Feeling confident and attractive in today’s world is a huge challenge for all of us. Images, voices and messages from mainstream media can get in our heads, holding us up to impossible standards. Self-acceptance and healthy sex after trauma can be even more challenging for those with a history of sexual abuse. Add those unrealistic ideals to past abuse or trauma, which lends itself to a negative self-concept, and a person can be left struggling with a very painful self-image.
Sex After Trauma
Sexual trauma, abuse and violence affects a huge number of people — maybe even you or someone you know. Nearly 1/2 of women and 1 in 4 men report having endured sexual violence at some time in their lives (reports the National Sexual Violence Resource Center). One in 2 trans-identifying people report experiencing sexual violence, says the Center for Family Justice. Survivors face a huge challenge to enjoy healthy sex after sexual trauma.
Past sexual trauma undoubtedly impacts a person’s view of sex in the future—even if they are having sex now in a healthy, secure relationship. How do you enjoy healthy sex and intimate relationships if earlier trauma triggers terror or confusion around sex?
Chances are, many of you reading this have experienced sexual violence or know someone who has. Unfortunately, intense shame around sex confuses the path to healing for many people who have experienced trauma.