Healing After Rape

Dr. Darcy, I wrote you a while back about reengaging socially after rape. [Although] my life… is still deeply affected by [the rape]… my social life is actually existent, which is a step in the right direction.

The problem I am [now] experiencing is a complete loss of sexual desire.  I used to be a voraciously libidinous person and now I feel sexually dead.  Really, I don’t even masturbate much any more.  After the rape I threw away all of my [sex] toys because anything that looked phallic caused flashbacks. Now I am dating somebody for the first time since this happened. We've been together two years. I'm facing 2 problems and one big question:  Question # 1.  I've had a lot of really crappy experiences in relationships, including but not limited to this rape. How do I trust myself not to get hurt in this one? Should I even let my guard down?  Question #2 She is really into strap ons and she is a top while I used to be a bottom.  I don’t want to be penetrated by anything that looks like a dick.  How do I explain this to her? And should I even be dating?  I have a lot of issues to deal with.  Is it fair to her, should she have to deal with me?  I could really use some advice.

ANSWER

Glad I was able to help in the past.  Now onto your future.  You actually have 4 questions:

Re:  loss of sexual desire: The decline in your sex drive could be due to many things.  I always recommend getting a physical exam and telling the doctor about the decline in libido to rule out any medical explanation.  Once you’re done with the doc, I’d recommend adding cardio to your exercise regime.  There are countless studies that show a correlation between increased exercise and increased sex drive.  Finally, go on Amazon and get yourself a few erotica books.  For women in particular, seduction starts in the mind. 

Re:  Trusting yourself not to get hurt: You will absolutely get hurt in this (and every) relationship.  You can’t feel pleasure without feeling pain.  If you are dating this woman with the expectation that you won’t get hurt, or if you’re feeling so fragile that you are concerned that you can’t withstand pain, or if any pain that you are bound to feel will serve to further confirm a belief that people aren’t trustworthy, than you shouldn’t be dating.  You should be working on yourself, healing, and making peace with the reality that the world is not all pleasure or pain, and that when you’re ready, you can withstand feeling both. 

Re: Strap ons: Repeat after me.  I don’t want to be penetrated by anything that looks like a dick, so if you really need to use a strap on, we need to find you one that doesn’t look exactly like a penis.

Re:  Should I even be dating: Only you can answer that.  Re-read my answer to your question re: trust.  I’m less worried about her than I am about you possibly misattributing any pain you might feel from this relationship as evidence that the world is a dangerous place filled with people who are bound to hurt you.  You say you have a lot of issues to deal with… Might be a better use of your time to focus your energy inward.

Writer’s Stats: Female, lesbian.