How to start over with sex and romance after abusive/ unhealthy S&M relationships?(15 Posts)
I am really lost and can't get my head straight.
I have a history of emotional abuse, and some sexual trauma (memories not clear, something wrong happened, but not a big deal even though it was totally unacceptable) and have also spent my 20s in BDSM relationships I can now see were destructive and damaging.
I don't know what to do. I feel very sad because I would love to be in a healthy, loving, respectful relationship, but I have no template for what it looks like or how to get there.I have no idea what passionate sex looks like without force at best, or pain at worst. I have identified as bisexual in the past, but I honestly feel like I don't know who I'm attracted to. Some days I think I would love to be with a kind, good man, and then others that feels so threatening I feel like I am definitely gay in my heart of hearts, and I think how wonderful it would be to be with an amazing woman.
One long term relationship was 25 years older than me, was with him for several years, while he was nice in many ways I feel he took advantage of me, which means he wasn't so nice after all. I lost my virginity to him and while I wasn't naive at all I was not good at prioritizing my needs because I hadn't really worked out what they were, not just about sex, but about lots of stuff. I grew up a lot throughout my twenties and was a bit clueless, and he exploited that. Maybe not intentionally, perhaps due to a lack of emotional intelligence, or perhaps because he was an arse and knew he could manipulate me to a certain degree. He set the agenda and I went along with it.
When it came to sex, he didn't really care what I needed - we did some things we both found fun at that time, ie spanking etc (sorry if tmi) but the most important thing for him was going through what I now see as almost a ritual, where I would dress up for him and give him oral sex a lot, and was his 'slave'. It was like role play even when we weren't really intending to play any roles, if that makes sense, I felt like I wasn't an individual woman to him. I did relish it and enjoy the excitement of it all in the first couple of years and do feel like we had some very intense connected experiences...but with hindsight I just feel so angry with him.
I had another long term relationship then with another sadistic man, and while that was more genuine in terms of feeling he knew who I was and saw me as a whole person, again the sex feels wrong with hindsight because on several occassions he went too far and what he did would be classed as assault. I remember lying there after one of those times very detatchedly thinking, so this is what it feels like to be raped.
I have done a lot of work on myself over the last few years with counselling etc and now no longer am interested in being a masochist. It doesn't feel healthy to me any more and I don't want it. I don't feel aroused at the idea of being hit anymore, though whenever I am in the mood I do think of rough sex and that really upsets me.
I just want to be nomal (whatever that is) and have healthy relationships and a healthy sexual appetite. How should I go about this?
Wow that got long, sorry.
I think it may be beneficial to start a relationship without having sex, build up on trust and commitment before engaging in sex.
Do you have an issue with saying no without feeling guilty.
To be honest, what is normal ? it's more I think what is right for you, in this case, if that makes sense?
I would and I am no expert go sex with others free for sometime and have counselling on your issues, mastibation is fine... Except on an iPhone where it just wants to autocorrect to mastication so sorry if I spelt it wrong
Enjoy freedom, you may find you never know which gender you feel better with but find a person who is right for you iyswim,
No I don't have an issue with saying no. Not at all.
And it's true regarding what is normal. I guess I just mean not feeling like my sexual impulses are coming from a destructive place.
Do you feel like being in bdsm relationship is wrong.
It is probably wrong for you, Starting, yes. It sounds good that you've had counselling and feel clearer.
Just focus on building your life in the light of your healthy self-esteem for now, and see who falls into it, like the rest of us. Good luck!
Some people enjoy s & m relationships and each to their own but you dont sound like you did.
If you are left feeling like you had been raped then it doesnt sound right at all.
As a pp said, build a relationship on friendship and trust before engaging in a sexual relationship.
Yes, it was wrong for me, I wasn't judging other people who want to have relationships like this.
And I feel I must stress that I was actually raped, in legal terms, it wasn't only feeling like I was. I'm sorry I wasn't clearer about that in my op.
Have you tended to have sex early on in your relationships (because you don't feel able to say no)? If so, I'd echo the advice to try to take your time, and wait longer without sex. Not because sex is wrong, or BDSM is wrong though.
Building the courage to ask for what you need/want in bed will take time, but will be easier with someone who you have taken the time to know and trust in a non sexual context.
It sounds like you have been doing what the men want, but not figuring out and paying attention to your own preferences. That needs to be the next step.
I assumed that, starting - women don't usually feel raped unless they have been. Rape Crisis are excellent, if you haven't already used them.
Thanks, I was worried I had been too unclear.
No, I am good at saying no. Was a late starter about sexual relationships, didn't rush into it as an adult. But my urges drove me in a certain way, it's like the abusive stuff primed me to respond to dominance and aggression and I hate it
I definitely will take my time in future and only do whatever happens when I want to, it's more that I hate what I want when I'm aroused and don't remotely want it any of the rest of the time. So I never ever again want to be with somebody who enjoys hurting me, but i don't know what else might engage my passion, as it were.
That's hard. Have you considered therapy? I know counselling is the mantra on here, but active therapy is more likely to address those sorts of issues. I can relate to a lot of what you describe, but have been fortunate to be with man who has helped me move away from that rather than taking advantage of it.
Yes, having psychotherapy, I tend to use the term counselling interchangably. It is great and has allowed me to ditch the outright masochism.
I feel like I now in general would gravitate toward decent straightforward men who wouldn't want to hurt me etc but if we progressed towards sex...I wouldn't know what to do and I wouldn't feel satisfying unless it involved forcefulness and roughness. Maybe I am wrong though, maybe if I did meet the kind of person I am interested in nowadays and clicked, it would show me other ways of experiencing fulfilling sex.
Then I also know that very loving and respectful DO have sex that is a bit urgent, spontaneous and primitive and yet not humiliating to the either partner, and I wonder how they do it? How do they get that balance? I feel like I'll not be able to find that balance.
You will , seriously you will, enjoy sex again I say this as a lady who hasn't had sex for a long time, my husband is a bit on the spectrum and he thinks He should pleasure me for hours,, I spend ALOT of time looking at the cracks in the celling, so know when i do have sex it is great but rare
I love my Dh and If you knew my sexual history ...
Dh does and he went for the tests With me before we started to conceive
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