Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1. When I was 18, about a week before I turned 19, my ex-boyfriend raped me and insulted my body while it happened. He threw me out of his house, where I was living, the next day--on Christmas. I was homeless, hated myself, ashamed to be around the few friends I still had after the breakup, and across the country from my family. He was my first boyfriend; we had talked about getting married, and he was so thoroughly integrated into my life I didn't know who I was anymore. There was a moment one day where he asked what my favorite music was, and I couldn't remember. He yelled at me, hit me when I tried to touch him, and there were one or two moments where I thought he was going to kill me. I tried to kill myself afterward, but my family still don't know the real reason why it happened. I hope they never find out. Not just out of shame, but also because I feel like my family couldn't handle it and I selfishly don't want to have to face their emotions. I don't even like how my friends' perceptions of me have changed after I told them, so what's the point? I can't do anything about it. I just have to live with it. Only maybe four people in my whole life know about this. Only one, the guy I am currently dating, knows the whole story with details. I am actually shaking as I type this and hope I don't have a panic attack.

2. I was in denial for 4 years about what had happened and how much it had affected my entire sex life. If I could have it instantly out of my life, I would.

3. I still believe that a lot of who I am sexually does not have anything to do with it.

4. I get ashamed at thinking that I am affected by it at all, because so many people have had it worse. I feel like I should be stronger than I am. I feel like I would somehow be a liar or a leech if I make it into some boo-hoo story. It's hard to get around it, though, because if I have a panic attack or avoid hooking up with someone, my friends want to know why.

5. I have only been sexually intimate with two people in my life, at 23 years old. I have very briefly dated and kissed a few women and a guy in the four years between partners, but I was not intimate with them. My friends and the people I attract tend to be sexually promiscuous, so I hide this to a fairly extreme degree. Sometimes I feel ashamed of it. Sometimes I feel proud of it.

6. Although I have only been intimate with two men, I consider my sexuality very fluid. Since the age of 14 I've been pretty "out" that I am attracted to girls just as much as boys. I've always felt that way, and I remember vivid moments of panic when I learned to masturbate and realized that I was fantasizing that I was a guy and focusing on the girl. I have gone through several "shifts" in what bodies I find myself attracted to most, but overall I'm pretty split between men and women. I identify publicly as bisexual (because people understand that more, despite the annoying preconceptions), but it's more accurate to say that I'm pansexual. When it comes to sex, it's all parts and pleasure. The mind behind it is what makes the difference.

7. I love porn. All kinds of porn. I've loved it since I was around 15. I once wondered if I had a porn addiction for a while, but felt fairly proud of it because watching porn goes against so many people's expectations. I've slowed down in my porn consumption, but I still love it. I wonder a little if maybe my porn habit is what makes monogamy and abstinence so easy for me, since my energy is directed toward that, but I don't dwell on it a lot. I truly, honestly find nothing wrong with it. I like having something extra available to me when I need inspiration, so it works.

8. I am especially fond of gay porn and anything that involves gender play and a power dynamic. I recently really got into straight porn for the first time, but usually I find it a little boring.

9. I consider myself to be extremely romantic in my private life, although I hide it in my public life. This cynical science-loving gal likes to believe in true love and the power and pervasiveness of love. For a long time I felt like I didn't deserve it, but I want to get married to someone I truly love more than anyone else. I feel like modern culture does not focus enough on the importance and necessity of love. I recommend the work of anthropologist Helen Fisher. It opened my eyes to the idea that science doesn't contradict the existence of love.

10. I don't separate romantic love and sex in my life. I am just not emotionally built that way. If I want to fulfill a biological need and relieve frustration, I'll watch some porn and not risk the drama. I know that other people would like to just have sex with me, so I don't need the confirmation of casual sex for my self-esteem. For me, the real thing deserves to be sex with feeling. My nightmare is someone who just wants to have sex with my body and not care about my intellect or have any attachment to me.

11. I don't think I could ever date or have a relationship with a straight man again. The guy I've been involved with recently is bisexual, and I feel like a bisexual man is my ideal partner now. Actually, I feel like I am "My partner!"-sexual right now, because he is all I think about when I masturbate (in various versions and scenarios) since we started dating a year ago.

12. I feel far more comfortable with BDSM than with vanilla sex.

13. I love to be tied down and have things done to me. I feel like it should be surprising considering #1, but a lot of the hurt with my ex had to do with being out of control and not feeling wanted. Being a power bottom and having that safe word to stop my partner at any time makes me feel so sexy, wanted, and empowered.

14. I hide my darker impulses. Some of the porn I watch is very hardcore BDSM and involves blood, submission, etc. I like to push myself and see what darker and harder things turn me on. I wouldn't trust a partner that much right now, but I would like to experience some hardcore acts with someone I love.

15. It's hard to describe the emotional security and intimacy BDSM brings to me and why it appeals to me so much.

16. I adore strap-ons, toys, leather, costumes, and all sorts of fun things.

17. Androgyny turns me on. Femme guys and butch girls are hot. There is nothing hotter than someone who can be both feminine and masculine, and is very confident in themselves while they play with their gender roles.

18. While I like that people are attracted to me (of course) and find nothing necessarily morally wrong with open relationships and polygamy (when practiced with respect), I have an extreme aversion to multiple people trying to have sex with me. I don't know how to describe it, but the idea of many people knowing what I look like naked or feel like in orgasm makes me panic and want to scream. I wasn't always like this, but I intensely like the control over who gets to see my body and know me sexually. This might be what predisposes me toward monogamy. I've tried to break out of my shell a bit, but when I did it only confirmed that I have almost a fetishistic desire to only have one partner and not have several partners over my lifetime.

19. Contradicting that, I have had fantasies of threesomes and voyeurism before. The thing is, in these fantasies it's been very emotionally secure, such as marriage to two people or the (I can't believe I'm admitting this) slash fiction sci-fi idea of a person being split or cloned in some way. In real life, dating two people at the same time is exhausting and not as fulfilling as focusing on that one special person to me. I am voyeuristic, but I think I'd giggle and laugh if I was watching people have sex in person. And I would panic and feel unsafe while having sex with other people in the room. Thus, it's just a fantasy. I want to stick with toys and one person who is my everything.

20. Many times I have wondered if something was wrong with me because I don't have a desire for many partners and I am not sexually attracted to many people. I don't want to be in love with/have sex with several different people over my life. I am attracted to many kinds of different, interesting people, but in general I feel like my "I'd actually fuck that person if they gave me the chance" or "I wonder why they're like in bed" quotient is much lower than most. I'm "I'll fuck that person if they take me out on several dates, love me for who I am, they like the same kinks, and I fall in love with them. And then only if I think that it's real, deep love and they could be that one person I needed to find."

21. I feel guilty and sad about the people I may have hurt or rejected because I am so different and not open to sex without love first.

22. I hide how easy it is for me to commit to one partner and not cheat because it upsets some of my close friends who don't find it easy at all.

23. My partner told me how much he loved how my body was shaped and how it filled his fantasies. It was so genuine and unprompted that it entirely contradicted the insults my ex said to me about how my body felt during sex. My partner didn't even know about the verbal abuse. I didn't let myself realize before how much my ex affected my perception of my body during sex, and how much he lied. It was a revelation for me. I wish I knew how to express my immense gratitude to my partner without freaking him out. He has no idea how much it has changed my point of view.

24. After a four-year drought through college, I thought I would never find someone to fall in love with and who would sexually fulfill me. I had very little hope for myself. I am so very in love right now that it's intoxicating. I am afraid of it not working out, but I love him. I've never felt romantic love so deeply and profoundly before.

25. I've used the word "hide" a few times in this. I hide my love life. I wish I felt safe enough to share it openly. I love being me, but I don't like being judged or having others feel like I am judging them.