Many survivors have serious reservation about their ability to successfully overcome the sexual repercussion of incest. They doubt that they can resolve sexual problems, lose their fear of sex, stop feeling guilty about sex and learn to control the negative feelings they have about sex. Sexual repercussions of incest are multi-dimensional and affects sexual attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, associations, and self-concept. Thus, trying to overcome the sexual repercussions of incest can feel much like wrestling with a giant octupos, unless you have a sense of what you are doing. Sexual problems that resulted from incest do not go away by themselves, treating them successfully requires an effective, well-focused effort that addresses the ingrained results of the abuse. This is why seeking a professional help in form of psychotherapy is recommended.
Survivors must realize that their body is theirs. They are the real owners of their bodies. Survivors must learn on their own to feel better about their bodies and better about the expression of their sexual energy. Since survivors experienced their bodies as objects manipulated for another's benefit, they were denied a comfortable opportunity to develop ownership and control over their bodies and the expression of their sexual energy.
General body acceptance can be facilitated when survivors take the time to admire their precious bodies, to privately look at themselve in the mirror, in their birthday suit. Looking at their genital area, touching their sexual parts to explore the different sensations are all good ways to extend the ownership to more sexual areas.
Survivors can create a foundation for positive future sexual relationships by learning how to distinguish caring touches from exploitive ones. Caring touch respects the receiver's feelings and gives the receiver room to say no at anytime. Exploitive touch is primarily for the benefit of the offender. Non sexual relationships that involves an excharge of touch through hand-holding, hugs, friendly kisses and physical closeness can be very healing to incest survovors and can help them establish trust and a sense of physical control.
"I'm finding that in my foster home I'm getting the love that I never got from my father. I had thought that affection from fathers was them lusting after my body. Since I was four years old, which is when my mom married my stepdad, what I remember is him going after my body and just wanting my body. Now my foster father kisses me good night or kisses me goodbye, and he's showing me love in a secure way and the way in which a father should show love. He's really good about it. He told me that if he ever did anything that made me uncomfortable, hugging me or something, I should just say so and he would find it really understandable. I'm tempted to call him Dad because I never had a dad who was nice like that. He was the one who said i couldn't kiss my boyfriend, but he did that to protect me. He said he knew I could just go out and do whatever i felt like, but he told me that it was because he loved me, and loved me as much as any of his daughters, that he didn't want me to do certain things. He shows me the same kind of things that he shows any of the other kids in his home".
Bill of Sexual Right For Survivors
- I have a right to own my own body.
- I have a right to my own feelings, beliefs, opinions and perceptions.
- I have a right to trust my own value about sexual contacts.
- I have a right to set my own sexual limits.
- I have a right to say no.
- I have a right to say yes.
- I have the right to experience sexual pleasures.
- I have the right to be sexually assertive.
- I have the right to be the initiator in a sexual relationship.
- I have the right to be in control of my sexual experience.
- I have a right to have a loving partner.
- I have a right to my sexual preferences.
- I have a right to have a partner who respect me, understands me, and is willing to communicate with me.
- I have a right to talk to my partner about the incest.
- I have a right to ask questions.
- I have a right to receive accurate sexual information.