Event: Hollaback! Gwangju, Fri Dec 6, 7PM In the Groove Lounge

Hollaback is a project to address street (sexual) harassment in our communities. The Hollaback! Korea website will launch November 27! Help us spread the word about the project as we start a new chapter of Hollaback in Korea. We will hold an introductory discussion about the issue of street harassment, Hollaback as an international nonprofit, and our goals for HB Korea.

RSVP for the event on Facebook at Hollaback Korea 할라백 코리아


Thank You

Hello Readers,

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Jenderole and I are the founder and main organizers of this blog.

We have both gotten sucked into our thesis research. We are researching, writing (and eventually publishing, gulp) about causes very much in the spirit of Korean Gender Café: gender theory, human rights, LGBTQ rights, sex trafficking, media, law and sex workers rights. For us, this online conversation serves as a motivator in our offline research and a way for us to reach out to you.

This blog was born a little over 14 months ago. We used to hang out together at coffee shops and talk about gender and politics, news, sociology, history, sexuality, and you name it~ We practices communicating about these ideas in English and in Korean. We wished for a way to take our conversations online and share them with wider audiences. We wanted to open a space for discussion.

However, to open space for discussion, we need ongoing participation from our readers and we need your trust. We need to you to add to the discussion in the comments section, to write to us and pose topics, to be a guest contributor to this blog. We need you to build trusting conversations and safe spaces with your friends about the issues we discuss here, to show each other respect and to really do the work of understanding one another.

We want to recognize and deeply thank our contributors over the past year. We enjoyed learning from you and with you, and we were honored to host your thoughtful posts.

Thank you to our friends who helped with editing on the site and with writing. Thank you DaJung, Enzo, Deborah, Chloe, Tamara, Taylor and Bryan.

We have also gotten busy building a great team of folks that are organizing Hollaback! Korea and hope to engage many of our readers in offline projects for public awareness and discussion about street sexual harassment.

In the coming year you can expect more content from us, more offline engagement, and you can expect us to continue to be honored to host guest posts on a variety of topics. Please contact us if you would like to be considered for a guest post.

Let's talk!
Chelle B. Mille


Testify, PART III: Sex After Sexual Assault 성폭행 후의 성생활 [Guest Post]

Join us in thanking guest blogger Chloe Lee Myunghyun, an organizer of Disruptive Voices, for sharing this final installment on her series about sexual assault, police reporting and dating after assault. Please also read Part I: The Morning After and Part II: Latent Rapists
-Chelle B Mille

PART III: Sex After Sexual Assault 성폭행 후의 성생활

사건 사고 발생일로부터 이미 1년 4개월, 내가 성폭행 생존자라는 것을 깨달은지 8개월째.
A year and four months after the attack, and 8 months since I realized I am a survivor.

재미있는건 자신이 어떤 상황에서 피해자임을 깨닫는것 만큼 자의식이 뚜렷해지는 일도 없지만 그만큼 섹스에 대한 태도도 바뀐다. 내가 처음 "내가 당한일은 그가 술마셔서, 약을 해서야"등 그에게 변명을 대줬고 끊임없이 당시 무력했던 자신을 자책한 것은 이미 거론했다. 그러나 시간이 흘러가면서 더 이상 이런 자기연민에 빠져있는 피해자가 아닌, 이 일로 다른 사람들을 도울수 있는 생존자가 되려고 노력했다. 나의 대처 방법은 남들에게 나의 이야기를 하는 것이었다. 이를 통해 성적 학대에 대한 이야기들을 주위에서 더 많이 듣게 되었고 무섭게도 얼마나  흔히 있는 일인지 깨달았다. 말을 할수록 자신에게 대한 수치심이나 부끄러움도 덜었다. 얘기할 때마다 나는 더 큰 해방감을 느꼈다.

The funny thing is there is nothing more that awakens the consciousness than discovering that you are a victim, but my attitude towards sex had changed permanently. In the beginning, I came up with all sorts of excuses to for him, "This happened to me 'cus he was drunk, 'cus he was high", and I have already mentioned how much I faulted my helplessness. As time passed, I no longer wanted to be a victim wallowing in self-pity, but worked hard to become a survivor that could help others through my experience. My way of dealing with it was to tell others my story. The more I told my story, the more individuals around me came forward with their own stories. The more I talked about it, the more the shame and humiliation wore off. I felt more liberated every time I shared.

그러나 이 이야기를 쉽게 꺼낼수 없는 상대들이 있었다. 이들은 나의 섹스 파트너들이었다.  내 파트너 중 가장 가까운 친구외에는 그 누구에게도 내 이야기를 말하지 않았다. 나의 대다수의 파트너들은 친구도 연인도 아닌 애매한 사이의 상대들이었고 이런 나의 일을 털어놓으면 애매한 사이가 더 틀어지는 건 뻔하다. 그들과 은밀한 나의 일부를 공유하면서도, 나의 은밀한 일들을 말할수 없는게 참 모순이다. 끌리면 가능했던 섹스, 나는 소위 "해방된, 개방적인 성생활"을 누리고 있다고 생각했지만 되돌아보면 완전히 깨어있는 정신으로 섹스를 한 적이 별로 없었다. 더 짜증나는 사실은 나에게 있었던 일이 강제추행이라는 것을 깨닫고 난 후 섹스 할 때마다 자신의 트로우마의 흔적을 다시 보게됐다. 내가 당한게 범죄라는 것을 알기 전에는 이러한 증상에 시달리지 않았다. 이런걸 보면 차라리 몰랐으면…이라는 생각도 든다.

But there were certain individuals I could not share my story to. Those were my sex partners. Excluding one that is a close friend of mine, I did not tell anyone else. All of my partners have been in-betweens, someone lost between friend and lover, and I knew the already-awkward relationships would turn terribly awry if I told them what had happened to me. It was ironic how I could not be intimately comfortable with them even though I was sharing a part of me that was intimate. I was living a "liberated and conscious" sex life, yet looking back I can count how many times I have had completely sober sex. The brunt of this turmoil was that the trauma hit an all-time high after once my experience was labeled “sexual assault”. I have been seeing traces of my trauma smudged under the sheets, on the ceiling, and the four walls of every bedroom I was intimate in. I didn’t suffer from such symptoms before it was called assault, and I sometimes wonder if it was better not knowing at all.

이 일이 있는 전까지는 첫 경험한 남자하고만 잠자리를 가졌었다. 당시 우린진지한 사이도 아니었지만 섹스에 대해 꽤 보수적이었다. 그러나 그 일 이후로 새로운 "성적 자유로움"을 찾은 나, 진실로 성 주체성을 되찾은 것인가 아님 아직도 트로우마에서 헤어나오지 못하는 것인지? 나는 전자라고 믿고 싶다.

Before the incident, I was that girl, physically and emotionally loyal to the man I lost my virginity to. He was merely a distant friend; I suppose I was quite conventional in a sense . But after a failed attempt at prosecuting my perpetrator, was my new-found "sexual liberation" truly a statement of my restoring my sexuality or was I in denial about my healing? I hope for the former.

경찰서 사건 이후로 이 일이 산산조각난 후 만나고 있는 점잖은 친구 한 명과 처음으로 제대로된 성관계를 가졌다. 그리고 잠에 들었는데 그날 저녁 강간 당한 꿈을 꿨다. 꿈에서 나는 곧바로 병원에서 검사를 받고 증거물을 가지고 경찰서에 가서 신고했다. 신고 대상도 아닌게 한이었나보다. 다음 번에는 그와 섹스를 한 후 순간 너무 더럽게 느껴졌고 갑자기 공황증상까지 오기도 했다. 예상치도 못한 기이한 상황들이 벌어지자  나는 투쟁 정신이 강해졌다. 한동안은 금욕주의자가 될까도 생각해봤지만 이 일로 하여금 내 자신을 더 이상 자책하거나 벌주고 싶진 않았다. 무엇보다도 끌리는 사람이 있으면 자연스럽게 원하게 된다. 물론 가장 이상적인 상황은 나를 아끼고 사랑해주는 상대를 만나 나에게 있었던 일들을 모두 얘기하고, 그가 날 이해해주고, 날 더 사랑해주고, 우린 열정적이고 불타오르는 섹스를 할 것이고 등등.. 말해봤자 희망사항일뿐 난 내 자신을 위해 더 현실적인 방법으로 대면해야 했다.

One of the first times I had sober sex after the incident, I fell asleep after and dreamt that I got raped. The morning after I went to the hospital and filed a police report with the evidence at hand. I must have been hung up about not being validated. The next time, it felt so dirty after and I had a panic attack where I felt like I was drowning. As these strange events occured, I only wanted to fight this even more. For some time, I wondered if I should become celibate but I no longer wanted to blame or punish myself for what happened. On top of that, I naturally crave intimacy when I meet someone I am attracted to. Granted, the most ideal scenario would be to be intimate with someone that loves me and I will feel comfortable to tell them everything and they will understand, love me even more and we will have passionate, hot sex, etc but these are unrealistic demands. I had to make more practical decisions about my sex life.

시간이 지난 후 또 끌리는 상대를 만났다. 이때는 정말이야 말로 이 트로우마이고 뭐고 자유로운 섹스를 하고 싶었다. 그리고 정말 오랫만에 잠자리에서 다른 남자를 상상하지 않고그냥 그에게 너무 끌렸다. 도중 화장실이 급해 침대에서 일어나 혼자 화장실로 들어갔는데 나도 모르게 울기 시작했다. 울면서도 계속 내 자신에게 "안돼, 이걸 이겨야 해"라고 하면서 화장실에서 나와 그는 마저 2시간동안 침대를 달궜다.

After some time, I met another person I was undeniably attracted to. Trauma or not, I wanted to enjoy sex openly. And for the first time in a long time, I had sex with him without fantasizing about someone else. I was just so attracted to him. In the middle, I had to pee so I went to the bathroom alone and I started crying uncontrollably. Even through the tears, I told myself, "I need to fight this," and came out looking fresh and we heated up the sheets for two more hours.

모임에 있는 친구들에게 성적 학대 후 성 생활에 대해 물어봤을때 그들은 시간이 약이라고 한다. 그러면서도 가끔 좌절하게 될때도 있다고 한다. 인생의 모든 안 좋은 추억과 일들처럼, 흔적은 남는다. 나에게 정답은 없다. 내가 다음에 만날 상대와 잠을 잤을 때도 똑같이 고통스러울까? 아니면 아무런 느낌도 없을까? 지금만큼은 이 노이로제에서 벗어나고 싶다. 그러나 제발, 제발... 아무 느낌도 없는 섹스만 아니었으면 좋겠다.

When I ask my friends from the meetings about sex after sexual assault, they that it gets better with time. But that you still have your moments. Just like everything bad you go through in life, the traces remain. I have no real answers. Will I still hurt with the next man I sleep with? Or will I feel nothing at all? All I want right now is a peace of mind. But please, please... I just wish for anything but sex that doesn’t make me feel anything.

Check out Disruptive Voices for discussion groups about consent, violence, and other topics: