Rape, Sexual Abuse and Promiscuity

I think that promiscuity is absolutely fine in general. I think that sex between two or more consenting adults is no-one’s business but their own.

However, I would be concerned about anyone who is using sex to harm themselves in some way. For example, if you were having unprotected sex or being critical of yourself for having sex, during or afterwards.

People who have been raped or sexually abused may become promiscuous as a way of dealing with the rape or abuse.

Thoughts may include:

Controlled denial

  • I won’t be beaten by my rapist / abuser, I will carry on having sex and prove to myself and him/her that I’m fine.
  • I’ll take control and have sex when and with whoever I want.
  • No one can tell me who to have sex with.

These thought processes sound ok, and if you’re genuinely having sex because you feel like it then that’s great. However, if you’re having sex to prove something, rather than because you really want to have sex, then you are actually reacting to the abuse / rape. It is affecting you and dictating your actions. You are not acting freely.

Displaced retaliation

  • I’ll humiliate men/women by using and abusing them like my attacker used and abused me.
  • I’ll disrespect men/women like I was disrespected.

You may think that by using sex to get one over on other people you’ll feel better but no amount of suffering you inflict on others will take your own pain away.

No amount of having sex with someone consensually will ever make the other person feel as bad as you felt when you were being raped or abused.

Hurting someone else will almost certainly make you feel worse, not better.

Hopeless thoughts

  • I’m not allowed to say ‘no’.
  • If I say ‘no’ I might be raped / abused anyway so I’ll just go along with it.

You are allowed to say ‘no’. Always. At any time.

If you say ‘no’ it is possible you will get raped or abused anyway. However, most men and women would not want to have sex with an unwilling partner and will stop if you say ‘no’.

Self hating thoughts

  • I have no right to say ‘no’.
  • I’m worthless so why shouldn’t anyone have sex with me?
  • I hate myself. I deserve to be used and abused.
  • I hate my body. I want it to be hurt and abused.
  • I deserved to be raped because there is something wrong with me / I am bad, so I should be treated like I’m nothing.

You are not bad.

You have the right to decide who you have sex with at all times. That right might not always be respected, but you still have that right.

Your body is precious and valuable and deserves to be looked after.

NO-ONE deserves to be raped or abused – this includes you.

Rapists and sexual abusers are criminals. They alone are responsible for their actions.

Dismissive thinking

  • Sex is no big deal (and therefore what happened to me is no a big deal).
  • Sex is just exercise (and therefore what happened to me isn’t a big deal).

For some people, sex isn’t a big deal. However, although sex isn’t always a big deal, rape and sexual abuse always are.

If you are trying to convince yourself that what happened to you is not important, then it won’t work. Rape and sexual abuse affects people whether they want it to or not. The impact will be different on different people, but no one remains unaffected. If you think it’s truly no big deal to you then talk about what happened to someone and see how you feel.

If you have experienced thoughts like those described above, or anything similar, then please seek help.

Remember:

You are worthwhile.

The only person that is responsible for the rape or sexual abuse is the rapist or abuser – never you.

Your body is important and valuable.

You are important and valuable.

It’s fine to have as much sex as you want – from lots to none at all.

Sex isn’t the answer to being raped or sexually abused, your distress needs attending to.