This article first appeared in The Advocate.
In a new book, British author and comedian Adam Kay revealed he was raped in a sauna while visiting New Zealand, and that his attacker thanked him after the assault.
The former doctor who turned his working diaries into the hit book and television series, This is Going to Hurt, frankly recalled the rape and its emotional aftermath in his latest book, Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients.
Kay wrote how he was married, in the closet, and still working as a doctor who did comedy on the side when he received the opportunity to perform his comedy act at a medical conference in New Zealand. While he hoped this would be his breakout comedic performance, he also planned to use the trip to have an extramarital affair with another man before returning home to his wife and a heterosexual life. He rationalized his infidelity by deciding sex with a man wasn’t really cheating.
He chose a sauna as the most likely place to find men willing to have sex with him. Using a fake name and French accent, Kay checked into the unnamed sauna. Once inside, a man led Kay to a secluded section of the sauna where he proceeded to rape the frightened comedian despite his pleas to stop.
“I was clear,” Kay wrote. “I said no when it became obvious he wanted this interaction to go a lot further than I did. I said no, again, when he started. I said no when he overpowered me and pushed my head into a wipe-clean cushion that stank of antiseptic.”
Kay wrote how he screamed but they went unheard, drowned out by the loud and pounding music playing from the sauna’s speakers.
After the ordeal was over, the rapist said “thanks” to Kay before leaving.
“Thanks. You don’t say thanks to someone you’ve just raped, do you? Was coming here in the first place my consent?” Kay wrote.
The traumatized Kay did not go to the police, fearing they would say he couldn’t be raped if he went looking for sex. And he didn’t tell his friends and family. Instead, he spent years wondering if he was to blame for the assault.
“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?” he wrote.
Kay eventually retired from the medical profession following a difficult stillborn birth that left the mother fighting for her life and Kay emotionally traumatized. He turned to comedy and later wrote This Is Going to Hurt in support of junior doctors who were under criticism in the media at the time. The book describes the long hours, near impossible working conditions, and low pay of junior doctors. This Is Going to Hurt was adapted into a television series by AMC+ and starred Ben Whishaw.
His new book, Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients, is on sale now.