Sex and sexuality may be affected by trauma in general and specifically by sexual trauma, especially within the first year. With sexual assault, different aspects of the offense can determine how sex and sexuality may change, such as if penetration was involved, if the offender is known, and the age of the survivor of sexual trauma. Healing after sexual trauma can look different for everyone and there is no “normal” way to react. Many survivors may find themselves having a distaste for sex while others may want to have more sex to replace the experience. Everyone’s way of healing is unique and having a good support system can help the healing progress.
There is no right answer on how to heal or when a survivor will be ready to have sex after sexual trauma. Here are some recommendations for healing and reclaiming sexuality after trauma: