Are men conditioned to be predators?

As I am confronted with the knowledge of a truth I have known but was not always aware of, I find myself mulling over this question. And as I gather all of the supporting details from experiences in my own life, past and current, I grow more sullen and more frustrated with the answer.

In the recent guest feature “Why my sex positivity is not without fear shame or trauma,” Myisha talks about how even as sex positive or sexually liberated individuals, even as we are standing before you saying that I am a multifaceted person and yes this includes my sexuality, we are still being relegated to a singular objective form.

For reasons of being very sexually expressive, of being sex positive, sexually liberated and talking very candidly and sometimes explicitly about all things sex and our own sexual experiences, we become a target for predatory behavior specifically from men.

Unsolicited & Unwanted

Unsolicited dick pix and sexual advances fill my private messages inbox. Stalker behavior from men you’ve blocked for being inappropriate who continue to harass you even after you’ve asked them to stop. Even being blocked does not stop them. “Oh, you blocked me?” once message read, “I’m gonna show you something,” it continued followed by several notifications on other social platforms that this same individual was now following me.

It’s my own fault I suppose. Putting myself out there like that. What did I expect? **rolls eyes**

What the fuck!? were my exact thoughts.

Demands of “Why aren’t you responding to my messages?” It doesn’t matter. I’m not so just let it go. I’m not obligated to do anything I don’t want to do particularly if doing so makes me uncomfortable.

The fear and the trauma is real. You start to think maybe I should stop posting these photos.

A guy I know messaged me on SnapChat asking me out to lunch and offering fun afterwards. Of course, I already knew what he meant by “fun” right. I messaged him back, “Fun???” His response was, “Maybe movies and something else.” **ROLLS EYES**

I won’t deny the feeling of anger and disgust I felt; the desire to shrink myself so small that no one would recognize me. I felt vulnerable in the most victimized way; that feeling were conditioned to feel.

I know him. I know him in real life. He’s not just a guy who decided to follow a half-naked woman he happened upon on Instagram. He has never approached me in such a way before. What in the male psyche convinced him that it was suddenly appropriate or ok to proposition me in such a way now? Just because you saw a few revealing photos of me on the internet? So fucking what.

For the life of me I cannot comprehend how that translates into, Ok now I have the green light to say (or do) whatever I want, however I want to this person. Please, someone help me understand this logic.

Just last summer, I had a very scary predatory experience. I went out on a very public date with a guy I connected with on a dating site. The most he ever said to me was, “Want another?” referring to the empty glass sitting in front of me. After the third, I declined.

Once we were outside and saying our goodbyes, he pinned me against my car and tried to kiss me. I pushed him away and he grabbed my arm and attempted to pull me towards his car. He was saying something but because of everything that was going on, I don’t recall a word of it. As he continues to pull me by my arm, I grabbed his keys and informed him that he needed to let me go and let me leave.

He smirked as he released my arm. These instances of coercion are just too common for comfort. I’ve heard it expressed as, “That’s why I’m glad I’m married.” Women see marriage as a means to escape predatory behavior?

Some have argued that because I present myself a certain way, this type of behavior is to be expected. A very usual expectation, I’m sure, doesn’t make it any less predatory or repulsive and it certainly does not make it appropriate or acceptable.

My friends encourage me to ignore them. They are not aware of their conditioning enough to change their own behavior. It’s not a decision on their part to act on your representation, it’s a reaction.

They have very literally lost their god damn minds.

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Healing Victimization

When he asked if he could kiss me between my legs, I had no motivation to object. After all, as I’d mentioned in my Creating the Sexually Liberated Woman post, I’d learned to please myself long before anyone else had the opportunity, and I knew how good that felt. Up until that moment I couldn’t imagine what a kiss between my legs would feel like. The moment he asked, my body began to fire on all synapses. I think it was something he’d learned watching porn. His dad had a lot of porn.

Victimization Causation

I don’t recall thinking anything negative about that experience prior to later learning, through social interaction, that this was wrong. It was then that I began to feel ashamed that this had happened to me and guilty for actually enjoying it. Society told me I was a victim. I didn’t feel like one otherwise.

Years later while visiting back home, I saw him in the grocery store and all the memories of guilt came rushing back. Fortunately, they were just that, objective memories. We chatted for a bit. I could feel the energy of the shame and guilt he carried as well. It had really taken a toll on his life. At least that is how it appeared to me.

We didn’t talk very long and at the end of the conversation, he apologized. He didn’t seem to know exactly what to apologize for and how could he; he hadn’t known how I felt or how I had been affected by the experience. He even seemed ashamed to apologize. I had long moved on from a place of desiring explanation. I simply thanked him and we went our separate ways forever more.

It took me years to heal; not from being touched, but from the embarrassment and guilt I felt, from my victimization. Eventually, I told myself that even though he was four years older than me, he was still only a child. He didn’t understand the implication that he might someday be responsible for someone’s sexual trauma and perhaps even his own. He didn’t know any better than I did. We were both innocent bystanders to a sex negative culture. It was in this moment that I realized there was nothing to forgive, yet I still had much to heal.

How to Heal

I have used healing rituals to heal from this and other sexual experiences that have left me feeling wounded. Healing rituals are a great way to recover from all types of sexual trauma: assault and abuse, physical and emotional. It even works for bad breakups.

Performing a healing ritual doesn’t mean you won’t go through these things. However, once you’ve learned the pathway to recovery you’ll be able to navigate it more quickly and show others the way.

Healing rituals give you the awareness to take control of your experience; You decide what it will be; You decide when the trauma is over. The path to recovery can be as fast or as slow as you allow. Once you build the trust within yourself you will be able to sense potential trauma situations and avoid them altogether.

Healing consist of reprogramming your mind; a redirect and redesign if you will. I have taught myself to categorize each piece of my experience into growth, knowledge, and bliss based on my personal system of values. For me, bliss equates to the experience of enjoying the fruits of my labor. Trust me, the acquisition of growth and knowledge is quite the labor; a labor that may manifest in the form of trauma or stress and more than likely, both.

Taking Out the Trash

It’s important to learn to discard (trash) those parts that no longer serve you. Just as food serves as nourishment for the body and the remaining is released as waste, so goes experience for your spiritual well-being. Knowledge is nourishment for the soul.

Try not to judge the experience as good or bad. As much as possible, take away the emotional perspective and dissect the experience piece by peace (Yes, I do mean peace). Break everything down into its simplest form; use it for growth which represents good health in this “food” analogy. Discard what remains through purposeful and mindful healing.

Time to be a SHEro

We have all been victimized by a sex-negative culture that believes abstinence without education is the key to curing world hunger. Exactly! It makes no sense whatsoever.

Repeat after me , “I am the healer of my life; I am the hero in my story.”
It took time, so much time for me to finally heal to a place where I could openly say, “He touched me, and it felt really good.”

Artist Feature

Still a Queen” by LaTigerr

LaTigerr is a 24 year young writer and artist with a passion for honesty & love. A voice within the black community with a burning desire to see us all flourish! Discover her work and how you can add this piece to your collection by visiting her on Instagram

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