Sex, relationships, intimacy – they were all off limits. The word ‘sex’ even made me cringe. It was so tied up with shame, embarrassment and punishment, that I blocked it out from my reality. My primary relationship was with anorexia, which made it impossible to have any other meaningful relationships. Alongside this, I had very little oestrogen running through my body, so it never even seemed like a problem; I never wanted it.
But throughout my many years of therapy, my relationship with my sexual self always played on my mind. I felt disgusted at the thought of being intimate with myself; as if it was something dirty. This made it even harder when I did have sex, because it was never about me. I had no idea what I liked, and didn’t feel as though it even mattered. Sex had become another way to hurt myself – it seemed to make sense that way. Whenever I thought it might become a topic for exploration in a therapy session, I quickly diverted the conversation somewhere far away.
It has only been the last three years since being in recovery that this has all changed. I wanted to feel desired, loved and to have fun with sex. I knew that it was one area of my recovery that had been neglected and I wanted sex to become a positive part of my life. It’s no coincidence that since becoming freer in my eating disorder, I have become less inhibited in the bedroom. Intimacy with myself and another has been a journey of self-discovery, but above all it has been a path towards connection. True connection that’s equal, loving and with no guilt or shame attached.