Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma

by Staci Haines

reviewed by AlwaysArousedGirl on Fri 6 Jun 2008

Talking about sexual abuse, whether it’s abuse that happened to you or to someone close to you, can be notoriously difficult.  The survivor often feels enormous shame (although that’s unnecessary, as no one is guilty of inviting an attack), while folks who know a survivor worry that they’ll say the wrong thing, stir up uncomfortable memories, or just plain sound like an idiot.

This is a tragedy.  I long for the day when sexual abuse and assault will be but unpleasant memories of a time when we were far less enlightened.  Barring that, my hope is that at some point in the not too distant future, survivors and their loved ones will be able to speak openly about their experiences without shame or fear.

This is the way to healing.

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma, available through Cleis Press, is a recently updated guide to dealing with all kinds of sexual abuse.  Written with both survivors and their loved ones in mind, the book would be an excellent place to start for someone just beginning to work through the emotions that come along with abuse and assault.

The author, Staci Haines, specializes in healing sexual trauma.  She’s a founder of generation FIVE, an organization that hopes to eradicate child sexual abuse over the course of the next five generations through education and treatment.

Healing Sex discusses the ways in which healthy sexuality can both be undermined by and used to heal sexual trauma.  Haines follows the healing process as it relates to likely triggers, which are events that often force survivors to remember or relive their abuse.

Chapters focusing on dissociation, masturbation and self-healing, boundaries, and communication are standard fare in a book about healing from abuse, but this book’s focus on actively using triggers as stepping-off points to healing makes it unique.

I love Haines’ assumption that those of us who have been abused do want healthy, active sex lives.  She also provides ample information about anatomy and mechanics…topics that may have been avoided or distorted in families where abuse happened.  A thorough resource section as well as self-guided excercises are also included.

Healing Sex would be an excellent resource for healing, either for an abuse survivor or for that person’s loved ones.

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines
Available through Cleis Press
7" x 10", 320 pages
$25.95