Many adults who experienced sexual abuse as children may have some issues and conflicted feelings toward sexuality and sex. From one side, it is complete a natural thing to feel attracted to your partner, or potential partner and part of this is to express these feelings sexually. The other side is that there are painful feelings and memories that can be experience when having sex. Childhood abuse survivors often are conflicted by the act that caused so much pain in childhood and how to make it a secure and comforting way of expressing love as an adult. There are a few things you can do to help yourself on the road to a healthy sex life after the abuse.
You are completely and understandably allowed to say no. Don’t force yourself to have sex. This can be seen as a continuation of the abuse. You are in control of your body and need to maintain that control. You will then not feel like the helpless child.
Non-sexual touching can be a way to determine how safe and comfortable you feel. An example of this is examining how you feel when your hairdresser shampoos your hair. If touch from another person is still uncomfortable, try experiencing tactile sensations such as walking barefoot. Build up positive feelings.
When you feel safe when touch, focus on that feeling. Stay in the present and examine how you are feeling when being touched in this manner. Then try engaging in this type of touch with your partner. Engage in non-sexual touching that does not lead to sexual activity.
When you do have sex, make sure you feel you are in control. You can stop at anytime if you start to feel uncomfortable. Make sure your partner understands this process and will not pressure you at anytime.