Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 9:20 pm | Fair 56º


Louise Palanker: Intimacy after Sexual Abuse, Kissing Signals, Space and Time in the Universe

Question from Muriel

I was raped six years ago, and molested eight years ago. I have only had sex with one person, my ex, and it took a lot to make me feel comfortable with even doing sexual things.

Now that we are broken up, I have tried to be sexual with another guy but I get scared and nervous. Is this normal? How do I get over this fear?


I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Please know that every person in every relationship deserves a partner who endeavors to make him or her feel safe, protected and loved.

We all have fears and we all have unique histories that have shaped us. Your right to naturally grow into your sexual adult feelings was taken from you. This is not a lifetime sentence but it’s a wound and it must be taken into consideration by you and by any potential caring partner.

Kids who have been sexualized too young will often go in one of two extreme directions. They may become sexually promiscuous or they may put sexual intimacy into a tightly sealed box to be addressed way, way down the road.

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse you should be speaking to a professional about your fears, concerns and insecurities as you continue growing up.

Of course, everything that you are feeling is normal. Your issues can be overcome with the right help and with a loving partner. You are not your circumstances. You are not alone.

It is very important for you to know that what happened to you was NOT your fault. I think you will be able to relate to this story:

(textkestrel video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Sean

I’m going on a date with this girl. I am quite a shy guy and I haven’t decided what we should do. What if I am too nervous to kiss her? Will she be angry?

What do girls expect on a first date? This girl has told me that she really wants me to be confident, and I don’t think I know how to do that so I’m really scared and that will only make things worse. Help me.


Why don’t you try to focus on making her feel comfortable and appreciated? But bear in mind that reassurance and positive energy needs to flow in both directions. This is not supposed to be a test. A date is a collaboration. It should be OK to tell her that you are nervous. If she is a great girl, she will smile at you and try to make you feel safe and comfortable.

Remember that some people are just naturally more shy than others. For all us, confidence comes from repeating a behavior often enough to know that we know what we are doing. It’s just that less shy people are better at PRETENDING to be confident before they actually are confident.

On to the kissing. It’s far more important to talk and to communicate than it is to kiss. Get to know each other. Kissing should be an expression of affection. It can’t really exist in a vacuum. It needs to be fueled by emotion.

If you have not yet truly bonded, it’s not the right time to kiss. So, talk to the girl. Ask her questions. Share stories. Establish intimacy. If it feels right, go in for the kiss.

First dates can be nerve-racking for everyone. Try to make the girl feel special. You are not just TAKING her on a date. You are SHARING the experience of this date with her.

The rest should fall into place, and if it doesn’t, then she’s not the girl for you. Lesson learned. Move on and go find somebody who deserves you.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Dalton

So I don’t know why but lately I’ve been thinking, so we’re on Earth and Earth is in the solar system and the solar system is in the universe, and the universe goes on forever but there has to be somewhere it stops.

Do you think that there is actually something outside of the universe?? Wow! It’s weird I never thought that I’d come up with something my science teacher never thought about!


I can almost promise you that your science teacher has had similarly overwhelming thoughts. I mean, why else become a science teacher!?

These are big questions, for sure. The beginning and end of space and time are the types of confounding concepts that have kept humans up all night for eons.

But here is a thought? What if space and time are only constructs that limit and define our perspective here on earth? What if before we are born and after we die our soul or spirit is only aware of here and now?

You can shift from science to philosophy very quickly when contemplating deep questions. It’s up to you to formulate your own personal beliefs that help you make all of this make sense.

My personal belief is that we are here on earth in human form not to really KNOW but to always WONDER. You are doing that. Don’t hide from it. Embrace it. It makes you infinitely beautiful.

The perplexing conversation continues at PBS Digital Studios:

(PBS Digital Studios video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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