Beyond Trauma: Navigating Intimacy as a Sexual Assault Survivor


This blog post contains the topic of sex as a sexual assault survivor. Every sexual assault survivor will have different experiences due to the trauma that they experienced. This is a small piece of my story.

Sex has taken on many forms for me. Some of them negative, some positive, some confusing, and some have made me spiral out of control. 

I have made a promise to myself to heal on an even deeper level in 2024 and that means digging into the messy pieces when they pop up. 

I have been avoiding this sex blog for a while now. I wasn’t sure how to talk about it and put the words down on paper. I am still not sure about what is going to come out as I write this now. 

However, I was triggered a few weekends ago and I want to figure out how I can heal this part of me because I know that deep down, it is the trauma speaking. 

Sorry Mom, now is probably the time you want to stop reading.


When my husband and I met, we lived thousands of miles away. There was no pressure to have sex because we lived so far away from each other. He knew from the first time we spoke that I had been sexually assaulted. What that meant for our relationship, neither of us really knew.

We have always had a great sex life. We have been married for almost 18 years and our sex life is usually better than ever. Now I’m not saying this to brag but I am saying this to lay the foundation of how our sex life truly is.

There were times that it wasn’t good. When I hated how I looked and felt like he was judging me, I avoided showing him my naked body. That meant sex in the dark. That meant sex as little as possible.

I hated my body and I thought that meant that he also hated it. I couldn’t wrap my head around being beautiful in his eyes because I couldn’t see that version of myself. To me, that version didn’t exist.

Once I did the work on myself, I found the beauty that he always saw. This had a positive impact on our sex life as I was finally able to stand in my power as a woman and know what I wanted. It gave me the power to move freely, to love freely, and to be open and honest with the man who loved me.

Back in June, my parents gifted us a weekend away. We spent two nights in a hotel in Wisconsin Dells. We were able to be tourists and do all of the things together. See all of the sights and just enjoy each other’s company as a couple. 

The sex was incredible and brought us closer than ever. We realized then, the importance of spending time alone. And so, I wanted to recreate that.

I went and bought new lingerie. 

I planned the whole weekend out including making reservations for dinners and brunch. We were staying local to Calgary but it would be another weekend where we could explore the city and each other. Another weekend where we had the opportunity to grow even closer.


This past weekend didn’t go as planned. (This will be another blog post as I figured something else out about myself.) 

I had the lingerie.

I had the wine.

I had everything planned.

Saturday night, as my husband lay in bed sleeping, I cried. Silent tears streaming down my face because I felt left out. 

I felt unwanted.

I felt used.

I felt unworthy.

I felt ugly.

This isn’t to blame my husband. This is about me noticing a trigger. A trigger that has come up in the past and I have avoided it, ignored it at all costs because I would like to say that it is his fault. I have and would love to blame him. Yes, some of it is on him but the majority is on me. I am taking control of my healing and this is the next step.

Again mom, if you are still reading, choose a different blog post.

Touch is important to me. I want to feel nurtured and loved. Quickies aren’t something that makes me happy. Actually, I HATE them. They make me feel used and tossed aside. (I know this isn’t the intention and honestly, a good quickie can be fun!) However, it takes me back to the moments of my sexual assault when that was all I was good for. 

It wasn’t about sex.

It wasn’t above love.

I want to be caressed and made to feel as if I am worthy of sex. I need to be turned on and given the same effort back as I give out. That didn’t happen.

Intimacy after trauma

Those tears were coming from the pain I felt. I felt as if I was used and discarded. I know that I wasn’t and I know that my husband has never intentionally made me feel this way but trauma has a way of taking you back. 

Of diminishing all of the work that you put in.

Of taking away any bit of happiness.

Of reminding you that you are not worthy.

As my husband slept, I felt broken. The tears on my pillow being constant reminders that he doesn’t love me. That despite all of our years together, I don’t mean that much to him.

All of those negative voices flooded my head and I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t relax. I felt used. Since that night, I can’t get out of my head. I can’t be happy. 

I am in a state of mind that makes me regret leaving for the weekend. It wasn’t what I had hoped for. It didn’t turn out the way that it was supposed to.

The lingerie that I wore came off in the middle of the night. Not because of sex but because of the lack thereof. I didn’t want to look sexy because I didn’t feel sexy. And so, that lingerie went back in my bag. Maybe I will take it out again but right now, I don’t see that happening.

I need to repair this. 

I need to learn how to not feel broken when sex doesn’t turn out the way I want. 

I need to learn how to not make sex matter as much as I do.

I need to learn that my worth isn’t dependent on the sex I get or don’t get.

As a survivor of sexual trauma, how do I make sex have a different impact on me? How do I stop the tears that have been coming off and on since that weekend?  How do I heal this girl inside of me that feels like she is unworthy? How do I do all of that while not being angry at my husband? 

I don’t have the answers. I wish I did but at this moment, it still hurts. Even writing this, the tears are coming back. The feelings of anger and hurt are flooding my body. I want to run and avoid them. 

I want to be normal.

I want him to know that it isn’t his fault. That this is something I need to work on but how do I do that when the words don’t come out?

I truly wish that I had the answers. That I had the tools to figure this out. I don’t. I am not sure how to move forward. 

I know that I will. I know that I will come back to myself, that those negative words will disappear and I will be back again but until then, I don’t know how to process. 

Relationships, Trauma Healing




Beyond Trauma: Navigating Intimacy as a Sexual Assault Survivor

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