Sexual abuse can affect your sense of sexuality and intimacy, but it doesn’t have to be like that forever.

Sexual abuse or assault can have significant impacts on your sexuality, which can vary widely, depending on what was done to you and how you may have been groomed by the offender to not protest, or not tell about the abuse.

Some ways your sexuality may be affected:

  • You might not be able to tolerate any sexual feelings or moves from others.
  • You might have been prematurely sexualised with pornography so that now what you find erotic is not what you would have if you’d been left to develop in your own way. 
  • You might feel deeply ashamed of any sexual arousal you feel because you have come to feel that all sex is bad, you might feel that you only have value to others if you give them sex, or you might never experience arousal.

However this experience has impacted you, you have the right to reclaim your sexuality for yourself.

Sex can be a good part of life, bringing you pleasure and feeding the intimacy of a relationship.

Some people are able to reclaim their sexual self with the support of a patient, gentle partner, while many others need professional help to talk through their experiences.  

A counsellor who is a specialist in working with the impacts of sexual abuse or assault can assist you on this journey. 

If you are currently in an intimate relationship, it can seem difficult to give your sexual self the respect it needs as you balance the needs of your partner, your relationship, and your self.  A counsellor can help you sort through this.

Sometimes, even though they might hate what someone did to them, survivors can experience a desire or feeling of compulsion to act out what was sexually done to them onto somebody else.  If this is the case for you, please contact safetotalk to get help.  It is safest to not walk that journey alone.