Having sex with our partners should be fun. We love the people we have chosen to call our boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives. We want to be able to share all of ourselves with them. After all, these are the people who we care about and who care about us.
But what happens when we don’t want to be intimate with our partners? What happens when sex hurts or when our bodies close themselves off to the loving caress or embrace of our lovers?
We might feel shame, guilt, or fear around sex. We might want to hide our bodies and not be seen. We might want to dress in unappealing ways.
What might this say about us?
It says we are uncomfortable with our bodies for some reason. It could possibly say that somewhere in our past we have received unwanted sexual passes or advances, or possibly, that we were unwillingly forced into having sex with someone we didn’t want to have sex with.
If you are thinking, “No, that can’t be me, that’s never happened in my adult life,” then the answer may lie deeper than that. If you just don’t like sex or have no idea why it hurts, or if you prefer wearing clothing that hides your body, one possibility is that you may have experienced childhood sexual abuse. You may not remember it, but your body does.
Childhood sexual abuse can have a significant impact on our lives as adult women. We may feel like we are not good enough, not worthy enough and that nobody truly loves us. We may shy away from sex, or oppositely, we may start to use sex and our bodies as a way to try and win people's love. We may feel triggered when certain people or situations cross our paths. We may feel like victims and that life was unfair. We may feel like different parts of our lives have been impacted in a negative way.
When engaging in sex with a partner, someone you love and trust, sex should not hurt. If that is not true for you, or for someone you know, please know that there is help. You do not have to suffer. You do not have to live with pain. You do not have to live in fear.
At the Relationship Center of Silicon Valley we are starting an 8 week therapy group for adult women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This 8 week series begins on Monday March 23, 2015 and runs for 8 consecutive Mondays.