Rape and Sexual Hobbling

When Venda women in my country are circumcised, the clitoris is removed and the labia are stitched together to seal the vagina just enough to leave room for urine and menstruation. Sexual hobbling is a better way to describe it. Only the parts that let fluid out are left untouched. Only what gives a man pleasure is made accessible, and maybe rape’s goal is to hobble us in exactly the same way. I certainly felt as though my sexuality had been put through a blender and brought out the other side frayed and bloody.

When you’re raped, you have two choices: Turn celibate until the trauma ends or climb back on the horse straight away. I chose Option Two because there were no wounds. There was no pain, or at least that’s what my denial told me.

I chose the second option because I thought if I chose Option One, I might hold onto my celibacy forever.

(Continued below)

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I chose it because I saw sex as an inherent part of my nature. I chose it because I didn’t want to be controlled by my rapist. I chose it because I thought it would prevent me from being hobbled, but there was never any hope of that because it had already been done. My sexuality had been stitched, cut, and sealed, and every time I had sex, it exposed the raw and searing flesh beneath my skin.

That’s how I jumped into a decade of utter sexual chaos. Walking out into the big, scary world of sex after rape is like walking out into the wild. You might have a serene walk in the savannah, but then again, you might run into a leopard. You might be mauled. All those old photographs you took with your mind on the day of your rape might play themselves again. One. By. One. Now you’re hobbled. Now you’re numb.

In a small way, I’m glad that’s what I chose. The flashbacks were necessary for me because there was no other way I was going to confront the wounds I swore did not exist. If it was a loved one facing that choice, though, I would ask them to choose the kind option because being sexually active that soon caused more hell than it saved me from.

In trying to take away rape’s control over me, I ended up giving it more power.

Eventually, I ran into a few years of celibacy. I can’t say if it had a role in curing my PTSD. It might have. My therapist was responsible for most of my recovery, but I think I needed to stop being sexual for a while. I needed to learn, in my own way, that my body was not just a vessel for a man’s sexual pleasure as my rape had told me it was.

I wish I was one of those people who could end posts with 10 pieces of advice, but moving from one minute to the next is all I ever knew how to do. Getting out of ‘rape land’ is like walking through a dark room. You feel your way forward a second at a time. Sometimes you fall down. Sometimes you get hurt. Eventually, if you keep on going, you will find the light switch. You will. That’s the only thing I know about trauma: it can end.

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2 thoughts on “Rape and Sexual Hobbling

  1. The fact that rape exists is a blot on humanity–a dirty stain that no amount of washing will totally remove. But I’m glad that you are finally moving past it. I’m in a chastity cage much of the time. My wife is loving the total control of our sex life–perhaps an option you too would enjoy! Sex in our house is not about me. It’s all about my wife and Queen. I have only had one orgasm this year–125 days ago. She has had more than 125 orgasms. I really enjoy and want to please her. At any rate, I wish you continued good health and a marvellous future!

    Like

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