After Rape, How Can I Develop Healthy Sexual Relationships?

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 09:54
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Betty and Carlin,

I would first like to say that I think that your website, and the work that you both do are necessary and helpful tools for women to explore their sexuality. I am writing you both in regards to my own sexuality.

I was raped while I was under the influence of alcohol at the age of fourteen. After that, all sexual relationships that I engaged in were done so when I was under the influence of alcohol. I never felt comfortable with my sexuality or sex after that night. Once I gave up drinking, I stopped engaging in sexual relationships and gained a lot of weight. I know now that in my mind the weight made me safe from sexual advances, and to stop myself from being desirable. It has now been 10 years since I have had sexual relations. I have recently started to seek help for my food problems, and I want to address my sexual issues as well.

I am 37 year old and never had a conscious orgasm or a healthy relationship with myself or another person. My question to you both is how to develop a healthy sexual relationship at this point in my life? I have an attempted masturbation, but only end up frustrated and unsatisfied.

Thank you

Dear C,

Time for you to have a passionate love affair with yourself! Get my book "Sex for One." Go to Betty's Essays and read "First Time Orgasm." Given your history, you must do much more than "attempt" masturbation. You need to see it as going for a PhD in Self-loving. Since you have reached 37 with little sexual response, get the battery driven vibrator Mystic Wand to help awaken your sleeping clitoris.

It's available from the Sex Shop on the website. Also pick up some Almond or coconut massage oil for your vulva massage from most health food stores along with a free standing mirror sold in many drugstores. Give yourself ample time to experience pleasurable genital sensations as you explore your divine vulva. You are beginning the process of reclaiming and owning your own sexuality for a much happier New Year.

Dr. Betty

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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A book that might help

Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:50
WildOrchid (not verified)

A book that might help is "Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma" by Staci Haines. Viloet Blue did an interview with the author and she recommends the book. 
I'm very glad that you decided to seek professional help. 

You need to adress the reasons for your weight gain if you want to solve your problems. Diet and excercise will deal with the results but without dealing with the reason of your behaviour you'll be very likely to go back to being miserable and hiding behind your wieght.

Response from a partner of a sexual assault survivor

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:44
Tea (not verified)

I'm a lesbian in a long-term relationship with a survivor of childhood rape by an individual and a group.  When I met her, she had already had orgasms with herself and others, so she was further along in a healing process that we don't think will ever totally end.  I can tell you that for her, partner sex is something that will never "just happen" in a healthy sort of way.  We have a very good sex life, but I am always very attentive to what she needs in general and at the time.  I have become very good at reading her during sex, so I know if something has made her uncomfortable.  Or, if we have not had sex for a couple months (which ahs happened because of health problems), she'll be nervous the first few time after.  I know that and will not top her, our sex is a little more gentle and shorter, and I won't penetrate her.  The only reason that we have been able to have a healthyh sex life is because she was able to (and this took a couple years) speak to me about what happened to her and what she needs me to do to support her.  I think it also helped that I became a quite informed about sexual assault from a feminist standpoint.  It definitely also helped that she was able to find a therapist that she was comfortable with, and who had a specialized background in understanding and supporting sexual assault survivors.  If you don't have insurance, you might be able to find a therapist who does sessions at reduced cost for those who don't have insurance.
I am very sorry that you had to experience something so traumatic and unjust.  I know that this can be something that shapes but does not stunt your sex life with yourself and others, and wish you the very best of luck in reclaiming your sexuality.

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