SEX, TOUCH & LOVE

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Sex is a topic I steer away from. Sex? Yuck. Yet I find myself leaving comments on sites, almost like a confession. So even this last dirty secret isn’t a secret, and if dirty, it lay at the hands of my brothers; not mine.

I left this comment with Amy Jo, a very brave, honest, open blogger:

My young body wasn’t left to develop sexuality naturally, with an innocent kiss, then on down the line, each touch associated with a peer my own age and reciprocal, associating touch with love or liking someone. My body learned arousal during the course of being attacked. Though I fought at first, (and not everybody does, it’s still an attack) fighting made it much, much worse, as if I’d die from suffocation. So I feigned sleep, hating every second. Just be done with it. During the course of the ‘attack’, my body betrayed me but all the rest of me, mind, spirit and soul, despised what he was doing and was sickened and disgusted by him, and that thing hanging between his legs.

My body became aroused by certain touch despite my revulsion, especially in my breast area, though I didn’t have breasts yet. I hate what they did to me, taking away the natural progression of sexuality, where I could be with a partner and love the feeling of being touched, of being loved and making love. The idea of being forced, held down, and raped has always been associated with sexual touch. It’s how it was introduced, and the associations made were beyond my control.

So I learned to find arousal by going with that. My husband loves me, but instead of responding with his loving touch that I assume most people would naturally do, I could only respond by imagining being forced. Until I came up with a solution or an idea that allowed me to use the associations my body had learned- love and force-, sex was cold and uncomfortable. I didn’t like it at all. Yuck. The only part I liked was cuddling afterwards.

I refused to have that taken from me too. I came up with a fantasy that I was drugged. And though being cajoled, manipulated and taken sexually against my will, the drug allowed me to respond. I think I was brilliant at doing this.

My guess is that others touched inappropriately in childhood, also had their sexuality hampered, that it matured differently than what the natural progression would have been. What was taken is irreplaceable. Too much was stolen. Yet the human spirit persists, and I found a way to enjoy the basic right of touch and intimacy despite what they did.

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20 thoughts on “SEX, TOUCH & LOVE

  1. Great story Grace. I think every couple has adjustments to make when they are both at home. I have it sometimes on weekends when my husband is home. I am not able to get to all the routines that I use to manage my PTSD. Looks like you are having fun with your granddaughter.

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  2. Very brave .. it’s been too hard a topic for me to talk about…

    I spent 5 years in therapy and barely spoke about sex to my therapist. I wanted to I think.. or maybe needed to..

    Sex is a huge part of what’s stopping me from finding a new partner.

    Sad to let your past ruin your present..

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  3. This post so sounded like my experience with intimacy that it brought tears. I’ve not found a way to be present during sex and I feel as though I’m cheating my amazing husband. I’m working toward being able to enjoy physical contact because I hate that ‘he’ controls even that part of my life. I find courage in your story… Thank you

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    1. It’s as important to talk about as all other aspects of what is taken after the childhood trauma of sexual abuse; but one of the hardest, and I bet least talked about; little corners of secrecy I found almost impossible to share, feeling others would look upon me poorly and never understand.
      I always knew that my fantasies were totally OK. Anything that enlivens the sex life and offers one or both more enjoyment is fine.
      I would choose to just be with Samuel as the man I married, who I loved and who loved me, of course. It wasn’t to be.
      After the first night with my husband still a boyfriend at the time, what should have been magic, was just a motion to go through so I could nestle in the crook of his arm afterwards and fall asleep. That went on for several years, and more than a motion to go through, afterwards, when he seemed satisfied and I wasn’t, I felt like I was traumatized all over again; used. It was an unbearable feeling. I felt enraged towards him, but held it in, sort of.

      How does one find a way to feel human, be human, or interact with all those wonderful human qualities and gifts of warmth, loving touch, closeness, and more internal whole body sexual driven interactions when it’s associated with such memories?
      Talking about it more, being gentle, being creative. Getting books that offer suggestions. Having a willing partner that would understand and do some of the exercises in the books. Like one I read, where the partner just touches or caresses and the rule is, no sex.

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      1. Thank you for touching on a subject that is difficult to talk about, write about and sometimes even hear about. In my own story, I DID TELL I DID and NOBODY TOLD ME, I talk about my first marriage and how sex was a no go area. I often think of this poor gentle man and how hard it must have been for him as he loved me so much. I married again and the same thing happened, I had sex but sometimes forced upon me and sometimes pretending to be asleep. I consider myself as one of the lucky ones. I then met a wonderful man who gently taught me, with love, how sex could be beautiful. How it is a giving as well as a receiving act. I didn’t marry this wonderful man, for reasons in the book. I ‘tried’ marriage again and this time it was a free grown up love, enjoyable but I still have a problems. If Daniel tries to make it fun, I clam up. I can’t watch sex on the screen and find it hard to talk about, but can make love to the man I will now spend the rest of my life with. Sometimes the symptoms of PTSD that have come back since the horrors of the hoax I suffered, get in the way of every aspect of my life. Some of us are lucky enough to break free from the horrors of sex being forced upon us and are able to love properly,and I am one of those. I do so agree though, I never experienced that first tender kiss, the first act of intimacy with someone of my own age. The wonder of teenage love and sex. All of this, like you, I had stolen from me. But we are here to tell others our stories and hopefully inspire other victims, to become survivors. Thank you x

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        1. I am glad to hear you are happily enjoying the wonders of sex and touch.
          Sorry about the on-line problems. There are those that will take advantage of someone’s compassionate heart. (and bank accounts)

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  4. Thank for sharing grace;think you so right in saying there are so many of us that have had that right taken to enjoy sex in its righteous way..but our abuse changed that. ..I’m glad you found a way through it ..I’m just starting to have moments of enjoyment in it at its probably been many years of the opposite. ..
    But that’s in between flashbacks and horrific memories popping up all over,that put a stop to enjoyment and I have to begin all over again. ..I’ll be ok this is my husband!

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    1. If I had the patience and knew the challenges, and if I accepted the damage instead of trying to move ahead as if there were none, maybe I would either get a book or work with a therapist; go slowly step by step. And learn to connect with my husband one very slow step at a time, where each touch felt ok and I didn’t disconnect, feel out of control, or whatever else was hunting me down haunting me. Although being so young I’m not sure I had the capacity or wisdom to do any of those things, especially even just begin by talking about sex.
      But there has to be ways to work through it. I just had a hard time finding the ways, and when I finally did, he seemed to lose interest. Whether that was due to age, or due to the fact that he had tried a long time to be loving with a wife who couldn’t love back, at least not like that, whatever the reason, once I found a way to respond, he didn’t seem to want to.

      So the whole mess has a been a mess really. And I don’t have the answers just left in the wake of destruction by the wrong touch of others.

      Now as I look back I see that they have destroyed one of the most cherished birthrights, the ability to touch and be touched lovingly and safely. Their acts took that from me along with my being able to trust and to move about in the world freely because I feared others, knowing what they are capable of. These are great losses that I have not fully grieved until these past few years.

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  5. I have the same kind of fantasies, being forced to have sex, being raped. I thought I was alone in this respect. Thank you for being so courageous and sharing this intimate part of your life. I appreciate the way you can express so many of the feelings I have. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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