Trauma and sex are intertwined for many people. Everything that happens to you is a building block of who you are. Each instance changes the way you navigate and cope with things in the future. That means that every sexual experience you’ve had has created an impression that you might not acknowledge or recognize, but that impression is very much present in your being. These impressions could silently be wreaking havoc on other parts of your lives.
Many of us have a sexual past that includes traumas or other things we could not understand. I was five years old when I experienced my first “impression,” and it absolutely had an effect on my relationships as an adult. I spent years invalidating my feelings because I thought they were coerced or introduced to me rather than being my genuine feelings. Because my perpetrator was a woman, I believed she infected me, and I had to fight that feeling at all costs. My adult brain now understands that’s not at all how attraction works, and my sexual interests are actually very fluid.
One of the most significant issues my impression left behind is the fact I couldn’t get close to other women. Physical expressions of love were super uncomfortable, and I often avoided the interactions altogether. Even a hug that lasted too long would trigger a sense of repulsion in me. At strip clubs, I would wait until the dancer was away from the stage to throw my money because she might touch me, and I would surely die lmao.
I had to do some actual heavy lifting to get past those feelings and begin to let people love on me. It was one of the most challenging processes to this date. I had built so much on that early impression that I was suffocating myself.
So many of us were introduced to sex at an early age, and that impression has caused us to pile the most extensive structures possible on ourselves in an effort to protect our feelings. To really find who you are, you must study these impressions and ask yourself how it has built you? How has your reaction to these building blocks shaped how you love yourself and others around you? Is sex and trauma linked in your life?
Many young men and women were taken advantage of by older adults and believed it was a positive experience; therefore, there is no impression. I challenge you to look at those experiences now and realize that you needed protection you did not receive. What did that experience teach you? Did it make you manipulative, emotionally unavailable, or angry? These feelings may lurk deep inside you and affect how you communicate, love, and show up for yourself. Therapy is one of the best tools on this planet because you can talk through those impressions with no judgment and have someone listen who is equipped with the tools to ask you the right questions. It is more than venting; therapy puts you before someone who has likely seen this impression from multiple angles. This gives you a cheat code because you now have many things to try that you know other folks have also tried, and you have a coach walking you through it in real time.
Give You a Chance
The first step is realizing something is holding you back. Trauma is sneaky and can silently control the most important aspects of our lives. Get therapy. You can change how you communicate, how you express emotion, and how you love. You can have have a healthy relationship with your trauma and sex. Give yourself a chance to love and be loved. You deserve that.
Book Recommendation: The Body Keeps the Score.