Sexual health for survivors? What does that even mean?

Q:

Sexual health for survivors? What does that even mean?

A:

Sexual health for many of us is overlooked and under-supported in many spaces. It can also be underlooked, so to speak, in the case of survivors.

Sexual health for survivors involves more than just the physical aspect. There is also the mental aspect that needs to be looked at.

For survivors, sexual health has a stronger focus on mental health. There are a lot of triggers that may come up that we cannot control. What we can control is the knowledge of grounding techniques and having someone that we can reach out to for added support during in hard times.

I think it is also important to note that while everyone says that we should all be in therapy, therapy is a privilege and not everyone can afford to attend such things, so let me offer some alternatives:

  • Try working with a sexuality educator/coach/specialist that has deep knowledge in trauma
  • Join a support group. Although these may be hard to find, online support groups are becoming more known and widely used. I do support groups online through my business healing intersections.
  • Find something to spiritually connect with. Folks assume that I mean to jump into a church, sure if that is your jam, but, find something to believe in; something that speaks to you.
  • Create a direct line to a support system of folks that you know will be there for you, whether that is via text, phone-calls or meeting up in person.

As for sexual health, make sure that when you go to your doctor, you share what feels good and also your concerns and fears. This way the doctor can better support you with their skill set. Your body your rules, but that also means it is your body to take care of.

Make sure you are continuing to have conversations about STIs, having conversations about boundaries, and having conversations about expectations in the bedroom before you get into the act. These conversations can be hard to have and may take practice. Tap into your support system that we talked about above if you want to practice some of these conversations.

Sexual health isn't just about that act of sex, it is about the full body. Make sure you are taking care of all of it. The way you take care of your body is going to look different than the way others do. Give yourself grace and patience.

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Written by Jimanekia Eborn
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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.

 

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