Sexual Grief often manifests silently within the soul of people who have been hurt by abuse of any kind, including ridicule after an early sexual experience, being unwanted at birth, facing the dilemmas of aging, and struggling with disabilities.
Life experiences like menopause, erectile dysfunction, illness or injury, the loss of a partner, or being a person with a disability who has never been allowed to find their own sexual expression are also examples of unnatural sexually traumatic events.
HOW DOES SEXUAL GRIEF PRESENT?
Sexual Grief leaves its mark with psychological wounding, physical estrangement and a psyche that is out of sync.
Patients feel like they're held hostage by intrusive memories that pop up randomly, causing pain, anxiety, shame, and embarrassment. They may feel like they don't know who they are, how they fit in, or how to honor themselves. They may have trouble understanding the world, staying in relationships, keeping a job, or learning new things.
The effect is a life not lived fully, with self-loathing as part of the sense of being taken hostage by its imprint.
Edy Nathan is the pioneer of Sexual Grief. She's an author, public speaker and licensed therapist. She's an AASECT certified sex therapist, hypnotherapist and certified EMDR practitioner with more than 20 years of experience. She holds degrees from New York University and Fordham University, with post-graduate training at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy. She practices in New York City.
Edy is the author of “It’s Grief: The Dance of Self-Discovery Through Trauma and Loss.” Her latest book, "Healing Sexual Grief: Reclaim the Self from Loathing to Liberation To Love” will be available in 2024.