Wildflowers

Perfect Buds

The If-Busters

Late Bloomers

Early Bloomers

Living-Togethers

Sexual Explorers

Sexually Dissatisfied Wives

Overcoming Rejection

Why Sacrifice Pleasure?

A Way of Classifying Sexual Identity

How Pleasure-Claimers Get Better Orgasms

Some Observations from the Survey

Sexual Victims

“I have been in an emotionally and sexually comatose state since I was the victim of date rape four years ago. I trusted this man I thought he was my friend. I thought I knew him. Well, I will never trust another man. I haven’t been out on a date since this happened, and I don’t have any plans for going out on a date in the foreseeable future. You ask about my sex life. I haven’t got one now. I don’t even masturbate, because I don’t let myself think about sex. I am filling out your questionnaire to let other women know of the dangers sex entails.

-Sandra, a twenty-nine-year-old San Francisco production assistant

            Like many other women who participated in my survey, Sandra put her phone number at the bottom of the last page of the questionnaire in response to my request for personal interviews, and I called her. During three phone interviews, each one lasting in excess of two hours, she told me her story, beginning with sexual molestation in early childhood. She thinks what has happened to her is “typical” of the “female sexual experience.”

            From the age of five until just a few days past her ninth birthday, her father periodically crawled into her bed at night where he taught her “a secret game.”

            “He told me it had to be our secret between me and him, because Mommy wouldn’t understand,” she says. “Basically our secret game was  masturbating him. He put my little  hands around his penis, then  put his hands over mine and jacked off.  The last few years he had me kiss his penis. By the time he was asking  me to take it in my mouth, I was smarter. I gagged myself and threw up on his precious thing. He lost interest in me then.

            “Five years ago, a little before the rape, I finally  got up the nerve to tell him what he’d  done to me; and he denied there was anything wrong  in what happened between us. The way he remembered it, he had climbed into my bed ‘on occasion’ to ‘console’ me when I was having bad dreams. And, once, he said  my hands had accidentally clasped his penis which was protruding from his boxer  shorts. I couldn’t believe it!

            “My mother was listening to this conversation with tears streaming down her face; and he said to me, ‘Look what you’re  doing to your mother!’ Never mind what she did to me all those years when she was sleeping in her bed while her husband  was violating mine! Finally they both asked me to leave, and  I haven’t been back. My brother sides with them. He doesn’t  believe anything  ever happened to me. Well, he can’t afford  to believe it if he wants to say in their  good graces.

            “None of them know I’ve been raped, and  if they did know, they would not believe it or they would think it was my fault.”

            Sandra was raped by a man she’d been seeing for three weeks. They’d had sex together before, but on this occasion , she  had said no.

            “He was drunk,” she says. “I’d had sex with him before when he was drunk; and I didn’t like it. Sex was never easy for me. It takes me a long time to come. With this man, drinking didn’t slow down his responses very much, but it made him rougher. I said no because I didn’t want to be mauled by him. He did it anyway, worse than if I’d just gone along.

            “He slapped me across the face, and while I was reeling from that, he threw me across the back of my sofa. It has a low back, which put me in just the position he wanted me in. He pushed  up my skirt and pulled down my pantyhose so roughly he tore huge holes in them-and he fucked me first  vaginally, then  in the ass, so hard I bled. The bastard lasted longer than he ever had with the me that night. Or maybe it just felt like he did.”

            She did not call the police, because she’d read in an article in one of the San Francisco papers that cases of “date rape,” then a new phrase in the language, were almost impossible to prosecute.

            “I cried off and on all night until I made myself sick,” she says. “Then I took a shower, dressed, put on dark glasses, and went to the drug store where I bought  Tucks, those little medicated pads, for my asshole. I called my best friend. She came and stayed with me for five days. By then, I was okay.

            “I had already decided I was never going to have anything to do with men again.”

            Some law enforcement authorities estimates that date rape, perhaps the least –reported violent crime, accounts  for 80 percent of all rapes. They are careful to stress the word  “estimate” because the overwhelming majority of these crimes are not  reported, and of those reported, few are actually prosecuted. Privately, prosecutors admit that when the assailant is known to the victim, particularly if she has had sex with him in the past, they are seldom able to overcome rejection the jury’s or judge’s suspicion she encouraged the rape or, worse, consented to sex, then later  changed her mind.

            Sadly, whether a woman is raped by her date, her husband, or a stranger, she will find the process of getting legal retribution a long, painful, and frustration one-if she is able to see her assailant arrested, convicted, and sentenced at all. If she’s the victim of sexual harassment in the work place, she may fear that legal action will hurt her career. She’s probably right. Surely her disadvantaged legal position contributes to a rape victim’s psychological recovery problems. Fortunately many women, whether they prosecute or not, do seek help from professionals at rape counseling centers and other sex therapy. With that help, they are able to overcome the fear, anger, resentment, and even guilt engendered by rape.

            Sandra didn’t get help. She is handling this new anger the same way she handled the old anger at her father: by keeping it inside. Her way of surviving is cutting herself off from men and sex. Other sexual victims, women who have lost pleasure claimers, cope in the same self-punishing way by denying themselves the warmth, intimacy, and passion of a sexual relationship.

            The best advice anyone can give to a woman who has been victimized by rape is: Get profession help. You wouldn’t treat a broken arm yourself, and you shouldn’t treat severe psychological trauma that way either. You can get help at no cost in many places. Every major city and most sizeable towns have some kind of rape counseling program. Call your local hospital, women’s health center, or mental health agency.

Next >>

Sexual Victims

Discarded Women

The Clock Women

Independent Women

Revirginized Women

Monogamous Women

Second-Chance Women

Surviving the Droughts

Wives Who Have Affairs

The Saboteurs of Pleasure

Conclusion: Your Sexual Turning Point?

The Women Who Doesn’t “Need” an Orgasm

What Does She Know About Sex that You Don’t?