What is Sexual Trauma?

We have just emerged from a glorious deep dive with our fellow sentient beings on a 4-day rustic dolphin encounter exploring Intelligence, Breath & Heart in Malongane, Mozambique – the place where Heaven meets Earth. Our time spent on the wide expansive ocean, dropping into our liquid bodies, feeling our breath and connecting intimately with one another from the spaces of authentic relating was once again a visceral reminder of the value of doing this “work” – of engaging life through our bodies of love, feeling ourselves and each other and coming to know and rest in the reality – that we are all one being. (Take a look at some of the pictures here)

Experiences like these raise the question of: What stands in the way and what prevents us from living like this every day? What holds us back?

This brings up the patterns of freeze and defence in our bodies and in our nervous systems. Although these form through an infinite number of possible experiences, sexual trauma is right up there at the top of the list. A pervasive thread…

What is sexual trauma?

When we hear the words “sexual trauma” many images can come to mind and often they are not pleasant and so we push them away as “that is not me”. For many others, the meaning of the words are quite clear and there is no confusion whatsoever. But for the former, it’s a worthwhile exploration to investigate what does “sexual trauma” really mean?

What causes sexual trauma?

Our nervous systems can register sexual trauma from a wide range of experiences.

Here are some:

Direct sexual invasions

This happens when a person’s genitals or anus are penetrated without his or her conscious consent. These incidents can occur with strangers, such as a man luring a girl to him in a park and they can also occur with familiars such as family members or friends.

Sexual touch

Sexual touch, for example feeling the breasts of a woman, can be very traumatic if unwanted.

Non-sexual invasive touch

At any age, the body can register invasive experiences like enemas, medical or gynaecological examinations as a sexual invasion and remember it as such.

Sexual innuendo

Sexual suggestions and associations can have a profound impact on a person’s psyche. An example is when a parent projects his/her unfulfilled sexual desires on to the child, and the child unconsciously takes responsibility for these feelings. Sometimes a belief set is imposed which directly impacts a child’s impressions regarding sexuality.

Emotional incest

When emotional relationships become inappropriately entangled and enmeshed, this can register in the body as sexual invasion. In energetic language, we speak about an invasion of the etheric or emotional body. Since this experience is so intimate, the body often remembers it as sexual intimacy.

Response to sexual experience

Very often, the trauma is caused by someone else’s response to the person’s sexual experience. An example is when parents severely reprimand children for sexual exploration that happened quite innocently or when a person is either overtly or covertly blamed for the sexual violation that has taken place.


Coming up in July we have the opportunity to experience the skills and tools of somatic facilitation with Karin Ritchie, at a Sexual Somatic Facilitation retreat in The Canary Islands, Spain. The somatic approach to releasing trauma and stress from the body is drawn from the work of Dr. Peter Levine, and is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress. Sexual Somatic Presencing releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

For 7-days we will be immersed in nature at the remote EcoTara Retreat Center, where will have the opportunity to get a basic understanding of how the nervous system processes trauma as well as be guided through some powerful practices for releasing stress from our bodies. Using breath, sound and movement, we will engage with various subtle body practices.

You will also receive coaching support in unwinding the trauma in your body, enabling you to relate more intimately with your own sexual body. Opening to a deeper level of energetic experience there will be a natural expansion of consciousness. Join our Facebook Event here.

At just $200 a day including all food and accommodation, this is a remarkable opportunity to unwind, reset and reclaim your life force, opening you to the possibility of your full potential.

This retreat is limited to 12 spaces so if you’re interested, it’s a good idea to get registered soon, as this retreat will be booked up on a first come first serve basis and with this mail going out to over 7000 people, latecomers may be disappointed if it books up quickly.

Registrations are open here.

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