Dear Sex Counselor,
I have a question about sexual abuse. I am a female, age 22, and when I was about 11 I was sexually abused by my mother’s boyfriend. Now, at the age of 22, I think I’m a sex addict - but NOT the sleeping around type. I love porno movies and dirty magazines, and I masturbate a lot to women. I have not been with any men since I was abused, but because I like the feeling of being penetrated I have several sex toys (dildos and anal plugs). Is this common for someone who’s been abused?
First, I want to say that you may not be all that abnormal in your enjoying masturbation, explicit videos and magazines, and penetration. While some women who have experienced sexual abuse do indeed become over-sexualized later in life, this is only a concern if your sexual activity either interferes with your other life activities (eating, sleeping, or working) or is putting you into dangerous situations.
I want to encourage you to seek some counseling to understand how the abuse affects you now, and how it might affect you when you choose to have sexual relationships with other people. But do remember that enjoying sex and masturbating on a regular basis is not abnormal. Some women masturbate one or two times a day, and that’s within the normal range of sexual activities. Liking penetration in both the vagina and anus is also normal. If your sexual life does not get in the way of you being healthy, getting to work, socializing with friends, and generally taking care of yourself, then your sexual frequency is normal for you.
So be safe, talk to someone about the abuse if you need to, and enjoy your body. Pleasure is good for you - it’s only a problem if it gets in the way of living a healthy life.
The Sex Counselor