Having Healthy Sex after Sexual Assault

The summer I was nineteen, I researched and wrote a travel guide to Italy, journeying from Venice to the Cinque Terre armed only with a sundress and my handy dandy Macbook.

It sounds pretty ideal, and it was—except for the constant, terrifying, enraging sexual harassment. From being groped on the train to being kissed non-consensually by hostel owners and bartenders, the summer left me tan, skinny, with killer calf muscles — and with a feeling of total disconnect from my sexuality. After months of constant, unwanted attention and physical violation, I felt that my sexuality had become a weapon used against me rather than something for my own pleasure.

My experience is not rare. From street harassment to rape, many of us, and particularly women and LGBTQ people, are affected by sexual violence. And because sexual violence is a violation of our right to make choices about our bodies, it can change our relationship to our own sexuality in complex and difficult ways.

Check out the full article on Talkspace.

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