The Reasons Behind The Reason

The Reasons Behind The Reason

The story behind my celibacy.

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In the current age of instant gratification and entitlement, the choice to remain celibate from sex can be seen as delusional. However, I find it quite easy to do, and so do many others.

One of my Facebook groups ran a poll on how many members were also celibate from sex. I was surprised to find so many others were also celibate for many years. A lot of the reasons they listed for their celibacy were the same as mine.

People listed coming out of bad relationships or a string of bad relationships. A fear of contracting one of the many STIs that are rampant. Not meeting anyone of interest. Being opposed to any kind of casual sexual encounters. All these are reasons why I too am celibate.

Yet, there is one important reason I have that is the basis for all my future reasons for remaining celibate: my past sexual traumas.

In previous Odysessy pieces, I've talked about how my past sexual traumas have affected me currently. I've also talked about ways I'm trying to rectify my ignorance of sexual education in general. I've even given brief glimpses into my exploration of kink/BDSM, my bisexuality, and my asexuality.

What I haven't talked about are the actual sexual traumas I've endured as a child. I used to talk about them often, but stopped when people around me stopped listening, and blamed me for what happened.

I grew up never understanding men and boys' reactions to me. I've always had a naturally large bust size. Boys at school teased and tortured me for how fat and ugly and dark skinned I was. Men however made disgusting comments about my body and frequently came onto me and/or followed me. I was the constant sexual fixation of older men.

As much as I do not relate to guys my own age due to their bullying of me all my life in school, the alternative of being with an older man reminds me of all the older guys who would constantly yell at me from cars, follow me around, and the man who sexually assaulted me in my basement.

I grew up in a two-family house on Cleveland's upper east side. At one time, a young family moved upstairs from us. A man, his girlfriend, and their two children.

There wasn't a day I didn't go outside where the man upstairs wasn't looking at me. I often saw him with a beer in his hand as he watched me play from his porch. Even when his girlfriend introduced my brother and me to their two children, the man only watched me. It made his sporadic casual touches of my arm or him asking me anything - even about stuff I should tell him as a fellow occupant of the house - extra uncomfortable.

My mom went to college and worked so my brother and I were latchkey kids. I'll never forget the Thursday night I went down in our daddy-long-leg spider infested basement to finish laundry before my mom got home for the night. The man upstairs was down there too. I thought he'd just creepily stare at me as usual before going back to his house, but instead, he started talking to me about how he always watched me and then he told me to look at his privates.

I was too stunned to say anything, I turned to go back upstairs when the next thing I knew I was on the cold basement floor, probably around a ton of daddy-long-leg spiders, while he was over me trying to get me to relax under him. That wasn't happening.

He smelled like liquor really bad and he was heavy on my tiny body and my back was cold on the basement floor and I'm scared of spiders. I just wanted to change the clothes from the washer to the dryer then run back upstairs so the spiders couldn't get me. My brother came down in the basement because I'd been down there too long and yelled at the man upstairs to get off me. Upon parting from me, the man was sorry I wouldn't relax, and promised when we were together again that he'd get me to.

This wasn't the only time I was assaulted in a basement by someone older than me.

I was friends with a little girl named Gabriel who lived about ten houses down from me. She had a 16-year-old brother Jermaine. My mother knew their mother casually, enough for us to be acquainted with them, but didn't like that I was so close friends with Gabriel because she was so much younger than me. Still, I went to her house one Saturday morning to play but she wasn't there. Jermaine was there, and he said she'd be back soon.

As I waited, Jermaine was all over me. Kissing me and touching me and saying he liked me. The kissing was okay. I didn't see him that way, but I was flattered an older and popular boy on our street liked me. I was curious about these boyfriends all the older girls on my street had. But he wanted to get naked with me and stuff, and I wasn't sure about that. I thought no one was ever supposed to see you naked.

Thankfully, Gabriel did come home, but only to pack some stuff because her aunts were taking her for the weekend. I tried to beg her to stay. I wanted to play, I wanted to tell her about her brother touching me. But her aunts arrived to take her.

I remember the ice cream man came. At some point, a few of Jermaine's friends showed up too. As I waved goodbye to Gabriel and started eating my ice cream, Jermaine said he had a foosball table in his basement. I didn't want to be alone with him again, but now that his friends were there, I didn't think he'd try anything.

Unfortunately, all of them were all over me in that basement. They tore off my clothes and tried to stick themselves inside of me. I kept closing my legs tight and threw my ice cream at them. I remember screaming and crying because they were laughing at me. My brother ended up coming and tried to get into the basement to me but Jermaine's friends locked him out. I was even more upset when my brother left, but he came back with my mother.

I was relieved when my mother chased Jermaine and the boys away, but then she came back and gave me a series of severe spankings. I shouldn't have been down in that basement. I shouldn't have been in their house. What was wrong with me? I ran home naked as my mom was right on my tail with the belt. When home I received more spanking.

Until I was a teenager I was not allowed to go five houses away from my house on either side of the street when I played outside. The only time I could was when my brother and I walked to the nearest store. Gabriel was only allowed to come down the street to play with me - I couldn't go see her anymore.

---

Both these assaults happened to me before I turned 13 years old. I hesitate to call them rapes because I honestly don't know if I'm still a virgin or not due to these situations. The hymen can be broken by any natural occurrence. I've even read that some are not born with hymens at all. I hope that I am still a virgin; my one wish was to share my body with someone I loved - instead of being forced or coerced into a sexual situation. But who knows how far all these guys got with me before I was rescued.

Perhaps the gritty truth of how far things went is locked in my still traumatized mind forever.

To this day, I still endure the constant barrages of older men coming onto me and following me. I'm propositioned at bus stops, on buses, on sidewalks, and at libraries. I can't get away from them. Everywhere I go, men are leering at me uncomfortably. A lot of them are extremely drunk, and some drink the same liquor as the man upstairs from me. I always tell people "I'm not here" because I don't want to be. That way men can't look at me anymore.

This is an extremely hard way to live as I want to be loved and valued by a man (and a woman) I connect with one day. When I was first accepting my sexuality, I came out as a lesbian. Why ever be with a man if their only good for sexual assaults and rapes? Could I live the rest of my life never having known what it would be like to be romantically loved by a man? To never be married? To never have consensual sex? Intellectually yes. But in my heart, no. So that's when I fully accepted that I was bi.

This still leaves me with my current celibate state. The last time I ever seriously considered voluntary having sex with a guy was 16 years ago. Since then, I can honestly say I'm celibate due to voluntary and involuntary reasons. Voluntary because of my past and my spirituality. Involuntary because I haven't met a man that I can trust enough to love. I meet creepy older men, horny younger men, and men my age who want women with less baggage and who are beautiful and confident and sexually open.

All I can do now is educate myself, and stay open to the possibility that there's a special guy out there in my own age range that won't sexually assault or rape me. A guy that will accept all my faults and sexual limitations. A guy that will accept my bisexuality and not use it for his own personal pleasure. A guy I can trust to love me.

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I Support Late-Term Abortions, That Doesn't Make Me A Baby-Hating Monster

A late-term abortion is a horrible, devastating and heartbreaking choice... but one I'm glad women have.

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If you think that late-term abortions are for mothers who get to 8.5 months and then randomly decide they no longer want to have a baby, then don't even read this article. This article is not to argue with ignorance. Read some unbiased articles, actually, think about it for two seconds and then realize that women who are due any day now aren't just going to terminate their pregnancies because it is "legal" now. (It is not.)

I've seen so many posts and comments and arguments, the crux of them being, "I can't imagine aborting my child after 24 weeks."

Well, guess what... The women this law will apply to probably can't imagine it, either.

Nearly all abortions occur in the first trimester of pregnancy (approximately 91.1%). This tells us what is (more than likely) a pretty obvious fact: That beyond the first trimester, most women are planning to keep their baby (or give him or her up for adoption). So you can imagine that even being presented with the option of termination would be heartbreaking.

Imagine this: You're pregnant and absolutely ecstatic to bring a child into the world. You go in for an appointment at 30 weeks. During the exam, your doctor is quiet. You are growing extremely anxious. They tell you that they have some bad news. Your daughter has a serious condition, one that will allow her to live less than a year. They can perform a c-section, she will be in the NICU for a long time, but even once you take her home, she has an extremely low chance of survival. Her life will be painful. Or, they can perform an abortion.

What do you choose? For some, they absolutely cannot fathom the idea of termination. They'd rather take a chance at life. And for some, they cannot even fathom the idea of watching their child live a painful, short life that will end in incredible heartbreak.

Both of these are traumatizing decisions. Your pregnancy and your hope for the future and your plans for the child you are so excited for have come crashing down. This is not a lightly made decision. And if you would choose to take your chances, pray for a miracle and get to hold your child in your arms, you should have every single right to.

But if you decide that the trauma of terminating your pregnancy without having to fall further in love with your child and watch him or her struggle every day and deal with the gutwrenching pain of losing them, you should have every single right to make that choice, too.

This is not cut and dry. This is something that changes from woman to woman, from family to family. But one thing stays the same: Learning that the life that you planned for your baby can no longer be as you desperately hoped is heartbreaking. It is a uniquely horrific feeling that, you're right, you can't imagine. No one can imagine it until they're living it. I write about it and I think about it and I have to assume that there is nothing in this world that can prepare you for it.

Posting and commenting that women who choose the path of late-term termination are monsters or killers or heartless is wrong.

Picture this: A pregnant woman and her husband, sitting in an exam room alone after learning devastating news about their pregnancy. They're holding one another, sobbing, thinking through their options. Trying to decide if ending their pregnancy, crushing the hopes and dreams they had for their little baby is the right choice, or continuing on and hoping for a miracle but knowing they should prepare for the heartbreak of their lives. Picture them, through tears, while holding an ultrasound photo to their chest, telling the doctor they choose to terminate. Picture them going home, sitting in the nursery they decorated, calling their parents and telling them their grandchild won't be arriving.

Are you picturing a couple of monsters? A couple of heartless killers?

Or do you see a family put into an impossible situation, trying to make an impossible decision for themselves and their unborn child? A family who threw a baby shower and decorated their nursery and argued over the perfect name for months. Who took progress photos of their baby bump, who talked about what sports their kid would play, who had to hear the devastating news that turned their world upside down?

I don't see a monster. I don't see a killer.

I see pain, I see hardship, I see love.

And I hope that you do, too.

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Your Sexual Comment About My Body Really Isn't A Compliment, I Would Appreciate If You Stopped

I am human and I demand respect over my body.

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I was 12 the first time a boy said: "you got a nice ass." I was taken back. What did you just say to me? Back then I wasn't as strong in knowing who I was/am. That comment stuck with me for a while. I recently thought about it. I realize now what that comment really was. While a boy thought it was a compliment, it wasn't. It was the start of harassment that boys are never told is wrong. Therefore, they continue to do it.

When I think about that comment from junior high, I think about the junior high students I know. I think about how upset I would be if one of the boys said that. I think about how much I would want to hug and remind the girl of who she really is. You see, these "compliments" start at a young age. Girls figure it means the boy likes her. They assume that he'll be different when they're dating. I beg to differ. It will get so much worse.

Some boys and men only see women as objects. They only see her as a thing of pleasure. They don't see the beauty that is in her personality. They don't stop to think about how intelligent she is. They skip over the fact of her being a human. It truly breaks my heart.

I keep going back to the first time a boy touched my butt, and how violated I felt. I told my teacher, and they did nothing about it. They said, "Oh, well he's a boy!!" WHAT. No, I am human and I demand respect over my body. When that boy touched my body when I never asked him to, I wanted to hide. I was not "turned on" by it like he thought I would be. I was not OK with it. And all I got was a form of "it's what boys do."

Your compliment about my body isn't a compliment. I am uncomfortable with it. I don't want to hear about how much you love my butt. Your compliment about my body has led me to be nervous around guys who have any sort of interest in me because I think they are only interested in what you once told me.

I am here to stand up for myself, finally, and other girls and women who are scared. I was once scared, but not anymore. I don't want to hear or read your pick up lines you think will flatter me. I want you to respect who I am. I want you to know I am not flattered by those gross comments about my body. I am here to stand up for those who are scared to be loud. That was once me, but not anymore.

Your compliments are not compliments. I am ready to see a change in our world. I am ready for your gross comments to stop. I am sick of seeing and hearing the same thing over and over again. I am more than a body. I am a human. I have a personality that I would love for you to get to know, but your pick-up lines are insulting. I would appreciate if you stopped.

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