I experienced sexual abuse from before I was even in kindergarten through the age of fifteen, and then incest from the age of nine until the age of 15-16 (at least that is when my last known memory is). Now as an adult I find it difficult sometimes to talk about sex, to see myself as a sexual being, to know what is “normal” in regards to sex, or even to feel that I am worthy of being desired. I also at times feel it difficult to have desires of my own. This puts me in a place I am not at all comfortable with, a place that fuels the unworthy feelings, or “not good enough” feelings that I already have. It feeds that part of me that fights to not see sex as something bad.
I know that sex can be something amazingly beautiful. I am in a very long term relationship and have felt and seen that most beautiful amazing part of sex. For me it is kinda the difference in sex and making love. That amazing connection where it feels like two souls collide and join. There is no other feeling on earth like it.
I wish I could say that I experience this amazing colliding of souls each time I make love to my spouse. The problem is that since I have been remembering more and more about my past sexual abuse I have had more realizations about my own sexuality. What is it that I desire? Do I enjoy being desired?
What I am finding is that I’m not even sure what “normal” sexual behavior or desire is. What I know from sex I learned from my abusers. I learned from the enormous amount of pornography (movies/magazines) my best friend and I found in her basement one summer. We spent the entire summer filling our minds with all we could to learn and see what her dad thought was so good that it pulled him away from the family every night after dinner. I learned from hearing my dad rape my mom at night. I learned from being forced to perform acts that I didn’t understand, didn’t like and that didn’t feel good. THAT was my normal.
I was recently having a conversation with someone about this topic and the word erotic came up. I immediately shut down. EROTIC? That is dirty! I’m not doing ANYTHING erotic! In my mind I was seeing something totally different than what the word erotic really means. I was seeing one partner tying up the other, I was seeing blind folds, hand cuffs, costumes. WOW! Why didn’t anyone teach me about sex? I Googled the words “erotic sex” and clicked on images. Go ahead, do it. . . I’ll wait.
Ok. . . that is enough time. Come back. . . . No really. . .
The images I saw were beautiful! Two beautiful bodies entwined with each other. It showed love, gentleness, passion. It was sensual. THAT WAS EROTIC? That didn’t look dirty at all!
Then, trying to figure out what to call the picture in my head I Googled something else. Here try it. . . . type in “S & M sex”. Be careful. . .again, click on the images. My naive mind had heard people mention S&M, but I had NO CLUE what it really was. I guess I had been living under a rock somewhere!
Did you look? Go ahead. . . . do it!
Didn’t take you long to come back this time did it? LOL!!
THIS is the image in my head when I heard the word erotic. Now I know that some people get into this stuff. That’s fine. I’m not saying it’s bad for everyone. What I am saying is that it is NOT for me. It feels dominating and leaves me feeling powerless just to look at it or think about it. If that is what you like, who am I to judge. For me it feels bad, dirty. . .and like something that would leave me feeling so empty and used.
I would just like to have an appropriate vocabulary for sex, love making, sexual experiences, etc. I’m well into my 4th decade and still I’m learning about sex. What I’m ok with doing. What I’m ok receiving, giving, feeling, desiring. . . .
I want to be able say yes or no without feeling guilty or shameful. I want to allow my body to feel pleasure without feeling shame, or feeling like I will lose control. I want to feel like it’s ok to not be in control 100% of the time. To let myself go. I have been able to experience this at times, but more times than not my body will trick me and interrupt causing me to feel like I’m not worthy of this experience. I want to be able to talk about sex without being embarrassed by what I feel or what I do or don’t know.
I want to know that I’m not alone in how I feel. Not that I would want this confused feeling for anyone else. I just want to know that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this. I know it will pass. I know I have felt wonderment and fulfillment in love making. I just want it more frequently. I want my abusers out of my head and out of my bedroom. Does the guilt and shame around sex every completely go away?
Am I too old to learn what is true about sex, about making love? I almost feel like I need to be reprogrammed. Delete the old files in my head and start over. My body remembers more than my mind. I feel safer than I ever have, where sex is concerned, with my spouse. It’s not about that. It’s about being able to get past all the programming and create my own sexual experience. Allow myself to feel completely, to desire, want, give, receive and ask. And to be ok, or even more than ok, feeling desired. . . .wanted.
Anyone else ever feel like this?