Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

Reclaiming my sexuality by Ella

Never in my life had I imagined that I could find a moment like this liberating. But then, most of my life, I never imagined a moment like this would happen.

I am sitting on my bed, my legs crossed in front of me, my chin on my hands, staring intently at my computer screen.

Bright, colorful pictures cover the screen. The options seem quite endless. I am diligently doing my research, I always do my research. Research gives me security. It makes me feel comfortable to know everything I can before I take certain steps, especially one as monumental as this one.

I am buying my first ever, sex toy.

I am sure that this is a somewhat liberating experience for all women. To take control of your own sexuality, your own sexual pleasure, and in a way that is often deemed by society as being taboo ... how could this not be liberating?

But for me – someone who spent nearly 4 years being regularly and violently raped on the whim of a cruel, sick, pervert who lacks all semblance of humanity – this was a tremendous step in a direction I never imagined I could take, much less would.

For so long sex, and all things sexual, were horrifying to me. I swore when I finally got the courage to end it and walk away from that hell that I would never, ever, have sex again. Ever. Period.

Sex was invasion. It was gagging, chocking, vomiting, and horrible. It was crying on a tile floor somewhere feeling used and worthless. It was secrets, lies, beatings, and drugs. It was hell.

I knew I wanted more children someday, and there are plenty of ways I could manage that without sex. Well, maybe not “plenty” of ways, but there ARE ways.

I felt like something was irreversibly wrong with me. I felt I was damaged, and not only in the way my ultra-conservative upbringing suggested. I felt certain that I was physically incapable of ever enjoying sex, I had to be so “broken” that there was just no way. I truly felt that it was impossible, physically impossible to enjoy it. Like rape had permanently denied me any possibility of feeling good about sex, liking sex, and the word “orgasm” seemed impossibly and permanently foreign. I felt like in so many ways, I was less of a woman.

So to fast forward several years and see myself sitting there even thinking about buy a TOY of all things….this was fucking progress!

And that progress makes me feel strong in a way that I could never have imagined.

When people talk about the experience that one endures after being raped, as that list of physical and emotional symptoms rattle on, one is inevitably “difficulty in present or future relationships.” They never explain this, but who needs it explained when you live it.

But, it means you will never be the same. You are changed in many, many ways. It means that every single person you see becomes a potential rapist in your eyes. It means that some day years from the event, you will still have flashbacks occasionally. It means a lot of things, but for me it also meant that in the place I was emotionally inhabiting at the time, there was no way I could even imagine being physically intimate with anyone on any level, much less enjoy it.

Kissing even bothered me. Seeing a person kiss another person bothered me, it made me feel nauseous and panicked. I hardly could watch popular movies, sex is in almost everything. Or at least a sexual innuendo and even that made my stomach churn.

But, sitting on that bed scouring through countless pictures of vibrating doo-dads I realize that for the first time in my life I have embraced my sexuality. I have chosen to have sex, and I have enjoyed it because it was on my terms. I am damn proud of this, because it has been an uphill battle. I used to get frustrated with myself about it, but I realize now that all I needed was time to heal, and I had to heal in my own way and time.

I know I will have bad days, set backs, and flashbacks.

But I have come a long way, and now it’s not so hard to see myself going further. Healing bit by bit, day by day. I am in a relationship now where I feel okay not only with sex, but with myself. I had that before the relationship; I had to get used to me and like me again. Once I did that, so many things became possible again. Living was possible again, where before it was more like existing. Now, not only do I like sex, I am at a point where I want to experiment. And here I am again staring at countless toys that seem to hold endless possibilities.

I can see the beginning of a collection.

I can see a stronger person than I was before.

I can also see myself using the fastest shipping method possible.