Men, Sexual Abuse and Intimacy

Men, Sexual Abuse and Intimacy

For men who have experienced sexual violence, confusion and uncertainty around intimacy is understandable, if you consider how some people who perpetrate sexual abuse invest considerable time and effort in getting to know a child, to build trust and a sense of intimacy in order to commit sexual abuse. The person committing sexual abuse might even tell themselves that they love a child and that this is a mutual relationship. When sexual abuse involves such a profound betrayal of trust, it is not surprising that closeness in future relationships can evoke discomfort and be difficult to manage.

An experience of child sexual abuse can lead to:

Reluctance to trust someone or let anyone get close

Perceiving any expression of care or attention as a sign of sexual interest or precursor to sexual activity.

Wariness about sharing personal information, due to the way it has been manipulated and used in the past

Uncomfortableness with gentle touch or touch without prior specific agreement.

Difficulties with any sexual intimacy, due to the fact it can trigger flashbacks.

Developing intimacy in a relationship after sexual abuse (