Dating with sex
“Understand that their recovery is fluid, and can change from day to day and just accept that.
Disclosing past assault or abuse can be one of the hardest moments in a relationship, and also one of the most critical.Whether it is just how we are feeling that day or our past, we are open and make sure we are each up to talking about it at the time.” In addition, prioritize consent in the relationship, from the big stuff — like having sex — to even the smallest choices.“What makes me feel most comfortable is being with a partner who prioritizes consent not just in our sexual and romantic aspects but in every small way, from my ability to make my own choices about my body (how I look, what I wear) and my identity, to what we are each responsible for in our lives,” says survivor Alaina Leary.This doesn’t mean there isn’t room for compromise, but agency is key.
“I need to feel like I can throw the brakes on something or that I will be heard if I say I’m uncomfortable,” says a survivor. “There’s no gray area…and don’t feel bad because you’re saying no.” Survivors may have specific needs to deal with triggers from the past that seem simple but are critical for safety.When a current partner is empathetic, educated, and understanding, however, that can make dating easier to manage for both parties.