Sex for Survivors

An illustration of two hands reaching toward each other. A heart grows from between their hands, and around them is hearts, flowers, smiley faces, and decorative spirals.

For those who don’t know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And the unfortunate reality is that while this may be a challenging and even painful topic to discuss, far too many people are navigating sex and relationships in this world as sexual assault survivors.

A 2018 study conducted in the wake of the #MeToo movement found that more than 1 in 4 women and 1 in 14 men are survivors of sexual assault, while 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. What this means is that it’s surprisingly likely that even if you personally never experience assault or harassment, there will be someone that you want to date or sleep with over the course of your lifetime who has. Understandably, survivors don’t always tell every person they go on a date with about their past trauma. So if you’re courting someone, dating someone, or sleeping with someone, it’s important to understand that whether you know it or not, you may be engaging in a relationship with a survivor.

So how can we support survivors in all of our romantic and sexual relationships, no matter how casual or committed they might be?

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