How Katie Thurston Developed a 'Healthy' Relationship with Sex After Nonconsensual Experience
Katie Thurston made an appearance on “Talking It Out” following Monday night’s emotional episode of “The Bachelorette.”
As viewers witnessed, the Season 17 lead bravely shared her story of a nonconsensual sexual experience during a group date hosted by former Bachelor Nick Viall. Speaking with co-hosts Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo, Katie — who today is fiercely sex-positive — explained how she developed a “healthy” relationship with sex despite her past trauma.
“I think for at least five years after that, I did not enjoy having sex,” recounted Katie, whose nonconsenting encounter took place 10 years ago. “I just had this really negative relationship with it.”
The Washington native revealed how her complicated relationship with sex took a toll on her romantic pursuits.
“Of course, when you’re in a relationship, it’s important to have this chemistry. So, then it kind of creates a domino effect of, ‘Well, he has his needs, I want to give him that,’” she said. “But then you’re forcing it. And when you’re not having sex, then he’s angry, and it’s this really unhealthy thing that you’re just trying to get out of — but you’re digging this hole deeper and deeper when you’re forcing it or fighting about it.”
Katie said that her relationship with sex improved once she prioritized communication and started setting boundaries.
“I had to really learn how to have a healthy relationship with sex — but also how to communicate with [my] partner about the expectations and what sex is and how to set boundaries for each other,” she said. “Obviously, it took time and a lot of failed relationships — a lot of them that were centered around sex being an issue. And that’s when I was like, ‘I’m just in this vicious cycle of failed relationships because of the relationship I have with sex.’”
Katie elaborated, “It was probably within the last three years that I finally was very firm in my decisions in terms of if I did not want to have sex, I said no and I meant it. I was never going to force myself to do anything for a man that I did not want to do.”
The franchise star said that saying no — and feeling empowered when doing so — was the “first step” in her path to healing.
“That was probably the first step to building this healthy relationship [with sex] because if you start forcing yourself to have sex when you don’t want to, then your body, your mind, you start to create this negative association with sex in general,” she noted. “And you’re just setting yourself up for failure. For me, the first step that I had to try and do was not try and please my man if it was something that I didn’t want to do mentally or physically in that moment.”
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, help is available. For anonymous, confidential, free support 24/7, call @RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat at online at rainn.org.
Listen to the latest edition of “Talking It Out with Mike & Bryan” below.
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