Part one of this post can be found at And Another Thing…
When I first started masturbating again, I realized that the orgasm was the only time in my entire life when I was taking care of what “I” needed, without caring about what other people needed.
I kept hearing this voice in my head that would say “Devon needs to get laid,” and I would always respond with “the last thing I need in my life right now is another man.”
Then another thought hit, “who said it has to be a man?” I had always known that I liked girls, but this was the first time in my life that I started really thinking about how much I liked women.
I love everything about them. I love how beautiful they are, I love how strong, powerful, wise, and amazing they are, and I realized maybe I was bisexual. That stopped me from touching myself at all, because I was suddenly terrified of this new found desire that I had for women.
More than that I was ashamed of it. I had been trained by boys and by men that my body existed purely for their pleasure, and that I didn’t have a right to want anything different. That was what abuse, trauma, and torture had taught me. Doctors who acted like how I behaved after being abused was my fault, only cemented this firm belief that I existed as a toy for men, instead of as a powerful, individual woman, in her own right, in her own body.
Being afraid of my sexuality meant that I couldn’t masturbate anymore, I couldn’t touch myself because I became disgusted with how I saw myself. Was this all I was? Was this all I was ever going to be? Was I going to be so focused on the idea of an orgasm that the person I claimed to be to the world would cease to exist so that I could get off?
I won’t lie, I enjoy rough sex, when it is consensual, and when it’s done right. When it is rape however, that’s a different conversation entirely.
Realizing that my masturbational thoughts were becoming more violent, I realized that I needed to stop for awhile, because I wasn’t actually enjoying the orgasm. It came and went, and I was left feeling guilty, ashamed, and disgusted with myself.
Then I would go on Twitter and talk about women’s rights and women’s liberation, the two just didn’t work, and so I stopped. I stopped all together and I didn’t masturbate for over a year, until my period cramps were so bad that I could barely breathe. Tylenol and Advil did nothing to ease the pain and it was a last resort, it felt okay. It was barely an orgasm, and I went right back to sleep after.
Growing up being told that your body belongs to the men abusing it, makes you feel like your body is a weapon that is constantly stabbing at you. It makes you feel like you don’t exist outside of being a sexual being, it makes you feel like nothing else about you matters.
I remember once a man came into the adult shop that I was working in and asked me to show him a life sized doll, this was a doll without a head, she was boobs, torso, and ass. With holes for men to place their members, he started humping my counter as I was showing it to him.
That’s how I felt when I started to masturbate, I would remember what happened to me, and suddenly I would just feel ashamed and gross, and I started to wonder if I thought that I mattered at all.
Not masturbating forced me to focus my energies on other things, like writing.
Of every single day.
I had to, I had hands that needed the distraction, and honestly? I am not going to lie, it felt pretty good to put that energy into this website.
It felt good to use my brain again, to become the woman that I knew I could be intellectually, but didn’t always know how to connect to.
I choose to continue not to masturbate, because what’s the point? To feel good about my body? I already feel good about my body. For the first time in my life it is mine, and I honestly feel good when I tell people not to touch me. I have no problem saying “I will not hug you,” or choosing not to shake hands.
I honestly feel like my body belongs to ME, and no one is allowed to touch any part of it, without my permission, and although I know that this is challenging for me not to masturbate, I also know that right now where I am at, I am not mentally or emotionally capable of dealing with all the issues that come with the big fat O.
Yeah it feels good for a few seconds, but then you have to spend time discussing with yourself, whether or not liking what you like in your mind, is the same thing as liking it physically, the truth is that just because you like fantasizing about something doesn’t mean that you’re going to engage in it. But that doesn’t change the fact that fantasizing about certain things like rough sex or bondage can make you feel ashamed and guilty.
I am still working through my sexual phobias, I am still working through my desire to remain single and alone and safe, and I am still working on being vulnerable with myself, and with other people as well, but I am getting there, slowly, day by day.
Every single day brings a new challenge for me to focus on, a new task for me to accomplish, whether that’s being honest about where I am at with my BudSista’s or posting these two essays to talk about what it means for me to be a survivor.
I am still chipping away at the diamond that is covered in the coal of my life, but every single day that I wake up and have the opportunity to write and to work and collaborate with the Writers and Editors of Color, I feel good about myself.
I feel strong.
At least emotionally, if not physically. I know that I am not where other people think I should be, but I am also completely unconcerned with what people think of who I should be.
For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am focused on doing the things that are making me happy. It’s more than just building a brand that I can put my name behind, it’s about showing the world that it is possible to heal after sexual trauma.
It’s difficult, it’s scary, it’s lonely, and there will inevitably be times when you think that you won’t make it, but you absolutely can make it, if you’re willing to do the work.
And that sounds like a cop out but it’s not. There are hundreds of thousands of people every single day, who do not make it. Who end up committing at ages we think they are too early to die at. For whatever their reasons are, I promise you, it’s not because they didn’t do the work.
I am here because I have an amazing group of writers, editors, budsistas, friends, family members, and allies. I am here because I decided – often without realizing it – that I am not done doing all the things that I want to do before I go.
I want to leave a reminder to the world that I have survived, and I haven’t finished surviving yet. I am only just now starting to thrive in this new version of my life, and I am not finished teaching people all the things that I need to teach people.
It’s only today that I’ve fully come to the conclusion that I am teaching people through my experience, and that’s one more thing that I can add into my mental health tool box journey.
Your journey may be different than mine, but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. If it’s right for you then do it, if you are going to do it though, call out your own name when you masturbate, it’s incredibly empowering.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
Don’t forget you can read part one here.