This is our truth, tell us yours
I cannot stress strongly enough that this post must be approached with care, it discuses my experiences of childhood sexual abuse and being raped. If you share may I suggest you include some form of similar warning. Thank you
Regular readers may be aware that Carter is a sadist, I can prove it too, he turned up once when I was hoping for sex, having deliberately masturbated several times already that day! We still had sex of course, and he taught me that wonderful as it is to be a cock slut there is so much more to mindblowing sex. I have learnt a lot since then, as I explore here. Sex can be many things, with many configurations, it may or may not include genitals, what matters is the state of mind of the participants, that they are able to give informed consent and view what is happening as sex. For example when a nurse puts her fingers inside my vagina to insert a coil, it is consenting, but it isnt sex, when a very sexy dominant woman does it, it most certainly is.
So I like penises (or should that be peni) but have learnt that sex with people who have them doesn’t revolve around the cock, its in the mind. Some people have expressed surprise that as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rapes that I like them so much, or else tried to pathologize my liking of them as a result of that trauma, The fact is I recognized long ago that penises did not rape me, did not chose too hurt me, minds did. My abuser saw a small child and his mind decided it was OK to sodomize them. I understand, in my mind, that he was probably replicating what was done to him, but it was the choice of a rational adult mind to pass on his trauma. In the same way my I understand that his partner, a cis female, who participated in the abuse may have had her own story which led to that, but still her choice was to be a party to what happened. They were adults with the minds of adults and the abuse sprung from those minds. When the abuse finally stopped, as I grew breasts and stepped into the whirling currents of puberty it was his mind that said it was OK to abandon me, to give me the message that adult woman bodies are unwanted and unattractive.
If sex is of the mind, about the state of minds of the participants, then so is abuse. An even clearer example of this comes from when I was gang raped, which I wrote about here. My partner, suffering from concussion stumbled past, at some distance but close enough to recognize me. In his confused state he assumed I was simply having group sex, this was no surprise as without the ability to see into my mind, and the minds of the men raping me there was no way he could have known otherwise. The only substantive difference between a gang bang and a gang rape is the state of mind of the people involved.
I began this piece last night, after discovering how terfs had started #NoUnexpectedPenises to push the transphobic idea it is acceptable to exclude trans women from certain spaces to protect rape survivors. As one of those survivors they pretend to care about I wonder at the obsession with genitals and the total lack of understanding of what rape is. The replication of patriarchal definitions that said there was no rape in marriage, that informs the Swedish idea of rape. Then I heard the news from Canada.
The Canadian Government has declared that women like me (they ignore the existence of male, trans and NB sex workes) are victims degraded by our work and visited by perverts. Yet again a man is using his mind to control me (or in this case women like me) to say what is in my mind, my experience and perception of events does not matter. Canadian mums who sell sex will be imprisoned, as they associate with a minor, again a man saying that what women think, know, do is irrelevant, our ability as parents isn’t relevant once we sell sex. Teens who sell sex will be jailed if they work with another teen, for daring to want companionship and protection. People who “associate” with sex workers, our friends, our support networks, outreach, health providers, face prison. Sex workers who advertise online face prison for daring to want to screen clients. I could go on, the list is horrific and heartbreaking.
#BillC36 shows again that abuse is of the mind. The Canadian Government does not care about the difference between being coerced and consenting to sell sexual services, it does not care about my Canadian sisters state of mind as they meet a client. All it cares about is that it has a belief sex work is morally wrong, it believes we are degraded and unworthy. It will only provide money for exit, since in the mind of the Canadian government we have to leave sex work or suffer the consequences. The unholy alliance of Swerfs, terfs, and the religious right has shown their true colours yet again. Defining womens acceptability and value only by how closely she conforms to patriarchal standards. The fact the same people are celebrating the bill who were posting on #nounexpectedpenises is no surprise. Their central belief is that womanhood and the value of a woman is not her mind, but her body, and what she does with it.
Abuse is about ignoring my state of mind and imposing your own, the Canadian Government has shown it is no different to a man who thought it was OK to sodomize a toddler. I weep for my sisters in Canada, I know what it is like to be treated as someone whose thoughts and feeling do not exist, and whose pain is enjoyed by their abuser.
EDIT Thanks to Wendy Lyon for clarifying that public does not mean online as I believed (see comments) so sex workers will be breaking the law if they advertise, cutting opportunities for screening, but it wont count as public soliciting.