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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Being sexually active after an assault

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Author Topic: Being sexually active after an assault
covenguy
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Member # 108564

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Hi, my name is Steven. I'm now 23, so I hope that's not to old to be seeking advice here. I don't know of a specific label to inform you of my orientation, but I'll try to explain it the best I can. I am attracted to people, usually intelligent, but that's neither here nor there in some cases. A lot of the time, I don't even realize what gender or sex someone is until I stop and think about it for one reason or another. I can't really explain it, but I simply am blind to that kind of thing a lot of the time. Now that I've got some background out of the way, let's get on with the question, shall we?

I was in marching band in high school; color guard to be exact. I was not yet sexually active at this point in my life, and you could go as far as to say I'm not really "active" now either. I was attracted to a flute player who had very recently transferred to our school. We talked and hung our quite a bit, and at one football game, after the half time show, we went for a walk. He took me out behind the buses so we could be alone away from the noise and talk. I'll state now, though it is virtually unimportant, that he was quite a bit larger than me, in height and weight. He proceeded to hold me down and forcibly penetrate me while I was on the ground. I'm sure the entire ordeal lasted minutes at most, but it felt like an eternity to me, and for the longest time I blacked it out of my memory altogether.

Now on to the real problem: I've dated several people since then and I'm very uncomfortable with being sexually active with them; even though I know that they want to and I do as well. When the moment comes, even though I want it to happen, I sort of freeze up and feel a sort of knot in my throat, like when one is about to cry. I have been to councilors on several occasions about the experience and I've heard everything from putting it out of my mind, to facing my fears, to forgiving the person who assaulted me to begin with. I feel like I've accomplished every solution I've been given up until this point, and yet I still can't go forth with a sexual relationship with anyone. I was wondering if there is any advice anyone can give that can possibly help me. Thank you so much in advance.

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Steven

Posts: 5 | From: South Carolina, United States | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Steven: we generally serve people between the ages of 15 and 25, so it's all good. I'm glad you found us to come to. [Smile]

I'm so sorry that you were assaulted, but so glad you survived your assault, and have been able to work on your healing, even if it sounds like you're a bit frustrated with some of that right now.

Let's, for now, kind of chuck what you have been told to do or try in the past, and let's start with you, okay? What do YOU feel like you might need in order to make sex with someone you want be something that feels safe for you?


P.S. There is actually a word for people who find that intellect is a big part of what drives their attraction to others, if you're curious. It's "sapiosexual."

[ 09-29-2013, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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nixieGurl
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Hi there,

First of all I'm really sorry that this happened to you. It is totally normal after an assault to be feeling the way you are about having a sexual relationship.

There really is not one sure way to get past those feelings, and I have personally found that time is really sometimes the best thing. Allow yourself time to recover, what happened to you was not a little thing, its a really horrible experience and your mind and body are recovering. It might be that you are just not ready for sex and that's okay and certainly not abnormal after an assault.

Do your sexual partner/s know about what has happened to you? I found that it can really help if they do so that you are both on the same page and they know you may have certain triggers or know to stop if you freeze up.

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covenguy
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Hi guys. @nixie, yes she does, and she understands but I really want to pursue a physical relationship as well as the emotional one we currently share. @Heather, I'm really not sure what I need, because I want to engage in sex, but when the time comes it just doesn't happen for me. Also, I'm not sure about the time thing. it's been 7-8 years now since the incident in question.

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Steven

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nixieGurl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 19081

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Hiya,

That's great that you have talked to her about it and she understands. I know what you mean about really wanting a physical relationship and I do understand how frustrating this can be.

Are there certain things during sex that trigger you off that you could put aside for now until you feel relaxed enough to do them and just concentrate on what you do enjoy? Take things nice and slow and really listen to your body and don't push things too much because doing that can just set you back even further.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Are we talking only about particular kinds of sex here, or anything and everything that can be a sexual activity? In other words, does this happen just as much with kissing, as say, oral sex?

Also, can you maybe tell me some of what is happening for you in these moments? What you're feeling, what's going through your head?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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covenguy
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It's generally only when anything with genitalia are involved. And as for what I'm feeling and thinking, nothing bad goes through my head. I don't get a flashback or anything like that. I'm usually just in the moment. But as for what I'm feeling: I kind of choke up like I'm about to cry and my adrenaline surges similar to a fight or flight reaction.

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Steven

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Okay. And when that's happened, what has happened if you have gone ahead and gone forward with what you wanted to do sexually, feeling that way (if you have)? Or, in that moment, what do you feel like you then want?

Hopefully these aren't invasive questions, just trying to get the best read on this I can to figure out what to suggest.

Can I also ask if any of the counseling you have had has been expressly from a rape crisis center or person, or someone whose primary background is in helping survivors? i ask because when you say things like being advised to forgive your attacker, it sounds like it hasn't been from someone like that at all.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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covenguy
Neophyte
Member # 108564

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I haven't really tried to push past it and continue, but one councilor that I talked to was. Although you're right, not the one that gave that tidbit of advice.

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Steven

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That one counselor you saw, did you see them for a long time? And were you able to talk with them about managing sexual relationships at all, and how to deal with things like identifying and managing triggers during or with sex?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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covenguy
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Not for too long and not too in depth, mainly due to money problems.

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Steven

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Many survivor services are free. Would you like me to see what we might be able to find for you in your area?

It sounds to me like one thing that might help here is more counseling from someone, or a support group, that really is about serving survivors expressly.

If that doesn't appeal, or isn't an option, I want to make sure that in addition to our community here, you know about Male Survivor? It's here: http://www.malesurvivor.org/ They also have a discussion board where you can talk to other men who have survived assault and get more support that way.

Another idea I have as something to help you work on all of this is to pick up a copy of Staci Haines' The Survivor's Guide to Sex, if you haven't already.

But we're also happy to keep talking here if you'd like to do that.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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