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Consent, Part 2: Stuck In The Gray

Some sexual encounters are obviously consensual, while others are obviously not. But what about those that are neither black nor white? In the second episode in our series on sexual consent, the Sugars plunge deeper into the gray area.

A woman who calls herself “Stuck in the Gray” is still haunted by her first sexual encounter over a decade later. At age 22, she lost her virginity to her brother-in-law, who is 11 years her senior. The encounter had lasting repercussions on her sex life and her relationship with her family, especially her sister, her brother-in-law’s wife. Stuck in the Gray struggled to define the encounter for years and now she’s unable to conclude if it was consensual. She asks, “Am I a coward and a liar who’s hiding my accountability behind victimization? Or am I a victim?”

The Sugars Recommend

Stitches by Antonya Nelson
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates


New episodes of Dear Sugars are released weekly. Do you have a question for the Sugars? Email dearsugars@nytimes.com.

Amory Sivertson Twitter Co-Host and Producer for New Programming
Amory Sivertson is the co-host and producer of Endless Thread.

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