Yes, it’s true and not the stuff of reality TV. I’ve been without sex for the greater part of 10 years.
This is the real life result when someone is raised in an abusive home (physical, emotional, and sexual), and jumps into an abusive marriage which then ends in divorce. My situation is not your every day reason a woman would be celibate for so long, but there are plenty of us out there.
Here’s my story.
Obviously, my history of abuse left me with lots of issues and baggage. I ended my marriage after ten long years, deciding I wouldn’t keep the vicious cycle going. I didn’t want my children to think abuse was normal. While some abuse survivors turn to sex to medicate or repress their feelings, I turned away from it a year before my divorce. I don’t even remember my last satisfying sexual experience with my ex-husband. I just know he was addicted to porn and wanted to receive oral sex from me more than any other intimate encounters. In the end he was extremely selfish and demanding.
To be fair, I have had three one-night stands in the last decade, but they were situations where I found myself unable to say no. Two men were friends of friends. With them, I let things go further than I’d wanted and couldn’t find my voice to stop it. These men didn’t do anything wrong, I just didn’t know how to communicate that I was uncomfortable. My third encounter was a waiter my children and I would see when we went to a restaurant that offered a Tuesday “Kids Eat Free” menu. He was nice to me and said things I wanted to hear. My kids were young at the time, and I was so lonely.
I didn’t really want sex, I just wanted some attention.
Well, I got that attention in any way I could and the sex was fast and over before I even realized it. Then he got up and left. He wasn’t interested in me anymore. I was so ashamed I stopped bringing my children to the restaurant until I was sure he wasn’t working there anymore. I didn’t know how to explain to my kids why we’d stopped going there. Instead, I found a new “Kids Eat Free” establishment. In all three of those sexual experiences I’d allowed the demons from my past dictate my present. These encounters weren’t intimate acts and not what I wanted to happen again.
So, to avoid any situation where I could be taken advantage of, and to be sure I’d never bring a man into my children’s lives who might harm them, I’ve basically stayed clear of the opposite sex other than my family, colleagues (and most are female in my profession), and my therapist.
I feel safer this way.
But, let me be clear. I’m not a robot. I still have sexual thoughts and feelings. I get lonely like everyone else. I miss having a partner and I miss sex. However, I still have so much more work to do on myself before I can deal with sex and all the emotional responsibility that comes with it. I am busy with my career and raising my children who are all teenagers. On occasion I try and “take matters into my own hands.” However, as the song says, “ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.” Self-pleasure is something I only do when I can’t take the frustration anymore. Then it consists of a few minutes with The Bullet and done. Sometimes I just have to release the tension so I can get a little bit of sleep. I’m actually pretty uncomfortable with the act since I hate my body and have so many issues tied up with sexuality. In my head it almost seems wrong and shameful to do this, although I don’t think self-pleasure is wrong or bad.
It’s just that sexuality = guilt and shame for me.
I suppose I might be considered an anomaly. Don’t most women have more sex after they divorce? That’s what seems to have happened with my friends and co-workers. And many women also lose weight after divorce.
While I lost the 160 pounds I called my husband, I actually gained weight. I feel like the exception to the rule.
In the future I do hope to have another partner, but I doubt I’ll ever re-marry. I expect to have open and honest communication and understanding with a man who likes to give as well as receive. Until then, I’ll just have to continue taking care of myself while remembering never to settle. My children and I deserve much better in life.
As I continue into another celibate decade, I’ll be researching a new, more comfortable toy to help me “take care of myself”, so to speak. I’ll be sure to report my findings here when I find the right product.
In the meantime, I hope I’m not the only divorced woman who has chosen the road less traveled.
We at YouWontGoBlind are on a mission to help our writer find a new toy for her to explore. She’ll be posting again soon and letting you know her progress. Stay tuned…