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Sex Safety Tips for Multiples, Survivors & Significant Others

source: TWCrew

So, you’re wondering about how a Multiple and/or Survivor can help deal with sex as an adult? Well, here’s some tips and thoughts that have helped us through our sexual healing.

I guess the most important thing we can say is “Take it slow…” You have nothing to prove, no reason to jump in and have sex until you are ready and comfortable. There is nothing wrong with cuddling, touching, kissing, etc. to slowly and safely work your way to more involved/intimate sexual contact.

Also, you MUST have strong communication inside. Talk, write letters, do what ever it takes to let everyone inside know that this is a consensual relationship. This is not rape. This is not a perp. And if they feel uncomfortable doing certain things, they don’t have to do them. This is about choice, freedom, healing, and consenting adults.

Also, talk to your SO about what to do when/if flashbacks occur. Warn your SO what you think your system might do in that situation. Do you cry? Stop talking? Stop moving? What signs can they look for? Also, talk about what they should do… like hold you, back off, turn on the lights, give you a blanket. One of the things that might also help is having a scented candle or potpourri nearby… so when flashbacks begin you can sniff the scent and try to bring some other sensation to your mind… something other than the flashback.

With communication, you can’t go wrong. If flashbacks occur, or you have to move very slowly, don’t be hard on yourself. You haven’t failed. You are not broken.

Some other things that may also be helpful:

  • Before you get physical, talk to your SO and create a safe word… a word that you can easily say that means “No” or “Back off”. The reason a safe word is important is because many alters feel like they can’t say no to/during sex. But if they can say “strawberry” they might be more willing and able to say that instead of “no”.
  • Take some time to get to know what you like sexually. Take time to learn what makes people safe. Do they prefer lights on or off? Blankets on the body or off? Clothes on or off? These are things you can test by yourself, at your own speed.
  • If you have concerns or problems with lils popping out, set aside a play time for them before planning a time for intimacy. Letting them have their time out and attention, so maybe they won’t feel like they have to come out during intimate times with your SO. Don’t have stuffies or other things that may trigger littles to come out near you when sexual activity is occurring. It may also be helpful to have different pajamas: comfy ones that indicate that lils are safe to come out at any time, and then sexier lingerie that signals that lils should not be out.
  • Know your abuse and your triggers. Do all you can to be in a safe environment that will not trigger you. Try to avoid sexual acts which trigger you or make you feel bad. It’s one thing to be nervous, it’s another to feel victimized again. If you don’t want to do something, no matter how “normal” you think it is sexually speaking, you don’t have to do it. (For example, performing oral sex on a male is often triggery, feels humiliating and possibly even painful for women. Just because your SO may want it, and magazines tell you it’s a “normal” act doesn’t mean you should force yourself to do it.)
  • Remember to have safe sex. Use protection! Not only is it for your physical safety, but sex is stressful enough for Multiples and Survivors without adding worries about pregnancy and diseases.

If you are having sex with a Multiple and/or Survivor:

  • If you have any reason to believe that your SO is in a flashback or somehow “gone”, STOP IMMEDIATELY. Talk to your SO. Get them grounded. Find out what is going on. Yes, it will blow the mood. Yes, you will probably not finish having sex that night. But it is abusive if you ignore the signs of flashbacks or switching. The mood will always come back later, so just take the time to stop and find out what’s going on.
  • Do NOT call alters out! If your SO is not in the mood, or does not feel safe doing certain sexual acts, do not coerce or call out an alter that you know is more sexual or more likely to satisfy your desires. By doing so, you are raping the alter who doesn’t wish to participate in the activity at the time. Some systems might agree to allow you to call out sexual alters, but this needs to be discussed beforehand.
  • Your SO may have alters who enjoy abusive sexual activity, but other alters that do not. If your SO suddenly starts asking you to participate in sexual activity that is not a normal part of your sexual relationship, be aware that a switch may have taken place. Do not participate in abusive sexual activities or other sexual activities which you know may trigger, upset, or harm your SO until you have a chance to communicate with them and make sure it is a decision being made by many, and not just an alter who takes control to get what they want.
  • If your SO is not in the mood, do not take it personally. You SO may be very attracted to you, and may want to have sex with you. But your SO is healing, and has many hurdles to jump (as well as walls to run into). Your SO is not turning you down, but is keeping themselves safe. Honor that and understand that.
  • If your SO ever says “stop”, “no”, uses the safe word, or begins to cry, STOP sexual activity. It doesn’t matter how close you are to finished, or how much you really want to continue. STOP. Then communicate and find out what’s going on.
  • As scary as it may be to think about having sex with a Multiples and/or Survivor, and being scared of triggering them, it can be extremely intense and emotionally satisfying. Your SO is trusting you with some of the scariest, triggery stuff. Be honored that they trust you so much. Feel glad to be a part of their sexual healing. Feel proud to be a supportive, understanding SO.

Again, communication, and self-respect/safety are key here. Take your time, and remember that sex is supposed to be a wonderful, emotional, intense, enjoyable activity with someone you care about (and who cares about you!). Don’t rush into it because you think having sex means you’re somehow further along in your healing.

TWCrew is the webmistress of TWCrew’s Den: MPD and DID Resources and Insights and 2Multiples with an enormous amount of survivor resources.








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