Am I A Victim Or A Survivor?

Note: this blog post discusses, but doesn’t go into detail about, trauma resulting from being the victim and/or survivor of abuse. If that’s tricky for you, ignore this blog post but watch my Twitter for other, sexier posts in the future!


Originally, this blog post was going to be one word long, and that single word was going to be “yes”. But that seemed a tad bit brief for a blog post, so I thought I’d go into a little more detail.

Y’all know I dislike binaries. The victim/survivor binary might not look so much like a binary, but it is one, because it’s a pair of uncomfortable, mutually exclusive boxes, neither of which I can cram my traumatised little self into – and I’m sure that’s the case for other people, too.

A lot of people who have survived things want to call themselves survivors, and I personally have very little interest in policing the language that individuals use to describe their experiences of the world. I also understand the impulse to reframe trauma so that instead of being something that happened to you, it’s something you actively engaged with and survived. That puts you in more control of the world around you, and highlights how vicious of a fight it can be to make it through trauma alive. I get it.

What I don’t get is the insistence that survivors of trauma are only that, and not also victims of it. People shy away from the word “victim” as though it’s contagious, and I know that they’re trying not to step on the autonomy of already-traumatised individuals by using language they disprefer or by implying that they simply passively endured their trauma. The problem comes when someone wants to describe themselves as a victim and then they’re contradicted by people who think that the word “victim” is disempowering.

Listen, for other people, I’m sure it is disempowering, and it’s not the word I default to for referring to every individual survivor (I usually tend to refer to them with their names). But for me, personally, it’s not disempowering. It feels accurate. I don’t feel like I passively endured my trauma – I feel like I fought with it, and I do feel like I survived – but I do feel like I have been a victim. I have been intentionally selected from a world full of people by abusers looking for the easiest target within arms’ reach. I have been victimised repeatedly, assigned the experience of the victim by people who had more power than me to decide our roles. For me, the word “victim” is helpful.

The thing is, I survived my trauma, sure. I fought against it wherever I had the strength. But I also survived by doing things I’m not proud of, lying and screaming and hiding, and through unique combinations of privilege and sheer luck. There are plenty of people who wouldn’t have survived my trauma, and that’s no fault of their own. I don’t want to imply that I’m stronger than people who die at the hands of their abusers by celebrating my feat of survival. I do want to celebrate my survival, don’t get me wrong, but that usually involves a sarcastic toast to people who’ve wanted me dead every birthday and graduation, rather than any particular label I give myself.

The other thing that gets under my skin about victim discourse is the notion of “playing the victim”. This is a sort of vague and nebulous concept that seems to be applied at random to people who are having a whine, people who are rebelling against legitimate injustice, people who are disagreeing with you, etc., etc. Someone who is “playing the victim” is implied to be illegitimately casting themselves in the role of victim when in fact they are the antagonist, but it’s a very convenient trio of words to apply to someone you are in the process of abusing. The way that “playing the victim” gets thrown around creates an even more hostile environment for people recovering from trauma to discuss their experiences, because we already do enough second-guessing ourselves about who the true aggressor was (hint: it wasn’t the traumatised person) and we already convince ourselves that our feelings of hurt, mistrust, fear, injustice, anger, grief, etc., are a melodramatic response to a situation in which we weren’t really the victim.

“Victim” is a helpful word for me because it helps me to understand my role as someone who was victimised, who was harmed by inescapable power dynamics and choices made by human beings. “Survivor” is a helpful word for me because it reminds me that I fought, that I didn’t just allow my trauma to happen to me but that I actively survived the process of victimisation. I think we need both words! I just also think that if you ever correct someone’s self-description from “victim” to “survivor”, you’re being a dick, because while both of those words can be accurate, it’s polite to use the one that a person actually supplies to you – kinda like pronouns, and names, and most other principles of addressing or referring to someone politely. 

(That’s pretty much the only politeness rule I know, on account of being an autistic gremlin with little interest in social niceties but some interest in communicating compassionately and effectively with other humans. Just… believe people when they tell you who they are.)

Masturbation and Messy Handwriting: A Wank Journal Update

A plastic washing-up bowl filled with various masturbation implements and water, from when I was sanitising all my sex toys a couple of weeks ago

If you’ve been reading my blog a little while, you’ll know that I have some difficulties with masturbation. You’ll also remember the birth of my Wank Journal, and that one of my goals for 2019 was to wank – or at least try to wank – a little more.

Friends, I did that.

I don’t want to jinx my progress, but I’m getting better at masturbation. Like, a lot better; I do it more often, I dissociate less, and I often manage to actually have orgasms (yeah, orgasms! Plural!). My secret weapon? Stoned Morgan. I’ve found that Stoned Morgan doesn’t have the same trauma responses to wanking that Sober Morgan does, so I’ve been having a reasonable number of stoned wanks – but the truly magical thing is that, as a result of those, I’m also having sober wanks. Stoned wanks are great for all the obvious reasons, but they’re also great because the more I wank without having a trauma response, the less frightened I am of the whole process, and so the less likely I am to have a trauma response during sober wanks, too.

My other, not-so-secret weapon has been my Wank Journal. I don’t write in it every time I have a wank these days, but I think that’s a good sign, because it suggests that masturbation is becoming more ordinary for me, and less of a Big Deal™. However, it is helpful in grounding me when I need it, and it’s also helpful in revealing some interesting patterns in my masturbation habits.

I know you want to know what those patterns are, so without further ado, here’s what a year (and a bit) with a Wank Journal has taught me about myself.

1. I am an extremely lazy wanker.

Since I record the toys I used and the physical acts I engaged in when I document a wank, I’ve come to notice that a majority of the time, I fall back on the same extremely easy strategy: hump a wand vibrator until I come. Sometimes I’ll lie on my back, use one hand to pull my (extremely protective) clitoral hood out of the way and use the other to hold and adjust my wand – but, more often, I’ll lie on my side, legs sort of crossed over, and grind/writhe against the head of my wand, doing a weird pelvic-floor-squeezy thing that I first started doing when I was too young to understand why it felt so nice. On occasion, I’ll put a dildo in my vagina, to complement the pelvic floor squeezing.

It’s a fun way to get off, but the real reason I do it isn’t actually because it’s my favourite, or because I’m lazy (although, let’s be real, that is a major factor). The real reason is:

2. Fucking myself is always what triggers my fight-or-flight response.

Now that I’ve got the hang of actually staying inside my body when I’m wanking, I can ride a wand vibe ’til the proverbial cows come home. The thing that makes me panic and/or dissociate nowadays is the act of putting something inside my cunt and then fucking myself with it. That’s not a surprise, because that’s how I was masturbating when my trauma happened… but it’s very inconvenient, because I’m one of those rare people who has internal-stimulation-only orgasms, like, all the time. And I love them. I didn’t learn to have clitoral orgasms until I got hold of a wand vibrator, and I still can’t have clit-only orgasms with anything less powerful than a cheap handheld drill.

One entry in my Wank Journal describes a wank in which I stopped abruptly after my brain decided to insert thoughts about my abuser into my fantasies. It was a sober wank, and the intrusive thoughts occurred pretty much as soon as I started to fuck myself. I don’t regard that one as a “failed” wank, though – instead, I’m (trying to be) proud of myself for recognising that I needed to stop, avoiding anything that could reinforce the connection between masturbation and my trauma.

3. My fantasies are repetitive as hell.

This one isn’t about the mechanics of wanking. Keeping a Wank Journal lets me track the things that get me off the most, in the privacy of my own mind, and it has revealed that I have the same handful of fantasies over and over again. They usually involve me being irresistible (which sometimes leads to storylines in which I get overpowered), me making other people come (often with overtones of premature ejaculation, because fantasy-me is just that good) and me being stalked (which isn’t a surprise, but it comes up a lot). One particularly memorable and somewhat cringe-inducing quote I documented from a fantasy in which I was getting fucked in a nightclub toilet reads, “God, it’s so hard not to come. Fucking you is like getting milked.”

4. Holding a pen is hard when you’ve just had an orgasm (or three).

I’m 99% sure I have undiagnosed dyspraxia, and it affects my fine motor coordination something rotten. My handwriting is usually tiny, but reasonably neat and legible – except when I’ve just come so hard my feet are burning, and I’m trying to write about how it happened. I still like handwriting my Wank Journal entries, because the sensory aspect of writing with a pen is grounding for me, and my inability to backspace my gibberish makes for a more accurate reflection of my post-wank thoughts and feelings, but I might need to invest in a chunkier, more dyspraxia-friendly pen.


I’m really proud of myself for the progress I’ve made with masturbation. Do any of y’all keep a Wank Journal, or something similar? Do you find that it helps you to connect with your body more readily, or to identify patterns in your masturbation habits? Let me know!


Thank y’all so much for reading, and for your patience while I’m getting back into the groove of blogging. If you loved this post, please consider supporting me via Patreon or Ko-Fi – or, if you want to support something bigger than little ol’ me, consider donating to the CIC I’m part of

The Best Days of Our Lives

Sometimes, when I’m quite tipsy and out on the town, I’m struck by the sense that my friends and I rule the world. The city is lit up and glittering just for us. We are fearless and stupid and hilarious and we love each other. I feel the swells of hope and bravery reach high tide in my chest.

The problem is, though, that emotional abuse conditions you a certain way. Whenever I start to feel brave, or hopeful, or – God forbid – happy, I also start to feel a cold dread leak into my bones. If you’ve lived through emotional abuse, you’ll know that abusers never let their victims’ happiness go unpunished. You’re used to knowing, consciously or not, that whatever positive emotion you’re experiencing is part of the cycle of abuse – you’re in the honeymoon phase now, but you know that soon, the sky will fall in. Every time you feel like you’re getting less small, someone cuts you back down to size. Eventually, you might stop hoping or laughing or feeling brave altogether.

So when I feel like I’m on top of the world with people I love, my brain tries to slam on the brakes. It isn’t my brain’s fault – it has been taught that the more elevated I feel, the worse the inevitable fall will injure me. My brain tells me, “You’ll grow out of this. Sooner or later, you’ll stop having nights out, stop drinking, stop dancing, stop loving these friends – sooner or later, you’ll lose this feeling forever.” 

The thought is like a bucket of cold water in that it startles me, makes my chest muscles tighten, makes me feel like shit. I know I won’t be a dumbass student full of Jagerbombs forever – my brain is right about that. What if it’s also right about never feeling like this again?


Play parties – especially the chill, lowkey rope jams I often attend – aren’t much like nights out. The music is quiet. The lights are dim. I’m stone-cold sober. 

I’m on a mat, lying on my back with one leg suspended above the rest of me. My Daddy is tightening ropes around my shin just to make me writhe and squeak. It fucking hurts. He closes his fist and starts punching the rope that will later bruise my skin. Harder and harder, up and down my entire lower leg. He squeezes my calf and I almost scream.

From my position on the floor, I make accidental eye contact with somebody else on the floor – another bottom, also being tormented, also writhing and squeaking. I’ve never spoken to them before, but they take one look at my agony-filled face and smile at me. I smile right back, knowing that they feel how I feel, knowing that we’ll both glow with pride and endorphins when we’re done.

When the ropes come off and I’m scooped into a hug, I feel so warm and in love with the world. My legs shake in time to the music. The other bottom, the one who smiled at me, is receiving aftercare, too.


I have nagged and nagged at my Daddy to go and play with someone he likes. I’m in lingerie and full makeup, but there’s an empty bathtub in the venue (for some reason) and I’ve found that it gives me exceptionally good autism to sit inside. I watch, fascinated, as other people play. I recognise one of the songs on the playlist and smile to myself. 

Sooner or later, someone I know reasonably well comes and joins me in the bathtub. We sit side-by-side in our sexiest underwear and talk for at least an hour. I make her giggle a lot. We point things out to each other – interesting scenes that are unfolding and other people’s cute outfits, mostly. Another person comes and joins the conversation, kneeling in front of the bathtub. I let sentences about sex and kink and queerness fall straight out of my mouth, completely unfiltered. 

Every now and then, I remember that one of the loves of my life is in the other room, having pulled with my help. I remember the fizz of affection I felt when I caught the eye of another bottom earlier. I remember that these are conversations I would never have anywhere else.

I might grow out of drinking and roaming the town, but the number of older kinksters surrounding me suggests quite firmly that I won’t grow out of this. Which is good, because right now, I feel like my friends and I rule the world. The dungeon is dimly lit and decorated just for us.