Orgasm Equality Activism from the Perspective of A Sexual Violence Survivor: "We Can come Home" Blog

I'm not a survivor of sexual violence, and so it's not something that I talk or write about on here very often. However, I know that a lot of women and men are, and I assume some of you reading this today are. The tentacles of sexual violence are criss-crossed through all areas of personal female sexuality, our cultural understanding of female sexuality and within any realistic endeavor into Orgasm Equality, so I do realize how important thoughtful and radical work on the subject of sexual violence is. I'm just pretty sure I'm not the best person to focus on it. I feel I should play more of a supporting role on this topic, so I will do just that now.

Which brings me to a blog called We Can Come Home: Orgasm As Radical Care:
 "coming home is a blatant celebration of the power of masturbation, particularly for survivors of sexual violence."
The blog is written by Jen Cross, and I highly recommend checking it out whether you are a survivor or not. It's good work regardless. I want to share a post I saw on there. It's what I would describe as a beautifully thoughtful Orgasm Equality activism post from the perspective of a survivor of sexual violence. It's called 5 reasons for survivors to reclaim masturbation. It's an important perspective that deserves a bigger platform, so here's me doing my little part to grow an audience. I've copied the whole post below, but do head to the blogsite also.

5 reasons for survivors to reclaim masturbation
I don’t often write these sorts of numbered lists, but today I’m thinking about why it matters that survivors of sexual violence reclaim their bodies, reclaim their desire, reinstate their sovereignty over their skin and hungers, taking all of it, every fiber, every nerve response, every singe of shame, every swallow of sorrow, every sob, every shapeshifted fantasy, every trauma-inflected stroke, back from the hands of the person or people who tried to teach us that our bodies weren’t our own.
For many years, I used masturbation primarily as as way to dissociate. Some survivors have used masturbation addictively, and/or as trauma reenactment — some of us had to masturbate as a part of our experience of violation. There are many reasons why we might want to put masturbation up on a shelf for awhile. Certainly there have been stretches of time when I’ve done that: no one can tell me anymore that I have to get myself off, and forcing an orgasm is altogether too triggering. There are times I want my body to be a place that has no sex in it.
And yet: when we are the ones in the drivers seat, when we are the ones making the decision about whether or not to come, when we are the ones deciding on setting and sensation, we can gently and joyfully bring pleasure back into our own skin. Masturbation can be a part of our experience of reclamation and re-empowerment and re-en-joy-ing our own skin.
But shouldn’t we be doing it with someone else? Isn’t that the biggest goal? Isn’t masturbation taking something from our lovers? Why should we learn to get off by ourselves?
1) First and foremost, and yes, it may be cliché, but it still holds true (at least, I’ve found it to be so): if you don’t love yourself, you’re not gonna be able to love anyone else. Masturbation can be a way to communicate to our own bodies that we believe we deserve love and pleasure — that’s some deep and affirming messaging in the aftermath of trauma.
2) “They” don’t get to hold masturbation hostage. Just because someone else trained us to masturbate for their pleasure doesn’t mean that they get to own this profoundly important part of our sexuality.
3) Masturbation is a way we can learn how we like to be touched, so that we can communicate that to someone else — someday, if we so choose.
4) When we allow ourselves to learn the contours of our own desire, we can begin to access the language of our own eros, our thoroughest longing, our biggest desires: in sex, in creativity, in life. Masturbation and orgasm can give us access to creative energy — and vice versa.
5) Our bodies deserve all the pleasure they can get. After a childhood of terror and a lifetime of panic or anxiety or shut-down or living just outside the bounds of our skin, we deserve as much pleasure as possible. All of us do. Every human. We deserve to feel good. Many of us internalized the idea that the only thing we’re good for is sex: that is, for someone else’s pleasure. That’s the idea I want to undermine, undo, root out. Our bodies are built for joy. Our bodies are built for strength and flight. Our bodies are built with an incredible capacity for pleasure — and we can find that pleasure in so many different ways. Sex is one way. Through sex with ourselves, we can begin to retrain those old messages, we can remessage our inside selves, we can tell our good and sore bodies: I believe in you, I want you to have joy, I want to learn how you like to be touched.
Of course, there are more than five reasons why self-pleasure can be a positive for survivors. Do you have other reasons? Please feel welcome to share them here.
Be easy with you today, and find some joy in your skin as it feels best to you. Come again soon, and enjoy this weekend. See you on Monday.
Of course, if you have answers to the questions at the end of her post, you should go to Coming Home and share your thoughts. I hope this was either useful of thought provoking. I'd like to heartily thank Jen Cross for her thoughtful activism and for her positive contribution to the Orgasm Equality Movement. Keep up the good work.

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