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  • Writer's pictureSherri Elliott-Yeary

Overcoming the Horrors of Sexual Trauma

One of the greatest things we lack as women is compassion toward ourselves. That’s because most of us have no idea how much trauma we have inherited in our bodies. Rather than acknowledging the tremendous amounts of negativity the average woman has faced in her life toward her body, beauty, and sexuality, she ends up with a lingering feeling like there is something wrong. Wrong with her, wrong with her body, wrong with her life.

It’s not always just extreme cases of abuse either. The daily pile of standard cultural messages we receive is an insidious trauma that takes its toll slowly and often in overlooked ways. These sex-negative and female-negative messages show up in our bodies as chronic tension inside our vagina, chronic health problems of the uterus, ovaries and vulva, and psychological issues such as eating disorders, insecurity, and neurosis.

Put simply, if you had no trauma whatsoever, you would already be a Zensual Goddess. She is who you are naturally before you receive any messages about who you are, or how you should align with someone else’s viewpoint about women.

We were all at one time wild little girls. The emotional freedom and beauty of little girls is astounding.

The vibrancy and natural peace you had with your body is your birthright. You probably didn’t make it past your teenage years with that same kind of energetic freedom intact. Why not?

For those of us who experienced emotional and sexual trauma, and because no one taught us how to release it, most of it has piled up inside our body as emotional and sexual baggage. It can be rather difficult to be sexually free with your lover if you are dragging a bunch of old unresolved sexual baggage. I know for me it felt like I was carrying another human being into the bedroom every time I had sex. It’s true, we live in a traumatizing world at times, where women are most certainly not taught to love themselves or embrace their sexuality. The level of tragedy is staggering. It is criminal how much we have grown to accept this level of trauma against our female bodies.

Sexual trauma comes in many forms. It can range from extreme experiences to slow and grating messages that add up over time. Trauma can happen from having your mother harshly punish you for expressing your natural sexuality. It can be being told in church that you are a devilish temptation and lust is a cardinal sin; messages that women who dress a certain way or wear too much make-up are trashy. Rape. Incest. Child abuse. Being told that sex is a wife’s duty, and masturbation is wrong, are messages you may have heard. Some say women who are assaulted were asking for it. You may have had lovers who expect you to behave like a porn star or told that you don’t deserve to be loved unless you are skinny, sweet, perfect, and hot. All of this traumatizes the female body. Every day, whether you were aware of it or not, your precious connection to pleasure and wholeness got shutdown.

The Results of Sexual Trauma

Your vagina is a sponge: soaking up each experience, good or bad. If you aren’t fully able to take in the pleasure experiences, and release the painful ones, your vagina gets backed up. She can’t digest and release negative experiences, and they get stored in her tissues.

What does that look like? How can you tell if you are carrying sexual trauma? Here is a list of clues:

  • Being shut down or “numbing out” during sex

  • Feeling internal pain, discomfort, “checking-out”

  • Not being able to relax and surrender

  • Thinking too much during sex

  • Carrying body shame and insecurity

  • Feeling like sex is dirty

  • Feeling something is “wrong with you” sexually

  • Constant thoughts of not being attractive enough or good enough

Instead of walking around as victims, I encourage a celebration of the blessing that many of us, but certainly not all of us, live in countries where we are able to reclaim our freedom of pleasure and full expression. With the right tools, we have the power to transform old trauma into power.

Trauma is a call to battle. For a Zensual Goddess, that means a call to love herself so deeply and so powerfully and to have the utmost compassion for herself. That kind of self-care gently releases old, unprocessed wounds, and if you choose to undergo the healing process, gives you the chance to emerge stronger in the practice of love and compassion.

My hope is that future generations are offered a different path of initiation. Trauma is by no means necessary to create strong and powerfully loving women. Yet, for those of us who have been given no other choices, the blessings of sexual healing are the kinds of potent experiences that leave us transformed into our powerful Zensual Goddess.

The Essential Steps of Self-Healing

No matter the technique you use, the process should always look the same, following these simple steps:

  1. Create a safe space for healing. That means you are safe to be yourself and feel what is occurring inside your body. If you have a partner or therapist, this means sharing your boundaries and getting clear on what you need in order to heal those painful places. If you are undertaking the process alone, make sure that you have a best friend or therapist to call if you need some support during this difficult time.

  2. Allow feelings and sensations to arise as much as you can without repressing or controlling them.

  3. Feel and experience them completely and allow your body to express itself.

  4. Afterwards, fill up your body with love and pleasure.

  5. Practice rigorous, daily self-love and care.

The Pleasure Healing Rule

I want to share with you how I released my childhood sexual trauma after my divorce. I used what I call the pleasure-healing rule that can support you during the healing process. When you go through a period of releasing sexual trauma, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and stuck in pain.

To counter this, give yourself two pleasurable experiences for every painful healing experience you go through. Here are some pleasurable experiences that worked for me:

  • Eating strawberries dipped in chocolate.

  • Taking a long swim naked in my pool.

  • Rubbing a faux fur glove all over your body after a bubble bath or better still buy a faux fur blanket and curl up in it naked.

  • Ask your partner for a warm oil body massage or splurge and go see a trained masseuse.

  • Take a long and luxurious bath or shower by candlelight.

  • Buy yourself a new pair of sexy shoes.

  • Go out with a close girlfriend to a movie, dancing, dinner and wear your new shoes.

I get this same question: Does sexual healing ever stop? I can’t say it ever stops completely, but it absolutely gets much easier. The more trauma baggage you kick to the curb, the more freedom you have to live fully from a place of power. Being free doesn’t mean you never feel pain, but free people make choices that are fulfilling and supportive: meaning you are going to feel so much better as you live your life with a deeper appreciation for how magnificent you truly are. If you honor your body by giving it twice as many pleasurable experiences, it retains it in your body, and you will begin to experience true pleasure daily.

Live with passion and joy!

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