Anonymous | DO TELL

I was born and raised in a small city in Brazil. My family is Catholic, and I studied in the best private school we had there. When I was five or six years, old I remember cutting porn magazine ads from a normal magazine to give them to the boys at school. I also remember masturbating with pillows or teddy bears since I was a kid, always inspired by women from TV.

As I grew older, my boobs got bigger than the other girls’, but my face didn’t follow the beauty patterns, so I suffered a lot with low self-esteem. Actually I always did, ‘cause I have always been friends with the best looking girl in the class. Anyway, my low self-esteem had some impact on my slutty side. I don’t know if it would be different if I lived in a big city, but today I am not a lesbian. I am a bisexual with a male partner and had just a few girls in my life. My first time with a boy was good because we didn’t go straight to penetration. We spent some months getting to know each other’s body, then learning about handjobs, then blowjobs and theeeen penetration. We were both 14-15. Penetration with this first boyfriend was too mechanical. It was only when I had sex with some older guys that I started liking it.

I noticed that I need to feel beautiful/hot to have more pleasure, more desire, so it makes me feel good when I see that my partner is pleased. With girls, sometimes it was so difficult to hide when I was still living in a small town. After I moved to the capital, it was awesome. I had some almost-relationships, did some stuff, but I don’t consider it complete lesbian sex.

During one of my almost-relationships with a girl, I told my parents I was bi. My mother used all those cliches, like, “You stabbed my heart with a knife. You are a freak. God bla bla bla bla.” But now that I have a boyfriend, they pretend it never happened.

I think I wrote too much, so that’s it.

6bisexuality, lesbian, queer, sexuality, self esteem, sex, desire, homophobia, hate, Do Tell, submission,

B., 21, Australia | DO TELL

Trigger warning: describes rape and sexual abuse

I am a white cis-woman, aged 21 living in Australia.

From sex, I seek connection and touch. I seek passion and, with my darling, a feeling of comfort and safety. I’m a homoflexible lesbian with a history of sexual violence, so what I like least about sex is giving my darling oral sex. He never pushes me to do that, only when I am feeling comfortable with it, and at those times, I do enjoy it.

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6homoflexible, gay, bisexual, sexual fluidity, sexuality, female sexuality, rape, consent, sexual abuse, sex, safety, connection, judgment, expectations, hate, lesbian, sexual orientation, heteronormativity, homophobia, Do Tell, submision, medium,


Trigger warning: graphically describes sexual assault

I was sexually assaulted in college by a guy with a mask and a gun and a limp dick. He used me for hours as his personal sex toy. Later, I used sexual promiscuity to try to regain some ownership over my own sexual happiness. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. More often than not, I still felt like a broken and damaged piece of humanity that was filled with shame for feeling any kind of power in my own sexual pleasure.

I fell in love—or what I thought was love—a couple of times, but the sex there still left me filled with shame a few moments after the afterglow had faded, just like it did when I slept with strangers. At the core of me, I could never see myself as other than a tool to be used for someone else’s pleasure. My pleasure and enjoyment gave me guilt and shame because I only saw myself as damaged.

So, after my last lover confirmed to me that he did not love me, I decided to give up. I was not going to have sex with anyone else until there was an emotional commitment first. I haven’t been completely celibate. I enjoy masturbation and have no difficulty bringing myself to climax, but I miss having sex sometimes. I miss giving pleasure to another and receiving it myself. I do not miss the feelings that came after the glow of pleasure faded. So I remain abstinent and know that there are worse things than being alone. I sacrifice the momentary pleasure for a better sense of what I want in the long run.

6sexual assault, abstinence, self care, promiscuity, casual sex, relationships, love, celibacy, incel, masturbation, pleasure, orgasm, sexuality, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, agency, survivor, survival, Do tell, submission, medium,

Anonymous | DO TELL

Trigger warning: describes sexual assault

he took from me.
he took.

he ripped and sliced and diced my feeling of comfort to the point where i am convinced it has blown into the air and has drifted over the ocean

once she knew what was happening it was too late.

the image would forever be burned into her brain (now i see the image as looking different. sometimes i see a man with his arms between my legs as if he’s helping me deliver my child. instead his arms are just resting in a puddle of my blood. there is a piece of my organ there that he daintily holds with his claws (no, not literal claws). sometimes i feel the panties slipping down my legs and the dress being pulled up and a hand smacked on my mouth. and tightness around my knees. burned can mean many things).

he was not honest. he was not a human. he was not fair. but tis the life of a woman. maybe he was an exception to the rule. maybe all men are actually kind, caring and good. it makes me feel happy to think that.


that is not really how it is.

he truly is a scary alien with a pig-like body and a spider for a head.

well, not to the naked eye.

but when you have the eyes of me (woman) you start to see different things.

and NO it’s not from the bipolar. it’s from the abuse upon my sex.

do you also remember that whole bit about hysteria?

—a medical condition thought to be particular to women, caused by disturbances in the uterus—

a way for YOU to believe i am just suffering from bad PMS and bipolar.

(how did this conversation turn?)

after the threat of a yell he released his grip. why didn’t she yell immediately? why was it used as a threat and not as the first line of defense?

i think she was just very scared and shocked and confused and embarrassed and worried and terrified and lost.

yes, she lost herself.

6sexual assault, rape, mental illness, victim blaming, hysteria, bipolar, silence, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission,


I’m bisexual. Only my best friend knows. Part of me wants to be so proud of who I am, and the other part feels ashamed. A lot of my family and friends would be disgusted with me if they knew. I would lose so much. I’ve slept with one girl and have had oral sex with a guy.

So not only do I feel ashamed that I find men and women sexually attractive, but I lie to hide the fact that I’m technically a virgin. I’m 24 and just feel so stupid. Defective. Embarrassed. I have made a promise to myself to lose my virginity by my 25th birthday.

I hate hiding these “dirty little secrets”. I feel like they are slowly eating away at me day by day. I want to be free, to know what it feels like to be who I am and to find a partner who appreciates my uniqueness. So bad.

I want to tell my mom about my bisexuality. I think she might have an idea, but I am just too embarrassed. Writing this is one small step for me. I know I can’t live this lie for very much longer, no matter the cost of coming out. Because I am dying inside. Thank you everyone for your brave stories. They have helped me more than you will ever know.

6bisexuality, in the closet, queer, sexuality, virginity, secrets, silence, sex, openness, oral sex, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission,

M.G., 26, California | DO TELL

Trigger warning: discusses rape

I lost my virginity when I was 17, on accident. I suffered for a few years after this experience, feeling robbed, raped, yet responsible for putting myself in a vulnerable position. I only recently stopped using my body sexually to express my want for love, as well as to express my own power. At 26, I’m just trying to find someone to truly love.

6rape, consent, virginity, victim blaming, expression, love, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission,

N.M., 23, Dublin, Ireland | DO TELL

Lost my virginity to a guy I had just met who became a very good friend. It was fine. I didn’t regret it because we got along so well, but it didn’t really mean anything to me. My first long-term boyfriend was lovely in bed. We were seventeen. I broke up with him because I was meeting so many other guys. I wanted to experiment. I started seeing an older man, who was very rough in bed. He would choke and throttle me, slap me in the face, spank me, hurt me. It was frightening but exciting. After him, I went out with another older man who was 30. I was still 17. He was very clever and kind but just clueless about sex. We stayed together for about six months. The sex was never good. I left him, started college, and fucked around a lot. I slept with 20 guys in the space of two years. It sounds like a lot, but they just happened. I was drinking a lot. It wasn’t a happy time. I would just end up in bed with them at the end of the night.

When I was 20, I met a wonderful man who was my age, and he also liked to be rough in bed. We had an amazing sex life. We fell really hard in love. He broke up with me, and I was incredibly depressed. I was single and then started dating my current boyfriend. I’m now 23. He is without doubt the most beautiful person I have ever seen, and that alone has made our physical relationship incredibly exciting. He is only into vanilla sex, and I do wish I could get him to throw me around a little, but I know that it’s just not in his nature so I don’t even go there. He is a wonderful lover, very sensual person, very playful. The only thing that’s wrong is that he doesn’t know I’ve slept with so many people (around 30). I would rather forget it, anyway. Those men didn’t care about me.

6casual sex, BDSM, rough sex, sexuality, sex, relationships, age difference, pleasure, multiple partners, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission,

Anonymous | DO TELL

What Sexual Story? I’m 24 years old. And I’m a Virgin.

Since I was a little girl, my parents taught me to honor my body and regard it as a gift from God. A part of honoring my body included valuing my virginity. You see, I’m Muslim, and in the Islamic faith, men and women are to remain chaste until they commit themselves via wedding vows to another person and obtain divine permission to get down and dirty.

At 24, I haven’t met the one yet, and so I continue on my quest of finding the one and getting rid of this darn V-card.

Like many first generation Muslims, children of immigrant parents, I went off to college knowing I’d be out of my parents eye for the first time in my life, and basically, nothing was off the table. Unlike many of my peers, I was very comfortable with myself and enjoyed talking about my body and (the idea of) my sexuality. I have a healthy relationship with masturbation. I knew I had a decision to make: remain a virgin (even though it is hard as hell), or experiment a little. Everyone else was doing it…

I made MY decision. During college, I came closer to my faith, and now my chastity is a proud way I exhibit my love for God. But this isn’t to say that it isn’t a constant struggle or there’s never temptation. We live in a society that is saturated in sex. Virginity is regarded as something that is a ticking time bomb; something to be diffused at least by age 18. Often, there seems to be more shame associated with the sexually inactive body, than the body that is actively engaged.

Will I ever get to have sex? Who knows. I haven’t been in anything close to resembling a relationship yet, and I can’t honestly say that my faith in the idea of finding someone in this life isn’t dwindling. Even so, I readily share my narrative of sexuality in America, even if I am on the cold side of the spectrum.

6virginity, religion, masturbation, sexuality, pressure, choice, autonomy, self exploration, Islam, cultural difference, Do Tell, submission, medium,

Anonymous | DO TELL

The first time I had sex I was 17. My then-boyfriend was 18, and we had met as exchange students in Denmark two years prior. After the exchange ended, we broke up, and we pined, and then he came to visit for my senior prom. We lost our virginities together at my friend’s cottage after prom night. When it was all over, he said “is that it?” and all I could say was “yes.”

6sex, virginity, expectations, sexual debut, disappointment, relationships, Do Tell, submission,

Anonymous | DO TELL

I distinctly remember losing my virginity. It was at once traumatic and mundane. I was 17, drunk, and decided to go for it with some punky dude I’d been sort of chasing for months. We had sex in the dark, at a party, in a spare room on a fold-out couch. It stung. I felt cheap. Stupid. I didn’t go home for two nights because I felt so strange about it—like I had mistaken the moment, thinking it was right when it wasn’t. The next day, he punched me on the shoulder and said “see ya ‘round”. I had to get the morning after pill, and when my folks found out I’d had unprotected sex, they made me get tested for AIDS. Yep. AIDS. In the months that followed, I had sex with over 40 men. Young. Old. In cars. In car parks. In parks. I think that definitely, maybe, there were some self-esteem issues there.

Now, I am in a long-term relationship with a beautiful man who I have multiple orgasms with. We fit together like puzzle pieces. We don’t have sex as often as I’d like, but its passionate and loving. I feel so lucky to have progressed to this point because at times it felt like I’d never get here.

6virginity, unprotected sex, contraception, morning after pill, high risk behavior, self harm, relationship, casual sex, pleasure, shame, painful sex, Cost of Shame, The Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission,


Trigger warning: describes sexual violence and emotional abuse

After reading a lot of fanfiction, in my head I thought, “I need to lose my virginity at 14.” I didn’t lose it at 14. I lost it at 17 (lose my virginity? odd concept, need a better word for that) to a guy I met online. He was an awful man (22?) who emotionally manipulated me (I cried so many times) to ask permission from my parents to go to London (four hour journey) by myself for the first time to stay with him for a week. I did.

By the time we got back to his halls, he was already all over me. We had sex. It was painful. For the rest of the week, he belittled me and continued the painful sex. I told my mum I had fun visiting the museums. I cried when he was asleep and smiled when I was on the coach home.

They always said you can say no. But that was always in a violent situation, not an emotionally abusive one. I thought I was pretty strong for not getting involved in the drink and drugs surrounding me. I was not. I’m still trying to find my voice in sexual situations. Three years later, I can say no when I don’t want sex, but I still feel guilty for it.

6consent, sexual violence, emotional abuse, manipulation, virginity, power differential, painful sex, rape, guilt, slut shaming, victim blaming, age difference, abuse, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission, medium,

Anonymous | DO TELL

I thought that it mattered who I lost my virginity to. I did PIV for the first time with my first serious boyfriend after being together for six months. I’d already done pretty much everything else with the boyfriend before him, which kind of calls into question what virginity actually is. I’ve since realised that it doesn’t matter who you lose your virginity to (not to me, anyway). I wish I had a better first time story.

6virginity, PIV, sexual debut, expectations, relationships, Do Tell, submission,


Being a woman brought up in a relatively conservative Mediterranean society wasn’t easy. When I had sex for the first time, I still felt relatively burdened by the taboos and restrictions that had been looming heavy over me during my adolescence, even thought the experience itself was very pleasurable. I told my mother straight away. My mother would not necessarily self-identify as a feminist, but she is the most genuine one I know. She offered two pieces of advice: 1) Never stop yourself from sleeping with a man for fear of being perceived to be “easy”. A guy who would think that way does not deserve you in the first place. 2) Be careful with contraception, but if you ever get pregnant, you should know that abortion is always an option. The intensity with which it has been invested is merely a constructed narrative; I personally view it as minor surgery.

While this advice does not appear particularly original as I am writing this, it was extremely liberating at the time. I owe my mother my healthy sex life up to the present day. Do your children a favour: be open-minded and critical towards imposed “norms”. Help them to become strong and confident adults, so they can experience sexual pleasure at its fullest.

6taboo, sex, sex positive, sex positivity, feminism, mother, support, contraception, abortion, empowerment, pleasure, sexual debut, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, Do Tell, submission, medium,

A.S., 25, Canada | DO TELL

Nothing turns me on more than sucking my boyfriend’s cock.

I contemplated making that a more vanilla sentence, like “I love giving my boyfriend head” or “I get turned on when I give my boyfriend a blowjob.” But no, I’m being honest, and words have power—it’s definitely sucking his cock.

It took me a while to be comfortable knowing that’s what really gets me. And I still wouldn’t dream of telling anybody except my boyfriend (and the Internet, I guess?). If it were ever appropriate, I would shout it from the rooftops. But I’m happy keeping it our little secret.

6oral sex, fellatio, pleasure, female sexuality, sex positive, sex positivity, shame, The Cost of Shame, Cost of Shame, exploration, honesty, Do Tell, submission, medium,

E., 24, Argentina | DO TELL

I’ve always been lucky in love/sex. My first time was with my first boyfriend at 17, and I’ve always been involved with someone special since. I broke up with my last boyfriend in March, and one of the reasons for the breakup was the fact that we hadn’t been having sex for a year and a half. I have always enjoyed sex, specially with N., but at one point my vagina had just cancelled out.

It took a lot of looking around to reconnect with myself. I like to think I found it fooling around during my summer vacation. I’m happily having casual sex now and feeling great about it.

6sex, pleasure, pain, vaginal pain, casual sex, female sexuality, sexuality, body signals, Do Tell, submission, medium,