How Trauma Has Affected My Sexuality
Here’s How Trauma Has Affected My Sexuality

Anne's crush on Indiana Jones may be revealing that trauma has affected her sexuality. She tells all in this short episode.

Do you wonder if you’re asexual? Find yourself repulsed by your partner, rather than attracted to him? Are you missing your once-vibrant sense of romance?

Trauma deeply affects our sexuality. Anne shares her own experiences with this subject in this short episode. Tune in to The BTR.ORG Podcast and read the full transcript below for more.

I Lost Interest in Sex After Betrayal – Is That Normal?

Many women lose interest in sex and any kind of affection after betrayal and sexual coercion.

There’s nothing MORE normal than not wanting the abuser to touch you or use your body when you do not feel safe with him.

Will I Ever Have a Sex Drive Again?

As Anne shares her own story, including how her crush on Indiana Jones has helped her understand her own trauma in regard to future relationships – you may find some hope that as you establish safety in your life and give yourself space to heal, peace and healing are absolutely possible.

BTR.ORG Is Here For You

Losing your desire for intimate connection and relationships can be devastating. It feels like a passionate, beautiful part of you has died.

These are difficult feelings to process. Attend a BTR.ORG Group Session today and find the community that you deserve on your journey to safety.

Full Transcript:

Anne (00:00):
Welcome to BTR.ORG. This is Anne. I’m gonna have a really short episode again today with just me kind of chatting about stuff. So can we talk about Indiana Jones? I recorded this before the movie came out, so at this point I haven’t seen it, but I realize that when this airs, it will have come out. Just know, there’s not going to be any spoilers or anything because I have not seen it yet at this point. I grew up on Indiana Jones in my home. We had a VHS player and a tape, I think I recorded it off of TV or something of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And so there’s a period of my life where every Saturday I would watch Raiders of the Lost Ark via vhs. So I have a lot of this movie memorized and with this new Indiana Jones coming out, I’m so excited to see it.

Have media, culture, and trauma affected your sexuality?

Of course I’m gonna be there and I’m gonna love it. But I have mixed feelings about Indiana Jones in terms of maybe how media and culture has affected my sexuality. And I say that because dating and marriage don’t really interest me. I’ll go on a date every once in a while. I am noticing lately that I’m more interested in sex. And when I say that, I mean a hundred percent of the time, it doesn’t one hundred percent disgust me. And that did occur for a really long time. So now 90% of the time it 90% disgusts me and then there’s like 10% where I’m like, oh, maybe I would wanna have sex again. And I feel like that 10% of the time when that occurs is usually due to some Indiana Jones-type character on a movie that I watch <laugh>.

“It represented my childhood ideas of what men were and what masculinity was”

So that’s why I’m saying maybe it has ruined my sexuality in that a lot of the shows that I watch where I’m really attracted to a man, they’re strong, they’re capable physically. I’m very attracted to manly problem solvers who are able to like save the day.
I actually had the opportunity to go the Petra where part of Indiana Jones and the last crusade is filmed when they find the Valley of the Crescent Moon. And when I got there, I broke down in like hysterical crying; I could not stop crying. So you go through this slot canyon, which by the way, it looks a lot like where I’m from. It looks a lot like southern Utah, so I felt like I was home there. Anyway, so I go through this slot canyon and I get to the end and here is this amazing…it’s called the Treasury and it was just overwhelming, but it also represented kind of my childhood ideas of what men were and what masculinity was and the kind of man I wanted, which Indiana Jones-that’s crazy.

“There’s no Indiana Jones in real life”

There are no men in real life like Indiana Jones. So I see the Treasury in real life and I just break down and start crying. I was sobbing because here I was standing in front of the Treasury thinking this sort of represents what my dreams were. My ex-husband is very physically capable. He was really strong and physically attractive and he could pick up railroad ties and throw ’em around in our yard. I found him attractive when he’d work in the yard. So I’m standing in front of the treasury and I just break down. It’s kind of like all of my childhood dreams and hopes are just standing there in front of me and there’s no Indiana Jones, right? I’m just there and he’s not around. And it was really miserable, actually, in that moment.

“He would be the worst husband in the world”

I took my journal, thank goodness, and I was journaling quite a bit. The other interesting thing about the Treasury, the actual Treasury in Petra, is that it is just a facade. You can’t go in it, but if you could, there’s just a little tiny room in there. There’s not some palace inside of there. It’s just this beautiful facade and most of Petra is like that. It’s just facades, not palaces built into the rock. And that really hit me, all of the things that I thought I wanted or that I thought were cool. This Indiana Jones character was just a hollow facade and yet that type of man, like the Indiana Joneses of the world, is still what I’m sexually attracted to. And it’s annoying me. It’s annoying me because I would not wanna be married to Indiana Jones. He would be the worst husband in the world.

“I’m so happy with my life”

I’ve been thinking a lot about how perhaps my sexuality has been messed up by movies, these types of men who I am attracted to for sure. But I don’t necessarily want to be and I wish I was attracted to other types of men. So in the process of this, rather than worry about it too much, I just have decided not to worry about it. And I like that; I really do. I’m so happy with my life- I love it, I love my kids, I love being a mom, I love doing this podcast. I love everything we do at BTR. It is so satisfying and maybe when my kids move out or something, (I’ll think about it and by that time I will be like 55 years old) I will meet a man who is not like Indiana Jones and maybe I won’t be that attracted to him and maybe that will be great.

Are you in this situation?

I don’t know. I’m wondering if you guys have had the same situation where you know what healthy is and that’s what you’re interested in. Maybe you’re not so interested in dating like I am, but then who you’re sexually attracted to is not necessarily the “healthy” type. I’m not saying I’m attracted to bad guys. No. I’m not dating anybody. I never get myself in a pickle. I’m not flirting with people. If you knew me in real life, which you don’t, I think you’d be like, “Oh yeah, she does not flirt with people.” I do not have a problem with not dating. I think I give off like a kind of leave me alone vibe, which suits me fantastic. So there’s no hanky panky going on with me, but I’m wondering how you feel about how media maybe or movies toyed a little bit with who you’re sexually attracted to and then also what you know would be better for a marriage. That being said, since I’ve never had a healthy marriage, I don’t know anything about it, and so this is not a podcast for healthy marriages.

Women in healthy marriages don’t relate to the BTR.ORG podcast

I think an episode or two ago I talked about abuse and what that looks like. And I’m not concerned at all about women who are in healthy marriages coming to BTR and then out of thin air deciding for no reason at all that their husband is abusive when he’s not. That’s not what happens. Women who have healthy marriages, if they listen to this podcast, they’re like, “Oh wow, yeah, my husband’s nothing like that.” If they read, Why Does He Do That? They’ll be like, “Wow, my husband’s nothing like this.” Women who have an abusive husband, when they read,  Why Does He Do That? they’ll be like, “Check, check, check, check, check. He’s abusive.” When they listen to this podcast, they’ll be like, “He is emotionally and psychologically abusive.”

Do you know what a healthy marriage feels like?

That is what’s going on. This porn thing is an abuse issue. That is what’s happening. That’s not BTR ‘s fault, it’s the abuser’s fault. They are the ones that are doing the abusing. But because I haven’t been in a healthy marriage, I don’t know how to be in one. I don’t know what that looks like. I think I know what it looks like, but I don’t really know cause it’s never happened. So although I may be a self-proclaimed abuse expert, I am not a healthy marriage expert. So maybe that’s part of it because I still haven’t had that experience. Somebody like Indiana Jones, well the one in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, just still seems so cool to me.

Please Share Your Thoughts

I’d love to know your thoughts about this; please comment below. Now that I’m just thinking about this, it might be that I would be attracted to a healthy person. Just nobody has shown up that was available to date. That’s actually probably what’s going on. Sorry, it took me this time to like process that and think about like, why am I still attracted to Indiana Jones? This is ridiculous. You know why? It’s because a healthy man in real life has not asked me on a date. I’m guessing I would find them attractive. I don’t know. I guess if that happens, I’ll let you know. But in the meantime, I’d love to know what you think. And until next week, stay safe out there.


  1. Angie Martinez

    Hi Ann! I have been listening to your podcasts since 2018, and have not missed very many episodes. I remember way back when when your dad was filtering the emails from your ex, my sister did the same. And all the ups and downs you’ve had throughout the years. I just had to say listening to today’s podcast, the one with Indiana Jones, I am just smiling so big right now. You sound so healthy. So authentic. So healed. I feel like I’ve been on this journey with you, although it’s one-sided, because I feel like I know you, and you don’t know me. But I just felt compelled to say something. Thank you thank you thank you, you have changed my life. Now, specifically about the Indiana Jones attraction. I do think you were on it at the end, and I do think you would be attracted to a safe man if that person came into your life. And part of me hopes, for all of us, that that safe man is as sexy as someone like Indiana Jones.

    • Anne

      Hahaha! Yes! Let’s hope that safe man is as sexy as Indiana! I love it!

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve been on this journey with me! Thank you so, so much for your support!!!

  2. lisa

    I understand you and hope that one day, love and the physical part/intimacy will return. I met my husband at church. He was once a deacon. I was in my 50’s when my horrific D-day happened. I was shocked when I started to discover all of the different levels of deceit. The world glorifies all forms of sexual perversion, I never in a million years thought I would be involved. I thought my husband loved me.

    But after 30 years of “marriage”, through reading the books on your books page about abuse, and personal individual coaching with one of BTR.ORG coaches, I realized my husband is abusive, and he groomed me from the beginning in order to exploit me. He was never interested in an equal relationship with me.

    I did all that I could as a Christian to restore my marriage and forgave him. However, he did not. I’m still in the relationship. I truly loved and kept every one of my wedding vows. I have a detachment boundary. He does not touch me in any way. God removed any intimacy or thoughts from my mind as a survival technique. I have no hate for him. My focus is on my own faith and 2 adult children.

    Because of the level of his deceit, I don’t think I could trust a man again. I have absolutely no desire for physical contact, after being rejected by him and repulsed by what he preferred. A young woman that I know told me that her boyfriend had been lying and mentally abusive, I saw all the patterns. I told her to RUN. She is now moving out. Anyone who has been through this understands the level of hurt that porn/sexual addiction/adultery can have.

  3. Jennifer

    I’m rather new to your podcast. I’m now divorced, living separately from my ex, and still experiencing abuse through what the ex does to our teenaged son and his access to me via our custody situation. (It doesn’t matter what legal documents he has signed. He does not feel he needs to follow those because I made one exception once and let him deviate from the schedule.) I’m more affected by that now.

    I’m 53.

    I really related to this podcast. When I married, I consciously tried to find someone not like my father. My dad was definitely the outdoors type, getting dirty doing farm stuff, and yelling at everyone, whether we were outside “helping” or inside doing whatever we were doing. I married a computer scientist from India. He is an intellectual type, high earning, and definitely not like my father on the outside. On the inside, they’re similar in that they never apologize for their bad behavior. They are entitled to their behavior. They are entitled to treat women and their children like they do because they are men, or so it seems to me.

    Like you, I’m not interested in dating, and I’m confused about who I’m attracted to. Basically, I mistrust men (and some women too). There’s been one guy since. He’d been my friend for a long time. I thought he was kind. I knew he was emotionally unavailable, and so I thought I wouldn’t get attached to him. We had sex once. I didn’t like it. I got HPV from that one time. It wasn’t worth it. I’m pretty sure that he guy watches porn too. Anyway, I’m very confused about men and sex. I figure that I’m not ready when I’m still trying to get out of my trauma about the decades with the ex.

  4. Alisa Cinnamon

    Hi Anne, thank you for this episode!! You beautifully stated exactly where I am right now. I have questioned whether I am strange because of losing all sexual interest. Similar to Lisa, above, I refuse to let my husband touch me in any way, unable to leave at this point.
    Thank you, thank you!!

  5. Carla

    Hi Anne — attraction to fictional characters like Indiana Jones is completely normal! It’s fantasy, just like dressing up like a princess is for little girls.

    It’s OK to appreciate Indy’s looks and moves. That involves just feelings, which we can’t control.

    Behavior, acting on these feeing, is different as we make conscious choices.

    In real life, you are conscious of the fictional character’s flaws and know he isn’t husband material. I hope you continue to enjoy the the attraction feelings to Indy from Raiders.

    P.S. I started dating at 52, after leaving my husband who cheated on me with more than 2 dozen people. It’s been a positive, healing experience.

  6. Not Ace But Actually Kinda

    Thank you for this, and all episodes. For the record, this is the single most helpful resource I’ve ever found in dealing with betrayal trauma, and I’ve used MANY resources. As for this episode, I feel in so many ways like I could’ve written it myself, if you replace Indiana Jones with Thor!

    I’ve been divorced for nearly seven years now. I am definitely still attracted to men (probably the wrong, manly/handsome types) but I also don’t have a strong desire to marry again. Sometimes I want to, but most of the time I feel content living a peaceful life with my kids. I do half-joke with my friends that I am asexual. I do want a sexual relationship again, but only in the context of a safe and healthy marriage. I date from time to time, but even when he seems healthy and kind, I get panic attacks. It’s hard to think about marriage when even going on dates is still terrifying. It’s a strange place to be, and I’m not so much “figuring it out” as “fumbling about.”

    And like you, I hope I can recognize “healthy” and would choose it, but I sincerely don’t know. I’ve never had that experience and so I think I still have a strong fear of being lied to again, manipulated again. I believe in healthy men like I believe in unicorns. They’re out there somewhere… right?


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