Call Out Your Own Name

Sex After Trauma, Is Possible, But Like All Healing It Takes Work

Devon J Hall @LoudMouthBrownGirl
Somewhat Sinful
Published in
6 min readDec 29, 2023

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My beloved friend and sister in the written word Demeter V Delune started this magazine almost a year ago. And from the moment she said the words “Somewhat Sinful” I thought to myself, “I could do something with that, something beautiful could come out of me writing for this magazine.”

And then I found I couldn’t write.

Who the fuck was I, am I, with all my battle wounds and scars, to write about sexuality when I’m not having sexual intercourse with anyone other than myself?

So I thought about it genuinely, and I realized that in my new home, in my new bed that had been untouched by the male hand other than the movers who brought it in, I was safe.

For the first time in 40 years, I was and am safe from men. It’s a feeling I can’t fully express in words alone, but what I can say is that at the very least it feels fan fucking tastic.

It feels amazing, and beautiful, healing, and it fills me with wonder about my future, but more than that it fills me with a strength that I haven’t felt since I was a child.

Every day of my life I sit here and I write about the world, how I see the world and why I think what I see matters.

But I rarely write about sex because trauma victims aren’t expected to write about sex, we’re not encouraged to try sex after abuse. We’re told instead that it’s okay to wait, and to feel like you never want to be touched again, and of course those things are okay.

But what if you do want to be touched again? How do you get to that place? I can’t find many articles on the internet, or in my brain, about how to do that, because so many of us are so fragile that we often spend our time talking about and focusing on the trauma, and the aspects of what that trauma looks like.

As we should, because that’s where many of us are. But many of us are also in the place of wondering “is it possible to have sex with a partner of the opposite or same sex, after abuse?’

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is that it takes work, and that work means you have to be vulnerable again, which is some of the scariest shit in the world, after being abused.

I know that I am going to settle down with a partner one day, I have no idea what that person looks like or who they are, but what I do know is that they’re going to understand my trauma, and I am going to understand their trauma before we ever get to the point where we’re having sex.

Because adult relationships are different than young relationships. Young relationships are all about romance and passion, but older more mature relationships I am learning, are about meeting people where they are at, and consciously choosing every day, to keep them a part of your life.

Some of my friends are in healthy powerful relationships where they are having regular sex and they are thrilled to be each other’s other.

Some of my friends are in confusing relationships, and more about “having someone there” than actually being there because you want to be there, with “this specific” person.

Relationships come in all forms and formats as you get older, but as you age you start to look around at the people around you and pick and choose what works for you and what doesn’t.

Sex after rape is something that I never thought was possible, but I also equate my sexual organs with abuse and trauma, my body has been colonized, and weaponized against me so that I would struggle to have an orgasm without feeling like sex and abuse are intertwined forever.

That’s the intent of cult rapists, they want always for your body to be theirs, and after abuse, it often feels like you’ve lost autonomy over your own body.

When it comes to sex it can feel dirty, exhausting, and it can remind you of times when you didn’t want to be with the person you were forced to be touched by.

But sex is a practice like anything else in the world, and when you find someone you can trust, relate to, and express yourself with, it will all come together perfectly naturally.

Largely because you’ll have had the big conversations before hand, you’ll have talked about what you need and don’t like, what’s necessary for consent to occur, and for you both to be happy.

Guys — especially older males — enjoy talking about sex, but when they’re young their hormones control their brains, and they start to think that a conversation about sex is an invitation to have sex. This is rarely the case, and why so many women shy away from talking about sex with their male counterparts.

Every day I talk to women around the world, and the one thing that we all have in common (especially young Black women so YAS GIRL GET IT!) is that we’re calling out our own names when we orgasm. Not because we’re arrogant, but because we’re celebrating ourselves as we reach the peak of pleasure.

It’s a fascinating experience to hear your own voice whisper your own name when you’re being the most vulnerable with yourself. I struggle I will admit, to fantasize about sexual images because that triggers me to think about what I’ve been through which is a huge turn-off.

Years ago a male mental health friend/colleague of mine, confessed on Twitter that he had a rape dream and had an orgasm, he said it made him feel awful and disgusting.

I told him and I continue to say this — it wasn’t the abuse he was orgasming to, it was his brain changing a scary/terrifying/abusive/horrible moment into something pleasurable so it didn’t physically hurt as much as it emotionally did.

This doesn’t make anyone — including myself — feel better, but it is a part of the healing process that we must learn to understand so that we can move forward.

Each of us handles trauma in a way that makes sense to us, but what makes sense to me is honoring my body.

  • Taking long hot baths, with bubble baths and bath bombs might seem like a silly ridiculous privilege, and it absolutely is, because for years I didn’t have a working bathtub, so I had no idea how good it felt to be able to do that for myself.
  • Doing my nails or paying to have someone do my nails isn’t a monthly expense, it’s a “when I can afford it” or “when I’m in the mood” expense, but it feels good to be treated to having it done, even if I pay for it myself. It helps remind me that I deserve to have pretty well-manicured hands every once in a while.
  • Shaving my head was a life changer because I suddenly stopped caring about what I looked like, more than I cared about how I felt. I started caring about what was wrong with me, and why I wasn’t cleaning or taking care of myself, and I started asking for help…again. Finally.
  • And finally masturbation is something I do because I want to, not because I have to, or because I am retraining my body but because I enjoy orgasms and I enjoy giving my body a treat every now and then.

Years ago I had a conversation with a girl friend who told me she was tired of having sex with her man. She loved him, but she — and her body more importantly — needed a break from his dick.

I have no idea what happened with the two of them but I’ll never forget her, largely because she inspired me so much to remember that orgasms are not a gift from the man that we choose to lay with. They are something we can activate on our own, when we’re ready, on our terms, without worrying about what other people might think of what gets us off.

These days I get off to myself, I think about all the things that make me feel good about myself and I call out my name because, at the end of the day, I’m the greatest of all time.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall, The Loud Mouth Brown Girl

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Devon J Hall @LoudMouthBrownGirl
Somewhat Sinful

4 Time Self-Published and Published Author, Devon J Hall brings honest relatable content to you weekly