Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

sexual abuse

OpEd: Sex and Pain


Woman with Real Breasts Looking Off into DistanceIf you judged the average person’s sex habits by what you see online, you’d think everyone is into pain, BDSM, and hog-tying their sex partners into elaborate rope configurations.  A while back, I was “roped” into a brief Twitter war with a guy who was trying to justify putting duct tape over a woman’s mouth during sex.  You can well imagine I went Irish war queen on his ass.

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to associate pleasure with pain, even though I’ve heard some pretty wild concepts.  And I’m not talking about the fur-lined handcuffs, blindfolds, and feathers — although I’d never do the handcuffs or the blindfold.  Even without a fetish being involved, women put up with painful sex for a variety of reasons, and we don’t have to.  Ever.

One reason I did not go the official “sex educator” route was because I would not have been allowed to speak my mind on the sex habits I personally find to be dangerous or just plain stupid.  (Yes, I know…. two consenting adults, blah, blah, blah….)  Since the rise of 50 Shades of Grey, it has become politically incorrect to say anything critical about BDSM or bondage or a woman not being a doormat for an abusive man.  And plain ol’ sex is considered “vanilla” sex, not exciting or amazing, just vanilla.  However, I feel the need to speak out for those of us who like our sex to be solely pleasurable between partners who are on an equal basis, not one person in control nor one person made to be a slave or subservient caricature.

From my own holistic, Tantric perspective, I would never enter a sexual experience with any attitude other than love, equality, and respect.

And yet, pain is apparently all over modern sex.  Personally, I believe the association of sex and pain is due to this patriarchal society that is based on hierarchy and competition at any cost.  The need for control or recognizing we are being controlled is incorporated into every aspect of our lives, our work, our economic status, our cultural/class status; and then hierarchy and the need for control or to relinquish all control crosses over into sex.

Pain is pain, not pleasure.  Women should not put up with painful sex, but often times, we do so as not to hurt the man’s feelings.  We endure all sorts of emotional pain throughout our lives, but sex should be 110% pleasure.  Women, you do not have to tolerate painful, unfulfilling sex.  Ever.

Sex should never hurt.  Except for some slight pain when the hymen is broken, sex should never be painful.  Even for an experienced woman, penetration can be painful if she is not lubricated enough.  Whether it’s your first time with a man or the hundredth, sex may need to be slow to take him in.  Just because you’ve been with him before doesn’t mean your body is automatically ready to be penetrated.  Being penetrated too quickly or without enough lube can be very, VERY painful.

Remember that the vulva needs to be massaged and stretched as part of the preparation for sex.  Another reason for spending time arousing the woman is that the vagina is only 3 to 3.5 inches long, but she expands up to 50% during arousal.  So if the man wants to get 5+ inches of his penis inside instead of just 3 inches, fully arousing a woman is time well spent.

The difference in penis size to vagina size can make for thrilling orgasms or a painful experience.  If the man has a large penis, extra time may need to be taken to avoid hurting the woman.  How much time?  This depends on the woman.  In this way, yes, the woman is always in control of the sex.  That’s just the way it goes, guys.

Once aroused, the woman’s erectile tissue will be fully infused with blood (just as the man’s erectile tissue fills with blood), and for the woman, when the man slowly slides inside the vagina, it is exquisite pressure and a sense of being absolutely full, as if he’s touched her soul.  Again, any man not willing to patiently await a woman’s full arousal doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a vagina.

Encouraging pain to feel pleasure is just stupid — or even dangerous if your partner wants to try something like erotic axphxiation (choking to make orgasm “stronger”).  If you actually know the “how” of orgasm, you’d know that oxygen feeds orgasm intensity and duration, so cutting off your oxygen supply is actually not a good idea.  And about 1,000 people die per year from erotic axphyxiation.

Pain in the vagina, anus, or even in the pelvic floor or legs could be a sign of something very wrong.  If you experience pain or numbness in the legs during or after sex, this may be not only a neurological issue but also a respiratory issue.  Getting enough oxygen into your lungs, and ergo your body, is crucial for proper function of the body and especially for orgasm.  During sex, focus breathing down into your pelvic floor.  As you inhale, bring the air all the way down toward your genitals.  This will ensure that you are belly breathing and not breathing only in the upper chest.  Upper chest breathing doesn’t allow the body to get rid of as much carbon dioxide, so the body is not being fully oxygenated.  This can contribute to the tingling or numbness in the legs.  Also, being sedentary in your daily life or job can affect the nerves and bloodflow in the legs.

Moving around to the backside, anal sex should NEVER hurt.  Ever.  Whether fingers, a toy, or a penis, anal sex should only ever be pleasurable.  Men, please know, that male prostate stimulation is very healthy for you, and any anal stimulation should always be pleasurable.

With the possible exception of breaking the hymen, no part of sex should ever hurt.  Ever.  Never.

Yes, I know that fetishes like spanking and rope-tying have hit the mainstream, but it is still a power-play of control and inflicting pain on someone you supposedly care about.  Just because you interpret both pain and pleasure in the same area of the brain doesn’t mean you need to inflict pain to experience pleasure.  In fact, if you are, then you only experience sex on a physical level, and orgasm is a response of the subtle body, not just a “release” of the physical anatomy.

The rise of pain as a means of pleasure is more patriarchal bullshit that women are supposed to adopt as “normal” sex play.  Women are throttled by the neck, their breasts are slapped, their vulvas punched with a partner’s fist, and it makes me ill.  What’s worse is that young people see the images, gifs, videos, etc., online and think that abusive sex is normal, and it is not.

Once you understand the mechanism and response of orgasm, you will know that pain should never be anywhere near sex.  Any desire for pain during sex is a sign of other psychological and/or emotional issues that need to be resolved outside the bedroom.  I know this is not a popular sentiment, and that’s okay.  I want to be a voice for all those women (and men) who instinctively do not want pain-fetishized sex but feel pressured into accepting it because of this society that regularly features victimized women and abusive men as part of the mainstream culture.

Having lived in a patriarchal world and been affected by its brutality more times than I care to acknowledge, I will never allow an abusive person into my sex life.  Ever.

trish

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OpEd: Why Is Circumcision Still Considered a Humane Procedure?


© 2013 by Trish Causey.  All Rights Reserved.

Man in Turtleneck Sweater - End CircumcisionIn my current class on Methods of Inquiry, one topic that came up is the ethics of the social sciences and research.  My professor shared a power point presentation from a friend of hers, and in it, various points were made in regard to research on human subjects.  The Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials, the Tuskegee syphilis scam research project, and the Stanford prison study all contributed to the passing of the National Research Act of 1974.  This act allowed for the creation of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which helped establish certain guidelines for conducting tests and research on human beings:

  • Voluntary Participation
  • No Harm to Participants
  • Informed Consent
  • Protection of Vulnerable Populations
  • Honest Reporting of Results

Of course, I had to bring up the human rights violation that is routine infant circumcision.  Circumcision itself is not a research project, except that there is research surrounding circ that just happens to use live babies, and apparently, circ is not covered in ethics classes or the social sciences when discussing inhumane, unnecessary medical procedures.

Here, then, is my post in my class’ discussion of the humane treatment of consenting volunteers — I thought my avid activist readers would enjoy a good Irish rant.

On the subject of human experiments, my activist ire is burning brightly, so you can ignore the entire rest of this post…. But if you’re brave….

Saying research on humans must be completely voluntary is great, but the reality is that is not what happens in the United States on one particular kind of “research”.  Non-consensual human research does in fact still happen.  In the United States, routine infant circumcision (RIC) on baby boys occurs on a daily basis — female genital cutting has been outlawed in the United States, but it is still practiced in some parts of the world.  Both male and female genital mutilation are violations of a child’s basic human rights to body autonomy and self-determination.

While parents think they have the right to mutilate their sons, the boy himself actually has the only say in what happens to his body, especially when circumcision is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure.  Even if the parents’ religion “requires” circumcision, the boy himself is too young to voice if he has chosen to join his parents’ religion.  Thanks to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, every American citizen is guaranteed the Freedom of Religion; and in the case of circumcision, boys have the right to Freedom FROM Religion.  HIS body.  HIS choice.

So why do I bring this up?  (Besides the fact that I’m an intactivist — an activist for keeping boys’ and girls’ genitals intact.)  When a child is circumcised, he may not receive any anesthesia — even if given a local anesthetic, it does not do much.  The male foreskin has 20,000 – 30,000 nerves.  Yes, he DOES feel it.  If he isn’t screaming, he’s in shock.  So, is this humane?

Circumcision is now being shown to hinder a baby boy’s desire to latch on during breastfeeding — the baby probably feels betrayed by the mother.  New studies are showing that circ affects the way in which the neurological pathways grow and connect as well as the psychological development — it’s no coincidence that the most violent and misogynist countries in the world tend to practice routine infant circumcision — America is especially included!

I invite you to watch a video of circumcision on YouTube.  If you can’t sit through it without wincing, ask yourself how HE feels — and why does our culture still do this to infants who are only days old?  Is this humane?

Worse than all of this is that the foreskins aren’t just thrown away.  The hospitals sell the amputated foreskins to research labs since animal research is no longer an accepted practice (and rightfully so!).  The DNA and cells from the foreskins are used in research by bio-engineering and cosmetic companies.  Cosmetic companies are looking for the “fountain of youth”, and they’ve found it in the mutilated genitals of non-consenting newborn babies.  The next time you’re shopping for some anti-wrinkle cream, call the company — Mary Kay, SkinMedica, Cover Girl, etc. — and ask if they STILL use foreskin-derived cells in their products.

Interestingly, the buying and selling of body parts is illegal in the United States.  I can’t sell a kidney or an ovary or even a length of my hair because it would be considered trading in body parts.  And yet the medical system does exactly that — buying and selling the human body parts of non-consenting children and profiting handsomely from it.  Must be nice to own the FDA like that.

Over the course of its use and being sold and re-sold and then put into over-priced facial creams, one baby foreskin can eventually be worth $100,000.  So everyone from the doctor to the hospital, to the labs, to the bio-medical and cosmetic companies gain big returns for stealing parts of a boy’s body, and yet the boy loses — so much more than just the foreskin.

Think circumcision prevents AIDS?  It doesn’t.  Prevents infections?  It doesn’t.  Looks “better”?  No, it doesn’t.   The studies done in Africa were skewed from the beginning, and a recent study showed higher HIV rates among circ’d men than intact.  In fact, the foreskin contains special cells — Langerhans cells — and according to Nature Medicine magazine, “Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells.”  The foreskin is not supposed to retract until it is ready to, usually around the onset of puberty; the foreskin actually protects the penis from infections.  The foreskin also keeps the head of the penis smooth and soft, unlike circ’d glans that tend to look dry and cracked and develop keratinization (thickening of skin similar to scar tissue) from rubbing up against the boy’s/man’s clothes.

It is also estimated that 60% of erectile dysfunction in adult men is due to routine circumcision that was done when they were newborns.  While the foreskin itself is small when it is amputated during RIC, once the boy grows into a man, the amount of skin removed equates to about 15 square inches of penile skin, including the frenulum (of the frenular delta) which is the most nerve-dense part of the foreskin.

Women who have been sexually active with intact men say there is a difference in the way intact men approach sex.  These men seem to be more sensitive to the woman and more aware of what is happening in her vagina than cut men are.  The foreskin mucosa also acts as natural lubricant.  I can attest that men who have been circ’d have problems expressing themselves emotionally and in bed.  Many cut men need “dry sex” to feel friction against the scar tissue (keratinization) on the underside of the penis in order to reach ejaculation.  Dry sex is painful for women, but I can also attest that women don’t want to hurt the man’s feelings; and so, we endure painful sex so as not to further damage the man’s self-esteem.  (Note:  Not all circ’d men need dry sex “to feel something”, but many do, and many circ’d men have fulfilling sex lives.)

At Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, a study is being done on 200 newborn boys who are being mutilated to determine which of two circumcision clamps is “better.”  This “better” clamp will be determined subjectively by seeing which clamp produces fewer blood-soaked bandages and by judging the amount of pain expressed on the babies’ faces.  Again, when did these boys give consent to participate in this study?  Is this a humane study?  Doesn’t this violate the National Research Act of 1974?

Circumcision can cause all sorts of problems from infections to damage to the meatus and urinary tract.  And there is even a consequence called “degloving”, in which the doctor accidentally removes ALL of the skin from the baby boy’s penis.  Yes, this happens often enough that there is a name for it.

If all of this were not bad enough, on average, 117 baby boys die each year in the United States from “routine” circumcision.  If a diet pill caused 117 deaths each year, the FDA would ban it.  And yet, circumcision is “routine”.

So why, then, is it not outlawed?  Because some people are afraid of offending people of Jewish culture — however, few Americans would be afraid to offend Muslims, who also practice circumcision.  A person can be proud to be of Jewish culture and NOT circumcise their son, who may or may not choose to join Judaism as his chosen religion, if any.  A baby cannot voice that he does or does not want to be Jewish (in religion), so whatever his parents’ religion might be is superfluous.  (Again, I point out the freedom FROM religion guaranteed to every American citizen.)  Added to that, the “ritual nick” that is supposed to be the “bris” is NOT what is “routinely” done by skinning the penile glans of its protective barrier, the foreskin.  Circumcision as it is practiced in America today is actually the modus operandi from the sexually repressed Victorian age, who touted circumcision — to the otherwise intact population — as a means of preventing boys from masturbating.  But if you’re interested in the Jewish perspective of RIC, check out JewsAgainstCircumcision.org.

For more information on the erroneous myths and so-called science behind the pro-circ propaganda, visit IntactAmerica.org, Circumstitions.com, and similar — and for those in the SanFran area: BayAreaIntactivists.org.

As a tribute to the natural penis, I asked intact men to submit photos of their penis in various states to help women (and other men) get accustomed to what a natural penis looks like, and I wrote this article on my blog (warning: it’s NSFW :-) ).  If you’re on Twitter, you can ask a question about circumcision, and be sure to use the hashtag #i2 to reach out to the #nocirc intactivists.  To learn more about the history of circumcision, how it’s done, and consequences, watch “Circumcision: The Whole Story” (also NSFW).

Activist rant is complete… for now…. :-)

trish


RADIO: Trish’s Womanifesto – A Treatise on Being an ArousedWoman


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Ever wondered what I mean when I say “ArousedWoman?”  Of course, you don’t!  YOU actually read my blog!  YOU actually communicate with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Sadly, many people judge my book by its Jessica Rabbit cover and move on…. sniff….  (that was a joke, people… seriously!)

Well, not any more!  I posted the first of what I hope will become an almost weekly event — Trish’s Rant!  A little time and space carved out of the universe for me to get my Irish on and tell the world how I see it.  (This probably is not for the faint of heart.)

This week’s topic is “Trish’s Womanifesto – A Treatise on Being an ArousedWoman.”

Listen to the replay, then lemme know what you think by leaving a comment at the end of this blog post.

Thank you!

trish


NEWS: Air Force’s Head of Anti-Sexual Assault Unit Arrested for Sexual Battery


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski is pictured in this undated handout photo released by the Arlington County Police DepartmentLast night, it was reported that the guy in charge of the Air Force’s anti-sexual assault unit, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested for the sexual battery of a woman, not far from the Pentagon.

According to the charges, he grabbed her breasts and butt in public. She resisted, and judging by his mugshot, she fought back. GOOD FOR HER! But he went after her again. She was able to call the Arlington County Police Department, who provided his arrest photo.

While the Air Force has removed him from his post with the anti-sexual assault unit, he was able to post his $5,000 bond, so he is out on the streets.

If you’ve seen the film The Invisible War, you know how rampant sexual abuse is within the U.S. military. How can change happen within the military when the leaders assigned to address the problems are themselves abusers?

trish


OpEd: “A Life Lived in Fear Is a Life Half-Lived”


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Trish Causey - Activist ArtistAn open letter to all my friends who never knew about my secret life this past year.

04-16-2013

If you know me, you know I cover New York’s Broadway theatre for a living, doing write-ups for shows, reviewing shows and cast albums, and hosting my own radio show, Musical Theatre Talk, on which I chat with Tony Award winners, Bway designers, and composers — I’ve even covered the Tonys! I do all this from Mississippi…. Yes, Mississippi…. How?…. I’m damn good at what I do…. (And I occasionally fly to New York.)

But there are other things you may not know about me….

In 1994, I discovered a quirky independent Australian film entitled Strictly Ballroom. Almost 20 years later, Strictly Ballroom remains in my list of Top 10 Best Films of all time.

The basic tenet of the film is a quote, supposedly of Spanish Romani origin, that goes, “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” I have taken this quote and sentiment as the “theme” for 2013 as well as for my updated website, and my continued activism on my “secret” blog that I sort of kept from my “respectable friends” because it deals with subject matters too indelicate for polite company.

For the past year, since starting my “secret” blog, I have lived in fear of what others would think — that they would shun me, rumors would start, and I would be all alone in the big, scary world.

What the FUCK was I thinking?!

Of course, I’ll be shunned. Of course, people will talk. THIS has been the one constant in my life — being the black sheep of the family, having family and so-called friends disown me for being truthful to myself and living that truth in the open, standing up for what I believe in, speaking out for other people’s rights as well as my own. Why the hell would I be surprised for people to abandon me now?!

The fear began at age 9 when I was molested by a neighbor, a teenage girl down the street. She knew how to get me to keep silent — she threatened to tell my mother. My mother was an evil bitch, a Catholic zealot, dependent victim, and recreational martyr. I wasn’t sure what was being done to me, but somehow, my mother was bound to twist it to being my fault. That threat — that fear of being shunned by those who were supposed to love me — had lived with me for years, well into adulthood.

At 21, I was raped. (No, Republicans, it was not your definition of “legitimate rape.” It was just date-rape, just me being violated in my home by someone I knew well, which I know doesn’t really count to you as “rape-rape” even though 80% of reported rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, not the stereotypical boogey-man.) Again, I lived in fear of others finding out, of being shunned and ridiculed by those who were supposed to love me, so I didn’t tell anyone — not one person, not even the police.

Since I was 13, I’ve spoken out on many things in regards to human rights and civil rights — sometimes in regard to how it applied to me as a woman, a bisexual, a heathen pagan. Mostly, however, I’ve fought for human rights on the macrocosmic scale — I’ve fought for the principal of the basic right of <__insert human rights issue here__>.

This time last year, something happened within me, and I could no longer keep all of this inside. I created my “secret” website and blog that I absolutely love writing. Yet, I lived in fear that if my family found out, I would lose the last of my family who still talk to me… and worse yet, my activism for women’s rights, women’s body autonomy, women’s sexual health, and my own personal journey in healing from sexual abuse would be used against me by my soon-to-be ex-husband to take my child away from me…. I repeat… I’m in Mississippi… not New York….

A few days ago, while looking ahead to running for public office and knowing my “secret” blog would become public knowledge, I began to update my personal website. For some reason, the quote from Strictly Ballroom resounded in my head: “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”

As happy as I am in my life as a single mom, a writer, an activist, a dreamer, I still lived in fear — which meant my life was not really my own. My fear still controlled me.

I knew then that I will no longer live in fear of losing people from my life. People who shun me for being an open, honest, and unapologetic loudmouth activist are missing out on one hell of a person in their lives. Their shunning says more about them than me. In fact, today on Twitter, I saw this quote in someone’s bio: “If you judge me, you don’t define me. You define yourself.”

So, here goes…. I’m coming out of the blogger and activist closet to let everyone know about my site and blog, ArousedWoman.com. (Begin shunning now….)

“Arouse” means “to stir to action, to awaken.” To me, this perfectly summed up my activism and the awakening I was experiencing on so many levels. A year of secret blogging later, I am proud to say I have a small following of readers — okay, they’re a fabulous fan-base whom I love dearly.

Here’s some more shun-worthy information:

I have never orgasmed during sex… but then 70% of women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex. I thought the problem was me. Turns out, not all of it was my fault. Some of it was the guys’ fault (okay, a lot of it has been the fault of the men in my life). A lot of it was the fault of the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and as an adult, and much to my surprise, a great deal of my issues with sex have come from the sexual harassment I’ve suffered since I suddenly developed breasts one night when I was 10. Therefore, I have written about my abuse as a kid as well as my date rape experience. I’ve written about my lifelong hatred of my breasts, as well as my fear of intimacy. I even wrote about my own Steubenville-esque experience that I was still carrying shame over.

No longer.

I’m glad to say I am a multi-orgasmic woman — enjoying spontaneous O’s even! I have documented this journey in my DailyOJ posts. I am happier than I’ve ever been in that department… so much so that I now help others — men and women — with their sexual journey and sexual healing by answering their questions in my AskTrish posts and on Twitter. I love reading the comments by my readers on my blog and Twitter — they seem to like my OpEd pieces especially:

I also review products including sex toys, books, lube, and music.

Still reading all this?…

AND I post erotic pictures on my AW Tumblr…. (no, not of me…. yet….)

AND I’m planning on hosting sexual wellness workshops….

AND I’m preparing an orgasm training workshop….

AND I’ve published a sample chapter of erotica on Amazon.com Kindle, that’s FREE for Prime members. (Tempted? Go ahead, you know you want to check it out…. I’ll wait right here for you to return…)

Oh…. you’re back? Great… Where was I…….

And is now a good time to mention I had to have a medical abortion in 1997?…. No?…. Oh…. Well, then, I guess I’ll save my tale of spending 20 minutes on the kitchen floor in such horrendously painful, incapacitating contortions I could not crawl across the floor to reach the phone to call 9-1-1… (twice)… for another time.

Still reading? Wow.

And I hate religion…. I am a very spiritual person, but religion is little more than man-made rules set by a core group of wealthy, powerful elitist men who suppress the masses into subjugation and adoration through machinations of fear and guilt — and who usually HATE WOMEN…. I don’t dislike the followers of religion necessarily — I like the UU’s, and I’ve never met a Methodist I didn’t like.

AND I am the Queen of Musical Theatre…. Seriously.

Now you know. My secrets are out. I no longer have any fear. My life is a life fully lived and living!

Judge me. You will be defining yourself, not me.

trish

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OpEd: My “Steubenville” Experience – The Night I Don’t Remember


steubenville-football-players-carrying-alleged-rape-victimI awoke last Sunday, dreading checking my Twitter because I anticipated a plethora of “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” tweets, and I wasn’t in the mood to explain (again) the lies of the Patrick myth as invented by the Catholic Church.  But check Twitter I did, and the tweets that caught my attention revolved around the upcoming verdict in the Steubenville rape case in Ohio.

The verdict was just about to be announced, and everyone in my TL pensively awaited guilty verdicts for the high school football Lotharios who raped a 16 year-old girl while she was drunk.  When the media storm first hit the story months ago, I had seen some of the pictures taken that night.  The one in which the guys were passing her around like she was a sack of potatoes was particularly heinous.

I think this story hit me hard not only because of the rape/date-rape aspect of my own rape, but I had a similar inebriated experience in 1996.  I was at an outdoor event, and the temperature was in the high 90’s.  A cheese sandwich was my only food the entire day.  I was not drinking enough water.  I was walking a lot, and I was dehydrated.  When the party began that night, I had two lite beers — and remember nothing of the next 10 hours.

The next day, I heard stories of what I did at the party.  The looks on people’s faces as I walked by were enough to tell me I did… something… a lot of something… but I had no recollection except for two brief flashes of sitting with a man I didn’t know.  But the stories… what I was told… by many people, confirming each other’s stories… didn’t sound like me at all.

I understand exactly the panic, the fear, the emotional pain, the shame of what the Steubenville victim experienced.  What she went through at the time, not knowing what was done to her, or by whom, is a frightening feeling.  Not knowing if you used a condom, do you now have a disease, are you pregnant???  These thoughts flood the mind, and you live in fear until tests come back.  Thankfully, for me, the tests’ results were all negative.  Ironically, this was the moment I became pro-choice.

That night in March 1996, I had alcohol poisoning.  The combined factors of little water, even less food, high heat, and overall exhaustion made my body unable to handle two lite beers.  All the things I did, I did not cognitively consent to, and yet I participated in them.  Eventually, so I was told, a man was put in charge of watching over me, so no “harm” would come to me.  What was their definition of “harm?”  I was in an alcohol blackout having “sex” with men I barely knew and some I didn’t know at all.  They didn’t think that was harmful?  Did they not know the signs of intoxication?  Did they not care?!

As I was told, this man took me away from the immediate party and tried to get me to drink water.  I awoke the next morning in my tent, with horrible dry mouth — like I was eating cotton, and I was physically weak.  I didn’t even know I’d been “sexual” the previous night until… the stories… the looks… the shame of things I don’t remember… to this day.

The shame I was made to feel by those who witnessed (and did nothing) or heard about my “escapade,” is the shame I feared would haunt me if I reported my rape.  The guilt of embarrassing my friends and the fear of all the “what if’s” of the consequences literally pained me.  Even talking about my rape on Twitter led one jerk to say I was milking my rape for sympathy.

Steubenville-Ms-Foundation-Media-coverageLast Sunday morning, March 17, 2013, the Steubenville verdict was announced.  The judge places the blame on social media and drinking.  Over the course of the week, media outlets cover the verdict, blaming the victim for ruining the promising futures of her rapists.  Twitter explodes.  And the gun nuts start in saying, if only the girl had been armed, she wouldn’t have been raped.

And so the Twitterverse keeps revolving…

With 2012 being the Year of Rape in the media and women rising to the fore to fight the GOP Right Wing misogyny invading our bodies, how could a 16 year-old girl be made to take the brunt of the judge and the media’s blame for her rape?

When I was outside working all day on that hot day in March 1996, I wasn’t thinking about having “drunk sex” that night.  Did the men who were with me have any thought that maybe “sex” with a drunk girl isn’t a good thing?  That just because a girl is being gregarious or “slutty,” the alcohol has affected her ability to make cognitive decisions, i.e., give consent for sexual activity?

The bigger issue here is that I don’t think most men understand what rape actually is.  Rape is not only when a boogey-man jumps a lone, defenseless woman at the mall parking lot at 10 p.m.  Most reported rapes are committed on women by men they know — husbands, boyfriends, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers.  Only 20% of reported rapes are committed by the iconic stranger/boogey-man.

The other issue is what is consent.  Some states have laws that stipulate sex with a person who meets the legal definition of being intoxicated is considered rape, since the person cannot adequately consent.

I never liked the taste of alcohol, but I drank some socially.  I had never been drunk before or since.  I’ve never talked about my experience before now.  And I’m sure some people will say I “asked for it,” or they just won’t understand.  Hell, I don’t understand it.  But I understand Jane Doe, and she does not deserve the harassment she has received from the media or from her former friends.

Women and the men who love us need to keep up the pressure to have this national and international conversation — defining rape in all its forms and defining consent.  Our daughters and our sons deserve that.

Jane Doe does not deserve the blame or the shame she has received on top of the egregious violation of her body and trust that she experienced.  Were it not for the tenacity of one reporter, the Steubenville rape would have been swept under the carpet by the witnesses and the coaches who knew about it.  Accessories after the fact… accessories who cared more for their school’s athletic reputation than the welfare of a teenage girl.

Never be silent.

trish

Links:


AskTrish: Man Inquires About “the Woman Behind the Blog” & What I Do in My Spare Time


woman-red-ostrich-feather-fanDear Trish,

That was random I know, but you share so much about your life and experiences that I wondered how you were doing in the areas that you don’t speak about.  You have every right to say nothing.  I just enjoy getting a better understanding of the woman behind the blog.

What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not being a sex guru or a mom? What do you hope to achieve in the next year, 5 years or 10 years? What is something that no matter how upset or angry you are always manages to make you smile or at least smirk? If knowledge is power, when it comes to the content of your Aroused Woman blog, how powerful do you feel?

All hail Queen Vagina!

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You’re sweet! :-) A few posts back, I announced that I was branching out with ArousedWoman(TM), re-focusing on “Awakening Sexuality Through Mind, Body, & Spirit.”  So I’ll be posting lots of new topics and crazy wack-a-doo posts that I feel are relevant to my growth and that I hope are interesting to my readers.

As you can see from my “random post” on astral travel, that experience had a profound effect on me — not just my perception of what’s on the Other Side, but experiencing what actually is and is NOT on the Other Side confirmed for me many “beliefs” in regard to humanity, religion, society, etc.  My beliefs-turned-knowledge affect me sexually (i.e., there’s no hell and certainly no “sin” as classified by controlling religious dogma), the experience of pure love (I know what I’m looking for when it comes to love, I won’t settle for anything less, and love has to be felt — it can’t be intellectualized or rationalized, i.e., If I love him enough, he’ll change, so I’ll love him really hard and work to change him into the person I want him to be.), and other concepts I’m still integrating even after the 9 or 10 years since the experience.

Which brings me to my “spare time”… Just yesterday, in fact, my daughter asked me, “Just what do you do during the day?”  And I had to tell her the truth.  Not much.  I’m a Libra, a mind-candy person.  I’m a creator.  It’s difficult for me to actually finish anything because once it’s complete, it’s over — I can’t mind-candy it anymore.  But my creative works have to be completed if I’m gonna earn a paycheck and feed my child.

I spend most of my time reading, learning, experimenting, walking, cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, meditating, pondering, writing, tweeting, doing laundry, working, walking, composing music, looking at the trees, studying leaves, watching squirrels and birds interact, more reading, more research, more questing, listening to the wind, being witchy, brewing concoctions, making cool witchy stuff, doing web design for new clients, creating different workshops, textile design, writing, writing, writing, tweeting…

I don’t have “spare time” in that I do what I love for a living (theatre), and I’m currently working on 2 new training certifications, after which, I’ll go for 2 more.  (I’m already certified in yoga and Pilates.)  Because I do what I love, I don’t earn a lot of money — I live simply and have found that to be rather wonderful.  I go to bed every night thoroughly happy with my life.  I wish there were more time in the day, but I know I used the time I had to enrich my life, provide for my daughter, and enjoy being in this meat-suit while being amazed at the beauty that is around me.

It can be surreal sometimes.  I’ve had people say, “Wow, you lucked out writing for a living.”  No, I was in the performing arts for 36 years, I’m an award-winning composer, I hosted a radio show that had 27,000 listeners worldwide (that I put on hold to start ArousedWoman and fight the idiocy of the GOP during the 2012 POTUS election), and I have something to say.  I created my “luck” by working my ass off and paying my “dues.”  I earned my right to write for a living.

Currently, I’m creating an online course on Musical Theatre training topics, I’m starting a new project (a magazine), and I will get back to my theatre radio show soon.  I’m also going to teach some health workshops in my local area to help supplement my income.  I’m also working on the ArousedWoman cookbook, and I’m creating my orgasm training method (which will be in beta testing soon for anyone who wants to contact me to participate in it).

I’m still trying to get the AW Forum going and still raising money for ArousedWoman Radio, to interview guests and answer people’s question in real time.  But that is slow-going.  It will happen in its own time, I guess.

Most of my time is spent on personal growth, getting healthy, and growing my experiences sexually, sensually, tantrically.  I want to be a complete human, not a shell of a human in the rat race of society, as so many people are.  I want to help others get out of that kind of life — to help them make a better life for themselves, get healthier, find some kind of peace in this crazy world — to see that happiness in self and happiness in life are connected.  I want to help people overcome their PTSD with sexual trauma.  I want to help others see beyond the hypocrisy of religion, politics, and government — that all that bullshit doesn’t really matter — and if it does matter to you, then don’t just complain, actually get off your ass and do something about it.

I want to help people get off the lie that is the insensitive Western medical system which is being undermined by the pharmacological industry.  I want to inspire others to get back to the “beauty way,” back to Mother Earth because the livestock and dairy industries are killing our planet and our bodies.  We are not separate from the earth — the earth isn’t just the thing under the sidewalks and asphalt — the earth is our food, our air, our water, our home, our reason for incarnating to this physical plane.  If the living biosphere of the earth weren’t so important to us, we would have incarnated on Mars or somewhere else.  Duh.

I want people to take back their power to heal themselves without fear of criminalization from the oppressive forces in control of our society.

I want women to take back our rightful place as healers, warriors, judges, peacemakers — as we were before patriarchal misogyny made women property, whores, and household slaves.

Where do I want to be in 5 years?  Hopefully, I will have finished my Bachelor’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University and will be nearly finished with my Master’s in Women’s Spirituality.  After that, I may take 2 years to study Sanskrit at St. John’s University in Arizona.  And of course, 6 years from now, I hope to have completed my work to be an official teacher of Tantra.  Essentially, I want to be able to keep a roof over my head while helping others.

I used to think this life was too long.  In the past century, we have tripled our life expectancy.  Why?  Wasn’t 35 years of war, struggle, famine, disease, and natural disasters enough?  Now, we have to endure this for 72, or 85, or 105 years?!  Now, I see that even that long is not enough.  This is a great time to be in a meat-suit on the physical plane.  It is a truly wondrous time of change, and we’re a part of it.  The past century — this past year! — has seen the rise of women and the awareness of human rights that is 2,000 years overdue.

I just want to do my part to “Be the change.”  In my own particular brand of “random,” witchy, artistic, holistic, bohemian, awakening, loudmouth IrishLava. :-)  But understand, we really can’t change other people; we can only change ourselves and be the example of change we hope to inspire in others.

trish

Links:


OpEd: Hardcore Erotica, Animalistic Sex, and Hair Pulling


couple-touching-clawsA male member of the AW Forum posted a discussion in the Music to Set the Mood area, saying:

“Just thought I would add a category that I like to call ‘Hard Erotica.’  It’s a little more gritty and animalistic… Sometimes a good fuck requires a little hair pulling….”

Seriously? We’re back to the “so easy a cave man could do it” attitude toward sex?

The songs to which this member linked were dance-music, “hardcore erotica” tracks from Basic Instinct and Madonna. As a composer of real music, I find that this sort of computerized drivel personifies what is wrong with popular music (overproduced, over-sampled, monotonous in “beat”), but I’ll leave that aside for now.

Describing an enthusiastic fuck as “animalistic” begins to lead the conversation about sex back toward hardcore porn — removing the humanity from sex and encouraging the monotonous mechanics of impersonal fucking — which is not something I subscribe to and is NOT the purpose of my forum or anything related to ArousedWoman(TM). Sex should be about connection — even casual fucking should have a dose of humanity and connectedness to it.

We all know sex can get really heated and… exuberant… that doesn’t mean the intent is “animalistic,” necessarily. This sort of description is exactly the terminology the church used to shame sex — that it was “base” and only for “lower” animals. Deep, fast, thrusting sex can be thrilling for sure, but that doesn’t mean it is “animalistic.” Sex can also be incredibly tender and beautiful. Sex should be a raising of energy between partners, not just a means of tension relief from erratic muscular contractions. In fact, from a Tantric perspective, the best orgasms happen from “slow sex.” (Yes, I said slow sex — as in, the man enters the vagina, and nobody moves for an hour… Yes, I said an hour.)

For myself, I make it clear to a partner that hair pulling is absolutely NOT OKAY. It’s not only a sign of aggravated assault (to me), but yanking a woman’s head back via hair pulling is dangerous to the cervical spine and the larynx (the tube for breathing and speech).

Men may have a fantasy about hair pulling because of what they’ve seen in “hardcore porn,” but only because they’ve never been on the receiving end of having their head yanked back by their long hair or ponytail. No, it is not the same feeling as when a woman curls her fingers in a man’s short hair (on his head) and pulls his head back (that is bad enough), but to have someone grab hold of your long hair, use it like a handle to jerk your head back is horribly painful — and again, dangerous to the neck and larynx.

Yes, I know, some readers will complain (again) that I’m being all “puritanical” and I’m “not at peace” with myself for expressing my opinion (and I’m not even on my period and all hormonal), but I don’t exist to perpetuate the stereotypes of women or sex. So suck it.

ArousedWoman(TM) is about awakening from the “dirty,” impersonal, shame-filled KoolAid of sexuality as demonized by religion and kinkified by a society still trying to find balance in sexual practices and “roles.” As I say on Twitter: “The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful.” Nothing about ArousedWoman(TM) is about hardcore porn, so find another site if that’s all you care about — there are plenty of porn & sex sites that perpetuate the pro-church, misogynistic attitudes toward sexuality. ArousedWoman(TM) is NOT one of those.

One last word on monotonous dance music… If a man can only move his hips in one rhythm, he’s a dud in bed. Give me a man who can fuck the 1812 Overture, and we’ll talk.

trish

Recommended Products:


Anatomy: Female Ejaculation and Woman’s Ability to Conceive


Female Ejaculation - Prostate Orgasm Up CloseI came across a great site about yoni and all things Tantric for women and emotionally secure men.  The blog is by a Tantrika/Dakini who is the “real deal,” not one of the so-called “urban tantra” bullshit artists.  However, the following comment one man left on her blog shows just how little is still known about women’s anatomy and sexuality in popular culture thanks to women’s sexuality being vilified by misogynist religion and ignored in Western medicine and academia, while superstitions and myths are still rampant.

(Note:  Misspellings are left in.)

i am just curious about one thing if stimulation is done aftifically with fingers on G spot its surely making pleasure for woman but does it keep woman healthy enough to be fertile and gave birth to kids after such an act. my question is can woman still conceive or become pregnant if she is ejaculating with fingers on G spot or it odes affect its reproductive system?

(XXXXXX)

I just posted this response, and so far it hasn’t been approved — fingers crossed, it will be. :-)

Dear (XXXXXX),

You seem to be more concerned with your masculinity and virility than the woman’s pleasure. Your patriarchal, misogynist ego will be pleased to know that the female prostate’s ability to induce full-body/wave orgasms and secrete prostatic fluid has nothing to do with the viability of the woman’s eggs. If you’re concerned about being able to conceive, go get your sperm count checked before assuming any conception problem’s are the woman’s fault.

trish

Seriously.  A woman ejaculating isn’t birth control… If it were, almost every woman between the ages of 15 and 50 would be drenching the sheets — every day, twice a day!  (But please don’t let the GOP Republicans think it’s birth control ’cause they’d just criminalize that, too.)

Guys… female ejaculation is a beautiful thing.  The biggest concern you should have with helping a woman ejaculate is can you drink it all up so her love nectar isn’t wasted.

I’ve covered this all before, but let’s go over the basics of female ejaculation:

  • All women should be capable of ejaculating.  Fear of urinating is what usually stops a woman from ejaculating even if the stimulation techniques are correct.  (Other  issues that can contribute to a woman not ejaculating include being dehydrated or the emotional/psychological issues from past sexual trauma.)
  • Female ejaculate is NOT urine.  It is prostatic fluid and mostly glucose, hence its sweet flavor and labeling by the ancients as the “nectar of the gods.”
  • The amount of fluid released will vary from woman to woman — from a couple tablespoons to a couple cups of fluid, and can vary from release to release, even within the same sexual session.
  • If a woman feels pressured by her partner to ejaculate in the first place — much less burst forth a specific amount, this can activate stress hormones and prevent her from getting wet at all — even though vaginal fluid is a different cocktail than prostate fluid.

Are we clear on this?  Women experiencing mind-boggling pleasure is actually healthy  for the woman physically, emotionally, psychologically, as well as sexually.  Loving the vulva and vagina via yoni massage is one of the most beautiful  ways you can show a woman respect sexually.  And, at the risk of making men paranoid in the other direction, being able to help a woman ejaculate is super  manly!

If your woman already ejaculates on her own, ask her to show you how she does it so you can see what  she does and how  she does it.  Don’t help!!!  (Unless she asks you to.)  Just be there to lap up the delicious juices.

trish

FURTHER READING:

LINKS:


Anatomy: #TeamUncut Intact Natural Penis Collage for #ForeskinFriday (21+ NSFW)


Oral - Woman Kissing Uncut Penis HeadAbout a month ago, I put out the call for submissions for uncircumcised men to send in photos of their uncut penis.  Sure, I got lots of teasing on Twitter, but I was diligent in my self-prescribed duty to look through lots of penis photos to create the collages below.

The purpose of the collage is to normalize the uncut penis in an effort to end routine circumcision. Men who were circumcised as infants face a number of medical issues from pain in the penis to sexual dysfunction and loss of sensation, not to mention the women who often endure painful friction sex with cut men.  These uncut men also suffer social ridicule for looking “different,” or “nasty” or “not normal,” when in fact, the intact penis IS what is normal — the circumcised penis is what is NOT normal.

Circumcision is a barbaric, unnecessary procedure of sexual assault on a child and a gross violation of that child’s basic human right to be left whole, particularly in America where routine circumcision is so prevalent.  What’s worse is that adult circumcision has been touted as preventing transmission of AIDS and/or HIV, and that is not true.  Circumcision is blatant sexual assault carrying a Bible and wrapped in a flag — to paraphrase Sinclair Lewis’ definition of fascism.

For the collage, the men who submitted pics took photos with their phone or laptop camera.  (Maybe in the future, we can do a pro photo shoot — with me supervising! YUM.)  There is even  a photo of a restored foreskin!  Can you tell which one?  (Hint: the pic is in Photo #1.)

Below, you can see the wonderful variations in the penises’ shapes in the shaft, head, curvature, and coloration.  You will also notice how the skin covers the glans/head differently on different men and in various states of arousal.  I particularly love how the foreskin covers and even extends beyond the tip like it’s the wrapping on a present — a present for me to open… Just sayin’.

In photo #3 of the erect penises, you can see how the foreskin slides back, creating the ridged band on the anterior of the penis and the frenular delta (triangle of attached skin) on the underside of the penis head.

To join the anti-circumcision discussion leave a comment below.  Also, if you’re on Twitter, use the hastags, #i2, #nocirc, and #circumchat, and use #4skin for talking about foreskin restoration.

All photo collages are Copyright 2012 by ArousedWoman.com which is owned by Trish Causey.  If you post these photos on your own blog or social media page, do not remove the copyright notice (which I have embedded on every penis) and please provide a link in the Reply box below so I can see.  :-)

And YES, I hope to do more collages, not only on the penis, but the testicles, and to celebrate the differences in women’s vulvas, clits, and breasts.  As my mantra goes, “The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful. Orgasm is natural. Reject any dogma that shames what is beautiful and natural.”

To the guys who submitted photos – THANK YOU!!!

ENJOY!

trish

Related:

Click on an image to enlarge.


ArousedWoman Love, Sex, & Orgasm Consults Now Available


With the success of my AskTrish series, I have been inundated with questions by people seeking personal help with their individual situations regarding sex, masturbation, healing from sexual trauma, and relationships.

I’ve been receiving so many questions on general topics and specific scenarios, I’m having trouble keeping up with them on top of my paying writing gigs!  This is a great problem to have — it means you all love and respect my perspective, which warms my heart immensely.  However, some querents have been less than gracious and even rude — one man asked a question via Twitter, then moments later told me to get back to him “soon, today”  — like I’m a trained dog?  Or like he had me on a paid retainer, or something?!

To alleviate this, I am still doing the AskTrish series, but on a schedule that suits my timetable.  I am aiming for two to four posts per month.

To handle the overflow of questions, I am now offering personal consultations because I know for a fact just reading the AW Blog has helped many people.  I like answering people’s questions over Twitter, but these Twitter convos have been taking hours… literally!  I don’t teach voice lessons for free or write theatre articles for free, nor can I offer in-depth training for free (hey, I’m a single mom with a kid to feed).  So please ask me a question via Twitter, but if it gets too involved, I will tell you to go for a Consult.

Personal consultations allow me to focus only on you  and your particular situation and offer you specific techniques just for you.  Use the email form on the AW Consult page to get the ball rolling.  If I feel I cannot help you, I will tell you exactly that.  I will not hold a consult if I don’t know I can help you.

The Consult can be held over the phone or via Skype (no video at this time).  Personal orgasm training is also available, just use the Consult form to inquire.  For more info, visit the AW Consult page.

And be on the look-out for more posts today on the up-cumming features of ArousedWomanTM!

trish


Submission Guidelines for #TeamUncut #ForeskinFriday Penis Pics to ArousedWoman


In a selfless gesture to help the women of America overcome their phobias and misunderstandings about uncircumcized penises, I am accepting self-portraits of men who are uncut, aged 21 and over.

Don’t get me wrong — I love ALL penises: circumcized penises, small penises, large penises, all of them.  But some uncut men in the United States still have to deal with discrimination from partners who are unaccustomed to seeing, handling, or loving a natural, intact penis.

I recently saw a tortured comment from one uncut guy on Tumblr.  He was so distraught by a girlfriend calling his natural penis “nasty,” he was seriously contemplating getting circumcized at his current age of 23 or 24.  I was horrified — not only at the thought of an adult male choosing circumcision just to be considered “normal” in a culture that has no clue about what normal sexuality should be (i.e., not evil, not sinful, not shameful, not jackhammering a vagina), but this girlfriend then told all her friends about his “nasty” penis and he became the laughing stock of his friends and acquaintances — at a college, no less.

** Stepping up on soapbox:  America’s Puritanical overlords and evangelical bullshit have so warped our culture, few people have a clue as to what is natural and beautiful… in penises, breasts, or vulva!  And yes, I am one of those radical tree-huggers who views routine infant male circumcision and any female circumcision as aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon, with the perpetrators being culpable and deserving jail time.  (Stepping down…) **

I have already had a few submissions, and while some are great, some are a bit lackluster — not for size or shape, but for the absolute disregard for ambiance!!!  Jeez!  Dudes!  You’re taking pics of your penis for a woman!!!  Why is the toilet in the background?!

So I’m laying out some Submission Guidelines.

  • Photo must be of you and submitted by you, and YOU must be 21 years of age or older, regardless of where you live in the world.
  • Photo must be a close-up of your penis and testicles, or of your body somewhere from your navel to above your knees, i.e., your face should not be in the pic.
  • Multiple photos are permissible to show the way the foreskin moves/changes in different states: unaroused/natural, partially aroused, fully erect, etc.  No cum shots will be posted (but you can send them anyway :-) ).
  • Photos should be taken in natural light with NO FLASH — using flash does NOT make your penis look inviting.  (Sorry, but that’s the truth.)  So take the pic near a window, outside in the woods or other place where you won’t be arrested for indecent exposure, etc.
  • Higher resolution is better.
  • Photo may be edited by me for size, color tone, etc.
  • I HATE BLUE!!!  So please don’t have anything blue in the picture.
  • All men — straight, gay, bi — are more than welcome!

If in doubt as to tone and ambiance, PLEASE look at my Tumblr page.  I adore sensuality.  Crude porn shots is NOT what I’m looking for.  I want to honor the male and the uncut penis.

Sumbit via email on the main ArousedWoman.com website.

P.S.  Cut guys — feel free to send pics, too, and I’ll put them in a separate collage.

trish

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NEWS: Raising $$$ for ArousedWoman Radio & Forum!


This is a quick note to let everyone know that I am taking the bull by the horns and starting up the Radio show and Forum that I’ve been wanting to create for a while now.

So many people ask me if I do podcasts, and I have to tell them, yes, but not yet for AW.  Well, that’s changing!

While we dream of Utopia, running a radio show and hosting a forum is not free.  It costs money for the licensed platforms even when the daily toil of maintaining each is based on sweat equity.

AW Radio will cover all aspects of the AW raison d’etre  including Women’s Sexuality, Women’s Rights, LGBT, Survivors of Abuse, Religious Freedom, Indigenous Rights, Environmental Issues, Healthcare, Anti-Circumcision/Body Autonomy issues, and more.

The AW Forum will provide a safe place for like-minded individuals and orgs to talk about issues, recovery, and more importantly, foster solutions to put into practice. The Forum will be membership-based (to keep out the crazies) at $14.95/year, with a portion of the proceeds being donated annually to 2 organizations as voted on by the Forum community.

For more info on the Radio show as well as the Forum, visit my GoFundMe page I’ve started.  Donations are securely processed by either WePay or PayPal (your choice!).

Be sure to check out the REWARD that accompanies each donation level, and make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation if you can.

Thank you!

trish


AskTrish: SexEd Teacher Wants to Overcome Shame on Issue of Masturbation


I teach SexEd for 15 / 16 year-olds. I usually manage to have an open atmosphere and we discuss all different topics openly (I even created an experiment how condoms react to different lubrications). Where I have always failed was the topic of masturbation.  I think it is a very important topic, but how could I overcome the shame issue? Any ideas?

trantor1970

Dear Trantor1970,

This is a wonderful and timely question!  This issue resonates with me not only because of ArousedWomanBlog, but also because my teenage daughter is taking SexEd right now in high school.  As someone who loves sex and being sexual, I think everyone should have honest, non-judgmental information available to them.  As a mother, deep inside, I’m a little freaked out that my baby is learning about sex anywhere  much less at school.  Thankfully, we’ve had chats about the vagina and her body before this.

I’m not sure if you teach in a public or private school, but for now, I’ll assume it is a public school.  Since you do condom experiments, it sounds as if you have a good rapport with your students.  This is very important when tackling the hard issues, such as masturbation.

The shame of masturbation is intrinsically tied to the misogyny and oppression of religion.  Any sex that was not partnered and heterosexual was demonized by the Church and other patriarchal religions centuries ago.  Extra-marital sex, homosexual sex, and solo sex were all frowned upon because legitimate (male) heirs could not be born from these forms of sex.  (The Church and Western culture just love their male heirs.)

Another kooky aspect of religion is the notion that the body belongs to “God,” should be put to use for “God’s work,” to do “God’s will.”  This medieval mental hogwash strips the notion of body autonomy from the start — the person is a vessel; the person does not have a right to his or her own body because it is owned by a deity in the sky.

As a public school teacher, this line of thinking presents a problem because of the topic of religion.  For a parochial school teacher, talking about religion may be more easily allowed, but truth about sex, masturbation, birth control, et al, may not be told in a private religious school.  However, it is  religion that forms the basis for the enduring shame of sex, birth control, and abortion — a pernicious misogyny that has sunk its talons into government as well.

Not  talking about religion when talking about any of this is strange to me, but I’ll leave that soapbox alone for now… (except to say that I get irate when my daughter tells me they were talking about religion in her public school.  I have the ACLU on speed-dial, and I’m not afraid to contact a teacher or principal to find out the exact curriculum being taught to my child.)

As I told my daughter when she was 13, “Your body is yours to explore as you choose.”  Leaving religion out of the masturbation dialogue, I would approach it this way.  Start by not using the polarizing, giggle-inducing word, “masturbation.”  Call it “Solo Sex.”  By using a different term, it allows the listener to actually contemplate the information rather than falling back on emotional, knee-jerk reactions.  Notice, in the paragraph up above, I used the term “extra-marital sex” and not “adultery.”  The latter term has a more grave, more judgmental, shameful, sinful connotation (thanks to religion).

Make your points by positioning the conversation in a logical way with supportive arguments:

  • Your body is yours to explore as you choose.
  • Solo sex is natural and normal.  (Perhaps give examples of other species that masturbate.)
  • Solo sex is a great way to learn about your body, your specific erogenous zones, and your individual sexual response.  (Each of us is unique.  How will a partner know your zones if you don’t know what to tell him/her about your body?)
  • Solo sex is a great way to sort through the raging hormones and experience orgasm without engaging in partnered sex before you’re really ready.
  • With solo sex, you won’t get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease.

Even then, students may ask about the religious aspect, i.e., “But won’t I go to Hell for touching myself?”  I would say, “I’m here to teach you about your body not religious dogma.”  Removing religion and the subsequent cultural attitude helps lesson the shame of the issue.  The shame from religion stems from the Church’s quest to control every ounce of a person’s mind, will, body, and soul, especially that of women.  That was how the Church leaders stayed in power and made money.  Puritanical American culture has continued this misogyny against women through body-shaming, name-calling, and other cultural forms of judgment based on a woman’s sexual freedom with her body.

The most blatant and vicious assault on women was the European and New World witch trials.  Forget the myths of hexes and magical mojo — Did you know that “witchcraft” was officially a capital sex crime?  Ironically, other countries look at America with ridicule because of how immature our country still is in regard to true, passionate, fulfilling sex… (but sexualized violence and rape are okay in American media, video games, comic books, and culture).

For me, masturbation is a body autonomy issue, a basic human right, as is protecting children from the violent sexual abuse of having their genitals mutilated (notice, I didn’t use the word “circumcision” — it’s all in the phrasing).  When we acknowledge our bodily autonomy, we acknowledge our inherent freedom as human beings.  People masturbate for various reasons:

  • Solo sex and orgasm feel good (awesome, even!).
  • A person may have solo sex because he or she does not have or does not want a partner… (Believe it or not, there may be times in your life when you don’t want another person in your bed.)
  • A man or woman’s significant other is unable to have partnered sex due to illness or disability.
  • Solo sex allows a sexual abuse survivor to reclaim his or her body, sexuality, and bodily autonomy.

Masturbation is the butt of jokes in television shows all the time, which I find to be truly sad.  Masturbating can be a beautiful way to love yourself and to learn yourself.  For me, solo sex has been the key to resolving my past abuse, loving my body, integrating my various parts to become a whole woman, and ergo, a whole human being.

I hope something I’ve said will help you.  Please write back and let me know how it went!

trish

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DailyOJ 08-17-12, Part 2: Lying Broken in Pieces As I Heal


* Read Part 1 here! *

Glad to have movement and feeling in my back again after the excruciating pain that started a week ago, I was really looking forward to resuming my orgasmic awakening routine.  After all, my big, loud O’s had been on lock-down almost all summer while I gorged on stealth and spontaneous orgasms (now to be known as SASO).  Getting back on the path was a milestone for my 1-year multi-orgasmic anniversary.

The back pain had been a curious development.  Since losing almost 70 pounds from my highest weight, I know all about pain — back pain, hip/sciatica pain, lower back, neck, every joint imaginable pain, lower extremities/pedal edema, crazy hormones, all while being miserable inside as a person as well.

Similarly to my session on 08-08-12, I laid in bed for a while … a long while … as the majority of pain had melted away rather miraculously.  I don’t know why I had started this “tradition” of laying in bed, allowing my mind to wander, absentmindedly caressing myself.  In the summer, this was practically the extent of my sexual activities — with little privacy to pursue much fun, the SASO’s were exceedingly, surprisingly satisfying.  Now able to arch my back, the nipple O’s also made a glorious return.

The stealth clit orgasms were not instant as they usually were, but rather needed a few strokes on the upper left (my left) part of my clit to get going.  The right side of my clit is also very receptive to this touch, and I gratefully accepted the back-arching orgasms from that side as well.  Apparently, with the nipples unresponsive due to pinched nerves in my back, my clit had been less responsive to touch as well — not surprising since the the nipples are wired directly to the clit.

After an incredible length of time that didn’t feel like any time at all, I looked at the  clock.  I wasn’t even sure I had time to get the 20-minute session in much less the after-session fun.  More than an hour had passed.  I decided to begin, starting in my old-school style — with my nipples.  I had worried that starting back with regular practice had diminished my nipple/stealth orgasms in a phase of integration.  This can happen as you sojourn on any energy-based orgasm journey.  A big breakthrough explodes then fades — or integrates — as new experiences rise to the surface.  However, I think the issues this past week with the SASO’s were due to the back pain/heart chakra blockage.

I did the 20 minutes, moving to my clit and prostate for the last 10 minutes.  It all felt wonderful, and I was so glad to be able to move my hips again.  I was cutting it close to time, and with only an hour left of free time, I decided not to go for the full treatment but rather just lay in bed.  I took mental notes of all the energy zings all over my skin, the pulsating inside my vagina, the swelling of my prostate (!), the pulsating throbbing of my PC muscles, my anus, and the continuing circles and figure-8’s of my hips that I was not doing intentionally.

After a half hour of this, the “after-O’s” pulsed more slowly as they began to simmer to the background — notice I didn’t have a “big” O, and yet I still had the after-O’s!  Oddly fulfilled and thankfully not hurting, I got dressed, made up my bed, and walked (slowly) back to my desk.

It occurred to me later that lying in the bed before any stimulation or session caress or sounds had been an important aspect of my orgasmic awakening.  If you remember, I shared this article from another site on the concept of “lying broken.”  That being “broken” is one of those glass half-full situations.  You can see yourself as a shambles of what you were, or you can recognize that the pieces are now truly yours  to put back how you  want to be renewed.

This, then, was another eye-opener for me.  Though this experience happened on Friday, 08-17-12, and the Todd Akin “legitimate rape” debacle occurred over the weekend, remembering the “lying broken” article became a welcome glimpse of hindsight.  My heart chakra probably was triggered by my return to practice because it was my return to working on me.  For the past several months, I have been going through what I call the “Dark Side of Yin,” a chronic lethargy as old wounds churn at the core of me.  Not being alone during the summer, I had no real time or space to meditate or focus on myself in a self-healing capacity.  I also think some of the Kundalini awakening contributed to my turning inward so significantly — the coiled serpent that began her rise from slumber at my root chakra is making her way through my energy centers, and it appears my heart chakra was the wheel that needed to be cleansed this past week.

My work is not over for my heart chakra, but I do believe I have made great strides toward reassembling the pieces of my broken self into the newly forming me — as a whole woman.  And how fitting that this is occurring as I am about to turn 40.  I am still putting the bad experiences behind me, but more than ever I know that the pieces are mine to assemble as I see fit.  If I don’t like what I see forming, I will go back to lying broken until I once again have a clear vision of my self as a whole human being.  And unlike my afternoon schedule, I can take my time.  That’s why I’m here on this plane anyway.

Aroused and broken but healing,

trish

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DailyOJ 08-17-12, Part 1: Twitter War Triggers Blocked Chakra Energy


I’m writing this a few days after the fact for a couple of reasons:

1 – The events of this day were very powerful to me on an orgasmic and a human level.  I needed time to process them.

2 – The GOP had to go all stupid (again), and the entire weekend was dealing with the idiocy of rape culture.

So back at the drawing board here… my headspace has been so filled with the memory of my rape and reading readers comments, telling me about their rapes, that Friday seems blurry… like it  was 18 years ago and the rape was last week… or yesterday…

But the events of Friday were important so I will detail them, though perhaps not as elegantly as usual.

Friday morning began with getting my daughter on the school bus, after which I caught the local bus to the grocery store.  While shopping in the produce section, a small Twitter war began in which I was being ridiculed for being from Mississippi — as usual, and also as usual, made to be at fault for all of Mississippi’s past ill history.  Of course, I stood up for my state — my point being that Mississippi has a flawed past as do most states in this country.  (What?  New York was a slave state?!  Yes.  Quelle surprise! )  The New England states just like to think they’re perfect.  They’re not.

The perception of Mississippi will never change because the media and American culture like having someone at whom to point the accusatory finger, to blame for all the bad things in the U.S., which conveniently keeps them from looking in the mirror and fixing their own  problems.  The news never reports the good things that happen here — just the bad… unless that bad thing is Hurricane Katrina — that the media reported hit New Orleans — it didn’t.  The northeastern eyewall went over my house in Gulfport, MS, while we were inside, and I’ve got the coordinates to prove it!

As you can see, a lifetime of Post Traumatic Stress came up with that one stupid Twitter altercation, that ironically was with friends, but I was the butt of all the jokes and the lone voice for what is good and nice about Mississippi.  This hurt greatly that the ridicule came from friends because the incident triggered deeper hurts that I have held on to since childhood.

Being from Mississippi, I am not good enough.  For anything.

In dealing with the Broadway world for my day job and my radio show, I always dreaded being offered press seats that I would have to turn down because I don’t live in New York.  Invariably, they would ask me where I live (because how can a person cover Broadway and not  be in New York?!  (From working very, very, VERY  hard!).  I dreaded giving the answer, but always said with a smile on my face and a lilt in my voice: “On the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Silence.  Shock on the other end…  “Well, you don’t sound like you’re from  Mississippi!”…  “Oh, really?  And how do Mississippians sound?”  (Like TV and Hollywood stereotypes!)…  “Well, um…”…  Then I feel obligated to explain my mother was a literature professor and my father was a physics teacher turned physicist for the government, to somehow prove Mississippians aren’t stupid.  In fact, when I bought my new smartphone last year, I got a Manhattan number so at least when I ring the press agents, it just saves time not having to explain my area code… except that after three years, they know me now.

Having to defend myself just as an intelligent, well-read, educated, erudite ActivistArtist(TM) on a daily basis just gets old.  It’s exhausting.  And I realized it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid.  Trying to prove my worth as a human being regardless of one thing or another — the color of my skin, my freckles, my religious choices as a Pagan/Witch, being bisexual, having a child out of wedlock in a Red State, dealing with being molested as a kid, thinking I was doomed to Hell thanks to Catholic brainwashing, dealing with being raped as an adult and not reporting it for fear of public ridicule, losing my identity as a person and an artist thanks to my asshole marriage, regrouping with my musical work that was stalled because of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, dealing with the bad economy, the BP Oil Spill, then becoming a single mom in an affluent artists’ hamlet.  I’m just tired.

So Friday, after a week of horrendous back pain which began after I started back with KSMO, I got home, sat down at my desk, and had a really good, gut-wrenching cry.  Not a pretty, dabbing-the-eyes cry.  No, this was full-out, cathartic wailing.

The crying brought me to my source of the pain — the fear that I am not good enough to be loved by anyone.  That if someone did love me, I have no idea why he would.  The irony is that I know I’m kinda fabulous in many ways.  I’ve got the bustline and the music fellowship grants to prove it.  But deep down… deeeeeeeeeeep down, I still have issues…. being told I was ugly as a kid, being told I was fat, that I should kill myself, that I’m going to Hell — for numerous reasons, then actually being fat as an adult, losing my sense of self and place in this world, hearing my asshole ex-husband’s ridicule of my singing voice and my original music plus his hurtful words regarding my body if I got breast reduction surgery, complaining that I got too wet during sex, that I shouldn’t do anything during sex because he would get insecure.

At times, it just feels like I’ve spent 39 years of doing nothing right.

Within an hour of this little emotional breakdown, I noticed my back was loosening up.  The pain, I then realized, was in a place in my back that I don’t normally get back pain.  Usually, the knots are along my bra straps horizontally across my ribs and vertically in both shoulder blade areas.  This pain was in the center, at the spine, directly behind my heart.  I jokingly thought that maybe the crying had knocked something loose.  Then I thought about that again.  The excruciating pain I had had for a week was literally almost gone.  The pain that was left was not the pain of clenched muscles contracting nerves (anymore), it was more like sore muscles, exhausted from clenching and spasming for the past week.  I could move through those vertebrae again — and I had not been able to do that all week!  The immobility through my back had prevented most kinds of orgasm — the stealth, Kundalini O’s make my back arch so there was no way to do that as I was accustomed… the few times I had stealth O’d, I literally tucked my pelvis so my back wouldn’t try to arch — not nearly as much fun.  The nipple orgasms were completely nonexistent because the nipple’s nerves stem straight off the spinal cord in that exact area of my pain — the area of my physical heart and my esoteric/Tantric heart chakra.

Looking at the time, I figured I’d better get on with my session for the day.  With the weekend coming up and the prospect of my period starting Monday-ish, I knew vaginal O’s would be another week away if I didn’t get this sh’O on the road…  Now that my back could arch, I wanted orgasms!!!!

* Read Part 2 here! *

Aroused and unblocking,

trish

For more of my personal orgasm journey, read Trish’s DailyOJ.
Visit the AW site: Aroused Woman


Comments 08-19-12: Support from Friends after ‘Milk Your Rape’ Tweet Attack


I know most of my readers check out my blog for sex tips, so I won’t drag this out.  It is a sad reality, though, that the uncomfortable topic of rape doesn’t come up often enough in our culture’s national dialogue.  If it did, maybe there would be less rape in the world.

Anyhoo…

This Twitter drama was more than I ever wanted or needed in terms of having to defend myself from being blamed for my rape and/or being made the villain because I didn’t report it.  When the verbal assault happened over Twitter, I felt like I’d been blunt-kicked in the heart.  I felt that creepy, dizzy feeling radiating outward from my ribcage, and I started shaking.  I just breathed through it and decided to get angry instead of allowing any PTSD take over.  The anger allowed me to channel my feelings into writing, which is proactive and productive.  See!  Being Irish comes in handy!

I want to genuinely thank all of you  who sent me words of love and support, and I appreciate the sentiment of those who offered to help do that Twitter jerk bodily harm.  Unfortunately, the Law of Karma prevents me from accepting your generous offer. :)

Remember, however, for every rape that is  reported, many, many more go unreported thanks to the insensitivity of our misogynist culture that wants to blame the victim.

I am a survivor.  Thank you, all! MUAH!

trish

(Click to enlarge.)


MyTweets & Comments 08-19-12: “You Want to Milk Your Rape for Sympathy”


While having a thought-provoking chat with a friend  on Twitter, I got a bit of a shock out of nowhere.  I’m not shocked easily.  I wish I could say I’m not hurt easily, but even after all the crap I’ve been through in my life, my annoying humanity is still intact.

With the ridiculous comment from Rep. Todd Akin about “legitimate rape,” all of Twitter was a-buzz with chatter on the subject of rape.  Interestingly, the topic which had started out being on abortion had shifted dramatically to rape, and not surprisingly, society once again placing the blame and the shame of rape on the women — the rape victim.

Out of nowhere, this jerk, “Dan,” buts into the civil convo I was having with my friend @sevenlayercake — though we differ in viewpoints, she and I can have amiable conversations.  Whenever a Twitter interloper butts in, I check their bio.  This guy was supposedly an “outspoken gay professional.”  As a loudmouth Scotch-Irisher and theatre pro, I can certainly handle this guy.

I posted the link to my recent article on my rape — something I have never, ever, ever, EVER told the details of to anyone alive or dead on this earth until I wrote this article on it a few days ago.  Why?  For the very reason, I didn’t think anyone would believe me.  And this jackwad says, “You want to milk your rape for sympathy.”

If this guy is “gay,” then he is the most fervently women-hatin’ gay man I’ve ever met.  Gay men usually dig women, just not sexually.  Being in the theatre, it’s not unusual for a gay man to ask me how I do my lipstick or to borrow my blouse.

So, below, is the conversation and yet another example of how the War on Women exists — and is apparently spreading to the gay men demographic, which I find to be very sad. :(

In my head, I hear the lyrics to Gloria Gaynor’s anthem:

First, I was afraid, I was petrified…

I will survive

As long as I know how to love,

I know I’ll stay alive

I’ve got all my life to live,

I’ve got all my love to give

And I’ll survive,

I will survive.

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart

Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart

I spent, oh, so many nights just feeling sorry for myself

I used to cry but now I hold my head up high.

I will survive.

 

trish

(Click image to enlarge.)


NEWS: Rep. Todd Akin Defines ‘Legitimate Rape’ for All of Us Pretend Rape Victims


Just when you think the Grand Ol’ Party can’t sink any lower in its blatant misogyny of women, women’s rights, and their outlook on women’s bodies, Rep. Todd Akin reveals a whole new abyss of as yet unexplored hatred of the female sex.

It wasn’t long ago that men were the only ones on the House panel on birth control, that 31 Senators voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and the GOP in Michigan censored a female state representative, violating her First Amendment right to free speech.  Now, the GOP creeps us out further.

In a TV interview, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) had this to say about his views on abortion, even if conception is due to rape:

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”

Wow.

So Akin is now a medical expert as well as a judge-and-jury on “Legitimate Rape?”  So all of us who have been raped now need to measure our own horrible experience with sexual abuse by his and the GOP’s standard?  A standard which has no medical basis?  Because, according to Akin, every woman who has ever said she got pregnant from being raped was lying?!

The GOP RWNJ Republicans rape women on a daily basis!   Oh, wait that’s “Legislative Rape” as  they are systematically removing laws and undoing decades of work women have literally fought and died for in the battle for equality.  And that kind of rape of women, our rights, and our bodies is just hunky-dorey.

This is a blatant sign of the ensuing institutionalized brainwashing against women that we can expect if the GOP continues to buy its power via elections in the United States.

What’s worse than our rape experiences being de-valued by the patriarchal, misogynist GOP is that this makes men look bad as well.  The men who love women and support women’s rights will be lumped into either the GOP misogynist corner or the corner of “all men” who are abusers.

By the way, Akin’s thoughts on the morning-after pill are pretty clear as well:

“[T]he morning-after pill is a form of abortion, and I think we just shouldn’t have abortion in this country.”

Maybe we should not have misogyny in this country?!  The elections this year are paramount to blocking the GOP’s persistent #WarOnWomen!

Agree?  Disagree?  Leave a comment below!

trish


Comment 08-11-12: ‘Aroused Woman’ & Women in Saudi Arabia


So there I was minding my own business gabbing away on Twitter, just posting the countries showing on my stats’ page.  I like to tweet where my readers are from because it does my heart proud to know that not just horny Americans are ogling my wares. :)

Today included readers from India, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia.  Taiwan is a new reader for ArousedWoman, but Saudi Arabia has been a frequent reader to the blog.  With all the tension over whether or not Saudi women would be allowed to participate in the Summer Olympics, I’m thrilled  to have  Saudi Arabian readers!

One of my tweeps then tweeted me and made the following comments about women in Saudi Arabia reading my blog.  Of course, I don’t know if it’s actually Saudi women reading — how awesome would it be for loving Saudi men to be reading all this, also?!

Days like this are great reminders of why  I do this blog.

trish


MyTweets & Comments 08-09-12: Too Ashamed to Report Rape


Rape is prevalent.  Yet, there is no sane reason why it should be except that rape is a tool for instilling fear and ensuring dominance.  Rape is anger, aggression, frustration, emotional impotence, a power trip, a threat.  Rape is not about sex or being sexual — which is why rape happens not just with a man’s penis, but also with the barrel of a gun, the neck of a beer bottle, the handle of a broom, or other implement of terror.

In talking with survivors who have been raped, the quote that comes to mind is Nietzsche’s, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  But why do so many women have to be brought near  “death” to gain so-called strength?  And why is associating sex and violence so ubiquitous in our culture?  (Oh, yeah, religion.)

Worse, it makes me wonder what men’s definition of rape is.  With marital rape, do men understand that they are raping their wives — not having sex?  That legal marriage does not equal the right to rape?  Does the drunk friend realize the alcohol was not an excuse for rape?  And what about sanctimonious, judgmental women who are as much a part of the rape culture as the rapists and callous men who make rape jokes?

In sharing my rape experience and subsequent shame of reporting it, I received several messages from other women who told me of similar situations.  I’ve removed their pictures and blacked out their names.  These are just a few of the comments I received, but it points to a pervasive problem that still lurks on the fringes of open discussion.

trish


OpEd: My Rape, Rape Culture, & Why Women Need to Talk About Rape


As a stage artist, I trained my voice for years.  I studied the sounds we make and how we make them.  As a writer, and especially as a lyricist, I have toiled over the perfect words to scribe for dialogue or a song because the sound of the word itself has as much of an effect on the listener as the meaning of the word.

Just talking about rape brings strong emotions from women (and men!) who have experienced rape as a teen or an adult, or rape as a child, more commonly known by its euphemistic pseudonym, molestation.

Years ago, I realized that “rape” is a harsh word just as the act of rape is harsh. The growling of the “R”, the blunt hit of the unaspirated, hard “P” mimics the sharp, precise consonants’ onomatopoeia effect of “BruTal” and  “aTTacK.”  Conversely, the word “molestation” rolls of the tongue, rendering the word practically useless in conveying the horror of being raped as a child and softening the disdain society might otherwise feel.  Example, decide for yourself which sounds worse: “A priest molested a boy” … or … “A priest raped a boy.”

I’ve rarely talked about my “molestation” as a kid, and I’ve almost never talked about the night I was raped.  Only recently did I even tell people that I was still a virgin at age 21 — it was here on this blog, actually.  For some reason, our hypersexualized culture has made it shameful to hold off on sex until a person is really ready.  It’s as if teens must be sexual or they’re not normal.  I was normal in many ways, but still dealing with my “molestation,” I had lots of issues I had to work out on my own when I was a teenager.

Also, my rape was not “real” rape.  My rape would be sub-classified as “date-rape.”

We were in my bedroom — so clearly, I was “asking for it.”  I was wearing a button down shirt and jeans.  In 1994, it was fashionable to wear jeans that had rips in them.  Mine did, right along the ass-line of the left leg.  If a woman can show some butt cheek when she wears a swimsuit or shorts, I didn’t see the harm in a little peek-a-boo of my upper thigh at the butt line.  And I was in my own home.

We were talking on the bed — but neither he nor I even mentioned having sex together.  The next thing I knew I was being flipped over, my shirt ripped open, and he was inside me.  I couldn’t think.  The shock of pain like a thousand daggers stabbing me in my core and up my spine was something I’d never felt before.  I couldn’t breathe.  My brain started going into survival mode, and I felt like I was about to black out.  I felt as if I were falling backward into an abyss.  I couldn’t feel the bed or even him in that moment, just falling and shockingly intense pain throughout my body.

I realized I was still wearing my jeans. The button was still done, the zipper was zipped.  He had entered me through the rip in my jeans.  Dry mouthed, I asked him to slow down so I could adjust.  All the while, I’m thinking, “How did he do that?  Just breathe… How did he get inside of me with my jeans still on?”  He said my tightness just made him harder, so he went faster.  He said he couldn’t help himself… He pulled out, pulled me on the floor to my knees and told me to suck him off — he’d been wanting me to give him a blow job “for forever,” he said.  Then he grabbed my hair and rammed my head down on his erection.  I was still in shock, so my mouth must have felt like sandpaper.  I was in a daze, on my knees, trying not to throw up, wearing all my clothes, trying to process what was happening.  Just as quickly, it was over, and he was leaving.  He was a friend.  Dazed, but still true to my Southern upbringing of being polite, I walked him to his apartment a few buildings over.  I walked home, but noticed I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me; my legs felt like jelly.

I stood in the center of my room, looking at the bed.  I felt this whoosh of fluid.  I was bleeding.  I bled for 4 days.  I thought about going to the police, but most of the people I knew also knew him.  And if it went to trial, my “character witnesses” would all say they thought I’d been whoring for years — everyone assumed I was “loose” because I had large breasts.  I feared being laughed at by the male policemen, ridiculed in court, verbally attacked by the opposing lawyer — I’ve watched enough TV to know how rape accusers are treated in court.

Yet, the hardest part — the part that actually made me not report my rape — was having to say in public  that I was technically still a virgin at the old age of 21.  Who would believe that?  So I didn’t go to the police.  Or the hospital.  I just prayed I had not contracted some disease.  After all, it seemed getting raped was inevitable in our society, so why should I complain?  It’s not like is was a “bad rape” like being mauled in an alley by a scary boogeyman.

So then, maybe I wasn’t really raped.  Maybe it was “just sex” after all…. Maybe sex with all my clothes on and without my permission is just “date-sex-I-didn’t-want-to-have-especially-since-I-was-a-virgin-but-it’s-not-really-rape.”  Maybe Comedy Central comedian Daniel Tosh has a funny rape-joke commentary to make on my behalf?

People still think rape only occurs when the scary boogeyman assaults a woman in the mall parking lot at 10 p.m.  Most women are raped by men (or women!) they know, particularly their spouses, family members, or neighbors.  Rape is not the bullshit storyline you’ll see on Lifetime Television for Victims, just like you won’t find the secrets of orgasms in a Cosmo poll.

Because of my experience, I don’t do “blow jobs” — I do oral sex on my  terms.  I tell a man ahead of time not to grab my hair or he’s getting a fist in his balls.  I also don’t get on my knees for any man or any god.  More importantly, I don’t blame all  men or hate the penis for what was done to me by one man.

As the mother of a daughter, the one thing that guided me in practically every decision I have made in her care and upbringing was that I wanted her to get to the age of 18 without being molested or raped.  Now that she’s 14, I’m working on making sure she has a foundation of what is right for her and that she never  has to succumb to an abuser.  The age of 18 is now innocuous as I no longer hold the pessimistic world view that being raped is an inevitable fact of life for women.

Rape is not inevitable.  Rape is preventable.  To me, “rape culture” is a society that knows rape and sexual abuse are wrong but looks the other way while mocking the survivors who are willing to speak up and shaming the survivors too scared to speak out.

When our culture stops heeding the media’s marketing and drinking the misogynist KoolAid that de-values our experiences as rape survivors, only then can we adequately prevent rape from happening.  Women, men, and children are experience rape on a daily basis.  Rape culture exists in religion as well as government and society.  Rape is a tool of war.  It’s time we put an end to the rape culture that propagates sexual abuse while it terrorizes and punishes the survivors.

Rape is not inevitable.  Rape is preventable.  End #RapeCulture.

trish


MyTweets 08-09-12: Lost Followers Due to Talking about Rape Culture


Today, Twitter allowed me the opportunity to talk about my own experience of being raped and why I didn’t report it to the police.  Because of shame, I never told anyone for years, much less explained the details.  It was oddly freeing to talk about it, even from the computer… or maybe because I was talking from the computer.

At my age, I can talk about anything in front of an audience, and yes, I could talk about my rape.  But I know many women who still cannot talk about their rape experience.  So if I inadvertently piss off some followers by talking openly and honestly about rape, then so be it.

The great thing about Twitter is how people can find each other and talk about situations that most effect us — even very personal, life-changing experiences like childbirth, divorce, and abuse.

I posted this tweet after seeing a hashtag for #RapeCulture, and began talking about my experience being raped and why I stayed silent.

trish


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