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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » overcoming triggers: girls just wanna have fuh-un

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Author Topic: overcoming triggers: girls just wanna have fuh-un
May Day
Activist
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hey folks:)

So.. a lot of my triggers happen during sex. I'm not interested in having any atm but i'm still thinking about something specific: bdsm. i like bdsm in concept, but in reality, my first experience with it (and all sex -_-) was with an abusive partner. Frustrating. It's not an overstatement that subsequent play has been frightening, even really really mild play.

I'd *really* like to play with my next partner AND get to the 'Spank' fetish balls we have in my city but i'm really concerned that even if i'm in a good head space for sex, the play will be too intimidating. The mere thought of going to Spank events is making me uneasy, being in a public, dark and atmospheric event while trying to control and fears? nuh uh.

how do you help yourself become comfortable to stuff like this (again)?

Posts: 172 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Managing triggers with any kinds of sex -- and especially the kind more likely to trigger than most, which I think we can easily say BDSM certainly is, especially if you're bottoming -- tends to take a handful of things.

Time is a biggie, combined with doing some work to heal, often with the help of someone or a support group qualified to help with that.

Another biggie is specific relationships/environments, and how they work for you. For some people, for instance, a big play party may feel more safe b/c there are other people around to make things feel more safe. For others, that environment may feel even more triggering: it's very unique. Obviously, when it comes to relationships, that's going to have to do with the level of trust in them and how safe you feel, including safe if you DO get triggered and need to work that out with a partner.

So, where do you feel at in your healing process right now? Who have you talked to and worked with around sex after assault/abuse and managing triggers?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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May Day
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Member # 39174

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thanks for the response Heather.

I'm currently in weekly counseling with my city's Sexual Assault Resource Center and i'm finding it very beneficial. I'm always being made aware of different situations and perspectives and realising more about my past and present situations.

I don't really think i have much in the way of practical methods of dealing with triggers, when i experience one my response can range from mild discomfort (and awareness of why, which i think is a good thing) to being pretty shaken up and having a cry.
Depending on what it is and where i am i can deal, but there have been occasions at my night club where i've felt pretty helpless (unable to get of feeling the flashback gave me) because of where i am.
For me, i think it is easier to deal with things in environments where i don't feel.. exposed.. so in private with only a small number of people is best. If i were to get to a 'Spank' event, i don't think i'd like to take it very seriously (or even play with anyone), it would be preferable all around to go with friends and not take things too seriously. With a single person.. well i don't plan on sleeping with anyone who i'm not already close to, and only if we've talked at length about what i've experienced and how it has affected me.

i have class now, but will be back in a few hours.

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May Day
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thanks for the response Heather.

I'm currently in weekly counseling with my city's Sexual Assault Resource Center and i'm finding it very beneficial. I'm always being made aware of different situations and perspectives and realising more about my past and present situations.

I don't really think i have much in the way of practical methods of dealing with triggers, when i experience one my response can range from mild discomfort (and awareness of why, which i think is a good thing) to being pretty shaken up and having a cry.
Depending on what it is and where i am i can deal, but there have been occasions at my night club where i've felt pretty helpless (unable to get of feeling the flashback gave me) because of where i am.
For me, i think it is easier to deal with things in environments where i don't feel.. exposed.. so in private with only a small number of people is best. If i were to get to a 'Spank' event, i don't think i'd like to take it very seriously (or even play with anyone), it would be preferable all around to go with friends and not take things too seriously. With a single person.. well i don't plan on sleeping with anyone who i'm not already close to, and only if we've talked at length about what i've experienced and how it has affected me.

i have class now, but will be back in a few hours.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Have you talked to your counselor yet about tool to manage triggers in general or specifically with sex? If not, sounds like it's time.

I'm happy to give you some tips with that too, if you like, but it's a very important thing to talk with a sexual assault counselor about.

If you want to talk about it with me, when you get triggered, I hear you saying you respond by crying, as in, that is your emotional response. But what are you intentionally doing to manage the trigger: anything like breathing in a certain way, saying something to yourself, getting out of the situation, touching a given object, etc?

Given what you've said, it just sounds like you know that a sex party is not going to work for you right now, and that's obviously totally okay. But if you're curious, you could certainly always go and not directly participate, you just may want to make sure their general protocols/vibe are good when it comes to people, for example, touching others without permission. Play parties can sometimes be not-so-great in that regard.

With partners, if you're currently not with anyone and don't have any plans to be, I don't think you really need to worry about sexual triggers right now. Often, the healing process demands so much of us that when we can, it's really best to deal with actuals rather than abstracts, and only with what we really need to at a given time or may need to in the very near future. Otherwise, it's very easy to feel overwhelmed.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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May Day
Activist
Member # 39174

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we have talked, it's clear that that is a significant reasons for my being in counselling: to have methods of control. However, much of the time spent is looking at how PTSD manifests and what in may influence, she's given me plenty of homework like charts to monitor trigger encounters and lookin at immediate and not-so-immediate responses. we've also spent time addressing how the abuse and my reactions to the abuse have affected my self of self and self-worth. All of which i think have been very beneficial.
Practical response methods though? not so much. Also, a lot of my concerns have been around sex (which as i said isn't happening atm) but you're right, it is an abstract currently and i'd rather not complicate things.

i would definitely appreciate anything you could add.

To manage triggers i don't have anything defined: generally i "change the subject"- if i can i'll call and speak to a close friend (my ex including and he's very good at just talking about stuff i like, stuff that makes me happy), otherwise i try and access stuff (or ideas) i like: i read a book, read forums on the internet, practice my music. If i'm out and about it can be harder because it's more threatening, but i try and get in touch with friends. Actually.. that's what i do in general, contact people who know what's going on and are supportive. Talking to myself is a little helpful but not overly, singing a song would be more comforting a think than reaffirming my safety/worth through mantras.

Posts: 172 | From: Australia | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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