I posted last week asking people if they knew of some good resources for male victims of sexual assault. Here is the list people came up with:
this is how I learned to stop doing it, people should reblog this.
this is actually important
Hey look self harm advice that acknowledges that there’s more than two reasons that people do it
This is important stuff, please reblog this, it would mean a lot to me.
Our society has placed a lot of importance on sex — sex as special, romantic, important. Sex is always lauded as this perfect or this taboo thing, when really, it’s just a thing.
The problem for when survivors try to get into relationships with someone who still has this view is that what we need is not for sex to retain importance in our lives. Sex has already been important enough, but in a terrible way, a hurtful way. It’s been all around us even when we don’t want it, and having someone’s expectations of “perfect beautiful sex” as the pinnacle of love dropped onto us is the fast track for more pain and panic. We’re already trying to cope with sex being a normal, okay, thing, much less a great and wonderful thing.
The fact is, sex is not important. I’m telling you now, the real truth, sex is not important. Despite what society or friends or your significant other may be telling you, it is not the ultimate expression of love. It is not this big ideal that everyone seems to be striving for. It is not the ultimate way to express intimacy. It is not.
It’s not so special that you need to beat yourself up for not feeling that it is. You don’t need to feel that way. Sex can be a way to express love for someone, but it is not the way.
Phew. Doesn’t that feel a lot better? I know it does for me.
In the past several months where I haven’t updated again, I’ve been passively concentrating on this. It’s something I touched on in Entry 64, though in its early stages and worded a bit differently, so I wanted to make another entry expressing how important it has been for me in my healing and how I feel it can help many others as well.
I was not long ago in a relationship where someone had this idealistic view of sex, and I know firsthand that it tore me to shreds until I got away. I didn’t realize that was the problem at the time, and it took a lot of time (these past eight months or so) to understand it completely. Now that I know what the problem was, and that I can change my views and understanding of it, I feel like my recovery is going more smoothly than it ever has.
I’m learning to talk and think about sex without reactive consequences. I still don’t “smother” myself in it, but I do things like blog about it occasionally on a separate blog, for instance. It’s giving me the freedom to accept my own normal feelings about it while treating it more casually and not having to worry about the expectations that so many want to lay on it, to see it as the “thing” that it is and not a demon or an angel that’s been following me through life for so long.
Nobody has the right to pressure you to see sex the way they do. So to myself I say, shed the pressure.
1. Recognize that there is no-one who is ‘normal’. Love who you are and accept your differences.
2. Don’t think of your differences as inferiorities. They are all part of the package that make you “you”. And the world would be boring if we all were just the same.
3. Refuse to give up on yourself or your dreams. The biggest mistake you could ever make is to not try something in case it goes wrong.
4. Respect your own opinions, your viewpoints and beliefs. If people don’t like then, they can just get over it! Trust your heart and intuition – don’t just listen to others.
5. Don’t be afraid to express, and be, yourself. Develop your own style and your own creative flair.
6. Don’t listen to anyone who puts you down. It’s likely that they’re suffering from low self-esteem – hence they’re trying to feel better by criticising you.
7. Hang out with people who love you just for “you” – and who know that they have failings and hang ups, too.
8. Smile and be happy – you deserve to enjoy life. And remember life’s a journey; it’s not a race.
[Image description: A close up shot of a manatee hugging a human arm in a yellow and black diving suit. TEXT: “Everything is going to be okay. I know it feels bad right now. But things will work out. They always do.”]
Oh dear! I have accidentally covered Dr. Lynch’s copyright mark! This photo, and a few others we have taken, are from Dr. Wayne Lynch, who takes a lot of great photographs. If you have a minute, maybe send him a letter and tell him what wonderful work he does. He seems like a swell fellow.