By now, you’ve probably heard of “Cat Person.” The fictional short story by Kristen Roupenian was featured in The New Yorker, and detailed a romantic encounter between a 20-year-old student named Margot, and a 34-year-old man named Robert. And now, “Cat Person” has inspired women to share their own stories of flawed and uncomfortable relationships and sexual encounters.
In case you haven’t read the story, here’s a recap: While Margot and Robert first connect in person while she’s working at the concession stand at a movie theater, they spend the ensuing two weeks getting to know each other via text banter. This leads to a disappointing and confusing first date, which ultimately ends in a clumsy sexual encounter that — while technically consensual — is really only a result of Margot feeling too guilty and uncomfortable to say no.
The story itself wasn’t free of criticism from readers— many found the description of Robert’s body weightist and fatphobic. Yet it also clearly resonated with the real-life experiences of many women.
And now, a thread popped up on Reddit in which women are sharing their own “Cat Person” stories. “It is both validating and alarming to me just how many other women read this and related so hard,” Reddit user uphill09 commented.
Here are a few of the stories women shared (warning: This may be triggering to some):
1“I’ve had to talk myself into getting turned on because I felt too uncomfortable to leave…”
2“My hands are shaking right now, remembering how I felt standing in front of him. Incredibly vulnerable, in a space that was his. And this was my choice, right?”
3“None of this was because I wanted to. It was out of obligation. Out of guilt.”
4“He made my friends uncomfortable. I feel like an idiot for subjecting them to that.”
5“I would moan and participate and put on a show but none of it felt good.”
Love it or hate it, the story has definitely brought something to the surface for many readers. And if anything, it looks like it’s definitely sparking a conversation many of us didn’t even know we needed.