A British comedian has revealed the horror of being raped in a New Zealand sauna in a new book about how he left behind a career in medicine for comedy and writing.
Adam Kay was working as a doctor and did comedy part-time when he got the chance to perform a 20-minute set at a medical conference in New Zealand.
He thought it would be his comedy break, and also planned to cheat on his wife there, with a man, then return to her and a heterosexual life.
A sauna ‘sounded like probably the most appealing/least appalling option and the best chance of getting what I wanted soon and incognito,’ he said.
What happened when to the sauna, after giving a false name and putting on a French accent at the entrance, was harrowing, and for 10 years he told no one.
‘A man in his 40s stood up, took my arm and wordlessly led me to a dimly lit cubicle, where he raped me,’ and then said ‘thanks’ afterwards.
Comedian Adam Kay (pictured) has opened up in his new book about being raped in a New Zealand sauna
Before he left for the trip to New Zealand, Kay writes, his ‘internet search history… would have made Freddie Mercury blush’.
He thought to himself that ‘Cheating is bad. And premeditated cheating is probably worse than spontaneous cheating, in the way that murder is worse than manslaughter’.
But he also reasoned with himself that what he planned to do was ‘totally fine’.
‘I was going all the way to New Zealand to do it, so she couldn’t possibly find out or get hurt; it was considerate, even. It would only be this one time,’ he said.
‘I wasn’t lusting after anyone in particular, I didn’t know who I was going to cheat with, just that it needed to happen.
‘And I would be cheating on her with a man, so it basically didn’t count.’
His internet searches led him to settle on going to a sauna as something he had to do to get it out of his system.
But, having never done this before, he had no idea what to expect.
Kay likes to give people the benefit of the doubt and later tried ‘to work out if there could have been some kind of misunderstanding, something I did wrong’.
He wanted to be able to put it down to poor communication on his part.
Adam Kay is pictured at the National Book Awards on November 20, 2018 in London, England
‘But I can’t – the truth of it is inescapable. I was clear. I said no when it became obvious he wanted this interaction to go a lot further than I did,’ he wrote.
‘I said no, again, when I started. I said no when he overpowered me and pushed my head into a wipe-clean cushion that stank of antiseptic.’
Kay tried to scream, but knew he wouldn’t be heard, ‘not by this man who didn’t want to hear and not by anyone else, thanks to the rhythmical pounding of the music’.
The rapist then said ‘thanks’ before leaving.
Thank you. You don’t say thanks to someone you’ve just raped, do you? Was coming here in the first place my consent?’ Kay wrote.
Adam Kay is pictured appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show on November 30, 2019 in London
‘Not pulling my hand away when he took my arm – was that a way of saying yes, in a language I’d never been taught, negating everything I would say afterwards?’
Kay said that going to the police was unthinkable.
‘Saying it out loud would make it real; I would never be able to deny it or pretend it never happened, which already felt like my only way of getting through it,’ he wrote.
He convinced himself his case was flimsy anyway. The police, he thought, would tell him ‘you can’t get raped if you go somewhere looking specifically for sex’.
For a decade he told no one about what happened to him. ‘Maybe I was too ashamed,’ he wrote.
‘Or maybe I just knew from the moment it happened that I would never forget it: every minute, every second, etched into me in indelible ink, would be with me forever.’
Adam Kay’s Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients, is out on September 13.