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Thread: Childhood Sexual Abuse RUINING My Adult Sexual Relationship

  1. #1
    Junior Member Array
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    Nov 2012

    Smile Childhood Sexual Abuse RUINING My Adult Sexual Relationship

    Hello, all

    I need some advice, but first let me give you my back story...

    For many years out of my childhood, I was sexually molested by my father. It caused a lot of emotional and mental problems within me, many of which have been healed by working with a therapist in my adolescence. However, because of my young age the issue of current sexual partners never really came up. So I spent my teenage years finding love in all the wrong places, and sleeping with multiple partners to gain their attention. It was a learning experience, one that I sometimes regret, because I can see now that it was emotionally crippling in many ways. But I digress... When I was 19 years old, I met a man who I totally fell in love with. I have had superficial relationships before, but I felt, and feel, like this is the real deal. He is my absolute best friend in the world, and I care for him deeply.

    So far, we have been together for about 2 1/2 years. The first year, sex was not an issue. We were having sex about 3-4 times a week, and it was only very rarely that any body memories (physically/emotionally painful flash backs triggered by sexual contact) came up. Unfortunately now, something has started to happen. Over the past year, my drive for sex has completely dwindled. I never think about or crave sex. I never even get turned on. I honestly can say that if I was not in a relationship right now, I would not be sexually active.

    I've expressed this to my partner, and he is very supportive. He has told me multiple times that it's not that sex that he loves, it's me. That makes me feel good emotionally, but it doesn't help me to feel less "broken." I never feel turned on, and when he touches the sensitive areas of my body I either feel nothing or begin to get extremely anxious. We are able to still be intimate in others ways, such as massages, sensual touches, kissing, cuddling, etc. But the second I feel like it's becoming sexual, my body stops responding.

    I guess I would like to hear your thoughts on why this is starting now, versus at the beginning of our relationship. My thought is that for the first time in my life, I am absolutely comfortable just being myself. And right now, myself does not want to be a sexual person. Does that make sense? I just really wish I could get turned on! He is beginning to feel self-conscious, like he is not good enough to turn me on. I keep reassuring him that it's the affects of the childhood abuse I endured, but I know it still hurts him. He deserves to feel wanted, and I want to want him. Do you think that I should start seeing a therapist? My boyfriend and I are very committed to one another and both willing to work towards healing together. Thank you for your input.

  2. #2
    March 2008 "Poster of the Month" Array
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    It may have to do with your early sexual abuse, but it may not. You can read many posts here from women who have lost their sex drive, or men who's partners have when no abuse was involved.

    Do you still have sexual thoughts / interests / fantasies that do not involve him or any other person?

    Are you on any new medication - that can do all sorts of things.

  3. #3
    Gold Contributor 500+ Posts Array Euphoric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    Yes, it sounds like seeing a therapist would be beneficial for you. As you stated in your post, you have seen a therapist before and "many of the emotional and physical effects" from the abuse you suffered have been healed. Obviously you are aware, at least to some degree, that there are still some remaining issues that reside within you or you would have said all issues were addressed. Abuse is never cut and dry. Subconsciously, victims of abuse are sometimes subject to emotional triggers that cause a person to withdrawl, not intentionally. And sometimes, unaware.

    At least you are aware that there is something amiss, and rather than denying it, you are seeking advice. You also state that it was very rare that physical and emotional flashbacks occurred. The fact is, there were some flashbacks. Victims of abuse are subject to encounter triggers that take a person involuntarily back to a place in time that was traumatic. Our minds and bodies produce defense mechanism to protect ourselves. I don't know why sex wasn't necessarily an issue for you then but it is now, but I do know that even in the beginning of your relationship, negative thoughts entered your mind while having sex. Maybe that is why you feel nothing or extremely anxious when things start turning sexual now. You are shutting down your body's ability to get turned on because you don't want to revisit the past, maybe??

    You aren't broken. I know it feels that way, but you are learning and growing. You realized that having multiple partners for attention was not a healthy way to live. Don't beat yourself up. We all have regrets and wish that we could change some aspect of our lives. You do have a partner who cares about you, all of you, not just for sex. Seek counseling/therapy and know that you are NOT in this alone. We are here for you. Keep us posted and best wishes

  4. #4
    Veteran Member (800+ posts & member 1 year+) Array
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    Jan 2009



    I'm also a CSA survivor, and I have had issues that came up in loving relationships that never happened before. It may be that once we are in safe relationships that our bodies are then ready to process what really happened. I was dating someone that I was very attracted to last year, but I still had sexual abuse flashbacks come up.........which obviously impacted our sex life. What's weird is that the flashbacks never happened with other partners, but those partners also were unhealthy.

    I think it would be a good idea to see a therapist again and explore if there are any mental blocks. Good luck and best wishes to you.

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