Sexual Abuse and Sexuality: My Two Cousins, The Rapists, Part 2 by Kyle Phoenix


 
  My goal this year, with this blog is to try and humanize me to you, the reader, to write less from the perspective of teacher or as a guide and more from my internal self, my history, my thoughts on things.  Sometimes I just prattle off information because I think it's useful or because it starts great discussions but having laid out this panorama of information, I can see that I don't often comment as just myself on things.  Recently in a brainstorming meeting or book topics, sexual abuse came up.  For years I'd taught workshops around it, particularly in relationship to sexuality---it's a pointedly hard topic to tackle because of not wanting to upset participants and not be able to appropriately work on emotional management of the thoughts.feelings such a discussion brings up with them.


Personally, having dealt with sexual abuse, I'm not so much detached from it to talk about personally, it just rarely serves my overall purpose in my work.  I try to focus my comments and thoughts to the subject at hand and slowly show causality links.  For the most part, having done several years of work around the abuse, I can say that I am okay....but mainly because I did the work.  First in my teens I attended an incest anonymous group for two years secretly (eventually when confronted with what kind of group was I going to, my mother assumed I was HIV+) I sat there silently for most of the time, listening, absorbing, mentally comparing.  Then of course I bought every book on the subject, particularly ones that linked it to sexuality.  Then in college I joined a smaller group that went on for about a year around of male and female students discussing what had happened to them.  It's funny, we had deeply intimate discussions, yet honestly I don't remember any of them, their names or faces and I think I only socialized with one outside of the group.  I did though do a magazine cover story on sexual abuse and used anonymous quotes form them along with statistics.  Then once in my twenties and once in my thirties I've had a therapist for a year.  The first time was to really get a handle on being an independent adult and the second time was sort of accidental, I was concerned about my capacity and ability to actualize some of my entrepreneurial thoughts.  Eventually I did go get a business coach, which is what my search was for but I think every decade of one's life should include a year of therapy.


In total I've had about 5 intensive years of dealing with the abuse, building up emotional strength, resilience and understand, grieving for the memories that I'll never completely have, perceiving my cousins, Eric and David and their crimes.  One curious aspect is that I've never had a big issue with my sexuality.  It's of course not heterosexual, since I've been a teenager, I've embraced omnisexuality, because it's included so much and so many.  Gay seems banal, homosexual pseudo=science and same gender loving, a stepping stone to transcendence that is inclusive of multiples like race, sexuality, gender and social class.


I had a friend, let's call him George, who I knew since grade school who'd also been abused so in our teens we discussed it.  George though didn't do the therapy....and is subsequently fucked up in the head in many ways.  His abuse he charted and still regards as the best sex he's ever had.  Which I will radically step out onto a limb and say could be true from the perspective of the heightened shame of abuse comes from the fact that there's intrinsic pleasure to the act.  That it's not a hard and fast brutal, street alleyway rape where you get beaten and used----it's seductive and mentally undermining so that a child will tentatively agree to please this older person, to experiment and then soon learns that they're in way over their head of comprehension.  From that perspective George's pleasure was true.  But healing from the intrusion, from the violation involves going to the root---the lack of informed, mature and age appropriate consent and the abuse of power and boundaries---he's yet to do, perhaps never will.


It's funny, in retrospect I can see how those 5 years of work allowed me to experiment sexually, in fact empowered me to do so.  I've been able to try just about everything out, to not hold myself back from honest exploration and expression of my sexuality.  In fact it feels so natural, that I often forget and sometimes resent, the expectation of announcement of it.  I was once working a temp job where a co-worker did everything in her power to try and classify my sexuality---no, we weren't friends---and I just sort of watched her do this, amused.  Amused from the position of that empowerment when I learned that I didn't have to appease people, that I didn't have to answer or capitulate to their interests, that I could say yes or no to sexual advances, that I could be direct with my interest and even hire someone to do specifically what I wanted to do; that orgies and pornography and fetishes, nothing is off-limits if I desire it, if I check in with my inner self, if I monitor my reasoning for doing things.


I've never been high (I've never done drugs) or drunk while having sex.  Perhaps this is a nod to the abuse that I don't allow impairment to the agreement or the act.  Nor has there ever been shame---I once even did a little go go dancing in nightclubs to get comfortable with my body in a public way.  Finding that I could be overtly sexual and seen that way without fear or guilt.  My natural shyness and often obtuseness about people's sexual or romantic interest in me has more to do with my personality and intellectual distractions then being unconscious to the erotic.  Hell, I purposefully for years wrote intensely graphic erotica to get my thoughts and questions out, a lot of it was the first things I had published around the country.  I even used to buy three packs of porno mags----for the stories.  No, really, I loved the development of the stories---I suppose I learned how to write erotica from there.  At about 21 I threw out at least a hundred of these magazines because I agreed with the thought that there was a level of demeaning objectification to the humans who were in pictures.  I moved on to buying erotica of all stripes and tastes.  I took a class, Slave Narratives in Comparison to Sado-Masochism in my early 20s, and like a bright student, I bought all the books a semester early as well as all of the referenced texts as well.  I have quite the collection of S&M related materials.  Then of course I had to go to a dungeon or two, you know to see it all up close.  I get it, I understand it, I'm just not interested in being festishized, dominated or too much accoutrement around sexuality.


Oddly, even in workshops that I do on fetishes and fantasies, when asked my own---I don't have any.  Not because I'm so straight laced or because I'm shut down but because honestly, I've tried it all.  No, really, damn near everything...or at the very least witnessed it.


In many ways working on not being crippled with fear and guilt and shame around sexual abuse, made me work on a holistic and whole centered approach to sex and sexuality.  I mentioned to someone recently that as much as I enjoy teaching about sexuality, it's only one of my subject fascinations, it's not even the first.  Sometimes the intense attention and neurosis that MSM have around their sexuality baffles me, there's a big, bright planet out there full of new and fascinating things that have nothing at all to do with sexuality, and they're terribly concerned with it.  The early initiation into sex and sexuality I think assisted me in really sitting down as a teenager and an adult and framing who I am and want to be, and most importantly creating a flexibility around that.


Eric, one of my cousins, says that he's always had questions about his sexuality, fears of potential homosexuality.  Typical Pisces.  David on the other hand is just....lecherous.  Some of that a projection onto his extremely dark complexion but more onto he literally looks like a pedophile or at the very least a sexual opportunist.  At a recent holiday party there were children, my next generation of cousins and I wondered how many of them he'd abused or tried to.  It's victim hubris to assume that you're special or the only one---so I expect that they've done it to others. Eric mentioned to my mother once that there's a third male in the family that abused/initiated him and David.  Perhaps one day I'll visit Eric, be his first visitor in years and confirm who that might be.  I expect one day there will unfold more and more stories from familial faces.

I've been lucky, to have the mental stability, the resources, the inner drive to cobble together a program that assisted me over the years, bluntly, so I'm not like George, it's helped me to enjoy being sexual and most importantly be able to control it; it's allowed me to be conscious enough so that I haven't caught an STD; it's allowed me to share myself and love and be loved and to know that I'm constantly changing and growing in dimensionality so that I don't expect each relationship to be a heightening from the last or a carbon copy cut out of domesticity.  Those are good things, perhaps even better things than I would've achieved without the impetus of the abuse, had I just been wandering around in my life.  Here's what it did---it forced me to solidify my sense of myself.  To own it, to hold it as sovereign.  I watch so many men and women translate their sexuality through society, their parents, their religion, their race and I'm always baffled by it, saddened by it, pleased that I'm not like that.

When other people, like George have sexuality and sexual abuse issues coupled I do try to suggest a path of empowerment and self-possession through it but it's a hard road.  It requires sometimes having sex so that you can be in a sexual situation and say to yourself---Ok, this is physically similar to this other memory but this is not that person, this is not that context, I am an adult making this decision.  I've had to do that several times.  I've also learned how to question why I speak up about some things and why I didn't speak up, with a sexual partner about other things.  Was I honestly trying not to hurt their feelings or was I muting myself?  I don't inspect my sex life to death, a friend once telling me that he kept a detailed journal about his sexual encounters---I'm not that organized to each one.  But I am present in my sexual life, my sexual self.  Which of course translates to the fact that there are ebbs and flows, valleys and peaks to sexual activity and relationships.  It's not a demand nor an ignored desire within me.  It's always a fun or interesting land I'm visiting as I try to explore what this or that will be or become with that man or woman or group or idea.


What the sexual abuse did was it twisted me for awhile, it confused me to thinking it was carefree, childhood play until I was old enough to look at consent and boundaries.  It then made me learn how to set consent and boundaries.  It them taught me, and this part I think is really important, not to cross other people without consent or boundaries.  It's one of the reasons why I don't sexualize heterosexual men.  If they ain't on the team, then I'm not including them in the game.  In fact to other MSM if they can't articulate interest and consent then I'm generally not interested.  If you can't speak up, then you're not ready---I'm not interested in initiating anyone nor in assuming mental responsibility for your actions.  It's taken away the temptation to play predator even in low grade ways.

You interested?  Yes or no?


And it's also pushed me not to be interested in the discreet, the closeted, the confused, the trapped, the married, the self-hating, the self-destructive because somewhere along that continuum of consent for me lies unconscious consent.  Are you stable enough to in your yes?  I'm not taking responsibility for it but I am listening to where it's coming from.

Wow.

To have gained so much from my cousins the rapists pushes me further and further across the line to understanding and embracing that We all get it in the end, Your demons are your friend.

Thank you for reading and if you liked this check out the other blogs or one my books on Amazon.com
Kyle Phoenix
Email: kylephoenixshow@gmail.com
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