If you’ve shut down due to trauma or traumatic experiences, how do you open up again? How can you embrace your sexuality?

Find out with Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo and Reid Mihalko and http://www.ReidAboutSex.com.

Cathy: Someone wrote in and said, how do I go about regaining self-ownership of my body and sexual aspect after a trauma? I’m a 46 year old divorced gay man who had an incest in military in sexual assault in the past. I’ve never been able to have an erection, masturbate, orgasm. My ex wife would physically attract me for masturbating and tell my family whenever she did it, very religious family. If you have any ideas and resources that he could check out, he’d really appreciate them. Thanks for writing in. This is Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com/

Reid: Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com/. What you got?

Cathy: Just asking is wonderful. I really am glad you’re trying to recover that. Knowing that you can is really powerful. Just knowing that there are ways out there. I’m a big fan of emotional freedom techniques (EFT) where you tap on acupressure points that can help rewire how your primitive brain associates the experiences that you have with sexuality. If you can go now to http://www.ThrivingNow.com/tapping/ there’s a whole bunch of resources on how you could do that. With trauma this big I really recommend finding a therapist or coach to guide you and help you through some of this process.

Reid: Yeah. I feel like I’m out of my depth here. This is such a wonderful question and I want to have a list of resources which I do not have handy. Where I would start is if you can afford it, get a professional listener who works with folks who have trauma or trauma survivors and start slow baby steps. This is not the kind of thing that you like push through and tough it out through. It’s about getting to know yourself in really deep poignant ways. What is great is in this time, this age we have things like trauma informed yoga is a thing now.

Cathy: Depending on where you are in the country.

Reid: Yeah. It’s turning into a bigger thing so hopefully there’s places around you where you can find people who have experience in training in holding space for people who are trying to work on these things or have this life history where it’s not, there’s a different kind of listening and approach that is happening. Same thing as therapists, you can find a good therapist who doesn’t have any experience working with survivors and they’re not going to help you at all. They’re going to be useless. So being really mindful in trying to get as much agency as you can, agency and empowerment, EFT can really be great. You might have to find in trying out a couple of different modalities to find out what really, really works well for you. There’s also The Body Electric School http://www.thebodyelectricschool.com/ which was founded by men who loved men and that has a lot to do with reclaiming your sensual agency and feeling safe with male to male touch in a really loving and healing environment. So, you might want to check out The Body Electric School that was co-founded by Joseph Kramer. There’s a lot of different things out there. I don’t like overwhelm you with so many options. But working and looking for people who have experience and informed around trauma and working with trauma, that’s going to probably be super beneficial and super helpful and it’s okay to try somebody on and be like, wow thank you for being informed about trauma but you’re not the right fit for me. So, again, because somebody has some sort of training or specialty doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the right person or the right modality for you, too. You’re not broken if you have to look around until you find the right fit for you.

Cathy: Any of Peter Levine’s books are really helpful about somatic reconnection. So, that’s something you might want to look into. And there are books, if you could just go to amazon and search for trauma or sexuality after trauma, there’s a number of really good books out there that can help. I’ve gone through that a lot that worked because I have a history of abuse since I was a child and one of the things just the basics, a lot of them teaches just about touching yourself and not having an objective orgasm and really turn on. Just exploring your body and rediscovering it and figuring out what your body likes in actual physical terms as supposed to what you’re taught that you have to have.

Reid: And again, baby steps. The slower you go, often the faster you get there.

Cathy: Yeah. We hope this helps. Thank you so much for writing in. If anyone else has good resources please leave them in the comments below.