Posts tagged communication
So you want to get with* an assault survivor?

*And by “get with” I mean consensually date or have sex with. 

Reposting this essay from my old blog because something tells me it will only continue to become more of an issue in the upcoming years. I use hetero-normative pronouns for ease of story telling, knowing that assault can happen to anyone/anyone can be on either side of this healing process.

Rape changes a lot of things.

Sex gets complicated. Walking home in the dark gets complicated. People who remind you of the person who assaulted you get complicated. But I personally refuse to let that moment of ugliness win. I think of putting distance between me and the night I was raped as a challenge and adventure, rather than the end of the world.

Then some new thing comes along that reminds me that being a rape survivor will always be a part of me. A teeny tiny part, but a part nonetheless. After going on a slew of first dates recently I realized dating was going to be another thing that gets complicated.

There are two things I need to get out of the way with guys up front to see if it’s worth our time to have a second drink. Is he into rope? And how does he react to a casual mention of the other r-word? I know better than to torment myself with a fella who can’t handle either.

Since I tell my assault story a lot usually I say something about having been in a story telling show or having recently finished writing something.

“Oh, what was it about?” The good ones will say.

“I’m so sorry.” The keepers will say when I tell them, when I say the big scary words that will make a lesser man run in the other direction…“I was raped.”

Some will say, “Wow” or “gee” or just reach across the table and touch my hand while making an apologetic face. Those are also acceptable.

The ones that I want nothing to do with will say, “That happened to my sister once” or “not all guys are like that.” That’s when I ask for the check and go home. Even if they aren’t purposefully douches those guys aren’t ready to deal with the reality of dating and/or sleeping with a survivor in any meaningful way.

Casual sex is usually pretty do-able with some negotiation and discussion of the things that are trigger to avoid. Fuck buddies will gladly dance around those land mines in order to get laid on occasion.  And I've found it empowering at times to get my  brain casually fucked out during the healing process but your mileage my vary.

It’s the friends and longer term dating partners that get complicated. At first it will be great and I’ll think “yay, this is working I don’t have to have a hard talk about consent and rape with this person.” Then the universe reads my mind and shit gets weird.

It happens again and again. I’ll meet a person and we get along swimmingly, we’ll flirt, and maybe even casually sleep together or engage in kinky play. Then one day not to long after I can feel a shift in the universe. I’ll notice they’ve liked things on my Fetlife profile or visited my website. Suddenly the flirtation is no longer there, the hugs get briefer, and the conversations more awkward. And I know...they’ve read about my rape. Shit just got weird.

Sleeping with a rape survivor is scary. I understand. Especially one that refuses to shut up. So I started asking these interesting men that seemed to be pulling away for no other good reason what was going on and I was right. My being vocal on the subject makes things a little weird for my well meaning sexy friends.

I understand, but hot guys of the world, we can still rub yummy parts on one another if you’re into it. Consent is hot and I’ll gladly show you why. So don’t pull away or disappear.  A whole ton of other things, glorious delicious body rocking things have also happened to me. Let’s focus on that stuff!

I’ve already before about what folks can do to support a rape survivor but what can a fella do to make sex and dating less weird when pursuing a person who has been assaulted?

1. Ask before you touch. Not every time but the first couple of times is not only nice but required. There are few things sexier than a guy who grabs the band of my underwear, looks up with eyes full of trouble and lust to ask, “Can I take these off?” It establishes that consent is a thing he understands and that he will ask when in doubt instead of barreling forward. I will go so much farther with a person who asks because I don’t have to stay on alert and worry about him. He gets it, he’s trust worthy.

2. It’s just as important to not withhold sex as it is to not force it. Of course it’s okay to not be in the mood but if you’re not having sex because you think it’s what she needs, that’s not kosher. Rape makes intimacy difficult to trust, and has a tendency to make survivors feel alienated from their bodies. So if she says “fuck me” then by golly fuck her! Don’t do any of this “but if I fuck her I’ll remind her of her rapist and then…” If you can’t trust her enthusiastic fuck yeah consent then take your squishy bits and go home.

3. Remember eventually something will go wrong and that’s okay. It’s just the way things go, no matter how careful you are a boundary will get crossed slightly or someone will get a bit hurt. That’s no reason to avoid whatever activity because it’s kinda extreme or tangentially related to the person’s assault. Tiny mistakes are a learning experience and not in the same neighborhood as a blatant consent violation. So go forth and do all the things both of you are into and communicate like crazy when something weird happens.

4. Rough sex is not equal to rape. Just as being bound is not equal to being held down against your will. When those things were used against me as a form of physical violence it was scary. What makes BDSM hot is the part where I beg you for those things. So there is no reason to tiptoe around stuff if I asked for it, okay?

5. Don’t be afraid to ask her on a date/to play. Just because you may know this intimate thing about her past isn’t a reason to avoid her like a broken toy. If you’re interested, go for it. Survivors already worry about what people think about them so don’t treat her like she’s dirty or fragile.

6. Relax. It’s not a big deal unless one of you makes a big deal out of it. Don’t force her to talk about it. Asking questions to understand is perfectly okay. But if she wants to go into it, let her talk about it on her own terms. And for the love of everything don’t try to be her therapist, she needs to recover from the experience with a professional not her special man friend.

7. Trust her. Your instinct might be that since she hung out with a person who ended up violating her consent that she has shitty taste or instincts. You should protect her from life and especially from new partners, right? Nope! The fucked up thing about psychopaths is that they are super charming right up until they mess up your world, so it wasn’t her lack of instincts it was his being a icky mother fucker that led to the rape.

8. There will be hard days. If she’s ready to be shopping for sex partners/in a relationship then 99% of the time things will be fine. Every once in a while something will come out of nowhere and trigger her into a tiny ball of tears or fury. You can’t fix anything, just stick around and hold her or listen, this too shall pass.  If she’s emotional and having a rough time more like 99% of the time, she has work to do before she’s ready for you. Just stick around until the timing is right or transition into being people who don't rub genitals together.  Friends are something every survivor needs more of, after all she probably lost most of her old "friends" when she outed the asshole who assaulted her because they "didn't want to chose sides." 

9. But she reported her rapists, what’s to stop her from reporting me? Don’t rape her!

Want to know a secret? These are things you should be doing with anyone you’re dating/sleeping with. It’s so easy!

Sex Stoned

In the beginning I worried that Mr Right and I wouldn’t be a good match in the sack.  We had chemistry and really enjoyed one another’s company, but historically I’d needed some very rough handling to be satisfied in bed and Mr Right wasn’t the sadistic type.  So I figured we’d canoodle for a while until we got bored with one another. In the meantime I would enjoy the heck out of tying up this hot young fellow. It would be a sweet but brief adventure…

Fast forward a couple months to a weekend fairly recently: Mr Right and I (still happily in a canoodleship)  are wandering through Cathedral Park.  He’s taking pictures and I’m, well, hugging a bush.  A literal bush. I’m also petting the large white fluffly flower poofs that cover it because this is the softest thing I’ve ever felt in my life. 

Mr Right eventually stops shooting bees and flowers and notices his lady friend elbow deep in a tree and comes to investigate.  “This is the best flower! Have you seen this? They all look like animal heads!  How have I never noticed this flower before?  I’m going to cuddle it again.  Stop judging me.”


No one can blame him for capturing this moment with his camera.  “This is going to be great black mail material.”

“Shush you, you did this to me!  Stop being smug you brain chemical altering beast.”

He just smirks at me, amused and enjoying the show.  As he should.  The only drugs I’m on in this moment are the ones we’d created in bed earlier that afternoon.  Using only the powers of his impressive digital dexterity, oxytocin, intimacy and--okay there was a little spanking in there too--he had more than satisfied me in the sack.  He had gone so far as to briefly break my brain, flooding it with so many orgasmic happy chemicals I’d never been more high in my life.

My early worries had been for nothing, it had just taken us a bit to figure each other out and a couple of really sexy talks to find out what the other needed to get off.  Now we inhabit this glorious and dangerous state of sexual exploration in which very little is out of bounds. But there’s a lot of talking involved.  People who don’t think communication is sexy are missing out!  Because heavy duty communicating is what got me so well fucked I’d become obsessed with embracing flora.

It started with, “What one thing (sexual or otherwise) do you want for your birthday?”

He had already agreed to hang out with my friends on the actual day and was whisking me away to Seattle for a lovey dovey adventure, and I was allowed to ask for more?  Who is this person that actually seems to like me and can talk about feelings and desires? Whatever was going on I liked it!

“Well no surprise, I’d enjoy getting tied up and you know a spanking is traditional.”

“Hmm I’ll see what I can do.”

Problem was we were too tipsy on my actual birthday for more than fumbling silly sex (though he did manage to restrain me to the bed with Velcro cuffs and give me a good tease regardless) and the room we stayed in Seattle was too echoey for kinky shenanigans with our hosts a thin floor away.  So by the time our schedules lined up a week later we were both a little (read: a lot) pent up. 

We fell into bed minutes after getting home from a hike, sweaty bodies made sweatier with lust.  “Do you want your birthday present?”  He asks from behind me.

“Um, yes!”

He strips me and bends me over the bed, being more aggressive than usual.  And my blood goes hot with anticipation.  It’s been a while since I’ve given up control but so my everything is thrilled to be given this sexy break from reality.  But it’s not enough to have me bent over his mattress, Mr Right shoves me down prone, ass in the air so I’m exposed to him and my hands splayed in front of me.  These he gathers together and uses one of his hands to pin them down.  My breathing quickens with excitement.  His other hand makes contact with my ass.  The smack of skin on skin loud in the quiet room.  I gasp, he isn’t fooling around.

I turn my head as much as I can given the position to look at him.  His eyes are different, somehow harder, but he gives me an aw shucks shrug as if to say “yeah I’m doing this all the way.”  Mr Right shoves my grinning face back into the bed before going back to the doling out of my belated spanking, a beating that has even a hardcore masochist like myself squirming at times.

When he finishes, he curls up beside me, holding me.  It isn’t long before I catch my breath and crawl a top him to take him in my mouth, hungry for the taste of him, to have him as close as possible.  I lap at him deeply, enjoying his sighs of pleasure as my tongue dances along his cock.

Wordlessly he grabs for a condom and he’s inside me, the weight of him engulfing me so that I’m gasping at his first thrust, biting at his shoulder.  Every nerve ending is on edge after the spanking, that unexpected treat, and he fits so well that the pleasure is abundant.  More so when he slips a hand between our bodies to play at my clit in time to his thrusts.  I’m moaning and grasping at his back and ass like a crazed person, overtaken by lust and seemingly endless orgasms. 

For the second time that afternoon when we make eye contact I widen my eyes in surprise at him.  This only seems to encourage him because instead of stopping or slowing his ministrations when I’ve come so many times that all I can do is giggle, he continues.  Words vaguely related to “no, oh please, sheesh”  come out of my mouth but I don’t mean them and even if I did he’s taken ownership of my body at this point.  So I’m powerless to do anything other than to enjoy his touch, the joy of him inside me.  My pleasure becoming his and vice versa.  Soon we’re both coming and collapsing in a sweaty laughing pile.

One more orgasm, a kazoo briefly confused for lube, and a tiny nap later we’re falling out of bed for substance, water, and that silly walk through the park as an excuse to enjoy the sunshine. High on my own brain I watch Mr Right kneel to commune with flowers and trees, capturing them with the lens of his camera with the same attention to detail with which he’d earlier fucked me silly and I smile, feeling pretty damn fortunate.   So I go cuddle a bush to celebrate.