When sex comes to our minds, we may think about pleasure, tabu, reproduction, fantasies, kinks, connection, desire, and an infinite number of terms. Nevertheless, how often do we feel about sex as healing? As a way to cope with trauma, abuse, and pain?
In this brief article, we will talk about how beneficial sexual activity can be, even in scenarios where the source of a given trauma may come from sexual activity. It is imperative to remember that, for sex and related sexual engaging behaviors to be healthy, they should arise with consent from our partners and ourselves. Furthermore, if this appears to be something pretty straightforward, it can be way trickier when it comes to our personal and inner understanding than many may think.
A correlating data will be our first step in understanding one multifaceted conjunction to this kind of phenomena, as seen in an ABC article dating from 2020 that counts some staggering information, known in medical terms as hypoactive sexual desire disorder or the HSDD.
This term may sound worldly but is the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages. A recent study showed that nearly one-third of women aged 18 to 59 suffer from a lost interest in sex. It is not all in their heads, actually, from a vast array of hormonal changes and dysfunctions, social, psychological, situational, and epigenetic factors that are shaping the sexual health of women, and in recent studies, men too.
Not to say that unhealthy or abnormal behavior trades were not accounted for in sexuality data and scientific experimentation and observance in the male sexuality. It is not the most popular topic within and especially outside academia.
However, as more of a confluence of understanding how close and how far, men and women alike, can share or differ trades in a stable and far complex interaction society, driven by a complex order of mutualism.
To grasp a basic understanding of mutualism, we could draw from the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being and further so as a biological widely accepted concept of a symbiosis beneficial to both organisms involved.
Nevertheless, mind-boggling, fancy terms aside, what we need to understand is that choice is not that clear, that revisiting trauma with a new approach does not have to be that old concept of crying our eyes out with a counselor. Having a cathartic release and significance of unpleasant situations, feelings, and pain can touch the basis of physics discomfort. Still, if well guided, it can be a highly functional cope mechanism.
If the touching of fire will gasoline hands may seem unproductive, let us take a closer look at some scientific and census data. To make this journey more palatable, we will count on some studies by Jeremy N. Thomas, A Ph.D. professor from Idaho State University.
To quote passages of a SAGE Journals paper within our text, although a personal interest in BDSM has long been pathologized and often presumed to be the result of childhood trauma or abuse, there are many studies to refute it.
Empirical studies have repeatedly found that BDSM practitioners have non-remarkable psychological profiles and are no more likely than the general population to have experienced trauma or abuse.
Additionally, some research suggests that people who practice and explore BDSM may experience lower psychological distress levels and may be healthier than the general population in some personality measures. Recent scholarship has highlighted various positive outcomes associated with BDSM participation, including developing communication and trust, negotiation and risk calculation, self-care, and resiliency.
Papers like Reworking Trauma through BDSM from Corie Hammers, available on The University of Chicago, where lesbian and queer participants dive into exploring the necessary queer conditions enabling such returns to sexual trauma, by which the final mean will be the reenacting through BDSM of one’s own lived trauma to reconfigure it.
And so many other examples, this is all to say that labels, stagnating final diagnosis, can happen, but the complexity of how women, men, and human beings work their surroundings and inner fluctuations, it is just a highly complex matter.
To be fit into a one-size box seems like an error, we have a vast toolbox for dealing with trauma that goes with sports, music, social interaction, kinks, BDSM, roleplay, a romantic night that unleashes a slow-motion dance between partners where the understanding of foreplay comes to complete visualization. We are complex, and we are unique.
To summarize, we have the tools, a great deal of understanding, and at this pivotal moment we live, an urgent necessity to understand that healing through sexual activity is not a bogus approach to trauma, but an inseparable part of the sexual revolution started in the ’60s.
Alexandre Alonso (Contributor)
communication and media