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Learning How to Enjoy Sex again

After my ordeal with sexual assault, I hated sex for a long time. This article talks about how I had to teach myself as an adult, to see sex in a positive light.

By Carol TownendPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
Learning How to Enjoy Sex again
Photo by Stas Svechnikov on Unsplash

I had dealt with being a victim of rape so many times, that after a while I put walls up, refusing to let anybody get near me, even females. Sex was bad, dirty, always violent and whether that person loved me or not, I started to perceive all sex as assault. I couldn't bring myself to see any sexual relationship as loving or fun anymore, because every time I did, I got hurt, and here I want to reinforce that I was raped by both men and women which caused my fear to double, and for many years, I cut both out of my life, wanting to be alone for the rest of my life so that I didn't end up used as some female adult dirt-bag.

I started to view all adults as the same, and to me all adults were violent, I had started to perceive every adult in the same way, and I am deeply sorry to those who would never do this to another adult, but when you have been raped and assaulted repeatedly for years on end; you start to psychologically believe that everybody is the same, and everything becomes black and white. This is not purposeful thinking, it is defensive thinking which is often the victim trying to stop the hurt.

Every time someone tried making friends with me, I was always second-guessing, thinking they were going to do something to me. When I went out, I would be constantly looking over my shoulder, believing I was going to be raped or assaulted by someone. I spent my life living in fear, and even after I was re-housed, I was still living in fear; always checking the doors and the windows, and waking in the night feeling terrified for my own safety.

When I met my husband, we got off to a complicated start, because I was always pushing him away and deliberately trying to put him off me. Don't get me wrong, I loved talking to him and I really loved his company, but I couldn't get past the fear that he was out to hurt me. I was shaking when he spoke to me, and that often blocked what could have been the start of a brilliant conversation and good company. At the time, I didn't know this, and out of fear and anxiety, I jumped to the conclusion he was going to hurt me, without wanting to feel that way. It was a long, difficult fight to overcome this, and my safety net for being with him remained indoors for many weeks, where there were people because I was too scared to be alone with him.

A few weeks went by, and my husband just spent quality time with me talking and asking if I was ok. There was an occasion when a care assistant on the ward started making advances on me, and I ignored it for weeks because, after my ordeal, I felt nobody would listen to me. To top this off, would the staff have really listened to me, given my situation and the fact he was a care assistant? My husband did notice this, especially when that same care assistant was watching me get changed in the mirror. I wasn't allowed to get changed with a door shut or curtains around me, because of what I did to myself when I had flashbacks. In fact, there was one incident where a flashback distorted my thinking and landed me on a road. The staff didn't even notice I had left the ward because they were paying no attention to my patterns of behavior even though I was put on observation. It was my husband who noticed and ended up doing the job that the staff was supposed to do, keeping me safe. He was the one who got me off that road, and I broke down in his arms and told him about my ordeal.

After many weeks of developing trust through conversation, I was able to trust a little and go out with my husband (we married a year after leaving the hospital), after that it wasn't long before the issue of sex came into it. I was nervous and really scared, so he let me take my time with it through gentle touching first, and by using my hand in the form of a stop sign when I wanted to stop because he knew I had issues saying those words. There were days when I could handle being touched, and days when I really couldn't, and on those days we listened to music, dined out, went to the beach and, walked around town, while he gently attempted to open up a conversation about feelings. Eventually but slowly, I was able to heal and attempt to go further.

There was a day when it had been really hot all day, and I was sweating. I hated the feeling of sweat on my body because it brought back feelings of being assaulted and raped, but I didn't want to shower alone, because I didn't feel safe doing that. I contemplated asking my husband to shower with me before jumping in, and I had many arguments inside my head over this because I feared I would get hurt again. However, there was a time before the assaults and rape, when I did like sex and intimacy with both men and women, and I had a need to overcome this, but it needed to be attempted with someone I could deeply trust. I decided to let my husband shower with me and face the fear which was difficult but was fun. He agreed to do this, and we started by washing each other and building up very slowly, eventually, we went further. When I came out of the shower I felt shocked and guilty because of what we had done, and I closed off for a little while. After coffee, I was able to talk about this and I realized I had discovered the kindest man I could ever meet, who accepted my feelings without making me feel worse and was patient enough to stay with me while I went into my shell again and out of it. After a year, I had faced many fears around sex, and I gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter who is now 21 years old.

My relationship, as you can imagine suffered on and off intimacy problems for many years after this. Healthy sex life can be very difficult to manage after assault and rape, and sadly many people have extreme difficulties with it, it takes time. My advice is to talk about it at times when you are comfortable, build trust with the person you love, and only explore what you feel comfortable enough to explore. Remember no means no, and if the person doesn't respect that, then you have every right to report that.

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About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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