Does Sex Hurt? You’re Not Alone.

by | Abuse Literacy, Boundaries

Victims of emotional abuse (betrayal trauma is caused by abuse) often wonder why sexual contact is physical and emotionally uncomfortable and even painful.
They may visit doctors to get medical advice, explore lifestyle and diet changes to improve their overall health, and join support groups for pelvic pain, never realizing that they are victims of sexual coercion and other forms of partner abuse.

Pornography Use is Sexual Coercion

When a woman enters into a relationship with a pornography user who hasn’t disclosed his entire sexual history to her, he is committing sexual coercion: he is not giving his partner the opportunity to make a fully informed decision regarding her sexual contact with him.

Sexual Coercion Strips Women of Their Right to Informed Consent

Women deserve the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to have sex with a pornography user. When men who identify as “pornography addicts” choose to lie and hide their history of pornography use and sexual acting out, they are stripping a woman of her right to informed consent. 
This is sexual abuse, and abuse causes pain, even when we are not aware that it is happening. 

Didn’t Consent? Coerced Into Sex? That is Partner Rape

After painful sexual encounters with their partners, many women wonder why they are in such crippling physical and emotional pain. Partner rape is far more common than society realizes and represents. 

Are You a Victim of Partner Rape?

Partner Rape Looks Like This:

  • A woman saying no repeatedly, but being ignored or “talked into it” by her partner (when a woman says no even one time and a sexual encounter happens anyway, she has been raped)
  • A man repeatedly asking for sex and making life unbearable for his partner until she gives in to his demands (this is often done by keeping her awake until she is too tired to keep saying no, threatening to hurt himself or someone else if she doesn’t give in, or knowingly pressing her most emotional buttons until she caves)
  • “Incrementally raping” a woman by agreeing not to penetrate, but asking for other sexual favors, then gradually forcing himself upon her
  • Normalizing his expectations: making claims that because he is male, he deserves/needs/requires sexual contact and that it is her duty as his partner to give in to his demands
  • Any degree of physical force or intimidation intended to get her to give in
  • A man giving his partner drugs or alcohol to get her to be more willing to comply with his sexual demands
  • “Sexual Blackmail”: a man saying that he did ____, so she owes him sex. 
  • Implying or overtly stating that if she does not comply with his demands that he will commit infidelity
  • Sulking, acting with resentment, yelling, crying, or punishing the victim when she says no

Repeated Sexual Trauma Causes Sexual Pain

It is no wonder that so many victims of betrayal trauma and emotional abuse suffer from chronic pelvic and sexual pain. When women are repeatedly sexually coerced and raped by their partners, it stands to reason that their bodies will suffer.

Each woman’s situation is different, and what she will need to heal from the pain of abuse is unique as she is. However, at BTR, we believe that all women are capable of healing and finding peace.

Women Can Protect Themselves From Abuse

Victims of emotional and sexual abuse can set and maintain boundaries that protect them from further abuse. Boundaries are not requests, statements, or ultimatums. They are courageous actions that women take to separate themselves and their children from abuse.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Abuse

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in every time zone. Join a supportive community of women from all over the world, led by a certified BTR coach.

Tune in to the free BTR Podcast and hear other abuse victims’ stories of survival and triumph over abuse.

And remember, you are not alone.

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  1. Annonymous

    I had no idea this was available! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Gaelyn

    Way to go, Coach Laura! And special thanks to you too, Claire!


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