Sex After Trauma

If you’re a survivor of sexual trauma and/or domestic violence, the journey toward healing can be long and difficult — especially when it comes to reintroducing pleasure and sex into your life. 

In this stream, sex educator Mia Little speaks to her own experiences as a sexual and domestic violence survivor and the steps she took toward reclaiming her body and sexuality. Remember, everyone’s journey is different. Take the tips that serve you, and leave the rest behind. 

A good first step can be to figure out what you need to reclaim. For Little, those things included her sense of self, her physical space, her body, energy, and sexuality. To reclaim her sense of self, she relied on a network of support — friends who could validate the positive things about her. She set boundaries to curate that support, and to let go of those who no longer served her. 

“[…] by having people acknowledge I was part of [their] enrichment,” says Little, “it helped me collect, view, and process the things they saw in me [that] were true. These things challenged the notions of worthlessness […] and stupidity and inability that my abuse had endowed me.” 

Little also took steps to reclaim her time, space and energy by continually reminding herself her time is her own, and that she can make her home environment her own, too. “I realized I could put time and energy into caring for myself, not constantly managing the potential violence of another human being, “ Little says. 

When it comes to reclaiming sex after trauma, Mia suggests first finding ways to regulate and control how your body experiences sensation.  You can perhaps start by seeking pleasure in things that aren’t necessarily sexual, like music, meditating, deep breathing, or maybe a massage. If you are ready to experience sexual pleasure, masturbation can be a way to begin reclaiming your time, space, and body. Being slow and intentional about how you touch yourself can be a mindful departure from how you experienced physical touch with a past abuser. 

“Where before, in the trauma context, a sensation could have made me feel really scared or fearful or compromised, if I take that sensation and apply it slowly, incrementally, into a context where I am in control [...]” says Mia.  

If you are ready to invite a partner into that space, the same principles apply. Try being slow and mindful of touch and sensations, with lots of communication about what is working for you and what isn’t. 

If your partner is a survivor of sexual trauma, Little suggests making your partner feel acknowledged, seen, and listened to. Help them during the healing process by`“holding space as opposed to taking up space.” This means actively listening and being present, without feeling the need to fix everything. Encourage self-care and remind them they are their own person. Be aware it may be difficult for them to speak about their trauma. Recognize the times it’s appropriate to ask questions, or simply say, “Can I ask you a question about this?” This is good tool to avoid triggers that can be retraumatizing. 

Overall, seeking the support of friends and/or partner(s) can be important first steps toward reclaiming your sense of self, time, space, energy, and sexuality. To reiterate, everyone’s healing journey is different. It is often not linear, as some days may feel like progress while others may feel like setbacks. Be patient with yourself, and listen to your body for cues you might be ready to experience pleasure and sex again. But, most importantly, know you are your own person with agency over your life, body, and pleasure.

Video transcript

Welcome everyone. As people are getting settled, feel free to introduce yourselves. If you'd like to clarify pronunciation of your name, please do that. If you want to let us know where you're tuning in from, that would be amazing. I'm always so curious where around the world, around the country people are watching from. So that's always so exciting for me. To see howis tuning in. So before we get into the bulk of the content, we're gonna go over safer space guidelines. So let's do that right now. I want to first and foremost have folks assert their boundaries. In the event that this content or things that are exchanged in the chat room are uncomfortable for you because we are speaking on such themes as sexual violence, sexual trauma, domestic violence, and perhaps violence and unhealthy relationships. If any of that doesn't sit great for you, you're allowed to take space. Set your limits, assert those boundaries. That's totally okay. Since we are sharing and chatting in the chat room, please be mindful of everyone's confidentiality. Don't share experiences and narratives that are shared by other folks. You by all means can share what I'm seeing because it is going to be saved on O.school. And to archives for folks to watch. But be really mindful of your other attendees here and respect that space. When you're speaking use I statements. Try to avoid generalizations. And all that speaking for groups and whatnot. So speak from your position and try not to put you statements and project onto other folks. And I believe that's pretty much it. Yes. Oh, hello! Welcome Purple Love. Welcome everybody. I'll be occasionally looking down here. That's where my chat box is. But I'm trying to talk to the camera and address y'all. So thank you for holding space in coming here and sharing space and whatnot. I think it is time to jump in. I will intermittently give reminder trigger warnings for folks who pop in. And Mia if you could be assistance in that way, be like, hey trigger warning, content warning. This stream includes conversations and discussions of sexual trauma, and domestic violence. And how healing relates to that broadly. And of course if folks feel like they should give a content warning or a trigger warning when they share stuff, please by all means. Oh yeah. You saved that link? Yes. And don't yuck someone's, yeah, that's another piece. Thank you for reminding me of that Mia. Don't yuck someone's yum. I've definitely taught other classes that are geared toward kinks and different types of sex, queer sex and just the gamut there. I don't want anyone to shame anyone else, so really make space for everyone's experiences, likes and desires, and just whole selves. Yeah, don't yuck someone's yum. I appreciate that very much, Mia, for the reminder. Okay, a rundown of tonight. I will be going over my experiences with domestic violence specifically, not into too much detail, but to share my framework and my approach to it. I'm going to speak on how I have healed, particularly as an individual and with a support structure. I will speak on boundary setting and how my experiences have informed that. And also I'm gonna give time to share advice to partners of survivors or allies to survivors, or anyone who relates to survivors in any way socially, how you can be a better just hold space better for folks. In general. So yeah, welcome, welcome. Hello. Hi Jean. Oh! Mickey, there we go, cool. Yes, by all means change your nickname at your leisure. And again, if you're new, feel free to introduce yourselves, and let me know where you're streaming from. Okay, so a little heavy. Just some framework stuff. So I had a really intense and painful and long relationship with my first longterm partner, and that relationship lasted about 10 years. We had gotten together when we were high schoolers. We were high school sweethearts, and our relationship grew and evolved, and when things turned south, it was particularly through verbal abuse. I consider myself a survivor of domestic violence, and the violence I really was exposed to was verbal, emotional abuse, and financial manipulation, and that had gone on for several years. The impact, the effect of that was feeling really broken down, having lost my sense of self, having lost, I didn't really have confidence. I feel like since that relationship began when I was a high schooler, I was still growing and evolving, and what backbone I would have grown or could have grown was really hindered by the constant verbal attacks that happened daily, and so I really felt lost. I ended that relationship. I kicked that person out of my life, and I found myself just alone. And carrying a lot of these experiences, I felt really bogged down and heavy. I felt isolated, like ashamed. I think I internalized a lot of shame from the victim blaming, and the rape culture and the misogyny, that's just present everywhere. I've gotten all this messaging about how victimhood is held, and it usually is like well what were you wearing? These sort of questions that like puts the blame, or like what did you do? You should've stopped him. You should have left sooner. Messaging that isn't really supportive of my healing as someone who had gone through such traumatic experience, so I internalized all that at the same time as well, and it was really difficult to swim out of that. But I knew going forward I had to set better boundaries with myself and with other folks. And what really helped me heal the most was like leading up to kicking this person out of my life. So before that big breakup, I had started performing in adult film. I suddenly had this community of performers in the adult industry, and this was really the first time I saw community have healthy relationships. Have ways to navigate conflict that didn't result in a blow up, that didn't result into someone berating someone, and so that carrying that leading up to my breakup, and even identifying what I was going through was indeed abuse informed how I looked at all relationships. I saw, and of course I'm sure part of me was very much projecting, romanticizing relationships that, like every relationship, has its issues, but I saw the potential for a collaborative, healthy, positive feedback loop rich relationship with someone, and I knew what I was experiencing then was not that. It was coercive. It was abusive. And so when I got out of that I knew what I wanted. I knew I wanted to grow support systems that I was already building with my adult industry community, and I wanted to find folks who affirmed parts of myself, because what I really understood about relationships and friendships, particularly friendships, is that when I become friends with someone, it's because there's something that resonates between us. We're able to reflect back and affirm and acknowledge these pieces of ourselves and that's why we keep each other around, because we mutually enrich each other's lived experiences, and by having people acknowledge that, I was part of that enrichment, it helped me collect, view, and process that the things that they saw in me were true. These things challenged the notions of worthlessness and yeah, worthlessness and stupidity and inability that my abuse had endowed me. Like all this self doubt, and it challenged that. It made me realize that I'm resilient, that I am really fiercely protective of my community, that I show up, that I'm open hearted, and it was this process of self discovery by having peers reflect back aspects of myself that I was able to grow. And recognize that. And it got to a point where I could just see that in myself, without having to have people reflect back. And oh, anytime folks, feel free to share questions, comments, or concern about the content that I'm sharing, or if you have questions or comments to other folks, feel free to chime in at any point. So that pretty much is my history of climbing out of that situation. Of ending things with that person, and starting to put roots down in this rich network of people who were ultimately like my adult industry family. A big aspect of reclamation was figuring out what exactly am I reclaiming? What exactly had I felt like I didn't have the connection to when I was caught up in that cycle of domestic violence and abuse? And just that lost feeling that period of time where I didn't really feel I could grow into myself, and I realized that I wanted to reclaim my time, my space, and my energy. When I was living with my abuser, I didn't feel like my time was mine. I felt like I was always walking on egg shells trying to mold my day and my behavior and my self to rock the boat as little as possible at home, and that's exhausting. That's not living for myself. That's in fact living, trying to mitigate my reactions and that's not, that didn't honor myself. I didn't have the opportunity to, because I was in survival mode. I was very fearful of what would happen with this person. So it was essential for me to understand now that I was alone that my time is mine. Even though yes capitalism exists. I have bills to pay and I have responsibilities that require me to do work, I had to understand that my time was mine. I didn't have this person whose gravitational pull that was strong on me, like that person was gone, and I was kind of like free floating, able to figure out what I wanted to do day to day, and that was really liberating and kind of scary It was kind of scary. Like what am I supposed to fill the day with? How am I even a normal person? And I definitely struggled with the concept of normal, when I know it is arbitrary and so contextual. And so subjective, person to person, and reclaiming my time was empowering. It reminded me that my time was mine, and in relation to that, I was mine. That no one owned me, that I got to decide, just I as I get to decide at work about these boundaries and rules about my body, that just extends to my entire life, 'cause my body is mine. My time is mine. My space is mine. My energy is mine. So the reclamation of space. That was a pretty big one to adjust to, and I'm still, I still have baggage in regard to how I take up space, because I want to be really, I'm just really mindful of it. I don't want to ever make people uncomfortable or center myself when other folks should be centered, even in a social no pressure situation, I'm very cautious about that, but getting out and relating to healing from domestic violence, reclaiming my space meant I could make literally my home environment my own. I felt there was this pressure that was constantly exerted on me when I was sharing space with my ex, my abuser, that I couldn't really put roots down and take up the space that I wanted to in the way that I wanted to, because again, I wanted to shrink, and I felt really small when I was in it, and coming out of it felt really, really small, because this person's violent energy took up so much space, and filled the house with rage and discomfort. And now I have that pressure that's gone, that that piece is gone, I now have liberty to make my space my own, and I realized that for me the feeling of a space really impacts my mental health, and ultimately my healing, so I ask myself, like what environment, what can I do to change my environment to better facilitate my healing? How can I change where I'm at to feel more at ease? Less tense? Have a clearer head? And that looks different for everyone. Just like I like to compare picking and curating the environment you're in very much to like asking yourself, what is the best studying environment for you? Is there music in the background? Is it tidy? Or is it this organized chaos? What feeling does the space bring you? And how does it serve that feeling and experience? So I really applied that to my home space, because I spend so much time at home. I do work outside of home, but nowadays, and even back then, since I web cammed and made content, I was often in my home space, so it was really, really important for me to make that comfortable, inviting, and warm and feel like a home that someone has lived in. Okay, so for Mia, I'm pretty sure, but not 100%, uh huh, okay, and it's strange to not know. I feel like Mia, there really isn't very much education as to identifying abuse. Because we talk about, we don't really talk about boundary setting very much. It's not really normalized or even consent. I feel like, 'cause that's definitely a big question to wrangle with. I think helping, a way to support the feeling of knowing anything is knowing your own internal boundaries and limits and wants and needs. That helps transition to boundary setting, like nowadays I can pinpoint when a relationship no longer serves me. Because I've explored those boundaries, and those lists of this is what makes me feel safe. This is what makes me feel comfortable. This is what makes me feel secure, and I know what those things are, so when things start to deviate from that, when things start to feel coercive, manipulative, forced, abusive, my senses are more attuned to that, so for me, the ability or the sense of knowing when something is abusive is related to knowing where your limits and boundaries are as to how any sort of relating, any sort of relationship, looks like when it's serving you and it's honoring you, when it's respecting those boundaries and limits, so I'm the sort of person that's constantly doing check ins, constantly checking in with myself, checking in with people that I relate to or have relationships with, to see where we stand, so there aren't huge gaps in check ins, because I think I didn't really know how to check in, and again, the art of knowing when you're in an abusive relationship is not perfect. Everyone has a different approach to that or awareness of that, and even a part of me that was really guilty for being in the relationship I was for a long time, I beat myself up over the fact that how did you now see it sooner? How did you not know before it got bad? And I have to be gentle with myself, 'cause I am a different person every day. The person that was in it was trying to survive, and didn't have the space away from the situation to know what was going on, so when you're able to step back and look at it objectively and assess and check in, how does this line up? Where my limits are, where my boundaries are, for what respect looks like to me, I think that is really helpful in identifying when a relationship is reciprocal and healthy and serves you to when it starts to not serve you, to when it starts to feel uncomfortable, for when it starts to slip into I feel abused, I feel coerced, so checking in with those feelings also helps and sifting and tracing them back is helpful. I just am really inclined to doing a lot of introspection on a regular basis, so that has helped me navigate and of course back out of some relationships that I found to not serve me. However, again, when we're in it, feelings take over. Survival mode takes over, so it's hard to see those things and know, because some other parts of your brain and your body are responding to a stressor. So be gentle with yourself. What helped me a lot, because the only way I realized that my abuse was abuse was by having friends reflect back to me what was happening. Yes, oh thank you Mia, yes. Folks joining in right now, please be mindful that I will be speaking on content pertaining to domestic abuse, sexual violence, sexual trauma, trauma in general, and healing from that. So just be mindful and I really encourage you to take space as you need it. Okay, awesome. Let's see. Oh, okay. So, we're gonna go backtrack a little bit to reclamation of one's energy. So, I'm very aware that I only have so many spoons, so many spoons to do anything during the day, or just like I have certain energy levels I have to listen to, because living takes work, interacting with folks takes work, work takes work, and again, being in that situation where I was like living with my abuser was draining 'cause I was putting all this energy into making myself as small as possible so I could avoid my abuse. So that again very draining, very stressful, and really interacted with fear. 'Cause I cannot make myself small. I'm just this, but how do I shrink into myself? Like that's a wild ask. That I tried to do. And so without that, stepping away, outside of that trauma, away from that situation, I now had to manage my energy differently. I realized that I could put time and energy into caring for myself, not constantly managing the potential violence of another human being, and the actual violence of another human being. I could actually invest energy in myself. By figuring out my self care. A lot of that energy definitely went to introspection. But that energy was also driven toward how do I schedule my day to make sure I feel rejuvenated and replenished and nurtured and nourished enough for the next day? And it's not always perfect. Like my self care isn't always 100%. There are definitely days where I struggle, and I overextend, and I burn out. That's totally normal and natural, but when it came to long term knowing that life is a marathon, not a sprint, and know that investing in my self care will always pay back. It will always pay back and serve me because that's what I need to go on. So it's okay for me to say no to people, and that is powerful. Saying no and knowing where your thresholds are, where your limits are, when you need to take time to be by yourself because being around people is too draining, like that is powerful. And that's how you can reclaim yourself, and I feel like when it comes to self care, it's not just applicable to survivors or people who have experienced great trauma. I think it behooves everyone, because life takes energy. It takes effort. Relationships take effort and energy. Everything is constantly taxing you, so being mindful of knowing to save some of that work for yourself even if it's just work to find time to relax, that is nurturing yourself, and it's so important to remember that the first and last relationship you will ever have is with yourself. There is only one you. There is only one you, and you're in charge of it. Okay, any questions, comments, or concerns at this time before I roll on? I definitely would like to hold space for everyone and make time for people to chime in if they want. I know that this is a very broad topic, and I'm only really able to cover stuff from my experience, but I wanna make sure that y'all know you can ask questions. Yeah. Feel free. Okay. For now, I'm gonna continue on and speak on support systems, just a little briefly, 'cause I touched on some big points. When it comes to figuring out who I'm going to like invite in to being in my life as friends or whatever, I ask what sort of bridge am I building to this person? Because again I only have so much energy and whatnot, and the way I view relationships, any relationship, is like you and this other person are standing on opposite sides of a canyon, and you're building a bridge to one another. What are your, what are your bridges made out of? Is it made out of a strong foundation of communication, and timeliness and respect and openness and vulnerability? And trust and love? That's how I view relationships. And that's another tool for me, when I visualize that, that's another tool for me to assess relationships, because I think about how my side of the bridge looks like, and how the other person's side of the bridge looks like, and if there's a disconnect from how they view their side of the bridge looks like, it sounds like there needs to be a conversation. So it's a check in tool, a visualization I like to use. And I think about when it comes to the people in my life that really really create an ecosystem, I don't imagine that I'm in isolation, because support of another folk, of one person, can definitely reinforce other support that I have from other people. If I'm getting the same message of hey, you need to slow down, take care of yourself, from multiple sources who know me and can see when I'm coming to my limits, that is enriching to me, and I try to participate and reciprocate in that way as well. When I can sense a friend is approaching their limits, I'm like hey, do you need some self care? Do you need some support? Do you need me to listen? What works? So thinking about, meditating on what sort of support and nourishment do I need from other people? And what sort of nourishment and support can I give as well? Because it should be a reciprocal mutually beneficial, enriching relationship. In whatever way that you relate to one another. Yeah. I love my friends. They really, they saved me They've changed my world really, and taught me so much about myself and about how to take care of myself, so I really hope for y'all who don't really think or reflect too much on your support systems or the friends that you have in your life that keep you going, you'll think about it, appreciate it, acknowledge it. I think a big piece of any relationship that is nourishing and nurturing is acknowledgement, giving credit where credit is do. Like if a friend or a peer calling is really supportive, and really shows up in a specific way that's specific to them, acknowledge it. Say that you see the work that they're doing to show up in that manner. That goes far. And it's just the other side of accountability, you know? Just having call outs doesn't, like it is important to acknowledge when there are violations of trust, and love, but it's also very important to acknowledge when there are wins. When there's success, when there is support. Oh yes. So if anyone at all would like to tip, feel free to tap the gift jar. Thank you very much, and again, if folks are coming in right now, just general trigger warning. I'm going to be speaking on domestic violence, trauma, sexual trauma, sexual violence, healing from all of that stuff. Yeah Just be mindful. There is a link to my safer space guidelines in the chat as well. Okay, so an aspect of my domestic violence situation was also sexual trauma and sexual violence and going back to your question, Mia, of like oh how did I not know? Like in those moments where I was being abused sexually, I was in survival mode, and I definitely didn't necessarily consent, but I knew this was an exchange to placate an abuser. That's looking back. I only was able to reflect back and investigate my deep consent with the situation to realize that wasn't really consensual. It was coercive. It was manipulative and abusive and violent. So pieces of consent can be surface consent, like consent like yes, no, like in the moment right there, and also deep consent, when you look back on something, and you assess that experience and that exchange and affirm that that indeed was consensual. It was a fuck yes. And perhaps realizing that wasn't a fuck yes sort of situation. So consent is really nuanced, and that can definitely take up a stream unto its own self. I actually speak on consent a lot and my archived videos on BSM and whatnot, so if you wanna take a gander at those, check 'em out. I speak more broadly about that sort of piece, but its essential I think in the knowing, is that knowing can happen after the fact. You can reflect back on something and come to know the pieces of that as well. So, speaking on my sexual trauma, like how did I facilitate healing around that? As I mentioned, I was and still am shooting adult content, adult film, having sex on camera Basically. And I was able to have this very controlled regulated environment, where my body could experience sensation. Now not everyone can reproduce shooting porn or like a porn set, that sort of environment of like regulation, control, and high levels of communication and consent, from my experience, and here is how you can perhaps recreate that sense of control. And it's like leveling up in mindfulness, when you have sexual interactions, but particularly focusing on yourself. So, masturbation is a great way to control the sensations your body experiences. You can choose your devices. You can choose your method. You can choose your environment. You can choose if you do it lying down on the bed, or in the shower, or in the living room. You have control over these different moving pieces. And so masturbation for me was a really great way to reclaim my time and my body and my space. By letting my pleasure just fill a room and just not worry about anything else, and have that time with myself. Oh yes. There are so many different layers to consent. I think it's such a broad concept, consent. I love it. I love how I feel like the pleasure professionals at O.school address consent differently. With each other. But anyways, going back to reclaiming your body, after trauma, reclaiming sensations, and I don't, I liking baby steps in everything. I'm not really a big fan of like diving headfirst in a pool that I don't know its depth. So going slowly and being okay with backing off and not having everything look like a linear progression. Very honestly, when it comes to healing, it is not linear. It's a process. There are back steps. There are flashbacks. There's so many things at work that it's just not realistic for it to be linear, so when it comes to other relationship building and exploration and processing, don't expect it to be linear. However, with practice, you have more knowledge, and therefore you can perhaps course correct a little bit more smoothly and transition. So looping back to masturbation, go slowly. Take your time. Really take your time. It doesn't have to be like a really quick flash in the pan session. It can be definitely, but if you need to go slowly and not center your genitals, you don't have to center your genitals. You can start by being really present with yourself by just breathing, by meditating, by really settling into your space, and then practice touching yourself. And touch yourself just with your hands and your other parts, or you can have implements and toys. You could even have a machine. But go slowly. Part of the intentionality of it, of the act of masturbation, is meaning making. Where before, in the trauma context, a sensation could have made me feel really scared or fearful or compromised, if I take that sensation and apply it slowly, incrementally, into a context where I am in control, where I am in the pursuit of my pleasure, where the only objective is to feel good and celebrate myself and my body, that changes the meaning slowly. Over time. To mean something else. Even though the association is still there, I've layered on top of that so many more different associations with that feeling. And that can also be applied to when you're being intimate with a partner, if you're having sex with a partner, and you are aware of certain sensations, you can communicate and say like, hey, this sensation isn't always great, but if you want to give that gift to me, can you go slowly, or can you tweak it? You can fine tune things. Like you can tweak things just until they're just right for you. You're always allowed. Okay, so I have about 20 minutes or so left. I would like for folks who are tuning in if you have any questions about being a partner to a survivor, now's the time, 'cause I'm gonna launch into my spiel with that. Yeah, but yeah, and again, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, of anything that I've spoken on previously, feel free to askor bring it up, and I will honor and give it time, and my attention, for sure. Yes, yes, yes. Okay, before I, let me actually at to the list, before I jump into speaking about how partners can be supportive, let's speak on how do you relate to trauma? And I'll just say this briefly. I am aware that I as an identity, as a person, am a collection of experiences. However, I am never just any one of my experiences. Even though I may have had lots of traumatic, painful, violent experiences from other people, I also know that I'm this huge mosaic of rich life that I've had, and will continue to have. Even though I can feel really close to my trauma. I can feel really in it, in the feeling of it, it helps to remember I'm not just that. There's more living to be had. There are lots of amazing, rich, lovely, happy, joyful experiences, even in this soup of experiences I have too. So I'm not just my trauma. And that's really important for me to remember especially when I'm having flashbacks and slides and struggles with my mental health, 'cause I lived so long in this state of wanting to feel small and feeling small that when I slide into that it's hard to remember not just that smallness that I felt. Oh no. Maikee, no worries at all. It's totally okay. Tech issues happen. I hope you were able to view some of this. Yes, for sure, okay. Recommendations for partners of someone with sexual trauma. So partners of survivors. And these are also just tools anyone who relates to survivors can have. And the main piece I wanted to share was holding space, and what that means because I think being held wholly is transformative. Being acknowledged and seen and listened to is very meaningful, and valuable because it's acknowledging someone's trauma, or just their entire selves, the different aspects of them that they're sharing that informed one another to make their self. That is really hugely empathetic and a way to show support. Okay, how can they be supportive and help them during the healing process? So I think holding space as opposed to taking up space. So holding space is active listening, being present, and even though some folks have the inclination to want to fix right away, it's like oh, you have a problem. You have these feelings that are coming up. How can I fix it? What action can I take to change that? And that in a way can take up space and take the autonomy away from someone that's just trying to be heard, so starting with empathy or, and I learned this from Ashley Manta, who's also another pleasure professional who's amazing, so empathy or is the premise for holding space, so first and foremost, when someone is coming to you and sharing their experiences, begin with empathy. You can offer other actions and other modes of support, but begin with listening. It's really, really supportive to encourage self care and self regulation and the reminders that they're an autonomous person. You're allowed to make decisions about yourself. You have control over your life. Even though sometimes you may feel out of control. Yes, Ashley's amazing. I love her. I love her, I love her, I love her. And also it's really tough, it's really difficult for some folks to talk about their experiences and their trauma, so avoiding retraumatization is key, okay? Be able to understand when it is appropriate to ask questions, what questions are appropriate, is pretty essential. You can get a sense for that. You can always begin with a framing question, like can I ask a question about this? It's sort of like a trigger warning. But rather than share content that's potentially triggering, you're asking for permission to investigate something that maybe. If it's just consent, if it's not like a fuck yes, don't follow that avenue, right? Or framing things like what is nurturing to you? What is comforting to you? So taking it completely out of the context relating to trauma, but finding out the basic facts about your partner. What is comforting to you? What is soothing to you? What is a space that is healing? What does healing look like? And then carrying that information with you to inform your interactions. So for instance, when I am freaking out and in a really terrible spiral, I know, and I have shared with partners it's really comforting for me to be held. And to be allowed to cry. So I am giving my partners tools and information as to how to take care of me. And I also have had friends who I've shared my experiences with and talked to them about my past, asked how do you self care after reliving that or having a flashback? So it's building up this store of information of how to better support each other, period. That's really helpful. For allies and partners alike, investigating our own toxic scripts is how you can be a supportive partner. Do I carry toxic scripts about victim blaming? Do I carry toxic scripts about misogyny? Misogynoir. Do I have toxic scripts about racism? About sex negativity? And doing that self work. Being a supportive partner doesn't just mean reacting to someone's experiences that they're sharing or reacting to the knowledge that they've had these experiences. It also is self work. Being a good partner means asking what are these bits of code that's been snuck into me because I didn't realize that I was taking in this messaging? That is so essential. Like self work is a good way to be a partner to a survivor. Yeah. Any specific questions that anyone has had about partners of survivors or healing or anything in general? We have some more time. About that. Yeah. Like, I think holding space is always going to be the number one tool I share with folks, because it's just a way to make more space for people's humanity, you know? I think a lot of the time, especially in the United States culture, it's about self centering and taking up space and making the attention be on one individual, but the truth of the matter is you can hold space for everybody, including yourself. Oh yes It's so essential. It's so essential. The work isn't just doing stuff outside of yourself and acting on situations. It's also doing work internally, and interpersonal work. What are generational, intergenerational behaviors that I've adopted and accepted and am doing now that is potentially harmful and unhealthy? That goes so far because not only one are you trying to be a good partner to someone who needs that sort of support, but also you're unlearning generations of behavior that was potentially unhealthy, that didn't serve folks. Assessing how can I serve myself as well as serve my partner? Is another reframe, and self work, self maintenance is really key to that, I believe. Yeah. There's so much to unlearn, because I feel like part of, oh yeah, who is this? Hold on. Mia. Honestly so essential for not being abusive towards other people. Yes Yes, Mia, I definitely agree. Self work is pretty key because I think by identifying those aspects of yourself and really investigating them and how they interact with other people, can help you identify how you show up for other people. How do you manage your emotional reactivity when there are things that you may not agree with? What does anger look like? How is that processed? What does frustration look like? How is that processed? Does it overflow onto other people? Does it get projected as not great energy fields onto folks in your space? How do you deal with that? Emotional intelligence goes so far in not being an abuser and also being a good partner to survivors, being aware of okay, emotional feeling, what is my reaction? How do I change that? How do I tweak that? Oh yes It's pretty big. Yeah. I'm trying to think, what are other, oh yeah. This is a key one. Don't, if you're a partner of a survivor or just like an ally, or just in general listening in to benefit one way or another, be okay with people needing space and time. We're not entitled to anyone else's time. Your time is yours. Their time is theirs. Be respectful of that, and be okay with that, because it takes effort to heal, to have a relationship with oneself, make space for that for folks who need it. And it's okay. It doesn't reflect on the value or the strength of that relationship if people need time away from one another. It just asserts that they need time. Oh, thank you, Mia. Yeah, if anyone at all feels like they've benefited from this chat, feel free to click on the gift jar. I really appreciate it. Anything really is a value and supportive of me, so, and of O.school, so that's really awesome. Yes, yes. Oh, okay. Let me, I'm like looking at my list, and I'm like, what other pieces? An emotional relationship with my body. So, because my experience with my abuser really tore me down and really picked apart my self esteem, so the way I related to myself was very poor. I thought very little of myself. So I knew part of my healing and reclamation would require having a better emotional reaction to myself, and not feeling like repulsed by myself, and part of that was how do I feel in my body? That ties to masturbation. That ties to having great consensual amazing sex with people. And that tied to being really physical and that's just how I related to my body, and that informed some emotional reactivity for how I felt again, because I was like, oh, my body is this amazing vessel that can experience these pleasurable things as well as run and rock climb and do that stuff, but that isn't necessarily for everyone. How do you court yourself? How do you take yourself on a self date? Because that in itself, like specific time allocated to self care, and celebration and self courtship which is like let me make myself feel good about myself, like that is healing. Because you're putting energy into curating and creating experience that's positive, just for you. Just for yourself. Thank you, Clitosaurus is in the house. Oh, thank you everyone. Y'all are very, very sweet. We have a little bit more time, like five more minutes. Otherwise I'm just gonna ramble on. More advice for partners. If you're in a situation where you're living together, it is always supportive, period. Again, not necessarily in relation to someone's trauma, but it is always supportive to participate in domestic labor. And housekeeping and whatnot, because respecting and honoring one another's environment is really supportive feeling facilitated, and it lessens the shared load. Like if you guys, if you all have a shared load of work that needs to get done and house space, relieving pressure off of that person creates more space and more opportunity for healing. Not to say the partner of a survivor should be doing all the domestic work, but occasionally it is a good gift to do that, to relieve some work pressure. And take turns doing that for one another. That's really supportive. Yeah, my verbal fries off the charts today. I wonder what's going on. Any other pieces? I think also advice for partners, more tidbits of advice for partners is asking when it comes to consent, always ask of course, but if your spiny senses start to tingle when you and your partner are being intimate, check in, ask if micro adjustments need to be made, if course correction needs to be made. Yes. Awesome Thank you everyone for being here. I really appreciate you all tuning in. And holding space. If anyone really wants to ask me any questions or want support in any way about healing from a traumatic experience or sex after, or anything really, feel free to hit up the DMsin my Instagram. I do even though it might not, say, for work Instagram, I get lots of stuff I need to filter through. If it is a question about sex, then I generally will put some time to it. If it's something that is worthy of a lot of time we could even talk about booking a consultation and whatnot. If you feel like you've benefited from this stream or previous streams or any of the content that I make and put out there into the world, I would really appreciate a gift from the gift jar. Feel free to click it. What else? In the future, if there is a specific topic that you want me to cover that you feel like I could share my insight and knowledge about, please make a suggestion at O.school or on the email or Instagram. That would be amazing, and I'll do my best to honor those. I'm not sure when my next stream will be, or what it will be about, so I'm always open to suggestions. And don't forget I believe who's up after me tonight? Let's take a look? So, yeah, so tonight Lucia will be on answering the question, did I cum? Talking about orgasms and sex, and all that, so if you're interested in that stream that is coming up next tonight on O.school yes, yes, yes. And there's still some time, if anyone has any questions. Yeah. We covered a lot tonight. We should be proud of ourselves. Any pieces that I had spoken on today that really resonated with folks, I always appreciate feedback. Yeah. It's always nice. Yeah. So holding space, I think that's, there's a lot of articles about holding space. I think it's a really awesome practice and trauma informed care is another piece that's really helpful because it just generally speaks to how do you care, exhibit care and intention with folks who you are aware have trauma. Oh yes. Oh, thank you. Yeah. I just try to share resources and experiences that I've had access to. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I hope so too. I will definitely try to make time for that in the future. All right everybody. Really have a great night. I hope your evenings are filled with self care relaxation and peace. And don't forget Lucia will be on right now, actually, so I'll see you all later. Have a good night.

Sex After Trauma

Date
Mon
Jun 18, 2018
|
1:00 pm
|
Calendar
Monday, June 18, 2018
|
1:00 pm

Speaking from her experience with domestic violence, Mia shares her journey and practices toward healing, reclaiming her body and sexuality, and opening up to new relationships.