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Hi Alex,
I used to feel ucky because I enjoyed having sex.  I remembered very well pleasurable sexual feeling during the abuse and felt very guilty about this.  My therapist told me, (over and over), that's the way your body was made.  You responded normally. I still didn't like that.  It's kind of a "secret" that a lot of children don't yet know.  Survivors and society make you believe sex is "bad". We never discussed sexual matters in my house as a kid.  I remember in school in 5th grade the talk was 1st base holding hands, 2nd base kissing, 3rd base petting, and  a homerun of course intercourse.  I think it went something like that.  After my 14 yo cousin abused me, coerced me into having intercourse briefly, I felt like a slut.  The girls were talking about 2nd base and here I'd done it all.  That was the beginning of me feeling different than everyone else.  When kids are abused by adults, the pleasure is used to make them feel shame. I was told my dad would be angry so don't tell him.  I automatically assumed he would be mad at ME, not my abuser.
Eventually, I came to understand that the body responds to stimulation by whatever means used.  I stayed at that neutral level for several years.  I was surprised recently, to find myself thankful for my body when feeling the pleasure during a sexual experience.  I am truly happy that my body is wired this way.

Good luck -



Dear Alex,

I too used to have these feelings and believed the same as you believe about my own sexual responses and the way my family
had taught that it was wrong and dirty.  I am integrated now and have found that these awful feelings belong to the child
or children, not the adult in you.  The Adult is supposed to feel these things and it is okay now.  Because I am a grownup.

I hope this perspective helps a little.


Hello Alex,

Sexual feelings are hard to understand & deal with for many of us. For years I felt guilty about the very strong sexual feelings I experienced...even when I was a little kid. I didn't know until I was grown up & diagnosed with dissociation that it is common for little kids who are sexually abused to "act out" sexually at an early age, or to be "precocious" sexually. For awhile I blamed those sexual feelings on another part inside me--I thought I had two souls, one good and one bad!

My sexual behavior was the opposite of yours. I could not stop the overwhelming sexual feelings and acted out a lot. It got me in many different kinds of trouble, including getting pregnant when I was a teenager. In the long run, that turned out OK--I got married and had the baby--but at the time it was a painful disaster, and I never did go back to school. It made getting a job pretty difficult later in life.

Anyway--if you have a stable relationship with someone you care about, but can't be sexual with that person, you might try couples therapy or a sex therapist who understands people with a trauma history. A friend of mine went with her fiance to a sex therapist, and they learned very gradual, gentle ways of approaching each other that helped overcome the reluctance and changed the 'dirty' experience into something more pleasurable and joyful. This didn't happen overnight though. It takes some commitment to the process, and the partner needs to be a person who is patient and willing to go slow.

Amazon sells a book called Rekindling Desire: A Step by Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex Marriages by Barry & Emily McCarthy, tho I'm not sure how much it has about trauma histories. For men there is Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse by Richard B. Gartner and William Pollack. And how could I forget this older book by Wendy Maltz - The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse. I've read that one & know it's good.

Best wishes,