I was raped 23 years ago. I don’t even recall all the details anymore. Your mind can do really interstellar things to twist and squeeze out what cannot be fully absorbed.

I learned back then a guy can take anything from you he wants. Your strength, your feminism, your intelligence, your upbringing bear no armor if he wants to take something from you. You can do nothing to prevent it.

Once it happens and you learn what you can no longer keep to yourself maybe you do what I do and focus on whatever parts of intimacy you can hold back in future relationships.

For instance, you can meet a guy in a bar you know has no long term potential and you can fuck him knowing that. So it’s simple, fun, drunk, no orgasm sex because you are only dispensing that much.

It’s the same with friends with benefits. You know the outcome so you know you can hold back on the super intimate stuff you would save for someone you love.

Enter a guy with relationship potential. This is where you can let go just a little more and discover average day sex is actually pretty great. So you know that if the relationship progresses and trust is built, you’ve held back on all the best stuff you are still saving because you can. Because when sex is taken from you, you can at least reclaim it someday in your dirty, sexy, kinky ways….whatever they may be.

The kicker is it’s all you have left to offer so you aren’t just going to offer it up because he wants you to and your chemistry is well matched and you know if you stick together, you’ll eventually start letting down the wall for him. But not just yet. You need certain assurances and he’s not there yet so neither are you and it’s ok. Just leaves a lot to look forward to.

My latest relationship start didn’t work out because I said “men will take whatever they want or whatever you will give them.” Meaning, I don’t know any guy who will turn down you wanting to experiment with something By saying “wait, I haven’t committed to the relationship you are looking for yet.” They’ll just let you do it. They don’t stop to ask if you are getting what you want on your side. They just figure you are in the mood to give it so they’ll take it.

And that’s why my latest relationship attempt has failed. Because of the way I negotiate sex after being raped by trying to make something “special” whether it be sex shops, anal, voyeurism, tantric…you name it. I am curious about a lot of it and willing to do a lot of it but only with someone I love who is equally committed to me and I can trust. I didn’t have that yet. I was working on it and had every expectation it would fill in at some point.

I know it’s crass to talk about these things but it’s real. It’s raw. It’s what killed last weekend and hung in the air all week like rotting onion. It’s not that he was pressuring me for those things. He was ok waiting on the good stuff and looking forward to it. More than once he would comment on how much he knew I was holding back.

Well, when you’re raped you bargain with whatever little you can scrounge together and hope for the best. He didn’t like the truth of hearing “guys will take anything you give them” because he probably would have taken it all from anyone less self assured and capable of compartmentalizing what she wants.

The irony of all this is, my rape is still taking away from me.