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#387: The coffee made me do it.

Hi Captain Awkward,

I have a best friend who’s already like a brother to me. He’s married and they’re expecting their first child. However he’s still struggling to make his ends meet. Hence I only get to see him once in a while. Usually when we meet, we have good and sometimes profound conversation, but not this last time.

Expecting a delightful conversation, I brought him some coffee which I think is very good and I know he likes coffee. He’s excited and fixed a cup for himself (I didn’t because I had my fair share that day). At first, our conversation was good.

But things got weird after a couple of hours. He said that his heart was racing due to the coffee. After a quick probe, I found out that he poured too much coffee, hence the caffeine reaction. I never got that reaction because I usually have only 1 teaspoon of that coffee.

I asked if he wanted to go to hospital but he said no. Because I was worried, I stayed with him while he uttered same words over and over again about this coffee was so strong that it made his heart and libido race. Then he told me he could not take it anymore and asked for my “assistance”. I told him no because we’re friends and I could not do such thing for a friend. He asked me if he could touch my private part … and I said yes, although reluctantly (partly I felt guilty for giving him the coffee). No penetration nor orgasm involved. I felt nothing and the whole time, I was watching a TV show and tried to not to feel weird about this.

This was the second time after a long time ago. In previous time, only once, he was given some traditional potion – which has a viagra-like effect – by friends, I feel I could understand why. I mean, boys play prank on each other, that’s not a new news. And I  didn’t sweat too much about it that time.

This time, logically I still can try to understand.

I see myself as a  rational person. I know how sexual urge is irrational and uncontrollable, especially if spouse currently cannot accommodate this need. It gets much harder to control if you don’t have enough sleep. Logically I understand this part.

But it feels weird. I wonder again and again, why previously I didn’t have problem but this time I did.

I know I cannot get rid of this feeling right away. I don’t want to be in contact with him right now and I think he understands (by not trying to contact me as well).

My question is… Can friendship survive things like this? Will eventually everything will return to the way it was?

-Wishing for a Time Machine

Dear Wishing:

What your friend is doing is called being full of shit.

BULLSHIT. Lies. Malarkey. Excuses. Manipulation.

Sexual feelings are powerful and sometimes unexplainable.

Sexual actions are always within our control. Always. They are decisions we make about what to do with those feelings.

He could take Viagra or other stimulants that gave him a 12-hour boner, and he would still be able to control himself.

Script for you should he get back in touch:

Wow, Friend, you’ll understand if I’m still feeling super-weird after last time we hung out. For the record, caffeine doesn’t make people have to have sex, so please get that looked into or at least stop using at an excuse to try to get it on with me.”

I think you’re going to want to look for a new friend.  And maybe think about your own desires and how you’d like to act on them or not act on them. This whole “It just happened” thing has a limited shelf-life. In other words, the reason you feel gross and that you want a time machine is that your friend is manipulative and trying to trick you into sex while maintaining some sheen of deniability as to what happened instead of owning up to what he wants. Which is not your fault, but don’t repeat the experience unless you actually actively want to have sex with him.

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132 comments
  1. Dee said:

    Wow. I thought stuff like this only happened in bad fanfic. (Coffee made them do it? seriously?)

    • Pterinochilus murinus said:

      Agreed. It’s coffee, not sex pollen.

      • That In A Hat said:

        Oh good, I’m not the only one who went there.

        Maybe the coffee was from beans grown by Poison Ivy? (Also, this guy is a sleaze.)

    • I know, right? I just sat here and went “….whut?” You can kill yourself with caffeine, a la Balzac, but “the coffee made me do it!” notion is just…. *headdesk*

      LW, firstly, I am so sorry this happened to you. And secondly, that dude is NOT your friend. He’s a manipulative asshole who sees you as a sex object rather than a person. I’m sorry.

      • I totally disagree. This excuse is AWESOME. I drink so much coffee that now I can obviously do whatever I want. I can’t help myself! Coffee! Boner! RESISTANCE WAS FUTILE

        • H.Regalis said:

          Coffee+boner+excessive pooping = icky icky troika

          And now I can’t stop thinking of Rule 34 :(

        • unagi said:

          I’d go with chocolate myself, but to each their own :-).
          This guy is a real sleazeball though, very sorry you ended up there LW..

    • H.Regalis said:

      See, I was picturing some goofy coffee-fetish porn. “This Yirgacheffe is so amazing that I have lost control of my bodily functions! Sexy-times commence!” ::cue stereotypical porn music::

  2. Sheelzebub said:

    I think we know the same guy. Trust me on this, you do not want a friendship like this. He’s not a friend. A friend would never do this. He’s being a manipulative shit.

    Also? Sexual urges do not make one a slavering hosebeast, unable to control one’s behavior. If that was the case for men, they would not be allowed out of their homes unless chaperoned and leashed. (Which is likely a kink but not something based on reality.) Even if his wife cannot have sex with him, even if he hasn’t had sex in 25 years, he will not die from lack of it and he’s being a boundary-pushing, creeptastic shit for trying to manipulate you into this. He can wack off on his own without involving you or anyone else. FFS.

    • manybellsdown said:

      And um … she could still give him a handy, right? The wife, I mean. Just because she’s not up for PIV doesn’t mean they can’t get it on.

    • Briznecko said:

      But! But! It’ll turn him into a man with a soul that is sinking into the yawning maw of the abyss!

      How dare we not consider the bonerz!

      (Seriously, LW, dump this friend. He seems more concerned with his boner than your friendship.)

  3. Mori said:

    ‘He asked me if he could touch my private part … and I said yes, although reluctantly (partly I felt guilty for giving him the coffee). No penetration nor orgasm involved. I felt nothing and the whole time, I was watching a TV show and tried to not to feel weird about this.’

    Oh my god. :S I don’t think we can call that enthusiastic, or even good consent. it’s definitely coerced consent from where I’m standing. I had a similar thing happen with a friend, long ago. I remember doing exactly the same thing, only it was reading a book, but it was stopping me from thinking about what was going on. Just like you, LW, I felt like I had to allow her to touch me, for some reason. I have difficultly thinking about it to this day because I’m sure I didn’t want to, and yet I keep thinking that I didn’t stop it, that maybe I led her on or something. Maybe I agreed to it. But I didn’t feel like I had a choice.

    This seems like the sort of man you shouldn’t be around any more, LW. Only a messed up kind of ‘friend’ would manipulate you into letting him touch you by making it seem like you HAVE to.

    Also, regarding the common cultural meme we have that sex impulses can’t be controlled, the Captain is spot on- they can. I was reading this on Scarleteen the other day: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/i_trust_him_and_i_want_him_but_things_are_moving_way_too_fast and it made me realise how ingrained that meme is. Scarleteen is a site for teens but I think the idea that sex impulses can’t be controlled persists at all ages. Don’t take that bullshit excuse any more, LW.

    • Think about it like this: he would stop HELLA fast if his mother walked in, wouldn’t he?

      • atma said:

        Oh yeah! And if his MOTHER had given him teh horny-coffee, I’m pretty sure this would not have happened

  4. Jake said:

    LW, I just want to make clear, in case no one ever has before: No one NEEDS to have sex with you. No one is ever going to suffer harm from not getting to have sex with you. It never damages anyone to not get to have sex with you. Even if a dude is whining and groaning and making all kinds of commotion, he’s actually going to be fine.

    I sort of get the impression that maybe no one has told you this before, so I want to make this super duper clear as well: You are allowed to say no. You are always allowed to say no. There is literally no situation in which you lose or give up your right to say no. No matter what the context, no matter who started what, no matter anything. Now, you may not feel _safe_ saying no, and I’m not blaming you for not saying it this time, but I just want to tell you, in case you had any doubt. You are allowed to say no.

    And finally, as other people have said, coffee doesn’t make people need to have sex. And a bad caffeine reaction that caused tachycardia is not going to make the person horny. Amazingly enough, being acutely ill is rarely associated with being horny. This dude was lying to you about the coffee’s effect on him because he wanted to have sex with you. 100% sure.

    • Pterinochilus murinus said:

      Yes, this. Just to expand on that: even in the non-existant hypothetical fanfic scenario where he did need to have sex with someone to save his life (yes, even if it was you specifically!) you would still have the right to say no, and it would still be fine if you availed yourself of that right. “Your body, your choice” applies to sex as well as to abortion.

      • Denzi said:

        THIS. Also, only in fanfic do “fuck or die” scenarios mean that someone actually needs another person’s body while taking care of the Raging Horniness of the Apocalypse. In the real world, maybe it feels better to have sex with another human being, but masturbation works! In the super, super, extremely unlikely, pretty much nonexistent event that his bad caffeine reaction was actually making him horny, he could have excused himself and gone to the bathroom and gotten off in whatever way he normally gets off solo. Pressuring you into letting him use you as an animate sex toy: NEVER OKAY.

      • Same as how you can’t be legally coerced into donating a kidney to someone, even if you’re the only match in the world. You don’t ever have to.

    • coraanderson said:

      LW, I just want to make clear, in case no one ever has before: No one NEEDS to have sex with you. No one is ever going to suffer harm from not getting to have sex with you. It never damages anyone to not get to have sex with you. Even if a dude is whining and groaning and making all kinds of commotion, he’s actually going to be fine.

      Yes yes yes. This.

    • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help said:

      “No one NEEDS to have sex with you. No one is ever going to suffer harm from not getting to have sex with you. It never damages anyone to not get to have sex with you. Even if a dude is whining and groaning and making all kinds of commotion, he’s actually going to be fine.”

      So much this.LW – sex is a desire. It is a want. Sure, it may feel overwhelming but it is not a need; it isn’t something people can’t live without. Breathing is a need. Eating and drinking are needs. Our bodies won’t survive without them. But people can and do go entire lifetimes – long lifetimes, at that – without sex. Whether they like it or not is beside the point: they don’t HAVE to have sex. This bloke is not being a friend to you at all, he’s betraying you AND his pregnant wife.

  5. LW, I have to agree with the Captain here. He’s been manipulative and horrible – he’s got a pregnant wife for crying out loud! How is she feeling about all of this? He shouldn’t be asking to touch you at all, and if he really is that turned on then he should go and have some alone time before coming back and apologising for being out of control.

    Whether or not his wife is giving him enough sex is not your problem and you shouldn’t have to deal with anything sexual from him. At all. If you feel weird, stick with your gut feeling and stop seeing him. If you still want his company, hang out in a public place and offer to buy him a cup of coffee with the reason that it gets him out of the house, which is a good thing. You can still be friends if that’s what you want, but you need clear boundaries that YOU are comfortable with.

  6. Jake said:

    Oh, another thing:
    But it feels weird. I wonder again and again, why previously I didn’t have problem but this time I did.

    You are allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to grow, and mature, and become a different person as you age. I did a bunch of stuff when I was younger that I was totally comfortable with at the time, that I would not be comfortable with today. It doesn’t mean that younger me was stupid, or a victim, or that older me is a prude. You’ve changed, he’s changed, and your relationship with him has changed.

    To be clear, the last time, with the viagra-like stuff, he was still manipulating you. He didn’t _need_ to have sex with you (see my previous comment above). But if you wanted to have sex with him and you did, that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean you have to feel the same way now. Now you’re older, maybe wiser, you can see the manipulation for what it is. Or you’re just not into having sex with him anymore. Or the fact that he’s married means you don’t feel good about it. Or whatever. You don’t need a good reason to feel differently this time than you did last time. You’re allowed to have the feelings you have.

    • Jinian said:

      Completely agreed.

      It’s possible the fact that it had happened before is what made LW suspicious this time. I was reminded of Dan Savage’s good old “how’d that happen?!” column. One uncontrollable aphrodisiac experience per lifetime, maybe. (Though, really, jerking off solo is ALWAYS an option.) Two? With the same person conveniently around to be prevailed upon?

  7. Joan of Anon said:

    LW, I would strongly encourage you to never see this man again. He sounds dangerous. You can of course define what happened however you wish to, but if it had happened to me, I would consider myself to have been assaulted by him. I’m really sorry.

    Coffee can’t make you physically incapable of not pressuring, coercing and manipulating someone into sex. That was him. He did that. He decided to use pressure, and weird excuses about coffee, and begging and negotiating to get sexual contact with you which you really obviously didn’t want. Do you want a friendship with someone who could do that to another person?

    • Joan of Anon said:

      Sorry, want to clarify, coffee can’t do that and neither can any other substance or circumstance, ever.

  8. Hazel said:

    Even if we take him at his word that coffee, um, affects him strangely, If you weren’t there, he wouldn’t have run madly around to find a stranger to get it on with, he would have taken care of it himself. So he took massive advantage of you. This guy is not a friend and if I were you, I would stop considering him as such. It’s not as thought he’s your soul-mate, the one and only person who will be your friend; there are many wonderful people in the world who would love to be your friend. Go find them!

    Next time you’re with a man remember you can always leave, tell him to leave, say no, tell him to stop at any moment. You are not responsible for his sexual release, even if you serve him coffee! Even if you change your mind at the last minute! Any man who is worth your time wants your enthusiastic consent and cares about your feelings/enjoyment also.

    As to why you feel guilty this time but not last time–sexual experiences affect us differently at different times in our lives; it’s confusing, because it’s so easy to do something you didn’t feel bad about before only to discover, hmmm, I feel different now. But an obvious question is, was he married last time?

    Best of luck. Stay away from this guy. Find new friends!

  9. cassandrakitty said:

    Since when is coffee an aphrodisiac*? Your friend is a lying liar what lies (and manipulates).

    In terms of trying to work your way through this situation by using logic, let’s use Occam’s Razor. Which is more likely, that this special kind of really strong coffee made him (but not you, even though you drank it too) uncontrollably horny, which has never happened before in known history, or that he was making up any excuse that he could find to try to get you to have sex with him?

    It’s OK to be angry with him, and it’s OK to call him out on his manipulative behavior. It’s also OK to tell him that you are not going to be visiting him again until he assures you that he understands that being a lying liar who tries to manipulate your friends into sex is wrong, and promises you that he won’t do it any more.

    *If there actually exists a type of coffee that’s an aphrodisiac then I would love to know what it is and where it can be found, because if that was an actual thing that existed it would be a potential goldmine.

    • zuzu said:

      As far as I know, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it’s not bloody (NPI) likely to cause erections.

  10. Sparrow said:

    Dude. Even if–IF–something very bizarre happened biologically and the coffee made his libido go out of control and he had an excruciatingly painful hard-on, the dude has hands. He can take care of that himself. Any normal, non-manipulative friend would be TERRIBLY embarassed to be acutely horny in front of a platonic friend, and would excuse themselves to the bathroom to go handle it on his own. The same applies to when his friends gave him the viagra-type potion–you *should* have sweat it, because he could have handled that himself, too. And touching himself should “relieve” his uncontrollable urges” much faster than touching you would. Or he could have just *not* handled it, and had an uncomfortable erection for a few hours–it ain’t gonna hurt him. But, seriously: he knows how to masturbate.

    He also could have accepted your offer to go to the hospital, if the caffeine really DID have body/mind manipulative powers (Wouldn’t you want to seek professional help if you felt you were under the influence of a chemical having unknown effects?).

    The reason you feel skeeved out is a sexual experience was imposed on you–your body was used for his pleasure–even though you expressed that you did not want to. His libido was more important than your “no”–even if he didn’t *physically* force you, and you eventually “allowed” it, you did so out of perceived guilt, which was based in the falsehood that you somehow caused his libido or that it was genuinely unmanagable. None of these are true. You were pressured into a thing you did not want involving your body.

    • stentord said:

      This. A decent person faced with unbearable horniness would excuse himself and take care of things privately.

      (Also, as a side note: while I can’t speak for what was in the “potion” his friends gave him, my personal experience is that actual viagra has no effect on libido (i.e. desire for sex) — it just makes it easier to get and maintain an erection.)

      • TheOtherAlice said:

        Biochemically, this is true about viagra. All it does it make it easier to get/maintain an erection because it opens up the blood vessels in the penis. It doesn’t make you horny in and of itself. Also – funfact! – it was originally developed partly to open up the blood vessels of the heart in teeny tiny premature babies.

        • Stuffandnonsense said:

          AFAIK, there isn’t actually ANY substance, pharmaceutical or non, that drives someone into a sexual frenzy. Every “traditional” aphrodisiac has no function in that way, except, perhaps, via placebo effect.

          Re: Viagra: Yes! Though they decided the big money was in blood pressure/heart disease. And the rumor from reps at that company is that when they ended the initial clinical trial, the late-middle-aged/elderly male patients all refused to give the remaining pills back, and that’s how they found out about the erection effects.

      • piny1 said:

        My money is on that entire story being a fabrication. I don’t think there was a potion.

    • Stabbity said:

      Any normal, non-manipulative friend would be TERRIBLY embarassed to be acutely horny in front of a platonic friend, and would excuse themselves to the bathroom to go handle it on his own.

      What Sparrow said! Any, no really, ANY decent human being who was suddenly overcome by intense sexual desire would find a private place to take care of it themselves, not try to manipulate you into a sex act you didn’t seem remotely interested in.

      • Yeah, there are many ways he could have taken care of things without making it both sexual and awkward.

        He could have said “That coffee is stronger than I’m used to and I don’t feel well. Do you mind cutting the visit short so I can go and lie down for a bit?”

  11. Myrin said:

    Ack, this and the previous letter make me fall into an arsehole, arsehole, arsehole-chant.
    LW, I am so, so sorry this happened to you. I can’t seem to even comprehend this, because it’s so…I’m at a loss for words, honestly.
    Let me just tell you this: I am a person who reacts very strongly to caffeine. I drink maybe three cups a year so I hadn’t really noticed before but last time my heart started bumping like crazy and my fingers and later even my hands shivered uncontrollably. It certainly did not increase my sex drive in any way – if anything, I was really afraid because my heart wouldn’t stop beating like mad and that scared me; definitely not a situation where your first thought is to get your hands on someone.
    The coffee thing, as the Captain and others said, is absolute bullshit and my heart goes out to you and argh, aggression!
    I also strongly recommend Cliff’s Myth of the Boner Werewolf which may be a good addition to what other commenters said already.

    • hlwest said:

      I love that link.

    • Seriously if I was experiencing tachycardia the last thing I’d want to do is vigorous exercise like sex. You know, vigorous exercise that increases your heart rate.

    • Medusa in the Mirror said:

      I, too, have a strong reaction to caffiene. I get the racing heart, shortness of breath, muscle cramps that last for hours, panicky feelings…. But I also get about 15 minutes of euphoria, including horniness. So 15 minutes of stimulant “fun” followed by 10 hours of hell. But feeling a little horny doesn’t make me go coerce people into sex. Like everyone else here, I think LW’s “friend” is a manipulative creep.

  12. Zooey said:

    Oh, LW, I’m so sorry this happened to you. You talk lots in your letter about being ‘logical’ and ‘rational’, but your logical rational brain is letting you know that this person manipulated you and betrayed your trust. As lots of other commenters have said, neither coffee nor any other substance or circumstance make it imperative to have sex, and even if it did, you would still have no obligation to fulfil that need.

    This guy ignored all the signals you were sending out that said ‘I do not want this’. It’s no wonder that you feel weird and uncomfortable. Take all the time you need away from him, even if ‘the time you need’ = forever. And allow yourself to feel that those feelings are legitimate: there’s nothing illogical about feeling uncomfortable. If you need to, talk to someone else you can trust about this.

    Stay safe and be well, LW. You owe this guy nothing.

  13. Julie said:

    Reading all these comments, the phrase that kept hanging around my head was “good and even profound conversations.”

    I have, at a different point in my life, lived in the belief that “good and even profound conversations” meant “he’s a good guy and anything creepy must be illness / misunderstanding.” It turns out this was not true. This was really and truly not true.

    Some of the creepiest people are excellent conversationalists, because it’s part of how they get inside our defenses. When I lived in that belief, I felt conflicted and anxious and confused because but! but! but!

    Once I got further away from him, once I stopped having any contact with him, the confusion cleared up and I could see things for what they were. He was an excellent conversationalist, he was smart and well-read and interesting. And he was also a creeper and a cheat and a manipulator and mean. The former wasn’t worth the latter. There are plenty of nice people who are excellent conversationalists.

    • bluecandles said:

      I knew a guy exactly like that. He was incredibly interesting and witty and talented in lots of ways, but he was also a world-class manipulator. There were many ‘but!but!but’ moments but once I had been out of his circle for some time, and made new friends, I could see it was possible to have interesting friends who didn’t, at opportune moments, make you feel like s**t so they could feel better.

  14. commanderlogic said:

    #1 – This guy is not your friend and is being creeptastic. You are still a good person, and you get to feel how you feel about this, even if that feeling is “Well, I’ll keep seeing him because he’s my friend and we will just never sexy-touch again.” That is 100% okay! Even if my own personal inclination would be to never ever talk to him again. That’s me, you’re you. Do your thing.

    #2 – I’m so sorry, but I just laughed until I couldn’t breathe thinking about (a specific) one of my past dude-friends trying to pull this excuse and what I would say in response.

    *deadpan concern* – “Oh man, if you’re having a racing heartbeat, sex is the LAST thing ever you should do! We should take you to the ER!”

    “Uh, there’s a bathroom over there. I don’t have any porn on hand, but maybe this issue of Vogue will do? There’s a couple of nearly naked spreads in there. I’ll just watch some Mythbusters while you sort yourself out, okay?”

    “Your heart will explode if no one touches your dick? I feel like there’s a Jason Statham movie about this.”

  15. Kai said:

    I’m sorry if this makes me an asshole, but I actually laughed reading this. LW, my apologies, but using caffeine as an excuse (aphrodisiac!?) is embarrassing. He is taking advantage of you being a decent and understanding friend to get you to touch his penis– which is all sorts of not cool.

    • Anon21 said:

      to get you to touch his penis

      The actual story makes even less sense–he was apparently so horny, he had to touch her? This dude is not a very good liar.

      • Thneedle-dee-dee said:

        Her? I assumed the LW was also a man.

  16. solecism said:

    There are lots of awesome, deep, paradigm-shifting conversations out there awaiting you–with other people. Who won’t sexually assault you. Having been through this profoundly unsettling experience that has left you doubting yourself(!), do you envision that you will ever feel relaxed, comfortable, safe! enough with this person in the future to again attain those exhilarating heights that offer fantastic views together by sharing a verbal odyssey? The cost is too high, and there are many other traveling companions to choose from, even if it takes time to find them. Seek the company of people who offer you love and respect and kindness all of the time, not only when they want something from you or except when they want something from you. This guy is one of the latter.

  17. LW, there is so much good advice here from the Captain and many commenters. The Captain is right on when she says that sexual feelings can be unexplainable, but sexual actions are *not* uncontrollable, they are always in our control. Not only that, but I wanted to just underline the point that nothing bad will happen to anyone from not having sex. When your friend tried to tell you otherwise, he was lying. This post was eye-opening for me; it’s from The Dirty Normal, the blog of an awesome health educator and science geek: http://www.thedirtynormal.com/2010/06/11/motivation-why-it-matters/

    She says that biologically, sex is not a drive. Hunger is a drive; thirst is a drive. If you’re hungry, and you don’t eat, eventually this will cause problems and you’ll die. Sex isn’t like that. As The Dirty Normal says: “Sex is not a drive. Therefore you can relax because nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t have sex.”

  18. Whatevs said:

    Do you think it was LW or Captain Awkward who changed “marijuana” into “coffee”?

    • JenniferP said:

      Ha, it wasn’t me. Protip: Pot doesn’t make you NEED SEX OR YOU’LL DIE either.

    • ona555 said:

      Oh good catch! The teaspoon thing messed me up and made me go, hey, maybe coffee is not coffee but then I couldn’t figure what else it could be.

      • You don’t measure coffee with teaspoons? (Not sarcasm; it’s what I do – then again I’m not a big coffee drinker and it’s usually instant so yeah.)

        • My mother’s addicted to caffeine and drinks instant, has my whole life, so I didn’t even blink.

          • duck-billed placelot said:

            Ohhhh, this makes so much more sense now. I was really hung up on the ‘he uttered the same words over and over’ detail, which makes for an amazingly creepy mini-movie in my head and made me wonder why LW didn’t either run screaming into the night or call an ambulance. But yeah, if he was strung out on something (pot? with a teaspoon? still a touch confusing but whatever. back in my day, we measured our pot with our HANDS and lit our spliffs with a flint-rock.), then I can totally rewrite that little scene in my head and understand.

          • I never did drugs myself but I do recall an incident where a friend tried to get me to (and I told him to fuck off and nearly ended the friendship when he wouldn’t take no for an answer, go 16 year old me) and from memory they were doing some thing with cutlery and a stove element? but I didn’t think there was a whole teaspoon worth. Of course this was over a decade ago, so.

    • Esti said:

      This suddenly makes so much more sense.

      • ladidah said:

        It totally does! Not that it makes any bit of it legitimate, but if we look at both ‘coffee’ and the ‘potion’ as drugs, it seems less bizarre, but just as asshole-ish.

        • Esti said:

          Right. “So much more sense” in that I now understand why the guy thought his excuse for his creepy, sexually-coercive behavior might be vaguely plausible, but not in that it makes what he did any better.

    • coraanderson said:

      Ha ha ha.

      I am naive enough that it didn’t even occur to me! But I concur: even if “coffee” is a swap for some other drug, it still a) is unlikely to have had the effect he said it did, and b) doesn’t mean you are required to do anything about it. Nobody had ever died from being too horny. And manipulating you is still asshole behavior.

      • Tabitha said:

        Yeah, I hope that if that is what happened the LW isn’t reading all the replies that say ‘coffee doesn’t do that!’ and feeling like maybe pot or some other substance anyone has ever ingested can and does make people irresistibly horny and so maybe they shouldn’t feel upset about what happened.

        You and everyone else saying nobody ever died of horniness are completely correct and even if this guy did get aroused that is NEVER an excuse to touch someone else if they are not completely 100% okay with it.

    • Heheheh. This never crossed my mind until you said something, Whatevs. Pot doesn’t make you NEED SEX OR YOU’LL DIE, like CA says, but it at least makes for a less ridiculous excuse for a horniness boost than coffee.

      (Er, don’t get me wrong. He’s still a douchecanoe.)

  19. Tosca said:

    I am a total coffee hound and I drink WAY too much (ask my family and friends!), guess that means I’m an uncontrollable sex monster- oh, wait, no. Not even close.
    @Kai, and I laughed, too. But I kind of understand. People put up some great, mind-bending defenses when they just can’t admit to themselves that a supposed good friend is a lying creep and likely has been the whole time. So they choose to believe a story like that rather than face the fact their relationship up to this point has been a giant lie.

    • Tosca said:

      In light of some other comments here, I realize I may have come across as an asshole, LW. For that, I truly apologize.

  20. When I have too much caffeine or other stimulants, I get twitchy and uncomfortable. I can’t sit still, I talk really quickly, my heart races, I sweat. I don’t get a ladyboner.

    At my college, there would sometimes be hardcore caffeine parties, where no-doz would be dissolved into the punch and people would generally get exceedingly caffeinated. These parties were not known for turning into orgies.

    LW, have you ever had too much of a substance and then felt like you had to have sex or you would die? People are different but not that different, you know?

    This dude, he is no good.

  21. Helix said:

    Caffeine definitely makes me really, really horny. But like. That’s a feeling. That does not turn me into some sort of boner crazy Jason Statham who will die if he doesn’t get sex.

    • Jake said:

      Wait, really? That’s a thing? I’ve never heard of it. That’s… actually kind of cool. I mean, probably not great for you if you have to avoid caffeine most of the time, but still neat.

      • Helix said:

        I mean, it is for me. I have no idea why but I almost always get horny if I have more than a shot of espresso (I guess increased blood flow or something? who knows…). It’s not that huge a problem. I just make sure I have a time and place to take care of that particular issue if it arises (ahem) when I choose to drink a decent amount of coffee.

        • It makes a certain amount of sense to me. Incresed sensitivity makes stimulation easier, while the twitchiness/restlessness makes you feel like you’ve got energi to burn. That’s a cocktail that easily spells “horny” to me.
          Still doesn’t negate that LW’s friend is a huge ass. The letter set off oh-so-very-many rape alarm bells in my head, and I’m glad to see the comments agree. Get away from him, LW. People who can’t draw the line between emotions and actions (and that’s if we’re generous regarding his intentions) are very unsafe.

        • Xenophile said:

          That makes sense. I get super horny when I’m anxious, so I can totally understand someone feeling horny when they get coffee jitters. However, I don’t molest people when I’m anxious.

        • manybellsdown said:

          Wine will do it for me. Other alcohol sometimes, but wine is guaranteed to give me panstyfeelings very fast.

  22. ona555 said:

    Dear LW,

    Your so called friend is not a friend. Your so called friend is a lying, manipulative cheater who is using his zomg so uncontrollable pantswants as an excuse to disregard your boundaries and probably to also decieve his pregnant spouse. I’ve been cheated on when I was pregnant. It is so, so shitty. You have profound conversations? Really really charismatic and smart people can be creepy assholes, too, and you LW have had the misfortune of finding one of those.

    There is nothing about “coffee” (if you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about) which turns guys into insatiable boner machines. Someone’s heart racing when having coffee is a reaction to coffee that no amount of coercing other people into touching their genitals will cure. Period. Your so called friend is a person who will use other people’s vulnerable states against them in order to coerce them into doing things they do not want to do and know are wrong, and uses his own altered state as an excuse to cross boundaries and trick people. Is that a friend you want on Team You, really?

    I vote not. I also vote run for the hills and never look back and avoid all people you encounter who are like him in the future. YMMV.

  23. drst said:

    LW, walk away. Never see this person again. All your comments about being rational sound to me like you know damn well this person is unsafe for you to be around and you’re worried that you’re not being “rational” about it and that people will think poorly of you if you cut this person off. And yes, some people may get into histrionics, in particular this asshole who did this to you.

    But you don’t have to have an airtight court case to want to stop being around another person. A vague gut feeling is plenty. Trust your gut here. Walk away. Never see him again. You will find other people to have awesome conversations with who don’t violate your autonomy with bullshit excuses.

    • piny1 said:

      Yeah. This is a ridiculous lie, and it would be a funny story if it weren’t for all the references to feeling deeply uncomfortable, so much so that you acted like you weren’t even involved. That’s a terrible sign. He’s not treating you with any respect or kindness, even aside from this java boner crap. He’s being very callous towards you. He’s using you.

    • coraanderson said:

      and you’re worried that you’re not being “rational” about it

      This really struck a chord with me. I’ve definitely had geek friends (of both genders) who used ‘rational’ as a shaming mechanism. If you aren’t okay with doing X, it’s because you’re responding to irrational impulses (and it totally isn’t the fact that I want you to do X that is making me say this)! If you want Y, that’s because society has convinced you to want Y–you must shrug off those restrictions and want Z instead (which coincidentally is exactly what I want you to want)! Etc.

      I have come to realize two things. One, half the time the thing I am being pushed to see as the “rational” choice is no more or less rational than the thing I want to choose–because most of the time, preferences aren’t about rationality, they’re about taste. But also, two, even if the thing someone really wants me to do IS the most rational thing… I still have the right to choose the less-rational thing without being shamed by my friends.

      And on top of that… when you feel like someone is pushing you to be “rational” or to make the “smart choice,” stop for a minute and think about whether what they’re espousing as the rational/smart/”right” choice is to their advantage. Because chances are excellent that, if it is, they are the ones arguing from a position of self-interest rather than logic.

      • I think rational is bullshit – or at least, the idea that rational is inherently better than emotional. For starters, the people who claim they’re sooooooooo rational are usually pretty emotional if you go against them in any way. Added to that, people are not rational beings. We have emotions. We have them for a reason. Someone who is all rational, all the time, is not going to have a clue how their actions affect other people, and that’s bad. Some rationality is good, but you need to be able to pair it with emotion and instinct. Trust your emotions. They don’t tell you their reasoning but a lot of the time they know far more about what’s going on than your conscious brain does (unless of course you have an anxiety disorder or similar – I have depression and social phobia so I do have to consider constantly whether my emotions are related to that or not).

        • This. Thisthisthis. Emotions are real things, and are *valuable* things. I mean, I love Sherlock Holmes and all, but he’s also an *asshole*. The whole ‘if you are in any way less than perfectly rational, ever, you are inferior’ thing really gets to me.

          • Yup. I remember reading about a study in which people with brain damage to a part of their brains that controlled emotions were asked to make decisions. Since they had no emotional reactions to the things they had to decide on, they were completely unable to make decisions. So without emotions, rationality doesn’t do you much good.

          • TO said:

            I read about the same study…

            Really neither can really be used entirely without the other. E.g. thinking about how you feel now and imagining how some choice will make you feel, comparing it to how you imagine some other choice will make you feel — that’s a process that uses a lot of rational thought to observe your feelings and compare imagined courses of action.

            Likewise as mentioned even the most ‘rational’, mathematical decision making process involves, among other things, a feeling of wanting to pick the best option, which is an emotional reaction. (if you don’t care at all, you end up unable to choose)

            Good decisions always require some degree of both reason and emotion. It’s no good trying to treat them as opposing things — you’re crippled without both.

          • TO said:

            In any case, wanting to make a decision that maximizes your happiness and minimizes painful feelings or unethical behaviour sounds perfectly rational to me.

            The most rational mathematical proof still requires goals as well as axioms and information given…

        • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help said:

          This. Totally this. I have had it up to here with the “rational is superior” line. It’s so often used manipulatively. Look at how women are given the whole schtick about not being cool and rational and intelligent like men, and how our feelings or instincts are meaningless (but the feelings and desires of the person doing the manipulating are SO important) and how, if we’re to be really rational about things, we just end up going along with whatever the manipulator wants.

          (This isn’t a purely men-to-women situation of course, this sort of victimisation plays out across all the genders, but it’s a heavy feature of our society in this form.)

          • Xenophile said:

            So true! I often find myself in situations where someone labels their preference as ‘rational’ and anyone who disagrees with them as ‘irrational.’ Petty stuff, like, “I’m near the south entrance of the park. Come meet me” is somehow more rational than “No, I’m near the north entrance. Come meet in the middle.”

            And with genuinely traumatic things, telling people to be ‘logical’ is just dismissive and often victim-blaming. You’ve been sexually assaulted by a friend? If you were logical, you’d understand that the damage is done and no good can come from reporting it and ruining your friend’s life. And it would make other people uncomfortable. Therefore, the more ‘logical’ course of action is to STFU and suffer in silence like a good little victim. Your loved one died? If you were ‘logical’ you’d understand that death just happens and STFU so other people don’t feel sad. Your significant other dumped you? If you were ‘logical’ you’d understand that you’re better off single and STFU so no one has to hear you whine.

            After a while the cult of logic just pathologizes all emotions. Among my many issues with the DSM IV, if you need more than 6 months to adjust to a major life change, you have an adjustment disorder. Hell, rumor has it the DSM V will include a ‘grief disorder’ for anyone who takes more than 6 months to grieve for a loved one. God forbid people actually feel shit. (/rant)

          • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help said:

            +1 to all you said, Xenophile.

            I read that about the DSM V a while back, on HuffPo. It sounded … yeah, creepy beyond words, and “pathologising emotion” is exactly how it came across. I wouldn’t trust any health professional who took that attitude.

            On a lighter note, when I read your comments about victim-blaming I had an image of Spock raising an eyebrow at the blamers – the supposedly logical ones – and telling them something like “Your fixation with rationality and denial of human emotion is not logical.”

          • heathenbee said:

            “Your fixation with rationality and denial of human emotion is not logical.”

            This ^

            : )

        • TO said:

          Context matters too, here.

          I mean, we’re talking about sex and friendship, not doing your taxes or choosing a new fridge. Some things are really *meant* to involve emotions, and if they don’t, there’s kind of something wrong.

      • Kaz said:

        Your entire comment, oh my god my brother when I was younger. So much nagging me into doing what he wanted me to do via LOGIC!! So many arguments in which he would not accept that likes and dislikes are not amenable to “but why?”!

        At least he was a teenager at the time, when he got older he realised this behaviour was obnoxious and cut it out, and he’s apologised for the worst of it. I’m not impressed by grown adults who act this way.

  24. Elizabeth said:

    You know, if coffee actually had this effect on people, do you think that many offices would provide an unending free supply of it? I’m just imagining the workplace that might result, and it’s giving me the giggles.

    • I work in an extremely female-dominated workplace–and my department is almost all young people–and I feel like this idea could be the basis for some very odd porn.

    • RodeoBob said:

      There’s a tie-in here to “Idiocracy” and Starbucks, but I can’t quite figure it out.

    • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help said:

      Ah, but does instant have that effect?

      (If there are offices that supply decent coffee, I can only say I’m in the wrong industry … )
      :)

  25. Leela said:

    Ok, first off, I’ve dealt with a racing heartbeat. Horniness was not a side effect, thinking I was dying was. Your “friend” is 99.999% likely lying to you, and in the 0.001% chance he wasn’t, well, dude’s got hands. Ten minutes in the bathroom with some hand lotion would have fixed the situation. Asking to feel you up? Not cool. When he’s married, his wife is pregnant and we have no evidence of an open relationship? Skeevy as hell and I’d consider it cheating in her shoes.

    I think it’s time to cut ties with him.

  26. The decision about who gets to touch your sexybits, when, and how is wholly and inalienably yours, for life. Seriously — it’s an absolute rule. Should have been on one of those tablets from God, or listed as one of the inalienable rights in the U.S.’s declaration of independence. It’s that fundamental.

    Anyone who ever violates this rule — be it the skeeze on the subway who gropes your ass, the child molester, the date-rapist, the rapist in a parking garage or the person you’ve been married to for thirty years who has decided “not tonight” wasn’t binding, the boss who coerces you into an ‘affair’ with the threat of losing your paycheck, or the “friend” who decides he “needs” to avail himself of your sexyparts to relieve his dick-ache when you don’t want him to because that’s not what your relationship is about — is a flaming asshole. Because having control over your own sexybits is about personal integrity. And safety. As wonderful as sharing those parts of your body can be with the right person *when that’s what you want*, sharing those parts of your body involuntarily, with someone you don’t want to share them with, feels foul. Anyone who’s been forced into it would tell you so.

    Nor does the horribleness depend on the means of coercion being physically violent; the violation of your body IS violence, as is the sick manipulation of your kindness, friendship, and loyalty to make a victim of you. (The desire to help a friend despite personal cost is a good thing that should be honored, not a pathetic thing that should be taken advantage of to molest you). That whole coercion-by-guilt thing your “friend” did, making you feel like you were inadvertently responsible for him being in desperate (even life-threatening) “need” of physical release that could only be achieved by him touching you sexually? Totally creepy and contemptible. He is SO not your friend. Friends don’t use/abuse each other that way.

    Now, the fact that you didn’t freak out, bitch slap your Non-Friend and throw him out the door when he started putting the pressure on you to let him touch you sexually even though klaxons were going off in your head screaming Wrong!Wrong!Wrong! does not mean there is ANYTHING wrong with you. Denial (“this can’t be happening!”) is a powerful force, as is social conditioning (which makes you second guess whether what’s happening is as fucked up and as big a deal as your instincts are telling you it is). Panic-paralysis is also common. Plus he’d done it once before and you coped with that, and he had you feeling responsible for his “condition,” and it was all seriously awkward!!! Especially if you have had other life experiences that taught you to question your instincts, disrespect/override your own boundaries and/or to deal with unpleasant (especially sexual?) situations by withdrawing into a part of your head where you could pretend what was happening wasn’t happening at all, that’s an understandable reaction. It definitely is not unique to you. Awful as it is, girls are taught to go along with all kinds of horribleness in order to survive.

    All the same, I can’t help thinking that perhaps some conversations with a therapist might help you feel more confident of your right to have boundaries, and give you some other tools for dealing with impending violations of them. Not (sadly) because any amount of assertiveness on your part will necessarily make you safe from attempts or ensure a positive outcome, but because as your internet friend I’d like you to have a few more options to consider. At the very least, to help you feel confident that this Non-Friend should never darken your doorstep again.

    • THIS. This comment wins the internet.

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head here!

  27. neverjaunty said:

    Hey LW,

    Great advice here but a caution: you may be reading this and feeling stupid. Why did I believe him, what kind on an idiot doesn’t know that about coffee, people are laughing at me and I deserve it … COMPLETELY NOT TRUE. It is not stupid to trust friends. It is not naive to believe someone you think is smarter and who has been a friend to you. It is because you are a kind, GOOD person that you trusted him, and did not expect Doucheloaf to be a lying liar who lies and is a creep to boot.

    • TheOtherAlice said:

      Totally seconded. There are people kind of laughing at the story, which I personally happen to think is not very cool (Captain, sorry if this crosses a line, feel free to delete), but I promise, every single person here has done something that in hindsight they’re like ‘Oh, that was hilarious, why did I fall for that?!’

      It’s a brilliant thing to trust friends. It shows what a lovely, awesome person you are. It is not because you’re a fool, even if you’re feeling a little foolish right now.

      • I completely agree. (LW, please understand that my first comment was not laughing at *you* in anyway, just over the bizarreness of the situation. But I’m sorry if it did hurt you.)

      • Kaz said:

        I’m also pretty uncomfortable with the laughing. LW has been sexually assaulted by someone she trusted. I don’t think that’s funny, no matter what story her ‘friend’ used to get her to agree.

      • softestbullet said:

        Yes. I don’t think it’s very good to laugh about this man’s methods of sexual assault in front of the LW. Any kind of shame they feel will only make dealing with this harder.

    • coraanderson said:

      Agreed, agreed, agreed.

      I feel pretty safe in saying that all of us here have done things that have made us look back and go ‘wtf?’ (If someone hasn’t, then I congratulate them on their magical powers!) It doesn’t make you stupid, it doesn’t mean you’re gullible, it’s just human.

      And also, it’s a lot easier to see this kind of thing as ridiculous when you’re looking at someone else’s life from the outside.

      • Also, guess what? The LW’s hindsight is just as good as ours!

  28. piranhas said:

    Hello,
    What he did – not cool and previous posters have analyzed very well why it is manipulation and how you can think about things in order to not get manipulated again. However, to all the people who are advising the LW to just never see the dude again – why not? why not confront him and tell him this was a shitty thing to do? I mean, life is not just about figuring out the shitty people beforehand, and when you fail to do that, suffer the consequences, readjust your thinking so that it doesnt happen again and ‘forget’. What about your anger at being used? He deserves to be confronted and told how he made her feel, since it is still possible to speak with him, perhaps in a public space where he won’t pull any shit. Either he will hear it (LW’s anger and hurt), or LW’s therapist will, some time down the road. It is a big deal that the LW can’t brush off, etherwise she would not have posted. It wasn’t a big deal the previous time, but now it is. Maybe she needs some time to digest what happened, but in the long run, it is a better solution to just confront the assholes (if it’s safe to do so) than to spend years in therapy because of this one time that you didnt stand up for yourself (in a major way, and agreeing to sex without wanting to qualifies as major). I am interested in the community’s thoughts about that.

    • piranhas said:

      Some clarifications:

      When I say major, I don’t mean major as in ‘you messed up big time LW’. I mean, that , speaking from experience, one tends to remember (with resentment) the times they let someone do something physical to them more than the times they let people say something mean to them, or cut off in front of them in line, make them watch a movie they didn’t want to watch etc.

      I also to refine some other things I said: I don’t think the LW absolutely has to face the ‘friend’, just that it may help her – and if she finds that she can’t let go of this memory, maybe it’s one of the things that will help the most. I believe that anger should be released at the person who caused it, if possible, but the LW doesn’t have to follow this approach, if avoiding the dude gives her peace of mind.

      • drst said:

        I suggested never seeing him again because he is not a safe person to be around. LW can confront him over the phone and be sure never to be in physical proximity to someone who did something that was such an egregious violation of consent. There’s also the possibility of him arguing and attempting to convince hir that it wasn’t that bad/you’re being irrational/overreacting etc. which I suspect he absolutely will do if he gets the chance, including guilt trips and who knows what-all emotional manipulation. There’s no reason to deal with that, or to continue this relationship with this person.

        If it would make the LW feel better to get in his face, and can do it safely, that’s hir decision.

        • piranhas said:

          Yes, I can see this reaction (guilt-tripping etc) happening. :/

          I can’t talk about this topic (confrontation) without derailing the comments thread so I will save it for a time when it’s more fitting to the LW’s request.

    • Tabitha said:

      If the LW wants to confront him I’m sure the community would throw their support behind that (and Captain Awkward would come up with a great script) but that’s not what she asked about and so that’s not what people are talking about. She doesn’t have to confront him if she doesn’t want to and if she decides that she just won’t see him ever again that is also a perfectly valid choice. While it may be helpful for some people to confront others about their behaviour for some it is much more stress than it’s worth (I personally find it difficult to do even if I’ve worked out a script beforehand).

      I also think that the LW seems confused about what she does/’should’ feel. I’m not sure it’s helpful to tell her what she should or will be feeling eventually. She might eventually be angry about what happened but that’s not guaranteed.

    • Sarah N. said:

      Honestly, if the LW feels strong enough to confront her non-friend or wants to confront her non-friend, I would suggest confronting said non-friend with charges. He’s guilty of sexual assault and I don’t find it hard to believe that he’s done this sort of thing before. Even if the LW simply files a report and the charges don’t make it through (because the system sucks), at least there’s a record there for the next person. Just getting angry with people doesn’t tend to be as truly cathartic as we like to think it is, plus comforting someone one-on-one or even in a public place can be super dangerous. Thus charges, not randomly yelling at non-friend.

  29. RodeoBob said:

    LW, the other posters have said what needs to be said about your “friend”.

    I would just add that it’s a really good idea for adults, all adults everywhere, to make sure they’re educated about sex and sexuality. Scarleteen was linked to above, and Cliff Pervocracy, but you might want to look for a class, or even order a book or two online about sex education.

    Most of the commenters here have had sex education classes as part of their public education, and learned that coffee is not an aphrodisiac, learned that no one has ever died from not receiving sexual gratification. Knowledge is power, and it’s protection against being taken advantage of.

    “My heart is racing; if I can’t get relaxed, I’m afraid I will die. Let me touch your boob!” sounds perfectly plausible if you don’t know about or understand sex except from personal experience and opportunity. But it is a lie, and it’s a lie that succeeds only on other’s lack of education.

    Sex ed. is important for everyone, at any age.

    • TheOtherAlice said:

      Yes, definitely. I don’t think anyone’s ever done with sex ed, right?

  30. atma said:

    First, I’m so angry with this guy right now.

    If “coffee” is code for some form of more illegal stimulant, I’ve heard they have that type of effect. But the rest of the letter doesn’t seem to indicate that. And even so, it is not, it is never, your job to be the relief of your FRIENDS horny. It doesn’t even begin to make sense.

    I’m trying hard to see the silver lining. MAYBE this occasion – which is SO outrageous that I don’t even have words – is what woke up your gut.

    From now on you know – when in doubt, trust your gut. No matter how rational your manipulative friend is presenting their idea, you know you don’t even have to enter the discussion. You’re uncomfortable, if they’re your friend they should respect that. If they don’t,, you now have the completely rational argument. “Your idea makes you comfortable, but it makes me uncomfortable. So, thanks but no thanks.

    The gut is the smartest

  31. zweisatz said:

    First off: please please please LW, like neverjaunty said, don’t feel stupid.
    We want to believe that our friends and people in general are good. We want to believe they would not try to hurt us, take advantage of or manipulate us. It’s even a necessity! If you’d distrust everyone in general, you could never relax in any kind of relationship you have. So trying to rationalize what just happended is totally logical (he!).

    But talking about logic: if your feelings and your brain are in conflict about a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable your feelings are usually right. Your body wants to protect you. It can sense danger, even if you don’t want to acknowledge it because you’d also have to acknowledge that your “friend” is a fucking asshole.
    So please, trust your instincts. You can always trust your gut feeling. It can show you the way when you are in situations where you are not sure if you want the same as someone else does (e.g. being sexual). You are totally allowed to refuse any kind of contact, be it physical or in the sense of a friendship, if you feel something is off and you need a timeout (for some days or forever, doesn’t matter).

    Be nice to yourself. You did nothing wrong. You are the only person who gets to decide what to do next.

    • Tosca said:

      Just heartily endorsing the”You can always trust your gut feeling”. I recently had a VERY terrible creepy experience and I will never see that guy again, not ever. He’s a friend of one of my best friends, but after what happened and with my gut SCREAMING danger alarm bells, no way will I ever hang out if he is there.
      In my case, he didn’t actually DO anything. I could not prove it in a court of law. But the way he made me feel was undeniable.
      I don’t care if no one understands. My gut so very rarely screams like that (I have been very lucky in my life as far as rape/boundary violations go) that I could not ignore it.
      Just saying, it’s ok.

      • TO said:

        I basically agree but there can be exceptions to this. A lot of those gut feelings come from your personal life experiences, and they tend to come when you encounter subtle signs of things that are either outside your normal human experience (e.g. there’s something about this situation that’s just not how friends act!) or that you’ve only ever experienced in a negative way.

        So it’s possible for someone to have their gut feelings a bit screwed up. E.g. someone who had an abusive parent who was their closest relationship as a child (and who they loved) may meet someone who subtly reminds them of that parent, but they may actually find themselves feeling at home or attracted to that person or feel like that person understands them — without recognizing that some of the feeling of familiarity is actually coming from things that are really warning signs.

        That’s just an example, but it’s just to say that it’s worthwhile to step back sometimes and take a look at whether your gut is telling you true things or fooling you. But if the message is ‘you’re unsafe’, get somewhere safe first. There’s always time to think more later.

        • TO said:

          Also phobias.

          I don’t think any of that negates the basic idea that messages from your gut are worth taking in and paying attention to, though. You may decide it’s OK to go against it, but that’s not the same as actually IGNORING it.

  32. GirlBob said:

    Okay, so I’m super sensitive to caffeine, to the extent that I no longer drink coffee at all, ever, and I even have to avoid coffee-flavoured icecream and such things. I discovered this by one day having a really WEIRD reaction to a cup of coffee which basically caused me to spin out — I was giggling constantly and saying any damn thing that came into my mind and generally acting very strange. Although the feeling was very different, it was a similar loss of control as being moderately drunk, but significantly less pleasant. Very weird. Swore off caffeine that day.

    So basically, I think I’ve probably experienced the upper end of the weirdness caffeinated beverages can bring you to. I was definitely a little low on inhibitions, so if I’d been a bit horny and around someone I had pants-feelings for, I conceivably could have wound up feeling REALLY horny. But even with my loopy caffeine reaction, I would have been more than capable of keeping my mouth shut. If anything actually it would have made me MORE likely to really not want to mention it — I was aware my brain was doing weird things, and I would have been worried that I would have been saying something inappropriate due to the lack of my normal checks and balances — which I WOULD HAVE BEEN. And which your creepy friend was.

    So in short I guess, a caffeine overload can make certain people act pretty weird, though it’s pretty darn unusual and I question whether he was having anything more than a bog-standard bit-too-much-caffeine reaction. But even if he WAS having an I’m-drunk-on-caffeine reaction like I did, his actions were still bloody reprehensible and creepy, and he definitely knew better.

  33. Xenophile said:

    (Psst–before you post something about the physiology of coffee drinkers, look up-thread. It’s not really coffee. :) )

    I’m so sorry this happened, LW. It sounds really, really squicky and you have every right to feel the messy things you’re feeling. To answer your question, I think yes, your ‘friendship’ with this creep could go back to the way things were, but do you really want them to?

    Hypothetically:

    1) Let’s say I’m friends with a dude who’s really interesting and one night we both get drunk and have consensual sex. We sober up and decide we’re just friends and that’s cool.

    2) Time goes on and he’s partnered with someone.

    3) One night when his partner isn’t home, Friend says to me, hey, I just got Ong Bak on Blu-Ray. Wanna hang out and watch it? I say, Fuck yeah, I love me some Tony Jaa. I’ll bring some booze if you pay for the takeout.

    4) While we’re hanging out and drinking, he starts talking about how drunk he is and omg he’s sooooo horny it hurts, and will I please please pretty please let him feel me up because that will somehow release tension in his penis?

    5) I’m uncomfortable but feel guilty for getting him drunk, and I’m a little drunk myself so I can’t find my words. I say, oh, alright, as long as I can hold very still and pretend I’m somewhere else. Or maybe I try to ignore his advances without saying anything, hoping he’ll give up. Either way, I don’t really want to let him grope me and he knows that but gropes me anyway.

    6) He rapes me.

    7) He says afterwards, Well, what did you think would happen? You knew I get horny when I drink, and you got me drunk. You must have wanted it. My partner isn’t home. What did you think would happen once we were alone together? You didn’t mind when we had sex earlier, so why are you so upset now?

    If you substitute ‘touched my privates’ with ‘raped me’ then it’s easier to see that his attitude is very clearly all about shame and victim blaming. This isn’t the exact same as your situation, but your creeper basically did steps 1-5. I bet anything you he was thinking some variation of Step 7 to himself, and hoping that you were thinking it as well. Abusers deliberately and preemptively set up situations where victims second-guess themselves and other people second-guess them. That’s exactly what your so-called friend did.

    If you want to pretend it didn’t happen and continue hanging out, that’s your right. Maybe you could avoid him one-on-one and only see him in groups. But I really can’t imagine this guy being a good friend if he doesn’t respect your boundaries and is seriously manipulative. I also can’t imagine him stopping this sort of behavior, and he’d probably just continue to find ways to make you feel all squicky. You deserve better.

    • (Psst–before you post something about the physiology of coffee drinkers, look up-thread. It’s not really coffee. :) )

      That was a lot of people’s suspicion, but the LW hasn’t been around to confirm it so…no. It might still be actual coffee (not that the substance itself matters that much anyway).

      • Xenophile said:

        That’s why I substituted alcohol for coffee. Choice of intoxicant really doesn’t matter but we’re used to hearing certain drugs being used to excuse bad behavior so it’s easier to spot the manipulation tactics when it’s a more familiar narrative.

  34. MaryKaye said:

    I found out in my mid-40’s, while being treated for menstrual problems, that progesterone pills make me VERY horny. As in, masturbate several times a day and still sit up too late every night reading porn horny. This is not their effect on most females but my biochemistry is idiosyncratic: still, it shows that some person/drug combos can lead to increased sexual arousal. (I doubt it was a placebo effect since it came as a complete surprise both to me and to my doctor.)

    You know what? I didn’t rape anyone or pressure anyone into sex. I just masturbated like crazy, and when I couldn’t masturbate I was distracted and a little bit sore. Nobody dies of this.

    So even if arousal-enhancing drugs *were* involved there’s still no excuse.

  35. Jolly said:

    You say your a logical person, but honestly it seems like you’re misapplying the hell out of logic to try and justify the actions of someone you care about who betrayed you. Understandable, we all try to warp situations and make them seem okay, but try removing yourself from the situation and reexamine it. Reread the letter, substituting some girl on the internet you don’t know for you, and some guy you don’t know for this douchebag, and try to look at this “friend’s” behavior and not see the serious, serious problems with the cause and effect going on in the situation. “I poured myself too much of the coffee YOU gave me, and now that you’ve done this to me, you need to let me touch you, otherwise…….?” Logically, yeah, sometimes guys are horny. Logically, horny guys wanna touch some privates. Logically, if your guy friends get horny and then try to manipulate you into feeling obligated to let them touch you in ways you aren’t comfortable with, they are not your friends. Period.

  36. Bear said:

    LW, let me first say that you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to be feeling weird and not wanting to be around this person who violated you. You said No and instead of respecting that and keeping it the fuck in his pants like a decent human being, he kept pushing.

    I noticed that you leaned on the almighty Logic a lot. This totally makes sense as a reaction, but it doesn’t really do much (at least, it hasn’t for me) because what happened to you had nothing to do with logic. Let me assure you: A person cannot logic their way into another person’s pants. EVER. The second they do, they are fucking disqualified (or is that disqualified-from-fucking?)

    Anyway, deciding who you give (enthusiastic) consent to is not something you have to be rational about, and you sure as hell don’t have to defend your choice.

  37. I was very confused reading this. I figured that “Coffee” was code for some sort of drug. But it wasn’t.

    WTF

    I drink coffee. I have a decade and a half of heavy coffee usage. I cut back on my coffee consumption from roughly two liters to one or two cups a day because it caused sleep deprivation, groggy mornings, back aches, head aches, and general edginess. However, I don’t ever recall feeling as if I were going to die or that my pants would burn off my body if I didn’t have sex.

    Not only is your friend a manipulative predator, he’s a terrible, terrible liar. If for some reason you see fit to see him again, be armed with the suggestion that he use his superhero-proportion jitter energy to jog home and present his absurd medical sex emergency to his sexual partner.

  38. Stay Excellent said:

    Yeah, no. Substances making it so you can’t help yourself but needing to sate your desires are a mythology unto itself. Whether he buys into said mythology or hopes the LW does is irrelevant: if you deconstruct that tripe enough, suddenly Dr. Jack Daniels doesn’t cause Mr. Hyde to come out anymore. Bros and brodettes should be able to do a bender of booze, shrooms, spacecake and energy drinks without the risk of unwanted friskiness.

  39. Elle said:

    LW, how old are you and how old is the best friend? Because my guess is that you are quite young and he is quite a lot older than you? How did you meet? I’m just wondering because I feel like this “friend” may do this a lot. Maybe he has a lot of younger female friends? Maybe he was your school teacher or is an older family friend? Is there anyone else you can trust and talk to in real life about this? Friends? School counselor? Because it’s good to have friends who you can trust, and you cannot trust this man.

    Also, you said “I know how sexual urge is irrational and uncontrollable,”. How do you know this? Who told you this? This “friend”? Parents? Minister? School teacher? I’m sensing that you’ve been sheltered somewhat, maybe coming from a very conservative religious background, and there are many things that you’ve been told about sex that aren’t true. Hopefully some people on this thread can suggest books that can teach you about sex and consent and your own body.

    • Burnt Umber Ella said:

      Oh my God, I was wondering why the LW would believe a lie that ridiculous and why the asshole would think a lie that ridiculous would actually work and IT MAKES SENSE NOW.

      Except that’s ten times worse than two adults. Dear fucking God.

    • Engineer Krause said:

      Crud. I just remembered. +1 on sex urge not uncontrollable, +1 on Pervocracy’s Myth Of The Boner Werewolf

      The worst, most uncontrollabe sex urges I have ever had have made me distracted while I concentrate on something else, and sit down to hide boners. I have evidence that that is pretty much the usual upper limit.

      Sex urge is fairly rational, actually, It just does not sound like something that boring, stuffy people would invent. But anybody can be a master rationalist,

  40. LW, your friend is a creeper and for sure he knew what he was doing.
    Huge RED FLAG here, “I told him no because we’re friends and I could not do such thing for a friend.” You said no. You said no and he pursued the point. He should have dropped it and acquainted his flagpole with his fingers. (Preferably not in your home.)
    The fact that his wife doesn’t want sex and he’s having a hard time (no pun intended – wait, maybe a little) is not your responsibility. Men have been masturbating for generations. Just because he’s married doesn’t mean he should suddenly lose the ability to perform hand-to-dick activity.

    There are a few reasons that makes me believe he was lying to you, big time.

    Firstly, his single cup of coffee was too strong? The likelihood of this acutally being a caffeine overdose is pretty low. Unless he has never, ever drunk coffee in his life or has some weird supersensitivity. Also, you said he loved coffee. So he would a) have noticed if he made it too strong because it would taste Too Strong and b) unless he put like, 2 tablespoons of coffee in it, it wouldn’t have been that strong at all!

    Secondly, If he did have a caffeine OD, the appropriate reaction would probably have been ‘hey, can you drive me home, I don’t feel well.’ or ‘Take me to a clinic/ED I think there’s something wrong.’ NOT ‘Hey, I feel kind of sick, can I touch you to make myself feel better?’
    That’s like, two completely unrelated things?
    Even if for some completely bizarre, strange reason his horniness meter went off (I have never heard of it happening. Like, at all.), his self control meter is still working.

    LW, you have every right not to talk to him again and to feel weird, bad or violated. On the other hand, you have every right not to feel that way and to do as you wish but, please don’t think that he was being honest with you. He wasn’t. He was telling you big fat porkies in order to touch your lady parts. As long as you get that, you can feel however you like.

    I also want to say, don’t feel ashamed and like this is your fault. There is no shame in having this happen to you. He took advantage of the situation and you weren’t prepared because you’re his friend and that made you vulnerable. You don’t expect your friends to lie and take advantage of you (I hope). That’s not what friends are supposed to do.

  41. Engineer Krause said:

    This is WTF wierd and the guy is more creepy than I initially thought…

    Please prevent cruelty to desires by stopping talking about rationality as if it conflicted with certain desires, or with desires/social matters/love and sex in general. It is rational to fulfill your desires. You should make the best decision you can about what desire is the most important to fulfil.

  42. It sounds to me like ‘coffee’ is MDMA or ecstasy or some other stimulant. Whatever; it makes no real difference.

    It sounds like MDMA to me because MDMA makes me super horny. I have a really high sex drive anyway, and the “OMG, EVERYTHING IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL AND FEELS SO NICE!” makes me just want to touch and be touched.

    Know how many people I’ve sexually assaulted while high? None.

    I’m sorry that this happened to you, LW. Regardless of what substance/s this dude took, your body is all yours and it is awful that he trespassed on your autonomy like that. You’re allowed to feel weird and violated – (and to feel not that weird or not that violated! You won’t be DOIN IT RONG if you *don’t* feel like it was a massive deal or if you don’t want to use the term ‘sexual assault’!) – and to do whatever it takes to get back to equilibrium, whether that’s taking some time for yourself or spending extra time with people or by talking to a therapist or by windsurfing. There is no wrong answer.

  43. Zed said:

    This letter makes me so sad.

    Take care of yourself, LW.

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