Lena Dunham Explains How Being Assaulted Changed How She Thought About Sex

Photo: Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock.
In Tuesday's issue of Lenny Letter, Lena Dunham wrote a moving essay about how she found healing after being sexually assaulted. "After my assault, all I could imagine when I thought about sex was not being injured or, when I really didn’t like myself, being very injured," she wrote. "That's all there was room for." Dunham explained that after being assaulted, she saw sex as a sort of performance. She acted as if she was enjoying it, instead of paying attention to discovering what she actually liked. In the essay, the Girls creator also expressed the worry she had for the next four years, under President Trump. "It's hard to know how best to protect yourself right now as an American woman," she wrote. But there's one way we can all claim power over our bodies, as Dunham suggests. "What if every time you fuck for the next four years, you say exactly what it is that you want?" Dunham wrote. "What if you always recognize your voice? What if you ask for more? What if, as a result of this asking, you get exactly what you want?" That's sound advice — and it applies to a lot more than just sexual relationships.

If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

More from News

R29 Original Series