My first sexual experience was that first rape. Many people would have been broken, turning the idea of sex into something cheap, but I luckily did not. To me, sex was an intimate thing. Rape was mechanical. My perpetrator may have taken my body, but I did not give myself to him- the ultimate gift a person can give to another person. He would never get that from me. Yet some days it is hard to be beautiful. It is hard to know that I attract men’s attention, even when I do not want it. Unfortunately, I usually do not attract the sweet, kind guys. They are far too intimidated to talk to me. The dog of the group is usually the only guy that talks to me- the only one with enough guts to hit on me. I hate that. I want to be enjoyed. To have a friendly chastising conversation and then laugh. I want to be enjoyed for more than my vagina. There is so much more to me than what I am in bed. Sex is an important part of people’s lives, especially when you are of reproductive age. I try to have balance in every area in my life, sexuality being one of them. Giving myself to someone is more than just getting off. To me it is a connection. I am having an intimate emotional experience, and considering how I do not trust just anyone with my emotional frailty, I do not have many sexual partners historically. Many things from that first rape have changed how I view emotional connections. Physical attraction is incredibly important since, I was raped by one of the most disgusting men I can think of. My stomach used to turn at his stories he told me of his sexual conquests. He disgusted me to my core. But he was my stepbrother, so I just felt sorry for any one he had sex with. After the rape, I felt disgusting. Being raped by a filthy crackhead was how I thought about it. Now, when I have sex, I am not having sex. I am giving an emotional part of myself. I have never been able to just have casual sex. Sex to me transcends mechanics. It is incredibly important to me. Giving myself to a man is the ultimate gift I can give. Taking down my walls and showing my weaknesses. My fears. My desires in a cruel, heartless world that if they found them out, could possibly keep me from them. Rape has changed me. It has made me afraid. It has made me struggle and desperate. However, all that fear and struggle I chose to change into a way to build character in me. My rapist stole my body, my family, my dreams, my safety, and so much more- but he did not get me. He will never get me.