Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

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LovePineapples
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Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by LovePineapples »

Hey there! This is my first post and I'll try to not waffle or anything. I've been reading through the forum and it seems a lot of other individuals experience hardship with orgasms.

I've been trying really hard to reach an orgasm, for a few years now. I was r*ped when I was 12 and during the encounter my body produced an orgasm and ever since then I haven't been able to reach one on my own. Getting turned on isn't an issue, I usually get very close to reaching one when I try, but right before anything happens, my pelvic muscles clench really hard and I start feeling sharp horrible pains that make it impossible to go on. I usually get a breakdown after from how frustrated I am. It was the same physical reaction I had when I was 12, except the perpetrators managed to do it.

I can't seem to get an orgasm on my own. Thankfully, my boyfriend makes me calm enough and he managed to give me them, but I can't do it to myself. I'm almost certain this has something to do with anxiety or some form of PTSD. I'm getting a bit worried now because my boyfriend might leave me soon (he's not very content with me anymore) and I'm scared I'll never be able to orgasm again. I'm currently visiting a psychologist and I have opened up about my trauma with a counsellor, but nothing seems to be solving my problem. Any advice would be appreciated.

FYI: I'm not with my boyfriend only because he gives me orgasms, if anyone thought that :D
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi LovePineapples,

I think you're right that this reaction is linked with trauma or anxiety, and I'm so sorry that's something you're dealing with. I'm glad you've been getting support from a counselor and a psychologist, as you deserve all the support you can get in your healing process. Have you mentioned the sudden pain during orgasm to them at all? If so, has either of them had any suggestions? And have you ever spoken to a gynecologist or other healthcare provider about the issue?

Too, just to check in and see how you're feeling, has your boyfriend told you he's planning to leave or unhappy with you? Or is it more you feel like the relationship has hit it's natural ending point?
LovePineapples
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by LovePineapples »

Sam W wrote:Hi LovePineapples,

I think you're right that this reaction is linked with trauma or anxiety, and I'm so sorry that's something you're dealing with. I'm glad you've been getting support from a counselor and a psychologist, as you deserve all the support you can get in your healing process. Have you mentioned the sudden pain during orgasm to them at all? If so, has either of them had any suggestions? And have you ever spoken to a gynecologist or other healthcare provider about the issue?

Too, just to check in and see how you're feeling, has your boyfriend told you he's planning to leave or unhappy with you? Or is it more you feel like the relationship has hit it's natural ending point?
Hey Sam! Thanks for checking on me. I just started antidepressants to help me with my mental state.. I have mentioned the sudden pain to my doctor and she thinks it's linked to anxiety. I have had my reproductive in's and bit's (as I like to call them hehe) investigated before (for other unrelated issues) and there's nothing abnormal there. I haven't gone to a gynecologist to investigate my pain before orgasm thing.. mostly because I can't afford that and I think i'm too embarrassed to actually do something like that (wish I had the balls tho.. :/).

As for my partner, he hasn't said he's going to leave but he's made it clear he's unhappy (we have trust issues). He's become very distant because of that. I don't think the relationship has hit it's natural ending point.. things were a lot worse before compared to now.. things seem to be going uphill but he still seems dissatisfied with me. He's been through a lot of emotional abuse in the past so I'm trying to be gentle with him. Nevertheless, I do feel like i'm not enough and i guess that contributes to my fear of him leaving. Thanks for asking, just typing those thoughts out was comforting.
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by Sam W »

You're welcome! It's awesome that you've been so proactive in asking healthcare providers for help around all this. It may just be a matter of time and letting things like the antidepressants and counseling help you with that anxiety (as a heads up, some antidepressants can have sexual side effects for some people). However, there may also be some other things you can try. Has your counselor given you any tools for survivors who are experiencing difficulties during masturbation or sex? If so, have any of those been any help?

That sounds like a rough spot to be in with your boyfriend. How are you feeling about the relationship? Is it something that makes you happy and respected? Or is it mainly anxiety inducing at this point?
LovePineapples
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by LovePineapples »

Sam W wrote:You're welcome! It's awesome that you've been so proactive in asking healthcare providers for help around all this. It may just be a matter of time and letting things like the antidepressants and counseling help you with that anxiety (as a heads up, some antidepressants can have sexual side effects for some people). However, there may also be some other things you can try. Has your counselor given you any tools for survivors who are experiencing difficulties during masturbation or sex? If so, have any of those been any help?

That sounds like a rough spot to be in with your boyfriend. How are you feeling about the relationship? Is it something that makes you happy and respected? Or is it mainly anxiety inducing at this point?
Thank you! It's been rough but I believe in myself. My counsellor has given me some numbers to call (like suicide hotlines etc) but other than that, no resources.

In regards to my boyfriend.. I'm perseverant. I don't mind being a rock for him to lean on. I do feel happy... it does get anxiety inducing at times, but I do consistently try and understand where he's coming from. It doesn't get to me, when he's cold and mean.. because I realise it says more about what he's going through than who I am as a person. Because of that, I've become very tolerant I guess.. but I don't mind. I recognise everyone goes through a rough patch at some point, it's a normal part of being human. Thank you again, for hearing me out Sam :)
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by Sam W »

You're very welcome!

In that case, would you feel comfortable asking your counselor for resources for survivors who are working on re-connecting with their sexuality? And if you haven't seen it already, this article on the main site might offer some things to try: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/abus ... after_rape.

It sounds like you're trying to be really understanding and supportive of your boyfriend, which is such a kind impulse. Do you feel like he extends the same treatment to you? In other words, does he also try to be kind and understanding? Or does he act cold and dissatisfied while you try to keep the relationship in one piece?
LovePineapples
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by LovePineapples »

Sam W wrote:You're very welcome!

In that case, would you feel comfortable asking your counselor for resources for survivors who are working on re-connecting with their sexuality? And if you haven't seen it already, this article on the main site might offer some things to try: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/abus ... after_rape.

It sounds like you're trying to be really understanding and supportive of your boyfriend, which is such a kind impulse. Do you feel like he extends the same treatment to you? In other words, does he also try to be kind and understanding? Or does he act cold and dissatisfied while you try to keep the relationship in one piece?
I definitely will ask my counselor once school starts again (I have summer holidays now in Australia).

In regards to my boyfriend.. hmm. He's usually cold and distant with me. I try not to let it get to me. Things are slowly getting better, compared to a couple of months ago. I think if I continue giving him affection and love, he'll start reciprocating his more (he's told me he loves me and I believe that). I do wish he was a bit more affectionate and warm.. but I'm of the belief he'll start feeling better himself which would then improve things in our relationship.
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by Mo »

It's good to hear that things are going better, but I'm a bit worried that he's still being distant and cold with you a lot of the time. You seem very aware of the things he's going through and the fact that he needs support, which is wonderful, but you need and deserve support and affection as well! Have you been able to talk about this imbalance with him? If so, what has his response been?
LovePineapples
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by LovePineapples »

Mo wrote:It's good to hear that things are going better, but I'm a bit worried that he's still being distant and cold with you a lot of the time. You seem very aware of the things he's going through and the fact that he needs support, which is wonderful, but you need and deserve support and affection as well! Have you been able to talk about this imbalance with him? If so, what has his response been?
/

Hey there! Yes I've discussed it with him. He doesn't feel good at all that he's distant/cold, he wishes he was more affectionate but he's simply not able to at the moment. He has a lot of stressful things going on in his life and he has really big trust issues (he's scared i'll manipulate him if he gets too 'soft' or 'warm'). I'm focusing on rebuilding trust and just being there to support him. Sometimes life isn't as easy we want it to be, but it's completely okay as long as we keep marching through it :)
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by Siân »

Hi there LovePineapples,

It's really tough when someone you love is going through some things which impact you and your relationship. I've been there, believe me. I know how important it feels to persevere and try to weather the storm until things get better.

The thing is, we can't love someone better, whatever our favourite books and films might have us believe. The only person who can change your boyfriends feelings, and his behaviour towards you, is your boyfriend. It's hard work and he has to choose to do it. From what you've said so far you've talked a lot about the things you are doing to try and make some change in your relationship, to make sure he wants to stick around but nothing about what he is doing to make sure that the relationship is working for you, too.

Have a read of this: Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup? I wonder in particular how you answer these questions from the final section:
Do I feel loved, liked and/or cared for? Do I feel valued?
LovePineapples
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by LovePineapples »

Siân wrote:Hi there LovePineapples,

It's really tough when someone you love is going through some things which impact you and your relationship. I've been there, believe me. I know how important it feels to persevere and try to weather the storm until things get better.

The thing is, we can't love someone better, whatever our favourite books and films might have us believe. The only person who can change your boyfriends feelings, and his behaviour towards you, is your boyfriend. It's hard work and he has to choose to do it. From what you've said so far you've talked a lot about the things you are doing to try and make some change in your relationship, to make sure he wants to stick around but nothing about what he is doing to make sure that the relationship is working for you, too.

Have a read of this: Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup? I wonder in particular how you answer these questions from the final section:
Do I feel loved, liked and/or cared for? Do I feel valued?
Hey Sian! I think.. and maybe I'm in denial, I don't know.. but I think he's trying his best. I agree with you when you say that change in his behaviour stems from him, not me. I'll be persevering still, i'm hopeful things will get better. I do feel loved, cared for and liked.. but valued? Hmm.. I'll ponder about that. Thank you for the advice, i'll certainly be thinking about what you said.
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Re: Can't orgasm ever since I was abused

Unread post by Alexa »

Hey LovePineapples!

Please do think about what Sian said and the article she shared. We're always here to chat through it! Here's a section on trust from that same article, since you've spoken about his trouble with trusting:
Trust: Is my friend or partner trustworthy, and do I trust them? Can they say the same for me? Do we both keep each other's confidences and honor our agreements? Are we both respecting boundaries instead of pushing them? Are we doing things to gradually build trust? Is it okay that it's taking time to build trust? Do we both understand the difference between trust and control, and are we sure to avoid trying to control one another or keep tabs on each other in a way that's not healthy or within reason?
I especially like the part about "gradually build[ing] up trust." Even if you haven't arrived at full trust, are you doing things together to actively work toward a place of trust and healing? Is he taking that work seriously on his own?

For what it's worth, doing this trust work with him and with yourself might also help a bit with the process of healing your anxiety & trauma reflexes around orgasm. You are also rebuilding trust with your own body. <3
Alexa K.
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