Sexual Trauma | What You Need to Know

Published: Jul 16, 2020 | Revised: Jun 26, 2022
Written by: Marce Ferreira

Sexual Trauma

Sexual trauma is a broad subject and we’ll try to describe it from out a variety of perspectives.

Now, sexual trauma generally arises from sexual violence in the broadest sense. Think of issues such as sexual abuse (in childhood or adulthood), sexual assault, bad sexual experiences, sexual intimidation, socially or culturally biased suppressed sexuality, and suppressed gender issues, to name some of the most common causes.

Sexual violence and the resulting trauma may occur in the public space or in the private space at home or in partner relationships.

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It can have severe effects on a person’s behavior, functioning, overall health and emotional state, the latter for instance expressing itself in low self-esteem, hypersensitivity, or a negative body image. Sexual trauma often has a major impact on the person itself and on sexual and partner relationships and other relationship in both the private and public sphere.

As for sexuality, it doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have a desire for sex, but he or she may not have the means, skills, opportunity, will or desire to act on that desire due to traumatic experiences and resulting emotional or physical blockages.

On a physical level, sexual trauma can express itself in stiff, tensed, blocked and contracted muscles (or other bodily tissues) notably those in the abdominal and thoracic area. This again can be a cause of many other malfunctions in the body and organs leading to general health issues or overall sexual or specific genital problems, such as infertility, low libido, orgasmic disorders, erectile dysfunctions, and other sexual dysfunctions.

Apart from appropriate sexual therapy, counseling or psychotherapy, or maybe even medication, traditional massage and bodywork can help to alleviate tensions and blockages in the body and support emotional or trauma release and finally sexual healing.

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