We used to have a friend of the family, who was a few years older than me. When he was 17 and I was 9 he came over to our place with his mum. I always liked it when they did, he always let me play on his phone and I always felt so calm around him. We went up to my room and sure enough, I got to play on his phone. But this time he had a condition, I could play any game I liked, but afterwards, we would play a game of his choosing. They were agreeable terms. Except the game he wanted to play was to give each other handjobs. I was 9 years old and had hardly any knowledge about sex. I “played along”. He told me that you weren’t supposed to play the game when you were just a kid and it would be best if I kept quiet. I didn’t tell anyone. As he came over more often the games got more intense and as I often wouldn’t be up for it he would sometimes tie my hands behind my back. Saying we would play until I broke free, as a fun little twist on the game. He told me that if I didn’t play along he would tell my parents that I kept trying to make moves on him and then I would get in trouble. As I got older I obviously realised what we were doing. What I did not realise is that this wasn’t my fault. I told him to stop and he didn’t. I couldn’t possibly tell anyone for I would have to admit that this was going on for quite some time. As he said, it would simply reflect badly on me. I simply couldn’t see a way out. I avoided him as much as I could. I shut myself off. Then after 5 years, he let it slip to a friend who told his parents, who told mine. My parents didn’t know how long it had gone on for. They just knew that it had occurred more than once… My mum simply stated that part of me must have wanted it to happen or it would’ve stopped after the first time. Thus, confirming my fear that I was indeed to blame. It still haunts me in every relationship I form with a man.
I had the best Valentines Day with my husband this year. Finally, in my mid 40’s, I had the satisfying sexual experience that has been sold to me in every sappy romance novel and Lifetime movie. This experience started with a moment of self discovery that came to me during a fight I had with my husband about porn. I caught him watching porn one evening. I felt really uncomfortable about it. To be clear, I’m not against watching porn. I’ve always hated porn because I get nothing out of it. I’m not stimulated by anything visual. The truth is my sexuality is linked to my sense of touch. The rougher, the stronger the stimulant. When I’ve tried to explain this to previous boyfriends, they thought I was broken because of a sexual assault early in my life. I’ve been afraid to live honestly about my sexuality because of the stigma associated with BDSM. Therefore, I’ve rarely had an completely satisfying, sexual experience. In my marriage, touching another person, sexually, is considered cheating – his rules, not mine. If I go to a dance club and dance with someone else, cheating. For him, touching is a stimulant only for us. I argued that if watching is a stimulant for him, then he is denying me the same pleasure when putting restrictions on how I can experience stimulus. I’ve never spoken about my sexuality, with anyone, until having that fight. Afterwards, he did research. We’ve been experimenting with different methods of sexual play. Sexism – especially sexual stigma – kept me from sharing myself with the person I love.