Every third individual goes through a traumatic sexual experience in their lifetime by being sexually abused, molested or raped. It's the toughest journey to make thereafter and every attempt to forget the past is either lost in dabbling with how to live in the present or re-living countless unpleasant memories of the dreadful experience. Mostly the thought process sways like a pendulum from wether one will ever recover from the trauma to how is it going to be possible to ever open up again, sexually to another individual.
If you are dating someone who has confided in you about such an experience from the past, remember that she has only confided because she has that level of trust in you to share such intimate secrets. She has also told you this bit about her because she wants you to be comfortable about something grievous that has happened to her and expects you to understand her better and also because somewhere she is still struggling to open up sexually with you.
You must understand, if your girl has been sexually abused in the past, she probably relates anything sexual to that incident. If it's a fresh experience she is still dealing with how to let it all go and if it's from her childhood, she will definitely take her time to open up to you. Whatever it is, be patient and be sensitive of the situation and don't rush her into doing anything she doesn't want to. Remember, her space and her body have been violated in the past and she may resist any sort of sexual intimation initiated by you. So the best thing to do, while dealing with someone who is still living the sexual trauma from the past is, be there for them and try to understand what they have been through.
Here are some things you can do, to make *** a little more comfortable for the person who has dealt with gruesome sexual trauma from the past:Be Patient
The first cardinal rule of dating someone with a bitter past is to be patient. In all likelihood, the person may take heaps and heaps of time to open up. Give her that time and space and if you really like them, let them open up to you in their own time. You'll only push them away if you keep hurrying them to do things you like or want.
© PexelsBe Kind and Empathetic
She has shown utmost trust if she has narrated her past to you. It's quite brave of her to share something unpleasant she experienced. This also means she wants to let it go and start a new chapter with you. Your job thereon, is to help her move on. After she tells you about her past, hold her close and give her a big hug. It's a tough spot to be in, we agree but try and show empathy. She doesn't need sympathy from you; she needs you to understand what she's been through. Be kind, sensitive and empathic towards her.
© ThinkstockDon't Force Her To Do Anything She Does Not Want To Do
This ones a tricky one. While we know you're craving for her attention and intimacy, you have to give her time to come around. If she doesn't want to perform a particular sexual act or wants to take her time initiating *** with you, let her be. There are other things you can try instead. You can start by appreciating her body and telling her how sexy she is to you. You can dirty talk her and make her feel as comfortable as you can, for her to slowly start opening up to you. Build the comfort factor, for her to be able to feel sexually liberated again.
© ThinkstockEncourage Her To Masturbate
Sometimes a woman's sexual freedom is taken away from her when she's physically abused. She has trouble opening up sexually and feels guilty about it. The pain is too unbearable at times to even think about an indulgent act and every time she wants to get physical she directly relates *** to the tragedy she went through. By helping her separate the incident from a consensual sexual encounter, you can encourage her to break away from the stigma she attaches to ***. The best way to do it is to ask her to love herself first. Encourage her to touch herself and masturbate, liberate herself sexually. Once she opens up to herself, she will open up to you, slowly and gradually.
© ThinkstockFigure Her Trigger Points
There are some triggers that remind her of the dreadful experience. You have to carefully notice what they are and keep them in mind the next time they come about again. For instance, if she shuts off while you're touching her thigh or she loses interest if you don't look into her eyes enough, these are some triggers you can look out for. She may not tell you what's triggered her and you may need to piece these triggers together and have an honest conversation about it with her, after.
The best way to know her triggers is by asking her to make a list of all her triggers, whenever she experiences them. Sometimes though, making a list like this can bring about sadness because she is acknowledging the impact the abuse has had on her. It's a good thing though. Let her acknowledge it and make peace with it and move on from them, thereafter. Just be there for her while she's doing this exercise.
© ThinkstockUse A Safe Word
Once you have understood her triggers and addressed them, more prominent triggers may surface. If you're in the heat of the moment with her and things get intense, and she wants you to stop, maybe have a safe word which would automatically mean to stop the act immediately. The safe word could be anything you both are familiar and comfortable with.
© ThinkstockShe Has The Right To Revoke Consent
In her head, the idea of consent is a bit garbled. She might fear consent because she may think it wouldn't work. Which is a sad state of affairs and you have to build that confidence in her, where she fears nothing, especially things that have something to do from her past. So when she says no, it really means no and you have to understand that. No matter how deep into the act you are, or if she has changed her mind altogether about having ***, if she says no to something, don't question it, don't argue about it or make her change her mind. You don't have her consent to continue. If you're feeling frustrated with her or the situation, maybe you're with the wrong girl perhaps? Or need different things.
© ThinkstockDon't Treat Her Like She's Broken
One of the most difficult things to digest for people who are processing their sexual abuse is a constant feeling of being “broken''. She might indulge in self doubt and feel worthless and may feel like no one wants to be with them. As her partner, you can assure her that she's experienced something no one should but she's also brave enough to endure it and not give up. Make her believe that she's not broken and is a whole, beautiful human being, instead.
© ThinkstockEncourage Her To Seek Professional Help
Due to the gravity of the incident, it may be tough for her to process all of it together. Sometimes talking to you may not be enough and she may need therapy to understand how to let go of it all, from a professional standpoint. If she is a bit wary about going to a therapist, maybe find the right professional for her and book an appointment. It will be a good idea if you accompany her for her first session as well. If she's already in therapy, encourage her to continue it, till she feels comfortable without it.
Participate in a sexually abused survivor's recovery if they want you to. It means they have instilled a lot of faith and trust in you to fight this battle with them. If they're your partner, make them feel comfortable and don't give up on them. It's natural to feel a little flustered while dealing with the situation but at the end of the day, you know you love them and want to be with them and that makes a world of a difference, so stick it through, breath in and breath out and wait for them to finally become whole again.
More power to you and to your partner!