TW: intimacy in A place for hidden thoughts A blog by teaandcoffee Posted May 29, 2016 So sorry that you are going through this and that the pain of your abuse is affecting your ability to enjoy a consensual relationship. I think that as survivors we frequently feel like we can't set boundaries or express our own needs. It seems like it's particularly hard for us to do this in the area of physical intimacy. Abuse teaches us that we don't have any control over our own bodies, and that it's okay for other people's desires to overrule our own. I know that I tend to feel that way. If someone is touching me, and it makes me uncomfortable, it's hard for me to say anything. I usually just freeze and wait for it to be over. I didn't even realize this tendency until recently, and I'm now working on it with my therapist. It's okay for you to want different things then he does in terms of physical intimacy. It's not about him. It's about how you're feeling and what makes you feel safe. This isn't something you are doing to him. It's just the reality of where you are right now. You don't owe him sex. You don't even owe him an explanation about why you don't want to have sex. As radical as it may sound, you have a default right to determine who, what, when, where, and how you are willing to engage in or not engage in physical intimacy. It's an inherent right, and you don't have to earn it. From what you've described, it sounds like your partner will understand. If he doesn't, that's not your fault. It's not your fault that you haven't told him sooner. You weren't able to. If he feels guilty when you tell him, you can reassure him that it's not his fault. He didn't know. But, his guilt feelings won't be your fault either. All of this is the fault of those who abused you.