Betrayal
Trauma
Recovery

The term “sexual coercion” evokes images of physical battering, stalking, and threats. 

But sexual coercion takes on many forms. One of which is the undisclosed use of pornography in a relationship. Karen, a therapist and victim of betrayal trauma, joins Anne on the BTR podcast to explain why pornography use is sexual coercion. Listen to the BTR podcast for more. 

Sexual Coercion = Lack of Consent 

Consent, in a sexual relationship, means that both parties have given an enthusiastic yes. 

When a man has a secret sexual life and has not disclosed the history of his sexual behaviors (including pornography use) to his partner, she is not able to give informed consent. 

Any form of porn in your relationship after you have asked for it not to be is a form of sexual coercion. Women absolutely have the right to say what type of sexual experiences they want within their relationship. Women have the right to say they are not comfortable with their partner using pornography. Women have the right to say that they are not comfortable having sex with a man who uses pornography. Then, if their partner agrees to but does not respect their wishes and boundaries, they are not getting consent and they are essentially sexually coercing their partners.

Karen

Withholding Information About Sexual Behaviors Is Sexual Coercion

I discovered that my husband had been unfaithful and it was a slow, leaky discovery. In reality, there was sexual addiction, acting out, affairs, and exchanging of photographs. I did not have the awareness to know the extent of the emotional abuse that was occurring.

Karen

When men withhold information and then engage in sexual contact with their partner, they are committing sexual coercion. A lack of informed consent is rape. Even if the man has not overtly told a lie, he is still committing sexual coercion by withholding important information that would allow a woman to make an informed choice.  

Sexual Coercion Is A Systemic Anti-Woman Issue

Victims begin offering more sex or different sex at the coercion of their partners. Women want to be loved and we are taught in this society that we should be objects. To survive in the patriarchy, we must perform as objects. The better an object we can be, the better we perform as objects, the better the chances of survival we have. This system is exploitative because it uses who we are as women: we provide security, we build nests, and we want to make a safe, comfortable place for others to perpetuate the unhealthy oppression of ourselves.

Anne, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Coercive sex is a societal issue and must be addressed by individuals and communities. 

When men do not give women the opportunity to make choices and set boundaries based on true information, they are dehumanizing their partners.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Sexual Coercion

At BTR, we understand how difficult it can be to both identify and break free from sexually coercive relationships. Every woman who has been sexually abused by a partner deserves a strong, safe community.

The  Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in every time zone and offers women the validation, answers, help, and support that they need to navigate these devastating situations and find healing. Join today. 

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