Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Good questions!

Anonymous said...
question do incest victims sometimes become more sexually active? Do rape victims desire their abuser?

5:04 PM

Dear Anon,

I am by no means an expert in this area, but I have read numerous books and articles on the subject as well as have some first hand experience!

Yes, some sexual abuse survivors (incest, rape) do become more sexually active.

Sexual intimacy
Survivors of sexual assault may experience problems with, or uneasiness about, sexual intimacy right after the assault or even years after. Two common adjustments that can be seen after a sexual assault are:

If sexuality has been devalued in the eyes of the survivor, or if the survivor tried to say "no" verbally or otherwise, and it did not matter, they may have learned not to say "no" in future sexual situations, and therefore, she may have an increased number of sexual partners in the period of time following the assault. In addition, the survivor may use future sexual experiences to regain a sense of control in her sex life.

The survivor may withdraw from having any sexual relationships, and any opportunities toward establishing relationships. She may feel too frightened at the thought of an assault happening again. She may isolate herself from social activities for fear of making a wrong decision. Survivors may feel that they can no longer trust their own judgments.

Regrettably, I have first hand experience with this issue. After being raped I had a number of one night stands. For the first time in my life I was going to be in control of sex. My father took so much from me, the rape took (at the time) everything else. I HAD to be in control of the next time anyone was going to touch my body. I was very reckless and did not practise safe sex, I am incredibly lucky I didn't get pregnant or contract an STD. Once I realized how much pain and damage I was causing myself, I put an end to my behaviour and got tested for every possible STD, including HIV. It was a very rough period of my life to say the least, waiting for the test results and then having to wait another six months to be tested again for HIV was very anxiety inducing. I understand why I behaved the way I did, I needed to control my next sexual encounter before someone else could hurt me, in turn I was hurting myself. The key part was understanding my actions/behaviour and being able to forgive myself, which I have done. In some way, I think this behaviour helped heal my sexuality.

I hope I answered your question and gave you some perspective around being more sexually active after abuse.

"Do rape victims desire their abuser?" - unfortunately, I don't have an answer to this question. I'm hesitant in even trying to answer or even give my personal take on it to avoid causing an ill effects. If anyone else has any experience this area, please feel free to comment!

If you're comfortable doing so, could you please elaborate?

Please feel free to ask any further questions, I'll try my best to answer them or point you in a direction to get answers. I'll try to help you (or anyone else) the best I can.

Take good care of you and thanks for reading, I hope you found some pieces helpful.


Holly said...

Hi Survivor,
The information that you have posted is honest, and important to be reading. YOU ARE A SURVIVOR, NO QUESTION ON THAT! Take care

jumpinginpuddles said...

i think one thing that isnt talked about is the needing to be hurt again and again in sex because that is what you think you deserve. And then use the scene to get off on because that is what they think they deserve.

survivor said...

Thanks Holly! Your encouragement is soooo appreciated! YOU are a SURVIVOR in all aspects...

survivor said...

Jump - thanks for bringing that area to light. It is a major aspect that I missed.