I, Maysen Forbes, aged 25, sexually active for 8 years, have never had an orgasm.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking:
“But you said I gave you your first!”
But let me reassure anyone who has just felt their…ego…shrink 2 sizes – (most of) you gave it a valiant go. And it’s honestly not you – it’s me and my selectively faulty mind…but let’s start at the beginning.
For any of you (my parents, parental figures, family, employers past present or future) who may be a bit wary to continue reading this – none of the following content is sexually explicit or distasteful. Trigger warnings for sexual assault are in full effect, and if this is uncomfortable for you to read, please wait for tomorrows happy post about my upcoming trip to France.
In 2011 I was sexually assaulted by a male friend.
It still feels weird to type out those words for you see, I initially allowed myself to be convinced that it was really nothing. I was laughed at by peers when I told them how traumatized I felt, informed by the police that there was no point in reporting the crime as he had not (in their translated words) “fully raped me”. I was in the army and he was a civilian and neither side wanted to deal with yet another girl making a big deal out of a few unwanted touches.
But to me it was so much more than that.
I find it very difficult to talk details of what happened to me that night because on the rare occasion I wake up in a cold sweat, I swear to you I can taste him on my lips, the feel of his hands wrapped around my neck lingers until the early hours of the morning. Yet in the name of honest writing, I feel somewhat compelled to tell this story properly for the first time.
When he came into my room that night, I could tell right away that something was off. I remember not understanding what he was doing there, asking him to leave. When he refused, I stood up and attempted to push him out. He was stronger and managed to maneuver me underneath him on my bed. He proceeded to grope about and assault my mouth with his putrid tongue and breath, all the while mumbling about how his ex liked it rough. I remember that part distinctly. When I refused to reciprocate he slapped me across the face a few times and became more aggressive. My hands were held down above my head, my legs were forced wider apart. At one point, a point I don’t like to remember, he held his hands around my neck hard enough to leave a bruise the next morning. I’d like to say that the rest gets a bit blurry from here but that would be a cop-out. You see, this is the part where my eyes start to water and my heart starts to beat to an anxious rhythm.
But I need to say this.
He wasn’t satisfied with a quick feel-up and without fully comprehending how it happened I suddenly found myself on my knees between his legs, his hand on the back of my head.
The moment he stumbled his way out of my room I ran to the washroom to be sick, yet the taste of him lingered in my mouth for weeks. No matter how much I scrubbed I couldn’t erase the feel of his hands around my neck, in my hair, pulling and guiding.
I pushed my bed up against the door and slept the night away on my bathroom floor, locked safely behind 2 doors. I proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend there, too scared to confront him. Soon after I moved into a new apartment.
Now, I bet you’re wondering how this connects to my ever-elusive “Big O”. I myself didn’t see any possible connection until quite recently.
I don’t trust men romantically. There, I said it. I don’t trust them with my heart, I don’t trust them with my body, I don’t trust them with my pleasure. My trust is something to be earned, and that’s a long road to travel. The days of blindly trusting that a man could never and would never hurt or take advantage of me are far behind me – when you’ve been so spectacularly hurt and betrayed that idea becomes a completely foreign concept. And it relates to other aspects of my life. I have only a few friends that I feel completely comfortable getting “shwasted” with. It takes a long time for me to show my true (ridiculously loud and somewhat vulgar) self to new acquaintances. I don’t ever feel comfortable just letting go.
(are you beginning to see how all these things come together yet?)
When he came into my room that night (I’ve yet to come up with a better way to refer to him, so he shall remain “he”), he broke so many different parts of my body and soul. I spent a long time doing all I could to erase the feel of him from my body and my methods weren’t always what one may consider “healthy coping methods”. I was just so desperate to feel something other than complete shame over what I had “allowed” to happen to me (as I felt I had). It didn’t take long for the sleazeballs of the world to find me and take every advantage of my low self-worth and self-esteem. I spent a long time feeling afraid to refuse any request for fear of angering my partner. I spent even longer feeling ashamed of my body and its reactions.
Over the past 5 years I have worked hard at reassembling all the broken bits and pieces that I lost along the way. It hasn’t been easy, but I want to reiterate to anyone who is currently struggling with trauma of any kind – it is worth the struggle. Don’t listen to the voice inside your head telling you to give up. You are loved, you are strong and you are IMPORTANT.
It’s been a struggle, but I finally feel as though I could trust someone with the the big picture, with me in my entirety, mind body and (fingers crossed) pleasure.
Here’s hoping that Glasgow will be kind to me in the romance department.
(more on that tomorrow)