January 12, 2015
Well I’ve learned why Solenne isn’t having sex with me. I assumed it was either a cultural or religious thing, or her own personal beliefs. I respected that and only asked her once about it. We kiss a lot, but the moment it seems like it might go too far, she pushes me away and says no. I don’t persist. The one time I asked her, I said something like, “if you don’t want to have sex, that’s fine, I understand, but can you tell me why?” She answered, “no” and the subject was closed.
Solenne and I spend a lot of time together, especially when we’re at school, we meet on campus. Otherwise, we go to either her place or my place; we go out sometimes to the movies, for dinner, for coffee; and when the weather permits, we go jogging with her dogs. At my place, we have less privacy because of Bogart. Pete and Cola would be willing to go to their rooms and do their own thing if Solenne and I want the living room. But Bogart follows me around as much as Gary Oldman II does. He kind of glues himself to me. The occasions Solenne and I decide to go into my room just to be alone, Cola and Pete have to distract him while I disappear. Then they have to continuously distract him and entertain him, otherwise he’s knocking on my door asking me what I’m doing and why I’m not out there with them. He does this even when Solenne’s not around, which limits my ability to jerk off undisturbed. I jerk off in the shower, in the bathroom when I’m not showering, then in the evening after he’s in bed and first thing in the morning. Unfortunately I’ve had to jerk off in public restrooms as well. I’ve taken more showers than usual, because sometimes I’ll take one just to jerk off.
Anyway, Solenne was over on Saturday and Pete and Cola had to do their distracting thing so Solenne and I could go into my room. We were kissing as we were seated on my bed and I positioned us to lie down. She was on her back and I was lying on my side kind of over her, kissing her. Then I moved down, lifted her shirt a little and began kissing her stomach. She let me at first and seemed to like it, but then she stopped me and sat up. She seemed upset, which she doesn’t usually get upset when she stops me, rather she comes off as affirmed and that’s the end of it.
I asked her what was wrong and told her to talk to me. She responded with honesty and without hesitation. First she told me that she loves me, which dumbfounded me in a good way. I told her I love her too. She said, “really?” I think if she didn’t believe me she wouldn’t have told me the truth about why she didn’t want to have sex with me. I was right in that it was a cultural thing, but not in the way that I assumed.
When she was fourteen years old, shortly before she came to the states, there was a man who chose her for marriage. This was not long after she “lost” her family. She still won’t go into details about what happened to her family. But without her family, she really had no one to protect her. He made arrangements for her to be taken to a place where they performed female circumcision on her. The practice had been banned since 1998, yet there were a group of women who were still performing the cruel procedure, and who were actually arrested a couple years ago for it. Solenne isn’t sure if it was that group of women or another group who mutilated her. Basically they took her against her will, held her down and cut off her external genitalia and clitoris without any anesthetics or medical treatment. She was left with only one small hole, too small for even a pinky finger to fit in. One hole through which she would both urinate and menstruate.
A month later was when she was expected to marry this man. He was 25 years old and she didn’t know him. She was on her own and working, not going to school, and I got the impression that he may have been her employer’s son, but I’m not sure. Before the marriage took place, her uncle got her over to the states. My time frame may be a little off, since sometimes I don’t understand her through her accent, and I was reluctant to press for clarity or more details while she was being so open about this experience.
Once she told me everything, she explained that she does want to have sex with me, but she’s afraid for a couple of reasons. First, she’s ashamed of the mutilation, she thinks it’s ugly, and she thought I would be disgusted and want nothing to do with her anymore. I assured her that I would never have done that, and I’m not going to do that. Second, she was afraid that if I didn’t reject her, and we tried to have sex, that it would be very painful. I agreed that it would probably hurt her and I wouldn’t even want to try.
She wanted to talk about potential options and she thought that maybe I could gradually enlarge the opening with my fingers, and over time it would be wide enough for penetration. But then I asked her if she ever wanted to have children and she said yes. We decided to do some research about possible complications in childbirth. We went online and she was identifying some problems she had in the beginning, immediately after the procedure, and health issues since then, such as urinary tract infections, and extreme discomfort during menstruation. Our research also revealed continued medical issues, whether or not she would be having sex, as well as dangerous childbirth. It is also impossible for her to have a proper gynecological exam, which I guess is important for women to have.
The only thing I could think of to ensure her long term medical safety and health, was reconstructive surgery, which should be covered by insurance, since it’s a medical issue. She was really happy when I mentioned this, which relieved me. I was kind of tentative to suggest it because I didn’t want her to think that it was an indirect form of rejection, implying that I wanted her to fix it and make it ‘normal’ again. But she understood the idea was based upon her own personal benefit and health, long term, and had nothing to do with my desire to have sex with her.
She expressed that she felt so much better since there has never been anyone she could talk to about this, and it would be especially awkward to discuss it with her uncle. She also had never considered the problems that could arise or have arisen. Instead, her focus has been her embarrassment and shame, which even overshadowed the violation and trauma of the experience.
Today we’re going to contact a gynecologist and start from there. We’ll make an appointment, get expert advice, and if reconstructive surgery seems like the best thing for Solenne, then hopefully we will get a referral to a plastic surgeon who can help her.
After we had finished talking about it, I wanted to see the results of the mutilation. It had nothing to do with perversion. Part of it was curiosity, but mostly I wanted to assure her that she needn’t feel ashamed. I also wanted to see the results of an incident that caused her such anguish. I guess I wanted to connect with her a little more by intensifying my compassion, knowing the horror of her experience, and gaining her trust by proving I would never reject her. I wanted her to believe that I thought she was beautiful inside and out, every single cell of her. But I couldn’t bring myself to ask. I thought she would misunderstand my intentions. We lied quietly for a time as I held her. And I think she sensed what was going through my mind because she offered to show me, like one would show an appendix scar or something. Nothing sexual about it.
It wasn’t a butcher job, it didn’t look bad, just different and wrong, and it clearly must have been excruciating for her to have gone through it. And the more I thought about the one hole for both urination and menstruation, the more I realized how unnatural that is, and the endless health problems she could have throughout her life because of it.
She pulled her pants back up and said, “Because you know about this now, sometime I could do this blow job thing for you, but I don’t know much how to do it.”
I laughed a little because of the way she said it, but I said, “well we won’t talk about that right now.” I didn’t want to get myself worked up for it, since I didn’t think it would be appropriate to get right into anything sexual. I mean, what happened to her is a sexual crime, a sexual assault really, and I just thought it would be better to be with her in presence, without my mind preoccupied by my overpowering libido.
My theme song for this journal entry is “At Last” by Etta James, because it’s about love, not sex.
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