7 Statements on Early Sexual Trauma & The Impact on Adult Relationships

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Before you read through the next 7 statements, make sure you read my experience with the MeToo movement

I have PTSD. I was not diagnosed until February 2018. I lived with these symptoms for the better part of 10 years. 

Sex is about the other person and their pleasure, only. 

When you have early sexual trauma, it can be hard to focus on yourself during sex. From a young age, it was always about the other person. It was always a strange dominating experience where you didn’t get to make a lot of choices about what felt good for you or like it at all. When sex is against your will or you are being coerced into an experience, it isn’t about pleasure for you. It is extremely difficult to get out of this mindset, relax and make it a joint experience when having consensual sex. 

Sex is not personal. 

Because the earliest of sexual experiences were not personal, it is difficult to feel connected during sex. When you have had experiences where you are trying not to make eye contact or just “let them finish”, it is challenging to change this when you want to connect. 

Sex is a way to satisfy a need for attention, not intimacy. 

After sexual trauma but before therapy and working on my life, there was these middle years where I used sex as a way to cope. I had sex to fulfill a need for attention and validation. It wasn’t about what felt good for me. It was “this feels good for them and THAT makes me feel good emotionally”. 

Emotionally intimate and sexually satisfying..but never both. 

This. This used to resonate with me so much. I truly believed that it was normal to have one person to fulfill one need and another person to fulfill a different need. Can this be normal for some people? Well, sure. I have friends that are poly. Does it work for me? No. It was a coping mechanism to push emotions and people away. 

Sex doesn’t feel like “anything”.

When you are numb to sex, it doesn’t feel good or bad. It can just feel neutral. You can be staring at the ceiling waiting for it to end but so checked out you don’t even see that it is already over. Sexual trauma can you leave you feeling disconnected from your partner but also disconnected from the sensations of sex. 

Easily “checking out” during sex.

I think this can happen for a lot of women and men regardless of sexual trauma. I do think this happens a lot more with victims of sexual trauma though. We can be in the moment of intimacy and thinking about anything else. We are lost in the moment, but not in an intimate way. We aren’t able to focus on what feels good to us because likely, we are focused on your pleasure.

I want everyone to want to have sex with me. 

Whether I want to have sex with them or not, I want everyone to find me desirable. I am offended when I know someone doesn’t find me attractive. I think this comes from a deep rooted trauma history of “if he chose me for sex, I am special”. Totally working on it in therapy, it is one of our number 1 priorities and it gets better month by month. 

In conclusion, Sex is a complicated and very triggering topic for me and a lot of trauma survivors. On one hand, we want it and on the other, we don’t. Or at least in the way we had it before. I want normal sexual relationships. I want connected sex and emotional sex.

So how am I working toward that? Stay tuned for my next blog post “How To Have Better Sex This Year”. 


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