of trust in him, something that I was going to discover was a really bad idea.
I visited Rugg quite a few more times and we became closer with each visit and our relationship became more intimate and with that intimacy and my oblivious trust in him, he suggested that we film ourselves doing stuff, which I really find quite exciting (with those I trust, that important!) and we ended up filming something together, with both of us having a copy of the video we made, nothing weird about that, it was a moment made together for us to be able re-watch occasionally.
Then a little thing called COVID showed up – and it was through this scope I started to see another side of him, obviously I can’t prove it for certain but it was highly likely and obvious, based on his posts online, that during the lockdowns, he was still hooking up with people – this really started to diminish my feelings towards him, I was massively disappointed in his behaviour.
Then one morning as I was scrolling through my alt-twitter feed, I saw that Rugg had posted a video – immediately I recognised the video to be the one that he and I had filmed together! My heart raced and my stomach dropped, I felt violated and shocked, I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing, something recorded intimately and privately, now being shared publicly, and most importantly, without my consent – this makes it illegal under the “Revenge Porn” law, however at the time that this happened, I didn’t want to go down this route, I was panicked, embarrassed and just wanted it to be removed.
I ended up having to report the post to Twitter and Rugg’s account was temporarily suspended until the post was removed – they blocked me on all social media after this so never reached out to apologise or acknowledge what they’d done.
This weekend, starting today in fact, is an event in Manchester called BearBash which myself and my partner are attending – it been 3 years since this event has been on as the 2020 and 2021 ones were cancelled due to the pandemic and I know that quite a few friends and people I know from the internet are going to be in attendance so I’m really looking forward to heading there later today, however…I have been made aware that Rugg is also going to be in Manchester and attending the event and it’s stirred a lot of weirdness inside me, I might not even see him there but the possibility is quite high so I’m not sure how I’ll feel or react if I do see him, I’ll quite likely not do anything, I feel that talking about it publicly and also with my partner has helped me think about things in a more rational way and release that mental pressure somewhat.
Consent is important – if someone doesn’t consent to something, then it’s quite simple, don’t do it and if you’re ever in doubt if consent has been given or not, then don’t do it, never assume consent – I never gave Rugg my consent and had they asked me directly I would have said no, they chose to violate my privacy and shared intimate videos of me without my consent, and that is never acceptable (and fucking illegal!)