Sexual Liberation After Sexual Assault
Content Warning: Sexual assault/rape/self harm
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I recently came out about being raped by my ex-fiance and former photographer of Culture Piece Magazine. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I was even going to address the situation on Culture Piece but I’ve found a sense of freedom and release in speaking on it, on my own terms. A lot of people have been contacting me, asking me to speak about the situation on their different platforms and that is definitely not something that intrigues me. Although I’m sure the intentions were pure, I’m not going to make my “story” be solely about my being raped. That’s not who I am and that’s not what I want people to think of as soon as they see my face. Anyways, I had a conversation with an online friend about a week ago that inspired me to write this article. For myself, for her, for whoever may need it.
She asked me how I managed to be sexually liberated after being sexually assaulted, in fewer words. The question kinda threw me off at first because it was a question that I hadn’t even considered to ask myself and to be honest, I only just now started to think of myself as a sexually liberated person. I only just recently took ownership of my body.
I’ve always had this feeling that I didn’t own my body, which isn’t uncommon within women. I’d hurt my body because of things people said about it, try to alter it in unhealthy ways because I was always “too skinny” or “too thick” for the people around me. I’d feed myself disgusting words until I eventually started to believe them to be true. I started to believe that it wasn’t even MY body anymore. I was a 130 pound piece of flesh & bones that I carried around daily, but did not own. That feeling only intensified when the person I was in love with made the decision that my body wasn’t worth much. The rape took place in the spring/summer of 2017 and I say that loosely because my brain likes to protect me from the different traumatic experiences in my life by completely blocking it out my memory, so I don’t remember the exact date. I’m hesitant to write that because I know what some of you all will think: iF yOUr brAiN BLockEd iT oUt, hOw dO yOu rEmeMBer iT? Well, if you must know, I remember it very vividly now but I didn’t for a long time. I was in denial that my love would actually do something like that to me, so I pushed it away. So far away that I didn’t even remember for a long time, until something just made it all come flooding back so vividly that I can still see my face when he raped me. I can remember every thought that went through my head, the exact spot on my bed where it happened, the way I had to carry on afterwards as if nothing happened. And before you even try it, this is NOT up for debate. He ADMITTED to it himself, which I have proof of & have made public on my social media. There is absolutely no doubt in my or HIS mind that he raped me. None at all. To make things even worse, the next man I had a relationship with, also raped me. It’s tough, the last two men I was seriously involved with made the decision to rape me. It happened, I’m dealing with it, I’ll be okay someday.
Anyways, this piece is not about whether or not he or anyone else raped me. It’s about how I decided to take ownership of my body. After both of these incidents, once I started to truly come to terms with the rape, I made a conscious decision to start living for ME, without any regard to how people might perceive me. In doing that, I also became liberated sexually. I NEEDED to reclaim my body and all that it is. For my sanity and for all the women I inspire.
I’ve loved sex since before I even had it haha. Not only is it fun as hell and very intimate, you have the power to exchange energy during sex which can be an amazing thing. Why should anyone be ashamed of enjoying something like that?! I see no logic in that. But of course, being a woman, I have to have a filter and be hella discreet about something that nearly everyone in the world does or will do in the future. My sexual liberation wasn’t a task once I committed to being me without any shame or regard of anyone else’s thoughts/feelings. It was me simply being who I have always been but previously hidden. I started publicly posting the photos I used to post on a spam account. I stopped being afraid to talk about sex. I took a huge risk with my brand & business and started a sex column. I just started owning my truth, simply put. Understand that while I just came out about being raped, it happened awhile ago. I didn’t just wake up one day and shit was okay. I’ve been dealing with this for a long time silently, you all are only seeing the Maya who is recovering from all of this. Not the Maya who was in middle of the storm, trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. Recovery is not a quick & easy thing and no amount of sex articles or fucking can fix that.
When I say I’m sexually liberated, I don’t mean I’m having sex with any and everything walking, because that’s not the case for me. I’ve changed my mindset, not the way I move around if that makes sense. Trying to be sexual after sexual assault has to be one of the most difficult things ever. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve straight up cried during sex after the incidents because my brain was convinced that I was in danger again. It would be 100% consensual and I’d just start bawling my eyes out in the middle of everything yet I’d have no surface emotion that made it make sense. I’ve finally reached the point where I can enjoy sex in it entirety again and I honestly can’t tell you what in my brain switched up and decided to stop going into this fight or flight mode. Maybe it was the fact that I finally accepted what happened to me and realized that it wasn’t my fault and I wasn’t overreacting. All of this to say, things will eventually go back to normal with sex. Know that you don’t have to go at it alone like I did though, if I could afford a good therapist, I most definitely would’ve gotten help. It’s hard dealing with shit like this on your own.
I’m trying to not make this article turn into a fucking novel so I’ll leave you all with this: I really need you all to understand that being sexually liberated doesn’t mean you have to act like me. Don’t go telling the world about your sexual encounters and posting thirst traps just because that’s what I needed to do to be liberated. You can be the most private person in world and still be sexually liberated. I know some people are going to be upset about my writing this but if I was able to help a friend from an entire different continent across the globe, I know that I’ll be able to help someone closer to home. It’s worth it to me. And please, if you feel like you can’t talk to anyone or that no one understands you, know that I DO and you can talk to me whenever, I promise I’ll respond back.