We’re going to start off by saying if you have experienced sexual trauma – we are so sorry. If this topic is extra sensitive or triggering to you please keep that in mind while reading this. We aim to be as tactile as possible, but every situation is unique. 

Please also bear in mind that this is not to be taken as medical advice. If you are in need of further support please seek out a mental health provider or other medical professional. Support and resources, including free hotline numbers are featured at the bottom of this blog article. 

How trauma affects sex and pleasure

Every person is different and the impact of sexual trauma will be different for everyone. But an overarching theme is a disconnect or difficulties around sex, pleasure, dating, and relationships.

Some people may not want to have sex with anyone or may avoid dating and romantic relationships. Others may swing to the opposite end of the spectrum and have sex with many people because of a lack of boundaries (not because they necessarily want to).

There is no shame in having sex with as many or as few people as you want to, but if it’s not coming from an empowered and consensual place, then it can majorly impact your well-being and relationship toward sex. 

Many people also experience a “numbing out”, so even when they want to have sex or be intimate, they have a difficult time actually experiencing pleasure. This may also make it difficult for them to have orgasms, alone and/or with someone else.

No matter what your journey looks like, we’re here to support you with our tips on finding pleasure after sexual trauma.

1) Get support

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence please refer to the support, hotlines and free resources featured at the bottom of this blog article. 

Reconnecting (or connecting for the first time) with your sense of pleasure is part of the healing journey. Healing is just as much a solo job as it is something that is done in community and with the support of others.

Before you can tap into pleasure, it’s important to remember or find support that can help you heal. It’s helpful to have multiple levels of support, but that could look different for everyone.

These are just a few of the people that can be part of your support system:

  • Therapist or mental health provider
  • Somatic practitioner 
  • Sexuality coach
  • Pelvic floor physical therapist
  • Friends and family
  • Your partner

2) Figure out your boundaries

If and when you decide to be intimate with another person, it’s important to know what your boundaries are. Boundaries can be so confusing for someone who has experienced sexual trauma, but checking in with your body and learning how to communicate them is integral to your pleasure.

Checking in with yourself and your body before things heat up with another person can help you give you some clarity. It’s really helpful to have a therapist or coach guide you through this process.

3) Reconnect with your body

It’s common for people who have experienced any kind of trauma to disconnect from their bodies, especially when it comes to sexual trauma. Finding ways to connect with your body outside of sex can help you get back to feeling pleasure.

Finding gentle movement, walking in nature, and experiencing joy while dancing are all ways to reconnect with your body in a way that prioritizes pleasure, joy, and softness.

4) Create a self-pleasure practice

It’s important to find your own sense of pleasure before adding someone else into the mix. A self-pleasure practice is one of the most powerful ways to do this. 

The Self Love Kit is beautiful for this with a Rosie traditional or slim wand, Medium Rose Quartz Yoni Egg, Rose Quartz Face Roller, and Rose Quartz Pendulum. Rose Quartz helps with self-love, self-acceptance, and compassion so you can release unexpected emotions and heartache.

5) Practice after-care

When you’re ready to be intimate with another person, take your time and be sure to practice after-care. 

Aftercare is taking time after sex to care for each other and decompress. That can mean reflecting and communicating on what you did or didn’t like, cuddling, eating together, or anything else that helps you come down from the high of sex.

There is no timeline for healing and finding pleasure after sexual trauma. Everyone is on their own journey, and it’s likely not linear – what is in life? Know that you’re not alone and that you are so worthy of healing and pleasure.


Further Support & Resources


1 in 5 (22%) women in Australia having experienced sexual violence in their life since the age of 15. As a personal member of this morbid statistic, it's important to seek help and assistance after experiencing a trauma of any kind, in particular a sexual-related assault, as this can infiltrate, impact and negatively affect your everyday life and intimate relationships. 

I have personally been receiving Somatic Experiencing trauma therapy in Perth for almost 10 years and it's helped me through many traumatic events in my life. You can find a trauma-informed SE practitioner in your local area here.  

At YPP, we purely offer alternative products and tools to assist on your sexual journey - whether that's pleasure-based or healing-based. Below are some valuable resources and places to reach out to for support if you need it, whether it's been a recent assault or something historic - it's never too late to talk about it with a trauma-informed professional.

  • 1800RESPECT is available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support people impacted by domestic, family or sexual violence. That number is: 1800 737 732.
  • You can find a Rape Crisis Centre in your local area. In Western Australia we have Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) who can provide crisis phone support or in-person counselling support. Call (08) 6458 1828 or 1800 199 888.
  • Lifeline offers a free hotline to call on 13 11 14 anytime. 
  • You can also call, chat or have a video call with the nation-wide Suicide Prevention Hotline on 1300 659 467 or visit their website here
  • Helping Survivors is an organisation dedicated to providing resources for survivors and their families. Their mission is to help heal, educate and empower survivors - helpingsurvivors.org/resources/
  • Spiritual support group for survivors - Sovereign Soul Alliance is an online community for educating and empowering survivors of SA, human trafficing and domestic violence - thesophiacodefoundation.org/

With violence against women an increasingly problematic issue, it's important that we know who we can call and safe places to share and heal. If you think you've been sexually assaulted, you don't have to cope with the trauma on your own.



May 29, 2024 — Natasha Weiss

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