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WHEN INTIMACY HURTS


While it is true that sexual trauma can affect anyone, regardless of gender, boys and men are often overlooked in conversations about sexual assault. In fact, only 5-10% of male survivors report their assaults to authorities. This means that many male survivors may be struggling to cope with the aftermath of their traumatic experiences without any support or help. It is essential for us to understand how boyhood sexual trauma affects adult male survivors—and what we can do to provide them with the support they need.

The Physical Impact of Boyhood Sexual Trauma

One of the most significant effects of boyhood sexual trauma is physical discomfort during consensual sex. For some male survivors, this physical discomfort may manifest itself as erectile dysfunction or an inability to reach orgasm. Other common physical symptoms include pain during intercourse, body numbness, helplessness, and vulnerability during sex.

The psychological impact can be just as profound as the physical impact for adult male survivors. Many men who have experienced boyhood sexual trauma struggle with feelings of guilt and shame about their past experiences over which they had no control. They may also feel disconnected from their bodies or have difficulty establishing trust in relationships—especially intimate ones. Some men may withdraw from intimacy altogether out of fear that their partners will reject them if they disclose their traumatic experiences.

Survivors' significant others must recognize these potential reactions in their partner and provide him with a safe space where he can open up about his trauma without feeling judged or shamed by you. Reassure him that you love him no matter what and encourage him to seek professional help if he feels overwhelmed by his emotions or has difficulty managing his traumatic memories on his own.

For many men who experienced childhood sexual abuse, there is an underlying fear that any form of physical contact could lead to further violation. This fear manifests itself in various ways, such as avoiding situations that could potentially result in physical contact or feeling uncomfortable with certain types of touch, even if it does not involve penetration or intercourse. For some survivors, this anxiety can be so intense that it causes them to avoid all forms of affection from partners altogether.

As such, managing fear and anxiety becomes key for male survivors when engaging in physical intimacy with partners. Managing Fear and Anxiety

For many men who experienced childhood sexual abuse, there is an underlying fear that any form of physical contact could lead to further violation. This fear manifests itself in various ways, such as avoiding situations that could potentially result in physical contact or feeling uncomfortable with certain types of touch, even if it does not involve penetration or intercourse. For some survivors, this anxiety can be so intense that it causes them to avoid all forms of affection from partners altogether. As such, managing fear and anxiety becomes key for male survivors when engaging in physical intimacy with partners.

Boyhood sexual trauma can have far-reaching consequences for adult male survivors when it comes to sex and intimacy—both physically and psychologically. We need to be aware that our partners may be struggling silently with the aftermath of traumatic experiences in their pasts—and it is our responsibility to offer them understanding and support so that they don’t feel alone in dealing with this issue anymore.

By providing unconditional love and acceptance, we can help our partners heal from the traumas they have endured and create a stronger in the process.

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