Can Sex Work Heal a past Sexual Trauma?!

Playing Can Trauma Be Healed Through Sex Industry Work?

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This story may seem unconventional but for Kyli, a survivor of sexual abuse, her job as a phone sex operator has helped her cope with her past traumas. The Doctors along with psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow speak to Kyli on Skype to better understand her story.

Watch: What to Do If You're Sexually Assaulted

Kyli says a little over two years ago she ended up in a psychiatric ward because she had relapsed with bulimia, PTSD, and newly diagnosed bipolar 2 disorder. She came out of the hospital jobless and was one rent payment away from being homeless. When she saw an ad for a phone sex operator she thought, "Why not?"

Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra asks Kyli if her background of abuse made this difficult but Kyli actually found the opposite to be true. She felt empowered. "I was able to use this thing that had been weaponized against me and taken from me as a really young child and turn it into a career that was sustainable."

Kyli says she works mostly with other disabled people who have also dealt with abuse and are still trying to figure out what intimacy and healthy sexuality means. "With phone sex, I was in control, in control of the narrative, had to give consent, and I started to remap those feelings for me." Kyli believes a healthy sexuality is truly part of a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Dr. Dow acknowledges that Kyli is very self-aware and even though he wouldn't recommend this for a patient he was treating, he can see an element of healing for Kyli. He explains that for survivors of abuse, the trauma gets locked in their brains. He suggests alternate ways to unlock the trauma such as bilateral stimulation, cognitive behavioral therapy and clinical hypnosis.

Watch: In-Flight Sexual Assaults on the Rise?

Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon questions if this job has helped her own sex life and Kyli says it has opened the channels for her to explore her own sexuality. She adds that at the same time she is doing sex work, she is also in therapy. Dr. Dow is glad to hear she is in therapy and ER physician Dr. Travis Stork concludes that dealing with sexual trauma is an individual experience but undoubtedly, you have to be working with a therapist throughout all of this.  

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