Hypersexuality is a common side effect of sexual trauma (as is avoiding sex altogether). I didn’t know this at the time I wrote that piece. During that period of my life, I wasn’t just, “taking a guy home from the party because I wanted to.” I was actively going on Tinder and looking for guys to meet at bars and then bring home with me, because I felt like I needed to.
My logic was: If I can sleep with random people, that means I’m fine. That means my trauma doesn’t affect me.
Oh, the irony.
I didn’t realize that this was a completely normal reaction to sexual trauma until I talked about it in therapy, and my counselor assured me that it was a common response.
I also recently read Come As You Are, by sex educator Emily Nagoski, who describes how trauma can press on your sexual accelerator:
Sometimes, too, survivors find themselves locked in a pattern of sexual behavior. Their brains become compulsive about undoing the trauma, redoing it differently, or simply understanding it. Like biting on a cold sore or squeezing a pimple, the brain can’t leave the trauma alone, even though you know you’d heal faster if you could. The result is that the survivor has multiple partners, often following a habitual pattern, without feeling perfectly in control of the decision to have those partners.