I lost my virginity before I had sex, and I'm sure I'm not the only 22-year-old woman who can say the same.
I lost my virginity a year and a half before I had sex.
What I mean to say by this is that I was raped so many times between the ages of 17 and 19 that by the time I actually did have sex, the negative relationship I'd developed with my body and the negative feelings I associated with what I called "sex" at the time, meant that the idea of having sex with anyone, even someone I loved deeply, filled me with dread.
There were many fears I harboured when it came to sex, many of which stemmed from the rocky, on and off relationship I'd had with my own body growing up (think various eating disorders and general anxiety), and many which stemmed from the rocky, on and off relationship I'd had with men (think a string of immature emotionally abusive boyfriends and lads at house parties to whom the word consent meant nothing.). Combine these deeply personal anxieties with a lack of sex positive education and you get this; a 20 year old woman on the verge to resigning herself to the idea that she'll simply never really enjoy sex.
Don't get me wrong, I was having orgasms, and I was occasionally engaging in some pretty interesting sex, but the pain caused by penetration, the guilt and the shame which washed over me after the pleasure, the anxiety which silenced my own desires and needs meant that, for the most part, sex was something I was yet to get excited about.
I wanted to have it, I wanted to enjoy it, and most of all, I wanted to feel empowered by it, but it wasn't happening and I felt powerless to do anything about it.
By 21, I'd had two more unfulfilling, unsurprisingly, turned toxic relationships and I was beginning to feel more certain than ever that I'd rather never form an emotional bond with another person ever again if it meant that I wouldn't ever have to worry about sex.
Now at 22, I am certain that I am not the only person who has been through this. Sex education left a lot to be desired when I was at school and about as revolutionary as it got was what my teacher had named "The Wall of Vaginas." I was a sheltered teenager and an awkward young adult who struggled to navigate her journey through life towards self love, body positivity and sexual confidence, and now looking back, I wish there'd been someone there to share with me all the things I know now.
Sometimes life is about parenting yourself, but the voyage towards sexual confidence is not one we should be forced to try and ride out alone.
f ck yourself is a sex positive platform run by a survivor, for anyone who is looking to reclaim their sexuality.
Reclaiming our bodies.
Reclaiming our sex.
Reclaiming our pleasure.
One crappy blog post at a time.
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