This is, as a woman who is single, a topic I think about a lot. Largely because of the degree to which I have been abused, I think about how important this act of body, mind and soul love affects me.
It has always bothered me, that women are supposed to be ashamed of our bodies, especially after sex, because when our needs are not being met, we do not function properly.
Like many things, masturbation is one more weapon used against us, by people who claim to be smarter, stronger and closer to God than we are.
I used to consider this time with myself as sacred, until recently.
Over the last year, I have touched myself less than 3 times, rarely do I enjoy it, and every single time I feel grossed out and disgusted by myself, by the things that turn me on, and more importantly, worse even, by the fact that my orgasms feel “broken”.
Masturbation should make you feel closer to yourself, it ahould make you feel proud of your connection to that amazing thing that makes us women, and I know exactly why.
Angel. It is entirely his fault.
Angel is a boyish man I have known since I was fifteen, he is also one of the few people who knew how badly I was abused, without judging me as a woman for what happened to me. He just loved me, without question.
I remember one night, after the “session” with my abuser had been rather brutal, we could not call the police, because….we don’t do that in our world. We were kids, and we were afraid, me for me, him for my safety. So instead, after my abuser had left, he crawled into my bed, held me close and let me cry until I fell asleep.
Angel kept my secrets for years, reminding me regularly that husbands do not treat their wives the way that I as a “child bride” was being treated.
Angel gave me a way to respect myself, and let me hide my bruises and shame behind his strength.
To this day, there is no man in my life not compared to Angel, my best friend, my protector and my first love.
When I do let myself go there, its without shame, that I see his face ….until I am done, and I start thinking about all the reasons I should not enjoy these private moments.
All of my reasons come from the awful things that “Giles” and Colby used to tell me about my body being not good for anything more than being a sex slave.
Angel and I haven’t been together sexually ever, and yet he has been my rock since I was 15. This poet is a thank you to the boy who became a man who teaches all the men in my life, how to treat me even though he is no longer an active part of my life.
To clarify I know, scientifically, and spiritually, that my body is mine, we as survivors of severe trauma and abuse.
There was a time I admit that I wasn’t so discerning about the men that I let take me to bed, and this largely is in part due to the fact that I was rebelling against all of the things I was taught, even though I was in my own twisted way letting these men recreate the same abuses, even though they were very unaware of what had happened to me. Or in some cases, because they knew.
It was a twisted form of therapy that helped me to understand who I am today, but in doing so it caused a lot of damage, so while we know that we should not feel ashamed, while we understand that millions of people masturbate every minute of the day at the same time, in various places around the globe, the victim brain is often fighting with the survivor brain.
These two sides of the brain are at constant odds, largely because my victim brain is saying “no, don’t do this, it’s what the bad men want,” while my survivor’s brain is saying “well fuck that noise, this feels good and I want it.”
Then throw in the fucking Catholic “you’re going to hell” guilt that I was raised by, even after being raped by a Priest, and you have one fucking nightmare of “holy fuck what is wrong with me soup?”
The answer is absolutely nothing, but in order to get past the shame, and the frustration of being told you aren’t allowed to enjoy or celebrate your body, you have to keep doing it until those voices aren’t anything more than a crumbling whisper at the back of your brain.
It’s not easy, and I know this, and thanks in large part due to Angel, and several other really wonderful men, mostly friends – now – and some severe counselling you get past it…eventually.
And it fucking sucks, because as soon as you start celebrating your body, comes along that one douche bag that tells you that you shouldn’t, which starts the cycle all over again, so in long story short form – it gets better, it just takes a hell of a long fucking time. SO please, please refrain from telling women they shouldn’t feel ashamed, we already know that, we’re fully aware of that fact.
You telling us that we shouldn’t be ashamed of our bodies isn’t going to make this process any easier, because it is a process, and it takes time. The best thing you can do? Is help us celebrate our bodies, by keeping your fucking filthy hands off of them without permission. That would be a huge help. 🙂
To all the men this Pride season who remind humanity what it means to be a partner, ally, friend, lover or partner.
Go forth and masturbate with joy, and if you have a story of how someone helped you move past some of your body issues we’d love to hear from you so leave us a message below, or better yet, write a post and send it in.
I love you Angel,
Devon J Hall