My Sexual Dealbreaker: I Dumped A Guy Because He Was In A Gang-Bang With An 18-Year-Old Girl

She was legally an adult. It was clearly consensual. Yet I absolutely could not get over it.

Feb 7, 2013 at 1:00pm | Leave a comment

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At 34, I really started dating for the first time.

Years before, I’d dutifully married my college sweetheart, who I was no longer in love with and slowly died of boredom until he dumped me to marry a co-worker. I was devastated. The first words out of my mouth when he told it was over were, “What’s going to happen to me?”

After the divorce, I found myself 32 years old and terrifyingly single. A serial monogamist until marriage, I'd never "dated." I anxiously descended into the world of online dating and, to my surprise, had a fun, self-esteem boosting experience. I went out with a lot of hot, smart men. No one recoiled in horror upon meeting meeting me. Everyone wanted a second date.

After months of online dating, I settled on a nice, casual romantic partner. He was just my speed. He didn’t push for a relationship and came with some kinks which were frankly an exciting change of pace after my wedded blahs.

I knew it wasn't going anywhere, but it was fun. I was totally accepting of my special friend’s kinky side. I knew what he was into. None of it freaked me out and I enjoyed indulging most of his preferences.

I’m generally open-minded and made happy by the happiness of my partner. None of what I heard, including the fact that he’d had group sex with a bunch of men and a single woman, bothered me in the slightest. We weren’t monogamous and as long as everyone was safe, consensual and happy, his life outside of my bedroom was of little more than passing curiosity to me. 

I knew that, like many people in the kink/fetish world, he was a member of a social networking site specifically geared toward his community and his sexual interests. The site allowed you to create profiles and search for other like-minded kinksters for dating and even just socializing.

One afternoon, after a rendezvous, I opened up my computer and found that he’d logged onto this particular site and forgotten to log out. I couldn’t resist. What was this other world like? I read his private messages and the comments on his personal page, looking up the other people in his life.

It was a fascinating invasion of his privacy, but nothing really struck me as anything other than what I’d expected and nothing bothered me, until I came across one much older message. 

It was a thank-you note from the girl in the group sex scenario he’d mentioned when we started dating. She was glowing with praise for the experience. She wanted to do it again.

Again, none of this was a big deal.

But when I clicked on her profile, she was not the sexual Amazon I had visualized: someone my age, a powerful, mature creature exploring her sexuality. I had imagined a woman experienced and in complete control of her sexual destiny (whatever that means). The person I found was a 19-year-old, who had been only 18 at the time of the encounter.

And, as I read through more messages, I saw that she didn’t call it group sex. She called it a gangbang. The gangbang had been organized by the “girl” and her boyfriend, who looked to be about the age of my father and who she called “Daddy” throughout her profile. 

She was legally an adult. It was clearly consensual. Yet I absolutely could not get over it.

I was repulsed: by my partner, by her “Daddy,” by all of these men who signed on, without a second’s thought, to be a part of a gangbang with a girl young enough to be in high school. 

What were they thinking? Did none of them remember what it was like to be 18 and barely more than a child? You see, for me, a legal/physical adult and an emotional adult are two very different things. Why would a 30-year-old man want to be in a group sex scenario with someone who was, in my mind, still a child?

I’m not sure I’m enough of an adult to consent to a gangbang at 30-something. The idea that any 18-year-old would be psychologically sound enough to surrender herself to such an intense emotional and sexual experience completely of her own accord seemed impossible to me.

I felt sad for her. What led her to this place in her desire? Was it her desire or her partner’s? None of it made sense to me. It made me question everything I believed about consent and agency. 

Within days, I quietly stopped returning his calls. 

As I sent Mr. Gangbang to voicemail, my best friend, a gay man, argued that he’d had many very positive experiences with older men, even group scenarios, when he was just a teenager. He urged me not to cut off a partner that I was otherwise satisfied with.

Far from emotionally scarring, my best friend’s experiences at seventeen and even younger, were essential turning points in his sexual development. He thought of these men not as predators, but as sexual mentors. But all of his arguments fell on deaf ears. 

When I thought about it, there were so many things my partner could have in his past that wouldn't have bothered me: prostitution, playing doctor with a relative, most of the 50 shades of grey, and any number of colorful illegal activities. But this was it for me. I couldn’t see him again.

When I broke the event down into its components, I was fine with them. Group sex: fine. A gangbang arranged by a woman and her partner: fine. Even sleeping with a newly legal adult was not, in and of itself, a complete turnoff. But something at the intersection of all these things made it into my personal sexual dealbreaker.

When I talked to other friends about their dealbreakers, trying to get a handle on my own, the only constant was consent. Men and women, straight and gay, kinky and vanilla, the one thing everyone agreed upon (other than that they couldn’t date someone who really liked “jam bands”) was that they could never sleep with someone again if they found out that person had violated another person’s sexual consent.

What surprised me were the things that weren’t immediate dealbreakers. Murder was generally filed under maybe. Manslaughter barely raised an eyebrow. Prostitution was almost completely acceptable.

But having said all that, most of my friends agreed, there was something about this particular incident that put it in the theoretical dealbreaker column for them, too. They all believed that even though young women should be encouraged to explore and own their sexuality, there was something about this combination of factors that they’d have trouble stomaching.

All of us were certainly sex-positive and we collectively constituted a sexually adventurous bunch, but with the exception of my best friend, everyone I spoke with felt uncomfortable about the idea of sleeping with someone that had such an incident in their sexual past.

I never saw him again. I heard he stopped by my house, but I wasn’t there and my roommate sent him away. I changed my number. I defriended him on Facebook and for the record, if I never see him again it will be too soon. I still feel everything I felt then, perhaps with more clarity. 

A year later, from the vantage of a blissfully vanilla-ish, monogamous relationship with my now-boyfriend, I’ve had some time to put it in perspective.

Ultimately, the fetishization of “Barely Legal” women is something I refuse to accept, regardless of the law and regardless of the consent of the “adults” in question. I remember what it was like to be 18 and willing to do just about anything for the romantic validation of an adult male, whether I wanted it for me or not. I wasn’t alone in that impulse. Being legal isn’t the same thing as being an adult.

And while it’s possible that this young lady was exceptionally mature and emotionally capable of handling this kind of scenario, I’d set the odds of that actually being the case at slim to none. 

When I found out my partner had been a part of a gangbang with a teenage girl, he became a pedophile with a little more patience than his peers, in my mind. I just couldn’t get over it then and frankly, I’m not interested in getting over it now.