My life in sex: ‘It is key for me to feel in complete control’

The survivor of rape

Nine years ago, when I was 16, I was raped by a stranger. It coloured the way I experienced sex for a long time, and to some extent it still does, but after years of fighting battles with my past, I now have something that I once thought was impossible: a healthy relationship with sex.

For a long time, it was something I both wanted and dreaded because I often had flashbacks. In the middle of sex, my mind would get confused and I genuinely thought I was being raped again. I would start screaming and crying. Sometimes I’d even lash out at my partner in fear.

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Alex Vidal