How can I reclaim my sexuality after sexual assault?

Q:

How can I reclaim my sexuality after sexual assault?

A:

When I talk to survivors after they have experienced an assault, they tend to have had plenty of people talking at them and never actually listening to what they needed or what they wanted.

Reconnecting with your sexuality, with your body, can be a journey so please be gentle with yourself as you are exploring what that means to you - and what that means for you - while remembering that no one person has the same journey as another.

There may be things that may be coming up for you that you may not even realize could be holding you back from reconnecting to your sexuality such as.

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Increasing fears
  • Overeating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unexplained emotional outbursts
  • Panic attacks/anxiety/depression
  • Palpitations

All of these things may come up before, after and/or during sexual activity. I want you to know that this is completely normal and that you are just experiencing some of the effects of the trauma. It can be hard but really helpful to name these things; facing them can allow you to move through them.

The No.1 thing I always tell people is before you start to re-engage in sexual activities with a partner, you have to reclaim your sexuality and the best way to reconnect with it is MASTURBATION!! My favorite thing is telling someone to take themselves on a date.

Have a date night with yourself. You can go out to dinner, take yourself to a movie, or go dancing. Do what makes you happy. Or, you can get straight to the point. Set your bedroom up the way you like it. If that means specific toys, oils, lubes, music, snacks or whatever you need for you, do that!

Then, just explore your body. Try things you used to like. You may not like them anymore, so try new things that you thought about doing. You may find you also do not like those. The point of all of this is to explore your own body and find what brings you pleasure. You can even create a list of things that you really enjoy and things you would like to try. This "try list" can be dependent on the relationship and connection you have with the person you might try them with.

When you are ready to bring someone else into this experience you can know what feels good to you. I can't promise that you won't experience any triggering. But at least you will be able to give that person a list of things you love. If you partner is the magical partner you deserve, they will want to do things that you like, so coming with a list is a win-win for both of you.

Remember to be gentle with yourself and give yourself a grace period. It may not all come to you in one night. You are building a muscle back up.

Have a question? Ask Jimanekia here.

View all questions from Jimanekia Eborn.

Share this:
Written by Jimanekia Eborn
Profile Picture of Jimanekia Eborn

Jimanekia Eborn has worked in mental health for the last 10 years, which is where she saw the need for sexual education and sexual trauma support. This has led to her passion for assisting and supporting those that are sexual assault survivors and those without access to comprehensive sex education. Her compassion and passion for these populations has pushed her to continue building safe spaces for clientele, sharing education, and supporting their mental spaces.

 Full Bio

Connect with us

Email Newsletter

Join thousands receiving hot new sex related articles, goodies, and great deals.

Featured Partners