How can I act like a bitch

He spat at me, hit me & choked me: my boyfriend abused me during sex

Caution: Some details that are described here could be disturbing to some readers.
I loved my ex boyfriend. My family liked him. He kept buying me flowers and kept telling me how much he loved me. And when I couldn't afford an apartment of my own, he offered me to live with him. So in many ways I was very happy with him - at least until he revealed a completely different side of him during sex. From then on, my feelings towards him changed abruptly.
We'd been together for a few months when he started getting more and more aggressive in bed. And just for the sake of understanding: I'm not just talking about hard sex. No, he slapped me, choked me until I couldn't breathe, spat at me and called me a slut. The man I loved got excited about humiliating and hurting me.
Sex with him was often similar: we kissed and undressed, and then came the "dirty talk". He called me a whore and a slut and asked me if I was "a good girl" and kept my legs closed while he was away. The longer the sex lasted, the more often he slapped my face and spat in my mouth. Sometimes he choked me so long that I could only gasp for air. At first I was so shocked and intimidated by his new behavior that I didn't know how to deal with it. At one point I told him to stop choking me and treating me like that, but he didn't - no matter how often I did No said. He always said to me that it turned him on and that it wasn't a big deal.
I know what you are thinking now: If you weren't happy, why did you stay with him? You would have just broken up. If my friends were in a situation like this, I would have told them the same thing. But the fact is: Only when you are in this situation yourself do you realize how difficult it is to turn your back on someone you love and who you want to be with. In addition, I had lost my self-confidence in the course of the relationship. I believed that if I wanted to stay with him, I would have to endure it. I had to make this sacrifice for the good of our relationship.
At some point I had come to terms with the fact that this was our sex life, but that didn't mean I wasn't always scared of sleeping with him. And yet I didn't tell anyone about it. I was embarrassed by the way he treated me and I was afraid that someone would label me as a “prude” for not enjoying this type of sex. Also, my mind was really good at nipping any doubt about my boyfriend in the bud - because I was madly in love with him.
One of the reasons my ex-boyfriend was so aggressive during sex could be because he was addicted to violent porn that humiliated women. He looked at them every day - even next to me in bed when he thought I was sleeping. One day I was looking through his browsing history and the porn that was listed there showed, for the most part, horrific rape scenes or women gang bang being choked by men in the process. Also, when we had sex, he would only have orgasms when he was masturbating; he never got through the act, but at the end sat next to me and jerked himself off while I was supposed to kiss his feet or caress his legs. Sometimes he would try to force me to have oral sex by pushing my head down and when I refused he would say I just wasn't perverted enough.
After months of listening to myself that I was a prude, boring, and not submissive enough just because I was worried about his behavior during sex, I started to believe him. It wasn't until after the breakup that I realized that it wasn't all right. He ended up (via email, I might add) after a year and said we couldn't get along in the long term. I was devastated. And to be honest, I'm still not completely over him, which I find frustrating. But at the same time, I was also relieved that I never had to have sex with him again or that I had to feel awful for not allowing him to spit in my mouth while he called me a whore.
It was only afterwards and through conversations with my family and friends that I realized that I was not the scapegoat in this story. I am a 27-year-old woman and I can say what I like in bed and what I don't. Nobody is allowed to demean, humiliate, or call you a whore if you don't agree. So that is clear: I am for sexual permissiveness. Everyone should research his or her sexual preferences, but not at the expense of the well-being, trust and dignity of another person.
I stayed with my ex mainly out of love. I trusted him and he made me laugh. But my finances also played a major role. The internships I did at various magazines just weren't paying enough for me to make a living. When my ex asked me after only two months if I wanted to live with him rent-free, it came in handy. I thought this was a way to freelance and not have to worry about my finances. But even when I moved in with him, my money was barely enough to make ends meet - logically, there was no way to save. I knew that if we split up, I would have to move back to my parents because I couldn't afford the rent for an apartment. This type of financial dependency is the reason many women prefer to stay in a relationship even when their partner is violent or toxic. Many who dare to take this route despite financial worries often end up on the streets. I knew my family would be there for me. They would help me get back on my feet. But not everyone is so lucky, and that's why they stay with their partners.
I look back on my relationship with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I loved this man and I wanted to spend my life with him. That's why the breakup was so painful for me. But then again, I believe that when I've healed myself emotionally from him and regained my self-esteem, I will remember my time with him differently. I keep telling my friends to stand up for themselves and tell their partners clearly what they think is acceptable in a relationship and what is not. And I know it's time I did what I preach to others. Thanks to the help of my loved ones, therapy and sport as a balance, I can work to process what I have experienced and to learn from it. I want to get stronger mentally and physically so that I can finally stand up for myself - that's my goal.
If you yourself are affected or know someone who is a victim of sexual violence, you can contact the number, for example08000 116 016 or contact the “Violence against Women” helpline for online advice - a confidential, free 24-hour counseling service that offers anonymous, multilingual and barrier-free support.