In my career as a somatic tantric bodyworker, I have encountered women suffering from deep sexual trauma. This post is based on my personal and professional experience, and may not apply to everyone. We are all different, and our paths to sexual wholeness are as wondrous and unique as we are. So, having said this….
Sexual healing is the process of recovering from sexual trauma as a result of sexual trauma and/or sex-negative conditioning. Often when one experiences trauma it results in the hardening or numbing of certain parts of the body. This is due to an excess of tension that gathers in the affected area and is not released, bringing about chronic numbness or pain.
The impact of armouring in a sexual context can be deep, involving not only physical symptoms but also fear and anxiety around sex and sexuality. This can bring about a drawing away from one’s sexual self and preventing the sufferer from fully expressing themselves sexually. Unless treated, this state can continue for years and become so ingrained that it becomes a part of one’s identity and self-perception.
The website Sanna Sanita defines De-armouring as,
The armor is a result of blockages created by trauma, tension, thought-patterns and different experiences throughout life. This armor can hinder life-force from flowing freely throughout the body. It hardens and desensitizes the physical body, and because of emotions locked inside, it can also cloud the mind and make it difficult to navigate through life.
Although the physical symptoms of armouring vary widely, they are are most often felt in and around the vulva. The cervix is a common place for armouring, which has deep impacts on the sexual self as the cervix can also be a place of profound pleasure. The g-spot can also suffer from armouring, as can the outer lips and even the clitoris. basically, any part of the body the sufferer identifies as a nexus of sexual pleasure can become a receptacle for sexual pain and trauma.
How does one recover and heal from armouring?
The first step is establishing a deep feeling of trust with either a partner or a trained sensual bodyworker. In many instances the trauma causing the armouring involved a breach of trust or betrayal, and so establishing this sense of trust is central to starting the recovery process. Once a safe space is established, then de-armouring can begin. The most important thing to remember here is that the subject is the one in full control of her healing. Partners and/or bodyworkers are not ‘fixing’ anything but rather giving the subject the space to heal herself.
In the video above, Layla Martin describes how de-armouring can be done by applying slow pressure to the affected part, and then allowing her to express herself to the touch in any way feels most comfortable to her. This may involve reactions both verbal and non-verbal, and may be very intense. Let it happen! Again, your role is to provide a safe space for her to fully express her pain and therefore start on the path to sexual recovery.
Depending on the depth and nature of the trauma, it may take several sessions for the de-armouring to take place. A lifetime of negative conditioning around sexuality cannot be healed in a day, but the journey is a rich and fruitful one!
Our sexual selves are an intrinsic part of our holistic being. In order to fully actualize ourselves as sexual, sensual and creative beings, we must work towards achieving wholeness in all parts of our selves. Sexual healing is a vital part of that journey, and I encourage you to take a deep look at your own sexual health and start down the healing path.