“In the midst of a sexually abusive experience, we disappear. We become invisible. We retreat so far into ourselves that sometimes, we even dissociate. It is our best coping strategy for avoiding the pain, horror and trauma of the abuse.
However, even if it occurred decades ago, past abuse may still be haunting you in the bedroom in your current relationships. It can be very disconcerting. You’re disappearing during sex and don’t know what to do about it. You feel like something is missing but can’t figure out what it is.”
This is actually something common for childhood sexual abuse survivors, both male and female, though it may show up in different ways for different people. For many, the dissociation learned as a self-defense mechanism as a child carries right into adulthood, and it can be difficult to be “present” during sex, therefore the enjoyment is lost. For others, the physical enjoyment may be tied to a dissociation that makes sex devoid of meaning, and lead to extreme levels of promiscuity.
The important thing to understand that is this is a learned behavior, one that helped us survive our childhood, but one that can be unlearned as an adult in a safe environment. We are no longer powerless over our own bodies, we can be free to express, and enjoy, ourselves sexually.
In fact, it is quite freeing to be able to make your own choices about your sex life, and find ways to make it the intimate experience it should be as opposed to what we experienced as children.