cPTSD And Me: Looking For An Escape Route

An exit sign, lit up against a dark background

Content note: this post discusses cPTSD, what a bitch it is to live with, and acute suicidal ideation. If any of those are hard for you, leave this one out – but keep an eye on my Twitter for other, sometimes sexier posts!


So, I have PTSD.

Actually, technically, I have cPTSD, with the “c” standing for “complex”. All trauma is complex, obviously, but my little “c” denotes that the causes of my PTSD are many, chronic, rather than being one particular incident. I think the “c” fucks you up extra hard, because my understanding of the world is probably radically different to someone who hasn’t experienced years upon years of trauma.

I’ve been thinking about all of this (and a lot more) because of the recent heatwave in the UK. Something about it was making me frustrated, miserable and panicky, and it took me a little while to work out what it was: the feeling of inescapability brought down upon me with the 29 degrees of heat we experienced recently. The heat was uncomfortable, and I couldn’t get away. It put me close to fight-or-flight for days on end.

The inability to cope with situations that seem inescapable is a theme within my life. When I bleach my hair, the twenty minutes I have to cope with an itchy scalp feels like a lifetime. I panic when I’m lifted off my feet (which makes suspension scenes fun, at least). When I had a 24-hour stomach bug at my boyfriend’s place, he found me trouserless on his bathroom floor, crying about a level of pain that, if it had seemed transient, I would’ve coped with easily. But it didn’t seem transient, so I cried until I got stoned and calmed down.

Now, I’m planning on moving in with my Daddy, which is a definite upgrade from the tiny, grubby student flats I’m used to. I’m excited to live with them, obviously, but I’m also scared shitless. This may be in part due to that time I was living with a partner who asked me to leave with 4 days’ notice, for an unknown period of time while he had “space”, with very little money and no means of transporting more of my stuff than I could wrangle onto a train. I felt stuck then, trapped outside of the house I’d left all my belongings in, the inescapability of my newfound semi-homelessness crushing me; but honestly, I’d be scared shitless even if I hadn’t had that experience. My cPTSD means that the world feels fundamentally unsafe and totally beyond my control. Cohabiting with a partner (especially when they own the house and you’ll technically be their tenant) is scary for anyone, but it’s especially scary for someone whose biggest fear in the world is situations they can’t readily escape from.

There are a few ways to mitigate this. I have to strike a balance between finding control where I can, and accepting that some things are beyond my control. For example: I cannot control whether my Daddy and I break up, much as I wish I could, but I can control what the terms of our break-up are. They’ve promised to write me up a proper tenancy agreement that guarantees me 28 days’ notice before I have to leave, which means I’ll be in a position to transport all my things and adjust to the change. Essentially, they’ve promised to give me an exit strategy, and it has soothed my anxious mind a lot.

There are other elements of wanting an escape that bleed into my relationships. My BPD prompts me to attempt to break up with my partners with alarming frequency, even when I don’t really want to end the relationship at all, and I imagine that’s in part because I’m trying to gauge how readily I can escape any given romantic connection when my fight-or-flight response kicks in. This is troublesome, but Lucid Morgan forewarned my partners of it early on in our relationships, so they know how to assauge my fear of being stuck without making me feel like they don’t really want to be in a relationship with me anyway. They say things like, “I really want to be with you. If this is you talking, and not your BPD brain, then obviously you can leave whenever you want, but just know that I don’t want to break up at all.” It helps.

One other thing that helps might be dysfunctional, but in times of crisis, it really helps. I’m suicidal a lot, and sometimes the only thing that can dissuade me from killing myself right now is knowing I can always kill myself later. My distress feels pressing and, yes, inescapable, and that prompts thoughts of killing myself to get away from it – but the option of killing myself later washes away some of the wounded-animal, fight-or-flight desperation without involving, you know, doing it right now. Even when I’m less acutely distressed and more chronically miserable, I find it a comfort to know that I could bow out of life any time – and that frees up more space in my mind for actually enjoying life as I live it. Weird, possibly unhealthy, but a useful interim solution until I can work through my need to always have an exit strategy.

All of this is to say: trauma is a bitch, and this is one of the many effects it can have on your brain and how you navigate the world. It’s okay if you’re always looking for an exit, but it’s a feeling that can suck, and all I want you to take away from this post is that you aren’t alone in it.

Lingerie and My Gender

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some photos of me in lingerie. You may have enjoyed them a lot, and I hope you have. You may also have wondered to yourself, “How does all that work with being nonbinary?” and if you have, this post is for you.

My gender is complicated. I find it difficult to explain to cisgender people, and even some binary trans people, how my gender feels. I find it easiest to explain in somewhat abstract terms, with reference to fairies and princesses, but a lot of people don’t know what I mean when I say, “Today, my gender is a boy princess,” or, “I’m an ineffable, ethereal being whose gender is as intangible as the wind.” Nonbinary people often do, and I’m grateful for that, but it’s hard to put words to my gender in a way that doesn’t make me sound, um, nuts.

That said, I’m moving away from the idea that I have to justify my gender identity to anybody. Being nonbinary doesn’t necessarily mean gender neutrality; for me, it means genderfluidity, which includes moving from femme to masc to too-tired-to-have-a-gender to gender experiences I don’t yet have the words for. That means, surely, that I’m allowed to express myself in as femme or masc or tired a way as I like, and that includes lingerie.

Lingerie doesn’t make me dysphoric. Knowing that people will read me and my outfit and my body as “female” makes me dysphoric, sure, but bits of fabric on their own don’t. I wear lingerie a lot in kink spaces, where people’s approach to gender is a lot more forgiving than it is in the wider world, and I thrive on the attention that my outfits garner me. In some ways, it’s an affirming experience, and one I treasure.

Lingerie, for me, can be femme or masc. When I see a man in lingerie, I don’t see the lingerie as femme; I just see it as a way to highlight that person’s body, the curves of it, the enviable strength in testosterone-influenced thighs. When I’m feeling masc, lingerie can either feel neutral, or it can feel like a small, sexy humiliation, a vulnerability, a way of someone (or multiple someones) seeing my body, eyeing it up and evaluating it… It can feel sexy in a dangerous sort of way to be masc and in lingerie. I don’t play a lot with forced feminization, mostly because I’m not prepared for the dysphoria I imagine it would bring me, but the humiliation comes from much the same place: a little alarm bell ringing that says, People are looking at me! I have toyed with the idea of forced feminization, and even wondered whether it would make me feel more masculine, since I would be starting at a place of not-feminine, but the risk of psychological hurt and weirdness keeps it in the “Maybe” section of my Yes/No/Maybe list.

I do experience some femininity, though, and lingerie is super affirming for those days. Pulling on stockings or wriggling into a lacy bodysuit feels like suiting up into my superhero identity, Confident Morgan, who likes their body a little more than I do and who can seduce anyone, given enough time. I often do my makeup along with wearing lingerie, painting myself into the ultimate, glittery femme fatale. I think I like the performativity of it, and again, drawing eyes onto me to make me feel either empowered or vulnerable. I also think it’s very cool that lingerie gives me access to both of those emotions, depending on context (including my gender feelings for that day).

The short answer to the question at the top of this post is, “It’s complicated.” Gender is complicated, and lingerie will remain gendered in our culture whether I experience it that way or not, meaning that other people will perceive my gender in a particular way when I don my latest Lovehoney purchase. But I love playing in that space, both as a way to affirm my inner femme and as a way to subvert people’s gendered expectations of what lingerie “means”, especially when I feel like a fairy prince in my new negligee or bodysuit.


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The Devil Is In The Details: Fingering

Welcome back to my miniseries, The Devil Is In The Details! Today: fingering, and everything I love about it.


Y’all didn’t think I could write about everything violin has taught me about sex without being inspired to write about fingering, did you? Because, you know, I love being fingered. Truthfully, I would take a good fingering over a good dicking down nine times out of ten, because being fingered is one of my favourite things of all time.

My hands are small and my fingers are short, so I can’t reach my anterior fornix (sometimes known as the A-spot) by myself. As you can imagine, this is hugely frustrating, and leads to a lot of wanks wherein I either use toys or give up. Having somebody else, who can position their wrists at angles my cunt and I can only dream of, fingering me means that I can get my A-spot absolutely annihilated. Fingers are also just more subtle, more nuanced, more flexible than dicks or most toys, meaning that I can get my A-spot annihilated just like that and squirm against someone’s capable hand.

Oh, and I like to squirm. I like being fingered with such ferocity that I pull a pillow over my face to disguise my animalistic noises and weird, semi-pained facial expressions as the intensity of the sensation mounts. I like being held down by one hand or arm while the other works furiously to make me wail. I like the precision afforded by fingers, because that precision can be used aggressively to make me writhe and grind and even try to pull away. I like to be fingered in a way that makes me see stars. I even like to have my cunt torn, and to find traces of fresh blood in the cum I wipe away from my vulva once we’re done.

The hand is nuanced, though, which means that there are other kinds of fingering I like as well. I like the gentle, exploratory kind, where a thumb delicately circles my clit and one finger slides straight into my wet cunt. I like having my cunt torn, sure, but I also like having it slowly, lovingly stretched out, finger by finger, as I pull my legs further apart and my clitoral hood out of the way to help. I love the feeling of being slowly filled, of the gradual change in pressure as more fingers enter the mix.

Oh, and let’s not forget: I love fingering other people. I love sliding my fingers into other people’s cunts and tapping on all their favourite spots, like their body is a piano and their moans are the music I’m managing to elicit. I love pushing my finger delicately, oh so delicately, into a person’s arsehole, feeling it twitch around my fingers with knuckle-bending pressure, and exploring as carefully as I can. My fingers are sometimes too short to reach A-spots and prostates, but that doesn’t necessarily amount to being a problem: I can use my fingers to tease, to get just close enough to make you want more, to bring you to the edge of pleasure and hold you there. The feeling of tightness around my finger(s) and the feeling of power over another person act as two sides of the same dizzying coin, and I feel like a sex deity when I make other people beg for more.

Then there are, of course, more details on the periphery of fingering. There’s the mess, of course: getting fingered the way I like to be fingered usually leaves cunt juices all over my vulva and inner thighs, reminding me either of how much fun I’ve had, what a dirty little slut I am, or both. I love sucking my wetness off of other people’s fingers, tasting my own arousal (and judging how hydrated I am, because vaginas are magic). Like I mentioned in my erections post, I love finding the hard knot of someone else’s clit with my mouth, and I also love finding it with my thumb – and on top of that, I love the sponginess, the give in vaginal tissue as I start to stroke someone’s favourite spot. I love every noise that I draw out of everyone I finger, even if I can’t bring myself to like my own fingering noises. I love how sore my hand joints feel after properly finger-fucking somebody, like the sign of a job well done.

I love every element of fingering, and now I kind of need to add it to my to-do list.


If you love fingering as much as I do, or if you loved reading about me loving it, please consider supporting my work via Patreon or Ko-Fi