More than any explicit action, this societal expectation for me to provide nurturance to the very people who resent me has poisoned me. It requires my complete effacement, for me to deny the value of my own experience. It has required a betrayal of the most personal kind, and to recover from it necessitates re-learning one of the most basic human instincts.
What I Learned From Dating Women Who Have Been Raped
Emma Lindsay

This is emotional servitude. The true “oldest profession in the world”.

Like an interpersonal “Upstairs, Downstairs” (Series about posh people and their servants in Victorian era) this is a power issue that is really convoluted.

I think it comes from the fact that neither men nor women understand or accept our sex drives as what they are or what they are for. And confuse them with our need for company. I think the weird coercion scenarios by “friends” that seem to happen more and more in the “fuck buddies” era are down to that. One half of the world seems to need really loud signals, the other half senses whisper level signals in all modes.

My response to rape was to only have sex when I wanted to. I initiate, full stop.

Oh And alcohol. And fights.

So-No long term scenarios which always bring up moments of mis-timed desire and something like reciprocal obligation. Which is not a bad thing in itself — you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours after all- just something there was no way I could do after that experience. Any hint of coerciveness, even persuasion, “seduction” (Ha!) at all and fight/flight/freeze was triggered. Love for person had to be separated from desire for sex.

And it wasn’t because I was mentally troubled by it. Just that I needed sex (and close physical contact itself) to be just that- the result of my desire. I had to let my body decide from then on. The trauma had imprinted a ridiculously low threshold for alarm. But it was a formative experience- not quite but nearly my “first” -and came not long after losing my mother, so I think it got emotionally relegated (hey, silver linings?!)to “male bullshit-just carry a knife” category. I’d like to know if it’s any different for people who get raped when they’ve already got long sexual history.

Interestingly, having children changed my physical chip and gave me back my physical freedom. The freedom to enjoy the whole spectrum of physical contact, to be relaxed in physical closeness.

The survival need for physical closeness finally made sense to my body and was separated from the physical triggers particular to forced sex. Play fighting with toddlers completely resets the sensors.

I don’t think ju-jitsu/wrestling can do that because they carry the threat with them- they are self-defence skills after all.

Many years later, I have the objectivity and true feeling for my body’s physiology to be able to recognise the very moment it starts to shut down. Yes, it is still there. Cheers mate ¬¬

As people (culturally coerced minds), we don’t actually manage our bodies (which are more like freely experiencing animals) with the compassion that we should.

Like what you read? Give janetgas a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.