Hypoarousal.

02:18

Something occurred to me yesterday. Something that I cannot believe I never really thought about or noticed before. Precisely because this is a subject I have poured over at length. Looked at from every possible angle my very limited mind could possibly conceive.

Besides the handful of times I have been sexually assaulted. I have never, and I mean ever, been involved in any sexual activity without first having a few drinks in me. Usually teetering more towards heavily intoxicated, just a step or two shy from black out drunk.

Is it that I hate sex? I honestly don’t know.

I do know that it took me years to get something positive out of it. To not hate every single second. To not feel like my skin was burning. Or like there were thousands of tiny little needles sticking me everywhere. Or like my mind was on fire and trying to eat itself. And even when it did start to yield some positive feelings, as I already said, I had to be drunk.

The one or two times I tried to open up about being sexually assaulted to someone, I was made to feel like I was crazy. Or sick. Like I somehow didn’t just let it happen, as if I as a child had any power to stop what was happening. But like I had somehow invited this.

I remember my first encounters with sex as an adult. I hated every second of it. i avoided it like the plague. My first ever girlfriend here in Greece couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that I kept putting it off. I was still very much at a point where physical contact with other people pained me. Like. Physically. I know it was just a mental projection but I could swear that it fucking hurt. And so, one night about 4 months in we got very drunk and it sort of happened. What a disaster. The very next day I drunkenly and very purposefully picked a fight with someone three times my size in the hopes that he would hurt me enough for sex to be off the table with her for a bit. It wasn’t. I found myself trying to push through the pain of three broken ribs on top of the discomfort that I was already experiencing with the whole thing.

I spent a good chunk of my life thinking I was asexual. I tried masturbation, but that never really took. I tried different types of pornography, but that was even worse.

My first introduction into BDSM came in the form of a Sidney Sheldon book. I used to read them all the time when I was in the military.

The more I expanded my interest about it, the more I understood it as a means for me to reclaim my sexuality somehow. Especially through the practice of masochism.

Alcohol and drugs of course played the central role here. But owning my pain like that was an eyeopening experience. Through that i found that if I exerted enough pain on myself, and even applied the use of something to choke myself with, I could achieve the gratification of masturbation and maybe even enjoy it.

I remember one particular person in the community when I was first starting out on fet. I had just started finding my footing in terms of being honest and open about my past. About the trauma that I carried. One thing that I found odd was that she told me I was just her type. Because every soldier that she had been with who was “suffering” from PTSD was hypersexual and, as she put it, had given her the best fucks of her life.

I mean. I knew that hyperarousal and hypersexuality were symptoms of PTSD, but I didn’t know that they were that common. She made it seem like it was a defacto thing.

A realisation which, at the time, made me feel like I couldn’t even be mentally ill properly. Like I already felt broken and just plain wrong all the time. But that really hit home for me. Made me feel like I couldn’t even do that right.

It wasn’t like this with every partner. A lot of them, both men and women, tried to make me feel as safe as possible. They were patient with me and took their time. But that part of my self was already dysfunctional and at the time I wasn’t in the habit of fixing my problems, but either ignoring them or really leaning into the brokeness of it all in the most self-destructive way possible.

So we come to today. I feel love. I feel desire. But I find myself failing at expressing it physically. Without the crutch of an intoxicant, it feels like I don’t know what or how to do anything in that aspect. I trained myself over the course of more than 18 years that any sexual activity is preceded by copious amounts of drinking. And it feels stupid that I cannot do this simple, and very human thing.

That. Also all this pain that I carry, be it the physical pain from any of my old severe wounds or the cancer, or from the mental anguish I carry. It fills up so much of my existence, that my mind doesn’t or cannot wander to that place. It is walled up and sealed off.

My partner has been more than understanding. Giving me the space and time to deal with this. And I have been trying to. But try as I might, it still doesn’t feel like a priority. And I don’t know how to make it one. And if i do, I don’t want it to be because I am afraid of losing her. I don’t want to make the mistake of pushing myself to do something I don’t want to for the sake of someone else’s feelings. I want to really want to do it.

One thing that I will say before I close this off. BDSM really helped me. In many, many ways. If I wasn’t introduced to it when I was, I would still be terrified of my own pain. Living in a cocoon of my own making. It helped me own it. Push the envelope to a place where I can, for the most part, grit my teeth and push through it to do what needs to be done. It has helped me train my tolerance in a safe and self actualised way.

As it stands, the strongest form of painkiller that I take is 600mg ibuprofen. Despite all the damage. Despite the cancer. Despite the damage to the nerves of my back, my leg and my arms. I am in constant pain. But I am not constantly suffering.

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Costas K.

Costas K.

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