Masturbation After Molestation

CW: Sexual Abuse, Childhood Trauma

I remember being in high school at a table full of pheromone-pumped boys.

“Chelsea! you finger yourself, right?” One of them asked.

“No, of course I don’t!” I said, appalled and embarrassed as all the other boys turned to look at me. I thought I had answered “right” and somehow evaded his public investigation of my personal life…

“Every girl fingers herself! Even ____ said that she masturbates!” he said, looking shocked and annoyed at my answer. The other boys nodded in unison and looked at me suspiciously. I suddenly realized that my evasive answer was actually provoking more attention than I had hoped.

“Well, I don’t!” I said, forcing pride into my voice as I hit them with my punchline to quickly escape the conversation; “I don’t bother getting myself off- that’s what boys are for.”

Their look of shock and insecurity cured my own as I continued- “Why bother fingering myself when I can just pick someone to do it for me? It’s easy enough.” The boys erupted in cheers and clapped me on the back, calling me a player. I could tell they were also internally evaluating their own vulnerability to being my servant in masturbation.

These reactions pleased me, and I felt validated and initiated as “one of the guys,” (and therefore hopefully safe from further scrutiny as a teenage girl.)

But when I went home that night, I contemplated what they had said. Was I a weirdo? Was I doing something wrong? Was I missing out? Was I broken? If ____ was doing it, what was wrong with me?

I have always had a hard time letting my hands get anywhere close to my vulva. I felt ostracized in female circles when I couldn’t share my tales of self-discovery, or comment on my favorite tampon. In fact, it took me half a year to even bear inserting a tampon. Anytime my hand slipped and accidentally brushed against myself, my whole body would seize and I would instantly break down in tears.

I feel as if there was something wrong with me that was my fault. I wanted so dearly to relate to the other girls and share my experiences of sexual self-exploration- but I had none. I never looked at my labia in a mirror. I never watched porn. I never traced my clit.

I just fucked a lot of guys. I didn’t know how to get off without one. So I stuck with guys as my main circle. I learned about sex from boys. The positions, the sounds, the way they picked apart girl’s bodily flaws. And I challenged myself to not just be “one of the guys,” but BETTER than the guys, when it came to sex. I challenged myself to screw just as much and care just as little. And for the most part, I succeeded.

When it came to sex with boys, I would occassionally have moments of triggered disassociation or fear, but it was nothing compared to what I felt when my own hand approached myself. I figured that I needed to “ride it out” and “suck it up,” and so I did. Even when I didn’t want to. Even when I was scared. This frustrated me for years on end, even after I had acknowledged my molestation as a toddler.

I didn’t realize that my reactions and anxiety were not the fault of myself, but the fault of my trauma. I didn’t realize that there were things wrong with me, but they didn’t make what I chose to do and not do with my body “wrong.” I didn’t know that I wasn’t the only person experiencing this issue with self-love and self-exploration….

But I have still yet to find someone who can relate.

I eventually tried masturbating with my hands, but nearly threw up. The texture and the emotions combined with the act made me squirm and feel uneasy. I found that toys were the only way I could successfully enjoy my body solitarily, and that seeing vaginas in porn made me freak out.

So by the time I started realizing that I had always been attracted to girls, I was entirely confused. I felt betrayed by my body and my past. The fear of myself made me fear the very same bodies that thrilled me, turned me on.

I felt the same competitive sexual nature that I had utilized in my hetero relationships returning, along with the pressure to “dominate” or “be dominated.” To be the prey or the predator. And knowing that I had the disadvantage of my body dysphoria made me scared to even try. Made me scared to explore, and be vulnerable. To accept that although I have issues that create barriers in my ability to cope with my anatomy, that I am not defined by them. That my disrupted complex about my sex does not dictate my sexual orientation.

It’s taken decades to begin decoding the decay in my self-acceptance, but I have begun to make progress on it. I’ve had to make alterations to what I feel I “should” be able to do and feel to be a woman. To be a curious woman. To be a sexual woman. To be a healed woman.

Self-love isn’t so simple with complex sexual trauma in the mix, but I’m taking the steps at my own pace. I hope that if you can relate, you find your own pace and own it. Never let someone else’s “normal” make you feel less normal, less whole, and less capable or deserving of love from yourself and others. You do, we do, I do, deserve more self-respect than that.

May you be Well, May you be Happy, May you be Free from Suffering

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