How to rediscover your Pleasure After Sexual Trauma by Jimanekia, trauma queen
Some hard truths...
After someone has experienced sexual assault it may or may not be hard for them to engage in sexual activities again - or at least the ones they used to engage in.
Something that I’m constantly reminding folks is that rape is a form of sexual assault, but that does NOT mean that ALL sexual assault is rape. Sexual assault can take many forms and each individual may be triggered by something completely different. And that’s okay. Everybody’s journey to re-discovering their pleasure is different, and that’s also okay!
Another foreign concept to some folks is the idea that survivors want to have sex again. Survivors are not, and should not, suddenly be dehumanized because of their sexual assault. Trauma is something that has happened TO them, it is NOT the only thing that defines them. It is NOT all of who they are. It is totally normal to want to re-discover your pleasure and to have sex again after an assault.
I am often asked by survivors, after they have gone through different types of trauma and/or sexual assault, how to get back into the bedroom. There is so much more to understand before telling someone: “Hey, just do it!”. Sex does NOT work the same way as a shoe commercial and this is AWFUL advice.
There is a lot, I believe, that one needs to do both mentally and physically to prepare before re-engaging in sexual activity again. You need to prepare to go back into a space that, for you, may not feel as safe anymore. You might also need to relearn what feels good for you.
So before getting back into the bedroom and figuring out what you like and do not like, I recommend setting some time aside to have a date night with yourself. This is where you mentally prepare to re-connect with your body. Remember, you are your star player and you have to take care of YOU before anyone else. So, go take yourself to that favorite restaurant, go do that favorite activity - whatever feels good for you. Put yourself first. The goal of this is to get you into a positive mental space - a space where you are feeling good, happy and relaxed.
Since our goal is to reconnect you with your body and to figure out what feels good for you, now you can take it to the bedroom (or wherever feels best for you!).
Masturbation is the KEY to re-discovering your pleasure. Self-play and self-Love is KEY to it all. Setting up the space that allows you to feel sexy is also a key part of allowing yourself to get to that magical place. This is where we physically prepare ourselves and take the first steps toward re-discovering our pleasure.
This is where the fun begins...
A lot of folks ask “what now?!...I’m in the bedroom…what do I do next?!”
Try exploring the sensations that you used to love AND also the things that you may have always wanted to try. Sex toys can be a magical part of this experience – which I love. If you haven’t tried using toys before, or haven’t since the trauma, I recommend using external toys vs internal toys to start with.
The toys that I think are really great are the ones that are not particularly phallic-shaped, like the Je Joue Mimi Soft Clitoral Vibrator. Don’t fret about it being called a clitoral toy, one of the great things about the Mimi is that you can use it all over. You can even use this toy on bodies that may not have a clitoris. Did you know that the same tissue that makes up the clitoris is the same tissue that makes up the penis? Just think about all the different types of fun and enjoyment you can create…
Sensation play is something that we all should explore more, and the Mimi is a great toy to help us do this. We should all practice getting back into our bodies and taking the time to experiment with different sensations across different parts of our bodies. Mimi fits snugly into the palm of your hand, so it’s a great toy to experiment with moving over different body parts or incorporating it into a massage.
Another Je Joue toy that I would recommend would be the rabbit bullet vibrator. Again, you can use this all over your body. The rabbit ears provide a very gentle almost tickling sensation when at a low speed, so it’s great for any areas of sensitivity or if you find yourself intimidated by other toys since your trauma. Be mindful of inserting this into your body, especially NOT into the rectum as it does not have a flared base. But playing just outside the rectum can be a lot of fun!
The most important thing to remember when trying to get yourself back into the bedroom to re-discover your pleasure and sexuality is: HAVE FUN! Try to prepare yourself by doing things that you love that take the pressure off, like that date night I mentioned earlier. Take things at your own pace and don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
The great thing about using toys is that you can experiment with different speeds and on different parts of your body, all in low-pressure situations. So you can take all the time you need to find out what works for you. Then, if you like, you can take them into the bedroom with other folks and show them how to discover your pleasure too - so that you all can enjoy the excitement of these toys.