Don't Tell Me That as a Rape Survivor I Can't Love Sex


I am a survivor of domestic violence and rape.
I am a professional actress.
I am a multi-published author.
I am a blogger for The Huffington Post.
I am a sexual being.

As you can see from the list above, I wear many hats. I am all of those things and more. For those who aren't familiar with my work, I primarily write about issues that affect women.

I've received emails from readers informing me that my writing contradicts itself. I've written openly and honestly about my journey through domestic violence and rape. I've also written openly and honestly about my love of sex.

It seems that women are not only shamed for being raped, for being sexual and for being abused -- they are also shamed for moving on with their life after these events.

I've been told that my sex writing diminishes my advocacy writing. Apparently they can't co-exist and I should shut my mouth and be respectable. First off, I'll never be silenced and second, I am respectable.

My first book, Tantric Afternoons, is an erotic memoir about my very active sex life, published by Parisian/Australian publisher Hampress.

Don't Hit Me! is an award-winning title about my journey through domestic violence, published by Seattle publisher Booktrope.

And my memoir Without My Consent which releases soon (also published by Booktrope) is about my journey through sexual assault.

My writings reveal all of me -- the dark side, the vulnerable side, the sexual side etcetera. My point is: just because I've been a victim of domestic violence and rape, doesn't mean I should stay a victim.

Writing about masturbation and blow jobs doesn't contradict my other work nor does it contradict who I am as a person.

How can a person who has been raped write an erotic memoir about group sex?

How can a person who has survived domestic violence write a blog about bondage?

How can a person publish erotic poetry one week and a feminist essay the next?

Why not?

Am I not entitled to be a complex person of many layers? I'm f#*ked if I know what people find contradictory about a rape survivor loving sex. Do any of you know? I'd like to know.

I even feel unwelcome amongst other survivors. It's as if I don't wear the uniform correctly. It's as if there's a certain way that I'm supposed to be.

It's been suggested that the sexual assault informs my rampant sexuality. Incorrect. I was highly sexual before the assault. I was born this way.

There always has to be a reason for a woman being a sexual creature, no matter what her circumstance. I talk about this in my article My Vagina Runs My Life.

I am complex. I am not fifty shades of grey.

Don't try and shame me for being human.

Vanessa de Largie is a multi-award-winning actress and author based in Australia. Vanessa has a keen interest in women's issues and her art reflects that. Check out her links below.
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