I have primary anorgasmia, which means I've never had an orgasm with a partner or on my own. I find it very hard to relax and remain present and in touch with my body while having sex.
Like many women, I have a long and detailed history of being groped, assaulted, and coerced by partners and strangers. My response to this has been to grit my teeth or dissociate entirely. A feeling akin to my head floating on the ceiling. For a long time, I just accepted that this was what sex was like - your mind left the room, and your body tensed up and persisted. I struggled to connect with anyone I slept with emotionally. I actively, stubbornly avoided it because it made me feel too vulnerable. I had a lot of casual sex and often took a lot of risks because it didn't feel like it was real or happening to me.
Then I met my current partner. He is the first person who has ever noticed that I dissociate, and he stopped in response. He called me back to the room, back into my body. It was very surreal for me and scary.
I found it hard to be looked at and noticed as a whole person and not just as a body. When someone looks at you, really looks at you, it feels unrelenting, disarming, sending these beams of light directly from their eyes straight into me, and I felt like I had to find some way to deflect them or diffract them; otherwise, I was going to go blind or combust. I want to break eye contact, shatter that meditation on my soul, that migrainous quiet, but it's also an incredible, ecstatic feeling. To be seen. He also bears witness to how I am responding and to what has happened to me, and in this way, he makes me feel more confident in reality and more able to trust myself.
I am gradually learning to be vulnerable and stay in the room. I still find it too scary to lose control, to let my body lead properly. Still, it has been entirely transformative to let someone see me in all my fragility and resilience. I've found that I can begin my healing process by accepting my past hurt and being vulnerable.
Vida x the anti-casting
All the womxn featured on the underargument have been selected based on the personal story they shared with us which was inspired by one of our collections' themes. We only receive stories, no photos and no measurements. This is what we call the anti-casting and it is our way of reclaiming the representation of women's diversity and utilising the power of storytelling to empower ourselves and others. Find out more and maybe submit your story too here.
Vida is wearing collection no.15 For play // Against performances.