When I was 14, the boys made a list of the most beautiful girls in the class. I was honored when I saw I had been listed as third. As my body started to change, my mother bought me clothes that were too small for me, hoping that that would encourage me to lose weight. My friend’s father blew his cheeks up to show me that he thought I was too fat. My brothers called me “fat” “fatass”. I forced myself to only eat vegetable broth for one week-my mother complimented me. 

When I was 17 I went abroad for one year. There I lost weight since they put me on a diet. When I went back everyone complimented me on my new figure. They asked me how I had done it. I was proud and felt happy. 

When I was 20 I got into my first serious relationship. I didn’t really know much about sex, but I felt ready to try it out.  My boyfriend was much older than me, he was 30. While we were doing it he took his condom off and told me everything was fine. It was safe. He would pull his penis out before cumming inside me. Afterwards I confronted him, told him he had taken advantage of my inexperience. He got mad, told me I was making a big deal out of it. Nothing had happened. The first times we did it I laid on the bed paralized.My whole body was numb and I couldn’t move. I still don’t know why. 

When I gained weight again my boyfriend told me that he didn’t find me attractive anymore. He bought me more “flattering” clothes that I wore without protesting. He told me he was proud of me when I wore something that he considered “sexy”. He believed that it was the duty of a woman to sexually please men. He told me not to watch Pornos, he didn’t think that was attractive. He had a say in everything. He would diminish me until I cried. Once my sister came to visit and when she saw how he treated me, she told me to break up with him. I couldn’t. Until at some point he broke up with me. His goal was to pressure me into changing. I went back to him three times until I finally managed to set myself free. I will never forget my first relationship. I often think of him and ask myself how I could let him treat me like that. I often blame myself for it.  

After that I didn’t have a relationship for a long time. In my time as a student I partied a lot. One time I went to visit a friend. We went to a pub. When the pub was about to close someone grabbed my ass. I turned around and saw a group of men. No one wanted to admit that it had been him. Afterwards on the street, one of them came up to me and told me it was his legal right to touch my ass. There was no point in fighting back. I was shocked and my friend slapped him in the face. We ran off. Another time in the club I suddenly felt a man grabbing me between my legs. When I turned around he had disappeared. Once, before going home, me and my friend decided to treat ourselves to a kebab. A group of random men told us we shouldn’t eat that, it would only make us fat. 

Another night I decided to go home with a guy. On the way to his house he didn’t say a word. By the time we got to his I had changed my mind, I didn’t want to have sex with him anymore. I was drunk and he tried to convince me. He told me he didn’t care whether I slept with him. He could have had every girl he wanted. He would send me home and go find another girl. I felt terrible but I still had sex with him. I was an object to the satisfaction of his needs. Afterwards he told me he liked blond, thin girls much better (I am a brunette). The morning after he wanted me to leave as soon as possible. I left. I felt dirty. 

Once, during my second serious relationship I was sitting with my boyfriend and some of his friends at a table. One of them pointed disgusted at my nails. He told me that women should have long nails, that I should get a manicure. I got mad and started to question what he said to show him that he was stupid. He could not answer my questions and started to offend me. My boyfriend suggested we’d leave. I cried in the taxi on our drive back. I felt humiliated. My boyfriend told me I was exaggerating. His friend didn’t mean it like that. During the relationship I didn’t feel comfortable eating normally. I exercised a lot and was afraid to gain weight. My boyfriend was of the opinion that women should eat less than men. I don’t know why but I thought that I could only be lovable and beautiful if I was skinny. I still think this now. 

My third serious relationship only lasted six weeks. I was in love and wanted to make him happy- even in bed. He only liked to have sex in one position. I always had to turn around on my back and he would pinch my asscheecks. At some point I asked him if he didn’t want to see my face. He told me he was in love with another woman. Once, he took what he wanted from me, he pleased himself without even considering my feelings. We lived in different cities and he came to visit. He spent the weekend together and we had fun. I had a good feeling about it and I was happy. On sunday, as he was about to leave he asked me to give him a blowjob. A half an hour later he told me it was over and he would not contact me anymore. I was shattered. 

After this relationship I started having panic attacks. The relationship had been the last straw. I started going to a therapist. My therapist helped me to deal with my panic attacks and anxiety. We didn’t speak about my sexual life. He wanted me to experience more, to sleep with more men. He told me for a woman it was easy to get a man into bed. It had nothing to do with beauty. He told me to ease up. I didn’t follow his advice. I never had a one-night-stand again. 

I think it is important to question what “normal is”. Is it normal that I was always put under pressure concerning my body, my weight and my figure? That since I was small I thought I was worth less if I was not skinny? Is it normal that I felt pressured to deliver “good sex” ? Is it normal that I feel ashamed to speak about this?