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Please tell me I'm not alone (trigger warning) - feel betrayed by my body

(12 Posts)
MyGhostIsFlummoxed Sun 23-Nov-14 19:57:31

Until I told my therapist this at my last session, I'd never told another soul this.

Years ago my then bf forced himself on me. But towards the end of the ordeal, even though I was crying & hated what was happening, I started to feel some sexual pleasure.

I feel so ashamed of my body-how could it do that? How could it be rape when I got some physical pleasure?

I'm really struggling with this-my therapist said it does happen but honestly I feel like some kind of freak

DoingTheBestICan Sun 23-Nov-14 20:53:53

Don't feel like that, our bodies act involuntarily and even though your mind was saying no your body took over, I've probably said this all wrong and somebody far cleverer than me will be along.

divingoffthebalcony Sun 23-Nov-14 20:59:56

You're not a freak. Please don't best yourself up. I imagine nerve endings are capable of responding to all sorts of unwanted stimulation .

snowflake02 Sun 23-Nov-14 21:16:18

You are not a freak at all. From what I have read, it is not at all uncommon, just it's rarely spoken about as it compounds the feelings of shame you already have when you have been raped or sexually assaulted.

GarlicNovember Sun 23-Nov-14 21:22:50

A British study found that victims report evidence of physical arousal in as many as 21 percent of rape cases, even when they also report violence and high levels of fear and mental distress. You are not alone flowers

The linked paper has been removed, but here's the author's abstract:
"The review examines whether unsolicited or non-consensual sexual stimulation of either females or males can lead to unwanted sexual arousal or even to orgasm. The conclusion is that such scenarios can occur and that the induction of arousal and orgasm does not indicate that the subjects consented to the stimulation. A perpetrator’s defence simply built upon the fact that evidence of genital arousal or orgasm proves consent has no intrinsic validity and should be disregarded."

GarlicNovember Sun 23-Nov-14 21:24:15

I thought you might want to read this, as well:

MyGhostIsFlummoxed Sun 23-Nov-14 21:35:29

Thanks for those links, that does make me feel better.

I should have worded my OP better, I have told people about what happened, but not about the pleasurable feelings. It sickens me even thinking about that bit of it.

Twinklestein Sun 23-Nov-14 21:45:30

He was actually your bf, so it's not surprising that everything got mixed up. Give yourself a break.

heyday Sun 23-Nov-14 21:45:53

As others have so honestly said to you, you are In no way responsible for any feelings of pleasure that you received after stimulation of sexual areas of your body. This form of pleasure is often totally out of our control.
Please don't make this horrific assault any harder for yourself. It's time to be kinder to yourself and to find real healing.
Don't let this vile man ruin any more of your life than he already has.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 23-Nov-14 21:48:58

It's very common and is part of the reason why rape/sexual abuse comes with such feelings of guilt. You have nothing to be ashamed of OP

GarlicNovember Sun 23-Nov-14 21:53:58

It's okay smile You've told the internet and your therapist ... You know now that one fifth of rape victims felt sexual arousal. It's confusing, but not abnormal. I guess part of it is the discovery that bodies can go right ahead and do stuff, as a purely physical reaction, when we've always been told it's dependent on emotional involvement, consent, and what have you. I remember feeling very disturbed when I found this out. (Mine's a more complicated story, and not 'as bad' as yours ... it explained some things for me, once I'd got over the wtf.)

One possible reason for it is that lubrication will help reduce physical damage, and arousal helps lubrication. Along related lines, another reason is the way our nervous systems work - you know how the smell of a food that once poisoned you can make you feel sick for years afterwards? Like that - circumstances that your mind has come to associate with pleasure can trigger the same reaction, even if you're having the opposite of pleasure.

The big challenge, I suppose, is to reclaim that chain of reactions for your own consensual choices in the future. Good to hear you have a therapist supporting you in this smile Don't try and rush it! Your mind will protect itself for as long as needed; your job is to reassure it/yourself that you're taking good enough care of yourself.

JaceyBee Sun 23-Nov-14 22:16:40

An important part of therapy for sexual abuse/rape survivors is psychoeducation about this very issue. Totally common and nothing whatsoever to feel ashamed about. Well done for talking to your therapist about it and I wish you all the best in your recovery flowers

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