As I have said many times on this site, healing involves going back and reviewing the damage. You lived through the actual abuse experience and you will survive the memory of it too. You may think you wished you never opened up this can of worms, it was better to be numb and unconscious and want to shove the whole mess back into the closet. But there comes a time when not having a satisfactory sex life is no longer acceptable to you. You are more sick of living like that than you are of doing the necessary work that healing involves.
Once you know what it is like to be sexually healthy, to connect emotionally and physically, you would never want to settle for anything less. I suffered with this my entire adult life. I am 40 years old now, but I enjoy sex, I’ve been in the same relationship for two years and we are very close and I don’t get the skin crawling feeling for the first time in my life. This came from doing all the necessary healing work. I would not trade it for all the yuck, the pain, the tears, the scary feelings that it brought up. I have woken up, I’m no longer just going through the motions because it is expected of me and I no longer have to make excuses to avoid sex, feel guilty, break up relationships etc… It is wonderful.
Healing involves bringing all the undeveloped hurt parts of body, spirit and mind together. At the end you will be an intact, mature adult, not a needy wounded child. In order to get in touch with sexuality, survivors often need to take a break from sex all together. Have a talk with your partner and hopefully mutually agree that this is going to be a necessary part of your healing. There must be trust there, that is essential. Trust that your partner will not leave you and will understand the reasoning for this. It is a way for you to focus on the issues from the abuse without the pressure of sex. Realize that your sexual development was cut short. Survivors often stopped experiencing pleasure in sexuality and in exploring their own bodies because they had to defend themselves against adult sexuality, which was often mixed with violence and confusing combinations of pain, pleasure and humiliation.
Survivors had to find ways to deal with the abuse and that is often why it left them disconnected from sexual pleasure and left natural sexual awakenings far behind. Now the task is to dig down under layers of painful associations with sex and explore innate sexual feelings, the ones that would have developed naturally if abuse had not gotten in the way. Masturbation can be an important tool here. Taking control of your own body and its sexual parts. Learn how to pleasure yourself and begin to associate pleasure and orgasm. This helps to unlock many myths you may have about being frigid or sexually cut off. There are many factors besides abuse that may be also hampering your sex life, such as religion, early rigid conditioning about sex, lack of intimacy in a relationship, repressed anger, weight gain and body image. etc… Look at other areas of your life that may have effected your sex life. Once you learn that your body can respond normally to sexual pleasure through masturbation, you can rest assured that you are not sexually dysfunctional, you are gaining control over your body.