Monday, July 31, 2006

Feeling Free to be

I'm taking yesterday's post another step by talking about a series of childhood incidents that greatly impacted my view on sexuality for a very long time. By this I mean my own sexuality and where it would take me in life.

A very trusted adult exposed and manipulated his gentitalia in front of me and talked about fantasies involving rather rough play regarding sexual intimacy. This occurred while I was in elementary school. This adult never assaulted me but the articulated fantasies involving talk of painful intercourse along with my discomfort at the nakedness of the adult and what he was doing made me physically ill. I remember that feeling quite distinctly. It took many many years for me to be able to think about sex and any form of intimacy without associating it with nausea and pain.

Subconsciously, I would dress to ensure there would be no chance of someone being attracted to me. That didn't always work though. As a teenager, there were some guys interested in me and the interaction left me feeling overly anxious and associate any further involvement with probable pain and feeling ill. Consequently, I put far less value on having a boyfriend than other friends did. Why would I want it under those circumstances?

It was difficult to explain later to anyone my feeling as I did because the incidents that happened did not involve molestation of any kind. It was inappropriate behavior by the adult, no question about that, but since I wasn't touch could I really consider myself damaged goods or the victim of molestation? I was an overly sensitive child, attuned to the smells, voices, colors and textures all around me. I was upset after each encounter to the point of tears until finally the genitalia show and tell business stopped entirely.

Fortunately, the belief that sexual intimacy involved stomach upset and great pain also stopped entirely in the ensuing years thanks to hearing personal stories from newly de-virgined friends who enjoyed their sexual experience and thanks to having a very understanding and patient boyfriend for my first serious relationship.

The fear subsided and eventually disappeared.

I still dress dumpy at times though. Not sure what's up with that unless it is a force of habit.

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