Review: Healing Sex book

As I've said previously in my blog, I'm a survivor of sexual assault. It's not the easiest thing to admit, especially if you're interested in alternative sexuality, as many people will hint that your "abnormal behaviour" (being queer, being kinky, being nonmonogamous, being a sex worker, being trans, you name it) is explainable by your trauma- you aren't actually trans, or queer, or happy as a sex worker- no, you're just acting out. So many of us stay quiet, unwilling to feel like we have to constantly justify our desires. It's not something we talk about much even within the "sex positive" community, which is why talking about it and realizing how we're not alone is hugely important.

With all this in mind, I jumped at the chance Good Vibrations gave me to read through the second edition of "The Survivors Guide to Sex", now called "Healing Sex". When I was struggling to work out how to talk to my partner about triggers and flashbacks and how I could handle sensual touch and how I couldn't, this book saved me. It taught me techniques to recognize disassociation. It taught me that it was ok to say no to sex if I didn't want to do it. It taught me how to teach my lovers about my triggers and how to wrangle them. And it helped me heal, ultimately, by challenging me gently and letting me go at my own pace.

"Healing Sex" also gives a lot of good, informative sexual education information- not just on safer sex, but also on techniques, kink, and sex toys. It also has a good resource section, and a whole chapter for partners of survivors. I really can't recommend this book enough for anyone who has dealt with sexual assault, or who has a lover who has. This is all good information either way.

I would personally recommend that everyone have a copy of "Healing Sex" on their bookshelf. Unfortunately, not everyone who has been sexually abused feels safe talking about it, and knowing this stuff can make a relationship with a survivor go.. not easily, but a bit more compassionately. Definitely pick up a copy from Good Vibes, because knowledge is power!

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