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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » How can I like sex again after sexual abuse?

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Author Topic: How can I like sex again after sexual abuse?
Member # 39122

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It's been a rough morning, because Iíve been coming to some realizations. Past sexual abuse is affecting my current relationship negatively.

My past includes an unfortunately regular pattern of sexual abuses, but Iím now in a relationship with a good man and everything should be fine now. But, itís not.

When my boyfriend tries to touch me or kiss me. I recoil. I try to do things to avoid sexual contact. I hate it. I donít know why heís insistent that sex is important or good. I get very angry with him for wanting me. He gets extremely frustrated that I feel this way. Weíve gotten in two big fights over it.

I was enraged the other night when I was with him. I knew that heíd been trying to be gentle and affectionate all night for sex. He was trying really hard, because we talked and I thought his approach was the problem. The goal was sex, though, and I knew it and I hated him for it. I felt I HAD to since it was normal to want sex and heíd get frustrated and angry again due to the constant rejection. He also was putting in a great deal of effort. When he tried to kiss me later that night in bed. I was disgusted. I envisioned punching him really hard. I wanted to cry and was so angry. My teeth were grinding and I wanted nothing more than to get him relieved so that he would leave me alone. I hated him for that too. I hated him for enjoying the relief.

Thatís when I began to realize I had a problem.

My first thoughts were that he was just a guy and that my grandmotherís advice about ďdoing your dutyĒ to keep a man around was just the way it was. I guess I figured that the horribleness goes away after time.

My second thought was that maybe I was a lesbian. And, I just didnít know. I hated men and didnít enjoy sex. Maybe I was asexual?

I was trying to figure out what made sex so horrible to me that I wanted to hurt someone who was just being healthy about wanting sex. It made no sense to me. Why wouldnít I want good sex from an attractive man who wants me as often as I could? Why do I hope that heíll just have an affair to let someone else do that. Somehow that would feel better in my psyche.

The other thing I came up with is that maybe heís just been around too long. When I start a relationship, Iím a sex maniac. Want it, love it all the time. Then, months later, I want none of it. Months after that, I begin to have or crave affairs. I think I donít like the guy Iím with and the whole pattern starts over again.

So, today, I began to look Online to see if other women hated sex as much as I did and what to do about it. Almost everything flagged latent and repressed affects from sexual abuse.

ďNoĒ I thought. Iím fine. Iíve been fine. I admit it, so I dealt with it, right? I mean, Iíve been in therapy to deal with anxiety and some other things, but always carefully avoided the abuse topic, because I was fine with it. ďThe guy in Chicago?Ē Oh, itís ok. We were drunk and I mustíve signaled something I didnít mean to. Iíve come to terms with it. But, to be honest with myself, I just havenít wanted to deal with it, any of it. Iím also very afraid that Iíve repressed something from when I was young. I have a memory that keeps popping up and stops. I donít want to be wrong or imagine things.

Things tumbled today as I realized how many relationships were effected by not being willing to face these things, how internal anger, hatred of any authority and other residuals have effected my life continually, including the repetition of abuse.

I tried to look Online for a step-by-step to face these things, but I only ever got ďgo to therapyĒ. Which, I donít understand. Healing like this is a personal process and it can and should be done by oneself. Does anyone know of such a thing I could read?

In essence, I just want to be normal and actually enjoy sex. I would like to keep my wonderful boyfriend and get over this incidious thing. Itís not doing me any good. I didnít even know I had it until today.

Does anyone else have this problem with enjoying sex? Has anyone had this issue and gotten over it? If so, how? My boyfriend has offered his total support and Iím not sure how to advise him either. Is there something the guy can read?

Posts: 1 | From: Philadelphia | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 35831

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I've had this problem. And I still deal with it sometimes.

First of all, IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT that you were raped. It was 100% the rapists fault!

If your boyfriend is truly supportive he would stop pressuring you for sex when you clearly don't want it. If you keep feeling like you have to the problem will only escalate. You'll just feel worse each time it happens. So my numbber one suggestion is that never do anything you don't want. If you feel like you have to try to limit alone time with him.

And getting over sexual abuse can be hard on your own. Let it take the time it takes and give therapy a chance. It helped me...

Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Mortality said it...

It is not your duty to have sex with your boyfriend when it is something you dont want to do. I have the same issues with sex as you do, and I know that when I was in a situation where I was feeling pressure from someone else, it only made my problems much worse. Even though he may be "trying really hard" or acting nice to you, you know yourself that he is doing this to guilt you into sex, and its not right. When we are abused we get a good radar for when things are not right in these sorts of situations, and it sounds like yours is telling you that this isnt something that you want, or need right now.

Right now, your need to heal is far greater than his need to get off, and you need to concentrate on you for a while without that ongoing pressure from him to have sex.

When therapy was suggested to me, it was always a 100% no answer that I threw at it. But once I did finally go and discuss some of these things, as much as I didnt enjoy it at the time, I notice I am much more aware of myself now, and able to state my limit's without feeling the guilt that I used to. I still have problems with sex, and I know I am not ready for it right now, so I am staying away from having relationships unless the guy I am with knows that sex is not on my agenda right now as I have some things to deal with.

There are plenty of great books out there, including S.E.X the scarleteen book, which has a rape/abuse chapter which is really worth reading, that have really helped me with my ptsd from abuse. Definatly worth seeking some of these out, I found lots of these by searching amazon and seeing what suited me the best.

I think you need to really decide if living in a relationship where you are not comfortable or scared because there is too much pressure right now for something you are not comfortable with or ready for, and maybe take some time to really heal, I found that when I was in this situation and got out, I made an effort to connect with women in my area, and I was surprised at how much that helped. You are not alone in this, and Im sorry you are going through some hard times, but they do lessen in time, it has for me.

Posts: 657 | From: NZ | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Trident: I'm only quickly passing through tonight before going to bed, and I will pop back to this thread tomorrow, but I wanted to be sure to tell you my initial impression upon reading this.

Namely, it's that this whole process of deep self-awareness you have just had with all of this IS part of healing, and it's the tough stuff. By all means, counseling, support and other therapies are a help, and for many of us who survive rapes and other abuses, big helps. Those things may still be of help to you. But helping yourself in this way is also a big deal and a huge step when it comes to healing and dealing, it's hard (especially when it's something you've repressed for a long time or avoided), it takes courage, it takes strength, and I commend and admire you for it.

Just this alone, once you have a little time to get your bearings back and adjust to the depth of it, may well help more than you realize, all by itself.

Like I said, more tomorrow, but just wanted to leave you with that as I read this in the moment.

[ 07-03-2008, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Said I'd be back.

One book I often reccommend, and would strongly do especially for someone your age, Trident, is Staci Haines' "The Survivor's Guide to Sex." She also has a newer book I haven't yet had the chance to look at, but which I'm sure is fantastic, called, "Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma."

I'd suggest her as someone good to read for partners as well, though I also can't help but wonder if perhaps it's not a good idea for you to step away from sexual partnership for right now while you start to really work through this. It might be very positive for you to be able to step away from unwanted sex without rebounding into a new relationship or an affair, and instead, be able to spend the time you need with and for yourself to break some of these patterns and do some of the healing that's clearly sat on the backburner for a long time.

That doesn't mean you have to leave this relationship if you feel it's been otherwise beneficial for you and you're otherwise happy. It may just mean making clear that what you need is time to process all of this and work through it so that you can come back to sex as something very much wanted and not compulsory.

That can be a bit tougher for some rape and sexual abuse survivors to do because one wound we're often left with is some kind of sense that sex IS compulsory and that sexual service is something we need to do because it's one big way we are worthwhile to other people, if you follow me. But I'd say that in order to really have a fully positive sex life, one of real quality and real consent, that's one of the things we usually have to work through and get past.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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