i dont know if this is going to break the precious guidelines or not, buh i do know that im not the only person in the world who has trouble with sex after being raped and abused for years.
ne way, the problem is that i have flashbacks constantly. ive been able to work through a lot of my issues from certain faces to certain words and noises, buh issues are issues and noises go from enjoying the ride to "oh my god" and *snap* flashback! such is life, buh i think this is a worthy thread.
I'm not sure why you feel the need to be snarky about the guidelines, or why you think this topic would stand counter to them. Really, none of that is necessary.
I highly suggest a wonderful book by Stacy Haines called, "The Survivor's Guide to Sex."
It is very common when we have been through sexual assault to find certain correlations with consesual sex triggering when it comes to our memories of our abuse. For myself, what I always found helped when I went through a lot of that was to let my partners know it could happen, and when it did, to say "stop," or make a hand signal, and reroot myself verbally or in my head as to where I was in the present, who I was with, and that I wanted to be there.
And a lot of the time, that meant stopping the sex for that day, which, when your partner knows why (so as not to feel they have done something wrong) can be perfectly okay.
I am terrified of intercourse, I'm okay with most other things, but I've always been terrified of intercourse, and then one day I was fine, and having fun(safely) and all of a sudden he had penetraded, and it hurt, and I was scared, I didn't want that. It has only reinforced my fear of intercourse.
------------------ ~*~Sarah~*~ Take my hand and we can fly higher than the stars.
Posts: 27 | From: Asheville, NC - Freak Capitol of the US and proud of it | Registered: Jun 2001
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i think i've found my topic. i really have.
me, i'm terrified of it. I can be having so much fun, absolutely crazy, thinking about how good this is, how good it feels, and then poof! a flashback will pop up and then i just can't get back. i've never orgasmed, and i think this might have something to do with it. my bf is really supportive about it, but he has a hard time, because he hs no way to imagine what it's like (thank god)
we can go to a certain point now because i swore to myself that my rapist could control everythignelse, but he was not going to control my relationship with my boyfriend. unfortunately, easier said than done.
I really don't know what to do about it, to make it go away.
looks like i'm not the only one feeling like this. that is amazingly comforting.
I wasn't raped, but I was sexually assaulted and forced to give oral sex to guys I didn't want to give oral sex to. So, I understand the fear. Sometimes I'm fine with oral, and sometimes it really scares me. So bad that I feel sick to my stomach. With one of my ex-boyfriends, sometimes he'd do things that would remind me of what happened, and I would have a flashback and just want to run from him.
I haven't had any problems with my current boyfriend, but it's mostly because I feel very safe with him. But we've talked about if I ever feel even the slightest bit iffy about something, then we'll stop whatever we're doing and either get out and take a walk or talk about it. Just knowing that if I do panic, my boyfriend knows, and I'll have him to talk to about it to, has made me not as iffy about oral.
------------------ Lil Siren -Scarleteen Advocate "Those are some BIG ice cubes...."
sex after rape... well i was 10-13 when my abuse was occuring. my abuser once told me after i asked him if he did this with his girlfriends: "S-, you are not my girlfriend, but this is normal, this is what all friends are supposed to do". after that, i let go. i was very promiscuous and well known among the male population. then when i was 19, i met a wonderful guy whom i dated for 2 years. he didn't pressure me into anything at all... actually i was the one pressuring him. (i did not rape him however) i realized then, that my abuser was wrong. in the whole 2 years we dated, we only had intercourse 2 times!!! and we were both OK with that. he understood. as for now... i have been celibate for over a year. anything inside me, except a tampon, makes me very sick to my stomach. i dont' know if i can handle sex ever again.
Posts: 8 | From: Morehead, Ky, USA | Registered: Jun 2001
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Do remember gals, that sex isn't just intercourse, or just oral sex, or just manual sex.
It is WHATEVER makes you feel sexually fulfilled, and that may simply be kissing and cuddling, or it may be not being physically intimate with anyone but yourself for a while. And that is all okay, and that all needs be respected by a partner, as it's clear some of your partners have done (hooray for sensitive partners!). Honestly, there are times I have felt that being abused was a sort of mixed-blessing for me, simply because working through all that really allowed me to see all of the things sex encompassed, and gave me a far more flexible and open way of looking at it, as well as forcing me to communicate with partners more than most young people usually do.
Be sure and cut yourself some slack: sexual abuse takes a while to work through. And just like someone who has been mugged usually isn't okay with being on dark streetcorners alone for a while, rape victims usually aren't okay with some forms of sex for a while.
When you're ready for it, whatever you decide is the sort of sex you want will be available to you.
I had a forced oral sex experience a little over a year ago. I've given oral sex many many times since, but I absolutely freak out when a guy grabs my head during it. I know a lot of people do this, but it really bothers me because that's what happened when I was forced to. Also, if anyone says anything remotely similar to what my rapist said to me, either, "Get down ***** and suck my dick," or "I'm going to **** you until you pass out," I just freak out. Once I actually started crying. So I figured out that duh, I just need to tell my partners about my issues before we start having sex. But I sorta feel like I'm just being silly and should get over it. I mean, should I expect to get over it and be ok with those things? Or is it just going to be like this forever?
quote:Originally posted by PoetgirlNY: ...if anyone says anything remotely similar to what my rapist said to me, either, "Get down ***** and suck my dick," or "I'm going to **** you until you pass out," I just freak out. Once I actually started crying. So I figured out that duh, I just need to tell my partners about my issues before we start having sex. But I sorta feel like I'm just being silly and should get over it. I mean, should I expect to get over it and be ok with those things? Or is it just going to be like this forever?
this is exactly how i feel. when my bf says certain things, gives certain looks, i cant deal and retreat all the time and cry some of the time. then of course i feel silly, stupid and such. whats a girl to do?
Oral sex is still a no no for me. I was forced into it and i'm still not ok w/ it ... my bf knows this and it just doesn't come up. Intercourse is fine for me tho, most of the time. It's kinda like a rollercoaster ...just go w/ it. If it's not ok, say so. If it is ok, great.
It's important to talk about it to. I'm just getting into the not so fun part of therapy - talking about sex abuse stuff. Hard, but oh so important. Blagh.
I know how all of you feel... although I don't remember alot about my rapist or exactly what happened (I was only 4 at the time) anytime I get held into a small area I get really shakey and upset.. I had time dealing with this for a long time because I was in a few relationships where the guy I ws with really didn't care... they just wanted more from me than I was ready too give. But now the relationship I'm in my boyfriend and I really care about eachother and he totally understands, anytime I get upset he's there and thats one of the best things in the world. He is even supportive on my decision to wait for a few years till we have sex. I just want to tell all of you, if you end up in a relationship where s/he doesn't care about your feelings and the things that bother you then you don't need to be in that relationship... you all seem so strong and deserve better than that.
I need some help...or suggestions. I have a really good friend (a girl) that just got out of a sexual relationship. The guy had done some stuff when she didn't want to and lately she opened up to me about how she felt. I like her a whole bunch and I want more than anything for her to be happy and comfortable again. But she tells me how she can hardly get into her own bed b/c of the stuff that she has done. I feel so bad for her and I have no idea what I can do except to just say that I'm sorry and that I really care....and that she's in my prayers. But that's about it. She lives too far from me to see her on a regular basis. So most of our contact is through email or the phone. So....what's a guy to do?
Josh, the best thing you can do is be there for her. If she wants to talk, listen carefully to what she says and respond in a supportive way. From my own rather limited experience with women who have been abused I have noted that sometimes they want to talk, and sometimes they don't and you won't know ahead of time. I suppose the same would aply to men who have been sexually abused but I have no experience with this.
You say that she lives too far away for you to see her on a regular basis. You might do a web search for counseling services in her area that you could reccommend to her should the opportunity arise. Professional counsellors are trained for this while neither you nor I are. They can provide valuable face-to-face help for her.
Just bear in mind that being a good friend is one of the most important things you can do and will really fill a need in her life right now.
------------------ We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
- Albert Einstein
[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-30-2001).]
Nice to hear from you again Bobo.....been ages! Anyways, Yes, that's exactly and basically all I have done. But I see what your saying.......that's about all I can do. Oh yeah, guys that have been sexually abused can also be like that. Well, thanks for the advice.
I'm really glad this topic was started, because it is something that's very common, and I think it's good to have a safe place to talk about it and learn from each other.
I was raped multiple times by my former partner during the four years we were together. Some times it was all-out rape, and other times it was done under the guise of a BDSM "scene" -- I was young and very naieve, and had never heard of such things before. After I left him, I discovered that BDSM was something very different from what he'd done to me, but that's another story for another time.
For me, the most important thing in being able to handle sex again after being raped was knowing that I could stop it at any time, for any reason, and it'd be okay. Learning to say "stop" was scary at first, but my partner was very understanding, and sometimes would stop before I'd even say anything, because it was obvious that I was about to go into a flashback.
And like Heather said, it's important that you be honest with your partners, and let them know that you might flashback during sex. Work out a safeword, or a non-verbal signal, or a combination of things that you can use to let your partner know you need to stop, or change what you're doing, or otherwise regroup.
Therapy can help, as can creative outlets. I've been in therapy for about a year, and I also journal obsessively. Both have helped me deal with my rape issues a lot.
Another thing that really helped me was learning how to break away from various sexual positions that involved me being pinned down or otherwise restrained. A month or so ago I had my partner hold me down, tie me up, etc, and then work with me on ways I could escape from each type of restraint. Once I realized that there were ways I could escape, I started feeling more confident about having sex again.
Oh, and Josh? Trust me, having a good friend to talk to and confide in is *very* important. You sound like a fabulous friend.
I just wanted to thank everyone for responding to this topic, it helps to know that you aren't alone -Drama Chick
Posts: 19 | From: Houston, Texas, United States | Registered: Mar 2002
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Oh, Kyth, I just saw your post in this thread for the first time! I had a similar experience with learning how to escape being helpful. In the self-defense course I instruct, we teach something called "Bridging." It's basically a rape defense, in that if someone is lying on top of you, you can throw them off of you even if they weigh much more and are holding you down. It works by using leverage from the hips, and messing with the person's balance, in such a way that a 100 pound person can throw a 300 pound person off of them without too much trouble (I've seen it done!).
I sometimes like to be held down during sexual activity, but I always felt a little nervous about it before I learned bridging. Of course, I only ask someone to hold me down if I really really really trust them to begin with, but it makes me feel better knowing that if I ever wanted to throw them off of me, I could. But of course, this is all consensual, so if I want someone off of me, I can just ask them nicely to get off, or safeword Much more civil then hurling them across the bed!
------------------ "I'll be a Venus on a chocolate clamshell rising on a sea of marshmallow foam." -Hedwig
I know that sometimes, it feels like 2 steps forward, 3 steps back; everything is going ok, and them BAM! something happens, and you feel like you are right back where you started.
This is nothing to feel badly about. I know that you are antsy to start feeling "normal" again, but after such a traumatic experience, it takes some time.
Are you seeing a therapist, or other sort of counseler? I seem many of my friends make their greatest strides forward when they find someone they can be open with, and who presents an objective opinion. It might be worth a try, dear.
Maybe someone here has some advice...about a year ago I was dating a guy who would rape me on an average basis. The relationship ended, and i started dating a guy who was really great and who i thought truly cared about me. When he asked me if i was ok with us practicing safe sex, i ended up telling him about my ex-boyfriend. I thought that he would be understanding of me not being ready for sex, but instead he just stared at me, and told me that i must have been begging for it. Then he locked the door, and raped me. I don't want to ruin my entire future sex life by being permanentally emotionally damaged. Does anybody know of a way that I could just get over the feeling of not wanting sex? That way my boyfriend and I could just make love, and he wouldn't be forced into raping me. thanks for listening everyone -Drama Chick
Posts: 19 | From: Houston, Texas, United States | Registered: Mar 2002
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ookuotoe is absolutely right -- he was not "forced" into doing anything. He CHOSE to force YOU into sex, and that is very wrong, not to mention illegal.
And hon, you might want to consider talking to a counselor or therapist about all of this. Most people can't "just get over" the trauma of being raped, but it is possible to heal quite a lot in time. A counselor or therapist can be very helpful during that process.
Just for a little encouragement from someone down the road a ways. I am 43 and my wife is an incest survivor. It's been a tough road at times, but with thearpy and patience our sex life is as good or maybe even better thatn many peoples. This is in part due to the fact that we've had to learn to talk about really difficult subjects. So I just saying it isn't easy but there is hope. Bright Blessings, Mingo
[This message has been edited by mingo (edited 04-04-2002).]
Mingo, thank you so much for posting that. It's good to see a reminder that things can get better in time.
I'm going to add my own $.02 -- I've been in therapy for about a year now, and I'm starting to see some significant improvements. Most of the time, I can have sex without any flashbacks now, and it's slowly getting to the point where my past is just that -- my past. It's taken a lot of time and a lot of work, but I'm making progress.
Mingo, we really do appreciate advice and comments from everyone ... of all sexes/ages. We actually have an advocate a little older than you ...
Does anyone else have problems just bringing it up? I've been seeing a social worker for just over a year now and i think it's come up *maybe* 3 times. And even that was b/c i'd had a bad dream or something had made me think of it.
My psychiatrist knows about it too but doesn't care to make me talk about it.
I know what you guys are going through! My biggest problem is my b/f and I will be together and sometimes (especially either when he's fingering me or I'm giving him a blowjob) I seem to drift off and I don't feel like I'm really there and I'm not even really pysically feeling what's happening to me. The problem is I don't usually realise I'm gone until I "come back" persay, and the all of a sudden it's like "whoa! what's been happening? where was I?" Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to fix it? I know my b/f loves me and if I wanted to stop doing something, no matter when, he would stop and talk to me or hold me or do whatever to help me feel better. I'm just so worried that this will never go away and I really want to know what it feels like to be sexual with the person I love. Thanks for listening!!
Oh Dani, that is a VERY common thing amoung abuse surviors. You didn't say, but given the title of the thread, I assume you have some abuse history. As for what to do about it, therapy honey, therapy.
------------------ We are starstuff, we are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out
The drifting off thing happens to me occasionally too, but much less often than it used to. My boyfriend knows that if I suddenly go complete silent (and there's no good explanation, like hearing my parents enter the apartment, or having such an intense orgasm that I can't breathe for a second) that it means that I might be drifting off, so he stops. A way that I've found to prevent it is to not do things that don't let me feel connected to my partner. I've only recently been able to enjoy sex of any kind in positions that preclude eye contact.
First off i wanted to praise all of you girls(and guys) for telling your story, and let you know that all of you are in my prayers. I'm a 17 year old guy, and I don't personally have any experience with the trauma of rape, but my girlfriend of 4 months recently told me that her ex-boyfriend raped her repediatly. The reason i am writing is because i need some advice... her and I are not making love yet (neither of us are ready), but we do have a lot of physical contact, and I haven't known how to act towards her since she told me about her past. She gets scared, and has flashbacks so easily when we are being physical(of course i stop what i'm doing immediately), and then she apologizes for being afraid, almost like i would be mad at her for for feeling basic human emotions. I hold her and tell her how i couldn't even imagine harming her, and that I understand how scary life must seem for her right now, and i completely understand that she's gonna be scared, and i'm ok with that. we can work through her fears together. I tell her that if she needs to take a break from whatever we are doing, or if i should go home for the night, I understand, and that wont upset me. I was wondering if there is anything else that i should or could be saying to her when she is scared that you girls/guys might know of, and what are some basic physical things I should probably avoid that have scared you in the past that could possibly scare her. the last thing that i want to do is make her afraid...its hard enough seeing her when she crying, to know that i caused it would be practically unbearable....thanks so much for listening everyone...i hope to hear from you soon. -Jeff
Posts: 8 | From: US | Registered: Apr 2002
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I think that just by being fully supportive like you are is wonderful. You have to understand that every trauma is different for every person, and certain things trigger flashbacks for certain people. It's all a very individual thing. I think that slowly working your way through this with her is the only way to really tackle the situation.
Just make sure that you two communicate as openly (and, it goes without saying, privately) about her experiences, and just be completly, utterly supportive.
There's really no "Do this, and it will greatly ease her emotional pain" answer. It just takes time, patience, and most of all, understanding.
quote:Originally posted by HereToHelp: the last thing that i want to do is make her afraid...its hard enough seeing her when she crying, to know that i caused it would be practically unbearable....thanks so much for listening everyone...i hope to hear from you soon. -Jeff
You sound very supportive. Keep in mind that whatever feelings she has are not your responsibility. You can be there for her, and help her through it, but if she's crying, and you don't know what to do about it, it's not your fault. It's the fault of the guy who raped her in the first place.
As for specific things not to do, that varies by person. So why don't you just ask her? At a time when there's not a problem, and you're not having sex, and you have privacy, just ask her if there are specific things that she wants you not to do.
Also, when she apologizes for crying (I do that a lot!), let her know that she doesn't need to. An important thing might just be letting her know that you'll give her the however much space, support, or comfort she needs, and that you won't get fed up and leave her if she cries too often.
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