I keep coming back to your post and then not knowing what to write. It really resonates with me, as I am asking myself whether I consented to the vast majority of the sex I had in my relationship or, in fact, the vast majority of sex I’ve ever had with cis men.
For many years I thought I was bisexual but have recently learnt about compulsory heterosexuality and, looking back, I can now see that I was never interested in men, I just went along with relationships that happened to me because that’s what I’d assumed I was meant to do. I also thought my discomfort when men showed an interest in me and also surrounding sex with men was due to the fact that I had experienced sexual abuse as a young teenager. When I discovered I also liked women, I assumed this made me bisexual, as I’d had relationships with men, so I must like both?
I’ve just left my husband, who I now understand was abusive towards me, subjecting me to coercive control, financial abuse, physical abuse and psychological abuse, but I didn’t class any of this as sexual abuse, as we were married and married people often have sex when they don’t want to, right? Only I wasn’t allowed to initiate anything, as it made him feel bad if he wasn’t up for it, so only he was allowed to initiate anything and it was never at a time I was up for it, but I generally just went along with it, even though I got no pleasure out of it and sometimes it hurt, as it was positions that are not comfortable for me, but I generally did not say anything. I generally felt used after, especially as he did not like any position that meant looking at me in the face. I did say no a few times when he was really drunk, as I didn’t want a drunk person that didn’t even seem like my husband anymore touching me at all, let alone that way. He would then call me ‘cold’ or ‘frigid’ and I’d feel like I had to have sex with him the next time he initiated things when he was not drunk.
We had a child and we stopped having sex entirely, as I no longer even slept in his bed most of the time, but instead he was controlling over things like hugs… one day, he asked me how many hugs I’d given him one and I said none, as I hadn’t really seen him, and he told me I wasn’t trying very hard. I said he could just ask if he wanted a hug and I’d give him one. I don’t know how I was meant to guess when he needed a hug as well as guess how many hugs he needed in a day to be happy?
In any case, I am also conflicted about the potential lack of consent for the majority of the sex we had… I don’t know if that counts as sexual abuse, or if it is part of coercive control or psychological abuse?
Thank you for the information above. I have been reading it!