I’ve been sexually abused and I like sex

(TW: Sexual assault)

I was sexually abused several times before adulthood. When I share this with women I’d say most of the time the response is empathy and – depending if the other party is feeling open – I’ll get a “me too”. Its so common and yet its unspoken. More often than not it is a family member/family friend. If I share this information with a man they seem angry/confused and make a comment that alludes to it being caused because I’m in sex work which makes me roll my eyes. As previously mentioned my clients and sugar daddies have never laid a hand on me without my consent, all the men who’ve ever physically hurt me have been men who claimed to love me. Its a common story (the former, the sex work portion is a whole other topic for another time).
This is something society can’t seem to get a grip on..or doesn’t want to get a grip on? Its easier to turn a blind eye and ignore a problem rooted so deeply in rape culture. Not only are we expected to keep quiet, but once we do speak up society takes away a woman’s sexual autonomy once we share that we’ve been sexually assaulted. As if we must be repulsed or reserved from that moment on or else our sexual liberation is simply a response to said abuse (hypersexuality).
This is not to say that that doesn’t happen and I certainly don’t want to invalidate that experience or the experience of women who do become more reserved afterwards, I’m simply writing about my own.
And god forbid you end up being a Sex Worker in any way shape or form because then you’re just a total cliche. No, society doesn’t believe a woman could possibly have sexual autonomy after sexual abuse, we’re too damaged and clouded by that experience to think for ourselves.

Right.

I’ve never seen my sexuality as a response to that abuse once I reached adulthood.  I can see it clearly in my adolescence. I started at a younger age because of it and I used sex as leverage whenever I could. I’ll give it that much considering my mental state back then.
But here’s the thing: people can also heal.
In that healing we regain control and yes sexual autonomy. The belief that the rest of our sexual lives will be controlled by our sexual abuse has not been my narrative.
I have healed significantly and even in healing I can still admit it does affect my relationships with men, my depression, my views on love-but my sexual choices are mine and mine alone.

It all comes down to the fact that – I like sex. Its that simple.

The concept that women can’t be sexual by their own design after being assaulted is incredibly misogynistic – a construct created by the patriarchy that alludes to the belief that women are simply good for one thing and one thing only and if that is “taken” from us then we are to be entirely damaged for the rest of our lives.

 

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