Hey Demeter - thank you so much for writing about this! I have also been sexually assaulted, and I've had rape/forced sex fantasies since I was very young (like pre-teen young when I got into erotica novels). I was sexually assaulted (multiple times) in my early 20s. Now in my late 20s, I still have those rape fantasies.

These opposing desires have caused lots of confusion, fear, and concern. Did I somehow manifest getting assaulted? Did I actually want it? Why the hell does my body get SO aroused by terrible, demeaning behaviors? Can I actually have healthy, loving sex? I even unconsciously sought out emotionally incompatible partners who I sensed could be dominant and forceful.

I love your line about "taking back power" and experiencing it "in my control." Now I'm more familiar with the kind/BDSM scene, and I understand the power of having a "safe word." I even started using a safe word in my solo fantasies to have more control and feel empowered. Thank you so much for clarifying this complex, super awkward, and often shameful, topic!

I appreciate you and your voice :) Please keep sharing!

❤️ I study abuse recovery, sex+ feminism, and depth psychology. 🦋 Creativity heals. ✍️ Words in: The Ascent, Fearless She Wrote, and The Virago. (she/her)