Sexual experiences can be intense, liberating, mind-blowing, kinky, romantic, make you explore and celebrate your sexuality, and most importantly bring you closer to yourself. But when the sexual act is done to please another and is against your emotional needs or intuition it can deeply hurt you, even with your consent.

My story happened some years back on a gay nudist beach close to Athens. My ex-partner and I met with some other guys we knew and were hanging out from time to time. I always felt insecure when we were in company with many gay men because I knew what was going to happen.

To give you the full context, our relationship was open but was not. He was polyamorous and he was clear from the beginning. I was not, neither to him or myself. I didn’t know many things back then and one of them was that, when in love, I am as monogamous as a penguin. But polyamory, apart from a personal need, is a thing nowadays, so I thought “Okay, let’s try this and see how it goes, I’m in love and I want to be with him so I can handle anything”. From time to time we were doing things together with other men, mainly in public, after communicating it between us, and I knew that he was also doing things with other people, but I thought that I could numb the jealousy and insecurity this was causing me by burying it deep down inside of me and also show some empathy for my lover. However, whenever I expressed my jealousy, I would get gaslighted by being told that I act like a “little woman” and it would bounce back as an inadequacy of mine, which reminded me of how my father was treating me when I was a child and wasn’t getting the school grades he wanted, so I slowly started silencing my emotions to fit my partner’s needs. I also had taken the role of both my father, the primary “cold” provider, and my mother who knew my father had affairs, but had learned to bury her feelings, not to ruin her marriage and have an impact on her children’s wellbeing. I was mimicking my childhood experiences and it was very addictive because it felt so familiar. So, after many years of heavy weed smoking, drug abuse, zero boundaries and sweeping tough shit under the rug, and after two years of being in this relationship, I was an emotional cripple and became very distant, both from me and my surroundings, which resulted in total lack of substantial communication with everyone. I had completely lost myself.

After about two hours of swimming and chilling at the beach, I notice that it’s happening again. My partner is ferociously flirting and almost acting sexually with a guy in front of me. “Okay, been there, done that”. But this time it’s different. He is completely spaced out, he won’t pay any attention to me, won’t mind putting me in the game. I immediately feel my stomach tighten up, a sensation I was used to, reaction to unexpressed jealousy and insecurity. And then comes anxiety and guilt, the replacement to every “shameful” emotion back then. “Why are you feeling like this? Why are you not enough? Why can’t you just enjoy the moment and go flirt with someone too?”. My coping mechanism. The ambivalence between my emotions and my sexual arousal, along with my stoned perception of reality, is what made this so confusing to me. When you watch someone you are physically attracted to act sexually with another person, you get horny, especially if this someone is your loved one. It’s practically like watching your favourite porn film happening in front of you. I am stoned already, unable to take any action, I don’t know what is right or wrong, so I stay silent, being fidgety and rolling spliffs, acting like nothing is going on.

After hours of having to endure this, and after many joints, my partner suggests we go a little further by ourselves to play. I know what’s next so my reaction is tepid. But I feel that my partner is super excited and horny, and when you love someone you don’t want to deprive them of what makes them happy. So I agree and we go find a spot about a dozen meters from the others. I’m a very sexual person, even in this situation I can get as hard as a rock in an instant. We start making out and sucking each other. After not more than five minutes, and while I’m down on him, he tells me that the guy he had been flirting with is sucking another friend’s dick very close to us. By then I knew that he had it somehow arranged it all without telling me. It all felt very staged. He asks me if I want him to invite them. I would have said yes anyway, but before I even answer, and with his dick in my mouth, I see him waving at them, inviting them over. Immediately I feel his dick getting harder in my mouth, which makes me horny and happy for him, but also kind of angry because “fuck, I just wanna share this moment with my boyfriend”. Still, no reaction from me. The others come, sounding relieved that we invited them to join us and we immediately start having fun together. I can’t pay any attention to anything other than my partner being sucked by another guy. At this point, I am horny as fuck and I think that at least I might as well enjoy it. So I do what I do best, especially when I have to conceal myself: I put on a show. And suddenly I become their toy. I become extremely kinky, an attention whore and, before I even realize, I am giving head to all three of them (all ironically having the same name by the way).

After the sexual rush is gone and I wash off everything in the sea, I feel like shit and completely alone, but I can see that my partner is, for the first time in a long time, kind of proud for having me as his boyfriend, but this is not what I want to be desired for. I even ignore some compliments I get from the other guys for my performance and, after a while, I tactfully rush to take my partner and leave. In the car, there is not even a slight small talk between us. I give him the silent treatment, my favourite toxic trait. I talked to him about it some weeks later, but it was too late, the damage had already been inflicted. I had raped my own intuition.

Neglecting, hiding or muting your feelings to please others is self-sabotage. Silence is like cancer, it grows and magnifies things in you, until it makes you sick. And a silent shout is even worse…