Archive for the ‘sex after abuse’ Category

I closed my OKC profile. Closing the dating profile on POF a while back was a huge step forward for me. This time, it was just a logical step forward. Yet, when I clicked the button to delete it permanently I panicked.

There was this thought of who would know I exist? Which is about as ridiculous as my conviction in my own invisibility.

Like this need to be Seen competing with my need for anonymity. Seen, capitalized. Cause it has nothing to do with my physical visibility, has nothing to do with the skin that holds me together.

I heard a sermon about intimacy and submission to God. Many sermons, actually. And there was this automatic reaction of no effing way. Intimacy, cause it terrifies me. And submission cause.. well, I associate it with abuse and prostitution and sociopathic behaviour and kink.

Those sermons kinda clicked things together for me, once I got over my stoic freak out.

My intimacy issues have to first be resolved within and with God before I can look anywhere else. And my submissiveness can find avenues besides sex.

Which is why I shut down the profile.

Then on Sunday I found myself nodding along to a variation of no sex before marriage while wondering to myself when exactly did I start agreeing with that?

I have no idea. Cause its not so much about sex, its about recognizing myself as sacred, and being unwilling to be desecrated in any way. Which is possibly why I can’t maintain any romantic interest in anyone. I’m finally gonna pay attention to that. Message received.

So the fact I’ll be out of the country for four months is actually a really good way to take a break from men, and discover me more.

So… I am Seen. God sees me. That’s all that really matters.

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I’m disturbed. Distressed.

A while back I rejoined FetLife (you can google, I refuse to link to them here). It’s possible my old account is still there. No idea. My past presence online isn’t something I want or like to think about.

It’s one thing to do what I have done on the site, which is mainly lurk and occasionally join in a discussion I find interesting. There’s even a group for kinky people who have been abused. I lurk there too.

I thought it was a trigger that had kinda faded like the others. But it’s different when you look on a profile of someone you’ve spoken to, and with whom there is a mutual want-to-get-to-know-each-other vibe.

Fucking disturbing.

I get that it’s something done with consent, and when consent is given, it can be a really awesome experience.

And regardless of my own feelings about monogamy/polygamy… (I’m on the fence, both are valid, in my mind, depending on the relationship dynamic)

I HATE. HATE. it when someone says they are being shared.

It’s so massively triggering I don’t even know where to begin.

In my head it reduces a human from being a person to being a commodity.

And I know part of the problem is that I have unresolved issues with the whole BDSM thing, which is why I dabble, and not commit to anything that would label me “officially” as a Sub or Slave (another word I strongly object to).

And why I’ve run from any guy who wanted to collar me. I’ve been there, it was awful. Freedom (or the feeling of freedom) is so incredibly important to me. I really couldn’t submit to someone I felt constrained by. Which might sound backward, but it’s not. Done properly its freeing and liberating. The power is equal between the two, just expressed differently then in a more “vanilla” (mainstream) relationship.

Part of the issue is that I really have no idea what I like sexually. DublinCallGirl said it really well: http://secretdiaryofadublincallgirl.wordpress.com/ when she stated she feels like a really ironic virgin. It’s so true.

I had actually planned on turning in early. After years of chronic insomnia I’m taking advantage of my sudden ability to rest.

But. Fuck. I need distraction in the worst way. And of course, any time I need distraction my mind automatically turns to sex. My drug of choice.

So I was thinking I’d really love to take a martial arts class. I did karate as a kid, and Brazilian ju jitsu as a teen (which didn’t last long, my instructor was male, and I’d throw up at the end of each session).

I’m now looking into Krav Maga. Just seems like a more practical form of self-defense for day to day life. Dunno. I think finding physical strength will go a long way to calm my mind. As well as work of some of aggression. And fulfill some of that need for intensity.

I have been reading the blogs of former sex workers and sex worker survivors lately. It’s given me some food for thought when it comes to sex between two people.

I am trying to wrap my mind around this concept: sex is a pleasurable act between two consenting adults.

Let me tell you why this is such a mind-blowing concept.

I never had any boundaries concerning my person. That was taken away from me as a child. I still don’t think I fully understand the idea of consenting to something that I’ve never really had choice with. But, I’ve been thinking.

As a pro, I used to pride myself on being able to find something attractive about anyone. Even before I started whoring, actually. Just endless nights of anonymous sex with men who’s names I did not know and who did not know mine. I was trying to fuck my pain away, and it ended up getting me prepared for the brainwashing of “you’re giving it away anyways, might as well take money for it”.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the sex I used to have with my ex who almost killed me. Let’s call him J. He knew from the start I worked as an escort… He used to claim he rescued me from that life. Perhaps. I like to think not. Anyways, the sex was great. Most of the time, I was fully present. I connected. I even shed tears after cause being there was so overwhelming.

Thinking about those instances of connection and togetherness is not something I ever wanted to think about again. Mostly because of the way it ended, and the way I feel about myself now and towards men.

Now that I can think about it though… I want that connection again.

I no longer want to feel like I have to have sex with a guy cause he took me out. I no longer want to calculate how a guy is gonna treat me in bed cause of the way he walks, or talks, or looks at me, or the gestures he makes. I no longer want to feel like all I am is a vessel to be filled and discarded.

I want more worth for myself then my ability to please.

I don’t want my feelings to be swayed by the feelings or actions or words or looks of other men.

I never again want to call what I did “high class”. Because it wasn’t. Being an outcall escort didn’t protect me. Having a driver and the agencies I worked for know where I was didn’t help me. I may have survived with my body intact, but being less then human… faceless, nameless… really, a cumdump. Crude term, but apt. I was a body that could be rented. That’s all.

So back to consent.

I really have no idea what that means. My experience with J… I don’t know if it was gratitude that someone loved me and accepted me despite (a joke… he hated me as much as he “loved” me). But whatever it was, it gave me a glimpse of what is possible.

I think a lot of us with PTSD struggle with the concept of a healthy body image.

After being repeatedly degraded, sexualized or desexualized, being mocked, and condescended to, raped and beaten… I am no longer surprised to hear of eating issues, body dysmorphia, and a general lack of love for your-self.

It took me a long time to realize the correlation between my weight losses and gains and being abused. The first time I “came down” with anorexic-like behaviour, I was 15 or so, and being abused emotionally, physically, and sexually by my first serious boyfriend.

I gained weight after, and lost weight again in a similar situation. By the time I was being prostituted a couple years ago, my “bf” (read: pimp) at the time liked the fact my body was curvy and voluptuous. Instead of escaping the situation, I internalized all the cr*p he was feeding me about being “only good for one thing”, and took it out on my body, losing weight again. When I met my next bf, who “rescued” me (never trust a white knight– their armor is tarnished, as is their souls), I was down to an abnormal weight for myself. The longer I was with him and more dependent I became on the relationship, the more I hated the body he loved. I gained significant weight before the night he tried to kill me, but after that event, it was like a no-holds-barred food buffet in an attempt to stuff my emotions.

Anyways…

I didn’t start liking myself until I started spending time with myself. I realized I had to have some positive emotion towards myself in order the change the pattern. I’m still trying to figure out the mechanism that lead to change within me, so that I can share it. All I know was that after the rape three months ago, I had enough.

In conversations with one of my exes, it becomes blatantly clear to me exactly why I turned to someone who rose red flags in my mind. As sad as it sounds, he made me feel completely unwanted– like I had no value sexually.

Bizarre, how I reacted, one would think that I would welcome the change from a literal sex slave, to… unsexed companion? But I’ve finally had to admit to myself that I’m simply not in a place mentally where I can be with a man, and not be physically intimate. I feel useless. And lonely. And dirty. And convinced that if he’s not getting any from me, he is getting it elsewhere.

So as soon as I cut him out of my life (again), I turned to a guy I casually saw, and who DID see sexual value in me. Enter feelings of validation. He rose red flags through mock-hitting me, accusations of cheating, and constantly checking up on me throughout the day… But I did not count of being assaulted by him.

I digress though, this is supposed to be about body image.

I had my massage yesterday, which was interesting. It incorporated BodyTalk techniques to help release trauma from my body (the areas worked on were my back and neck and face). Some of the spots she worked on felt completely numb to me, while pain flared elsewhere, and images flashed through my mind reminding me why I was hurting there.

It is very hard to relax during a massage. I hate being seen without my clothes on, to the point where I will put of showering or changing my clothing so I don’t have to experience myself naked. Touch without alterior motives is completely foreign to me (and perhaps on of the big problems I had with the ex mentioned above).

It’s hard to admit, but it went well. It was difficult emotionally, and afterwards I could not stand the thought of being in close proximity with anyone. The thought of anyone coming up behind me has me paranoid (not unusual).

The fact that my sex drive has bounced back through healthy eating and the elimination of libido-supressing medications has me a little freaked. Part of me worries I will act out like I used to. But the fact that I have an awareness I didn’t back then, helps me realize that self-destructive behaviour is unlikely.

Sorry for the disjointed thoughts. I seem to be a bit all over the place today. I really did intend on writing a well thought out post on Body Image.

Stay Safe ❤

For the past several years it has been easier to deny my sexuality then to figure out what, exactly, went wrong with it. I feel like my trafficker damaged my sexuality on a level that as of yet, I don’t yet understand. I just know that it is not the same as it was before I met him.

But I guess I was “damaged” before then. Being trafficked was not my first time being sexually exploited. Just that the extent of the exploitation was… beyond words.

Lately I have been wondering about the type of relationship I had been in.. and how I could not have seen that it was so perverted.

I was submissive to his Dominant. I had been in other casual power exchange relationships, without being abused, so I’m still trying to figure out where it went so wrong. Actually, I know I was conned even before I met him, he had a woman con me into meeting him. I had no change to begin with.

I veered away from anything kink since then, choosing vanilla partners, or, as of recent history, no partners at all. I was suitably scared off of the lifestyle.

So why did I find myself in a female-oriented sex shop last week, looking at books on consensual power play and radical ecstasy?

Even more surprising, this was while I was on my way to my therapist, and instead of hiding my actions like I was ashamed (or flaunting them, also to hide my shame), I just came straight out and talked about it.

I feel like I’ve had a break-through of sorts — for so long I’ve held a cloak of shame because of the type of sex I used to like to participate in (I’m no longer sure, I feel like I have to rediscover that aspect of my life all over again).

Not just that, but for so long, I felt like I was the ONLY one in the BDSM community who was so severely abused. Everyone talks about “safe, sane and consensual”, but what about when it all goes wrong?

I felt like a total anomaly, even among my surviver sisters… Not only was I different because I have a tainted sexual past (the scarlet whore… whatever), but I felt like it was my fault because I had identified as a submissive (sexually)… Had I brought this on myself because of my abnormal sexual tastes?

I’ve realized a couple things in the last few weeks:

I’m not abnormal. I’ve finally been able to admit to myself what I am attracted to in power play: and that is the exchange itself. It takes so much trust to just let go, and I want to be able to do that. I like that there are rules and structure to the relationships, I like that scenes are negotiated. It makes me feel on more solid ground. It’s about being mentally secure with someone else.

I have no reason to be shamed: I was party to some interesting discussion about the Sister Wives and consensual Polyamory. I think that that is what started me thinking of my own journey. Shame was pushed on me by someone else. And that emotion keeps me tied to them. I don’t want that.

The books are… eye-opening. I am not reading them with a closed mind like I have been the last couple years. I have no judgement in my mind, against myself, or others. And so I am left with a curiosity about what I can learn about myself.

I’m just left with a vague feeling of sadness, for who I was, for me now, and for all I lost.

Honestly, the thought of dating is pretty terrifying to me right now. I kind of like being single. I like the freedom, and time to myself, and being able to explore who I am on my own, without my identity becoming entangled in another’s.

I’ve liked this time being celibate as well. Which is something I never thought I would say. But I’ve actually liked not having sex, or relying on sex to comfort me.

So what to do when you are faced with the opportunity to date?

I met someone on the bus today. A place where I had heard you could pick someone up, but never believed it could possibly be me — after all, when I bus, I am usually in my own world, make-up-less, day dreaming, and dressed down. Who do I have to impress, after all? Apparently something about that look was appealing.

I noticed the smile right away — unlike my exes tightlipped or crooked smiles, this guy smiled with teeth showing, full grin that you could see in the eyes too. Maybe that is why I said yes to a casual date tomorrow.

I talked to him tonight too.

And now something are going through my mind — the possibility of an implication of a future relationship. The possibility of an implication of sex.

I’m not sure I am ready for either, and I am thinking of how should I convey this in a way that lets me keep the upper hand.

Do guys want to know why your turning down sex? Hm, dumb question. But how do I word my position in a way that makes me seem invulnerable?

Do I just let the whole thing go?

Or is this a situation where I should face my fears?

What does it mean to say yes to be intimate with another person after or during recovery from abuse?

How do you know that yes truly means yes?

Consenting is not as simple as just saying okay to being intimate with someone. How do you know that you are really okay with what is happening?

Often times survivors will learn to dissociate from what is happening as a survival skill. When the brain cannot cope, it protects you until you can later process and heal from what happened.

But what about those who have had to dissociate to survive so often that being present is too much to handle even now that they are safe?

That is what I am trying to learn now.

Being sexualized in violence has shaped the entirety of my love life. I have realized that I lack boundaries. They were taken away from me when I was sexually assaulted as a child.

So I am now taking steps to change that.

I am learning to check in with my body, and to get consent from my body, and not just my mind. Most of the time I lack awareness that my body even exists, so this is something completely new to me. It feels very… strange… to have to ask my body permission something that my mind has decided it wants to do.

But –

doing so, I know, will mean the difference between something meaningless and base, and the potential for making a real connection as I will be fully present.

I have yet to learn how to communicate that need to be present in an intimate situation. Open communication means having to trust someone else. I have trouble with that on the best of days. The people I do trust, however, have proven themselves to me by being constant, by proving their words with their actions, and by letting me take my time to come to the conclusion that I trust them.

I have learned that when I begin to feel the cyclical disgust towards men (usually around this time of year), and shame towards myself (ditto), it is not a good time to be acting out sexually. Doing so will only further dissociate me from myself, as well as cause real depression (right now it is just a mild case of the blues), and put me at risk of other self-destructive behaviour.

Checking in with myself, and making sure my actions are those of a fully cognizant mind and body will prevent a lot of psychological devastation, and will go far in helping me create the love life I never had, but wished I could find for myself.