Trauma and Sexual Response

This is a difficult subject, but from what I’ve read and heard among other survivors, it’s important.

Rape is sexual contact.  In my opinion, it isn’t sex.  I count sex as part of a consensual relationship between adults.  Classifying beyond that is not my call.

Victims of sexual abuse and/or rape are not responsible for what happened.  We did *not* want those things to happen, nor did we create the circumstances that led to our abuse.  The mind makes the emotional connection that this feels wrong.  The physical body, however, does not always make that distinction.

Right.  I can see that I’m not going to get through writing this post without starting to bumble on incoherently.

My point is, if you’re a survivor of sexual abuse and/or rape, you are *not* responsible, even if your physical body responded as it would under normal sexual circumstances.  That’s actually not uncommon, and it does not make you anything less than what you are now– someone working towards the difficult transformation from victim to survivor.


2 thoughts on “Trauma and Sexual Response

  1. Excellent post. I have special difficulty with how transformed my sexual being has been because of what was done to me. If I had to measure this against all the other effects, I would rank this one in the top 2, perhaps only behind how warped my religious view are (my abuse was in the context of religion).

    Where I have most trouble with this is in the midst of flashbacks or body memories or when things are chaotic and loud inside. Sometimes I get a sexual response from that. I hate this to no end. I am slowly beginning to accept that I’m not responsible for this response, this is just how it was “seared” into me. In a sense, the sexual response is a body memory. At least I label it as that now.

    Thanks for reminding all of us.

    • It’s absolutely disgusting that so many of us have to deal with this issue, and I mean that in terms of our abusers being disgusting. You just don’t *do* things like this to people. Characterising the sexual response as a body memory is great. In essence, it is a body memory, just as you said. The physical body reacting physically to memories, just like any other body memory. That’s a great comfort– thanks for sharing it.

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