Sorry, But Your Penis Won't Fix My Sexual Trauma

Photo: Getty
woman looking at man next to her

By Megan Glosson

As a sexual assault survivor, I do many things to maintain a sense of safety at all times.

While this means I avoid places and things that trigger my memories, it also means that I take any relationship with a member of the opposite sex at a very, very slow pace.

Yet in modern society, so many men want to jump into bed with women before they even really get to know them. 

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The few times I’ve put myself out there since my divorce, I’ve faced nearly identical responses from men who want to hook up almost instantly.

Each time, I explain that I’m going through trauma treatment with my therapist and that I’m still very, very scared to have sex with anyone. 

Yet, for whatever reason, these men all guarantee that one night with them will “fix” me.

They insist that they will let me remain in control and that they will let me “have my way” with them. They all say that their penis will “cure” me. 

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something very wrong with this picture, isn’t there?

I hate to break it to you guys, but no, your penis won’t fix my sexual trauma.

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Although I do understand how exposure therapy works, I don’t think that anyone in their right mind would suggest that I have sex with strangers to heal from previous assaults.

That’s because sexual encounters will likely trigger memories of the assault and leave me in a state of panic.

That type of response won’t just kill the mood — it will leave me even more afraid of the opposite sex.

I need time to regain my confidence, and I need to feel in control. No matter how much a man lets me “take the wheel,” sex is still sex.

This means that it’s still tarnished for me and will feel uncomfortable until I work through the feelings I have about what happened and, more importantly, myself.

Also, meaningless sex won’t fill the void in my life left by my divorce; it will just “feed the beast” of sexual desire and leave me longing for more.

I’m a firm believer that you need both a physical and an emotional connection to feel truly satisfied after sex.

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Without that emotional connection, I will just end up feeling guilty and ashamed of my behavior. It will make me spiral and leave me feeling empty and alone.

I know that most men see sex as a solution to all of their problems, but the truth is that isn’t the case for everyone.

Sex may provide instant pleasure, but it doesn’t provide long-term love and it definitely doesn’t provide safety.

So guys, can you do me a favor and stop offering sex?

Although you keep insisting otherwise, no, your penis won’t fix my sexual trauma.

Anyone affected by sexual assault can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline, a safe, confidential service. Contact The Hotline or call 800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member.

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Megan Glosson is a writer and editor whose work been published on Project Wednesday, The Mighty, Thought Catalog, MSN, and more. Visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.