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sexual pressure

one thing that most survivors will probably encounter is the pressure to be sexual, either directly or indirectly. society itself is constantly pouring pressure onto people to have sex, look sexier, be better in bed. and people pressure each other too. it may be that you are in a secure and open relationship with someone you love very much and they are completely unaware of their pressuring you, and yet they are, subtly, gently, wanting to make love to you or touch you or sleep next to you at night. it may be that someone you have gone on a date with once or twice is urging you to come home and spend the night with them, making promises of bliss and romance. it may be that you have been abstinent for three years now and you feel like it's time to move on because everyone else is just fine having sex, shouldn't you be?

sexual pressure is one of the most difficult things for survivors to deal with; there are so many options, so many possibilities, so many different places the paths we choose could take us. we have to be careful with ourselves. even at our strongest times we are fragile.

it is important to understand that a person's sexuality is damaged by a sexual violation. it can be fixed, but it will take some time. some survivors recover remarkably quickly, and others may not realize for years what an affect their violation has had on their sexuality. sexual violation, frequently in combination with sexual pressure, can trigger homophobia and/or fear of the opposite sex (usually depending on the gender of the attacker), promiscuity, and frigidity, among other emotional disorders, all things which psychologists view as being "symptoms of sexual dysfunction."

i believe that survivors can recover from the sexual trauma of violations, that all survivors can get to the point where they are having healthy sexual relationships, feeling safe in their explorations, and fully aware of how their violation affects their sexuality. you can heal. however, it is almost impossible to reach this goal completely when the way is cluttered with various pressures.

healing is about taking back your power, making decisions for yourself. you have to believe that what you feel, deep inside, is right. even if the person asking you to sleep with them is beautiful, even if you love them, even if they are an amazing artist...if you don't feel like it is what is right, don't do it. making confused choices about sexuality will only lead to more pain, more wounds to be healed, more journeys to be made. remember that you have to trust in yourself before you trust in anyone else. you are the decision-maker. don't doubt your choices because of what other people say. someone may say, "it's time you got over that." but if you aren't over it, it's obviously not time you got over it, is it? when it is actually "time you got over it," you will be over it. i'm not saying everything involving your sexuality becomes instantly perfect, but things do get easier. flashbacks subside, nightmares lessen, it becomes okay to touch your lover and to have them touch you. if you work at healing and follow your own truth, despite pressure, things will get better.