Stories of friends performing sex on sleeping men are often fantasy-material, or porn scenarios. But when it happens in real life – as it did for this guy on Reddit – should it be considered sexual assault?

“I have a really good friend who I’ve known since 1st grade,” he writes. “We’re both high school seniors this year and I came to terms with being gay at the end of junior year but am only out to a few friends.”

A couple of months ago, the families were on a trip, and the guy shared a bed with his friend, “Bob”. And that’s when it happened:

“It’s about 11pm and we’re going to bed. I’ve pretty much fallen asleep but around midnight I wake up cause I feel my hand touching something. I don’t move or anything, I just lay there as I realize my hand is in Bob’s pants. I’m shocked and instantly just tell myself I’m dreaming but I continue to just lay there. Bob is holding my hand and using it to stroke his cock and he does this for a few minutes.

“Since this happened a few months ago, I don’t remember all the fine details, but I know he struggled to get my swim trunks I went to bed in off. He touched me, got on top of me at one point. He then promptly went far under the covers and I felt his mouth on my dick.

“At this point I was shocked. I started to get really nervous and shake. It got really bad and as he tried to spoon me or whatever as he thought I was still asleep, I just started shaking more and more.

“I guess this worried him so he got out of bed and went into the bathroom. I assume he went there to finish. Anyway, I take this opportunity to grab my phone and look at the time. I do all the normal dream checking tests and even text a friend so I could check for it in the morning. I then went to bed and Bob came back in shortly after.

“In the morning, the text was there. It had actually happened and I had no clue how to talk to Bob about what happened. So I didn’t.

“I held out the rest of the trip, but, on the last day I did something really dumb. I talked to two of his sisters about it. Dumb idea. When they got home, they asked him about it and obviously he denied it cause who wouldn’t.

“Our friendship has been super awkward this fall. I’ve since tried to talk to him about it but he won’t reply or respond or anything. I’ve pretty much given up. However, recently, things started to be more normal. We’re acting more like we would before the incident, which is good.

“At this point, all I want is our friendship to be normal. Yeah, I’d love for him to say that night wasn’t some fringe move on his behalf but he actually is gay, but I doubt it’ll happen.

“Bob did not know I was gay at the time he did this. I side with this not being sexual assault purely because I never told him to stop. This was definitely a fantasy in real life which is part of the reason I had trouble believing it actually happened at first.”

Some redditors were pretty clear on the implications of this:

One said: “I’m going to go against the advice saying to ditch your friend. Yes, what you experienced was sexual assault. Yes, you are right to feel violated, scared, and nervous around him. Yes, you are right when you say that it is unlikely that he will suddenly decide that he is gay and you two are an item.”

Another pointed out: “Bob did something wrong, very wrong. You know it, he knows it. And you have the choice of treating this guy like a pariah and a criminal, or treating him like a friend and a brother.”

Yet another redditor said: “Forgiveness is a very powerful tool. If you can forgive him for the mistake he made, and, in return help him realize that what he did was a real problem and should not be repeated, either with you or with anybody else, then you will possibly help guide him towards being a better person, rather than shunning him and making him suffer the guilt and remorse for his behavior silently and alone.”

“There are already, as you know, far too many people out there in this world who want to label gay people sick, and perverted, and shameful, and worthy of being marginalized. Don’t treat your friend in the same way.”

“You need to sit down with him and let him know that, yes, you remember what happened, and what he did hurt you. And let him know that it was a mistake, and should not be repeated, anytime, anywhere, with anyone. But, as a friend, you value that bond of friendship between you more than you value being right, or indignant, or superior.”

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