November 30, 2009

Q&A: Connection Between Sexual Abuse & Urge To Pee Before Sex?

When women are touched on their clitoris or vagina, they sometimes feel as though they have to pee – even if they don’t.

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Question: I was sexually abused when I was 7 years old. Recently, as I have become intimate with a committed partner, I find I have the urge to urinate before becoming aroused. Is there any correlation between being a sex abuse survivor and the constant urge to urinate before having sex? Can I treat this issue?

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear that you were abused as a child. Many women and men who have been sexually abused as children wonder how their abusive experiences may have impacted their sexual experiences as a teenager and adult. And, of course, there are a range of ways that abuse can affect a person’s later romantic relationships and sexual experiences.

It can be confusing to know if something is abuse-related or not when it comes to sex given that sex is often a taboo topic and therefore not openly talked about. When we don’t talk about sex openly, it’s difficult to know what is common and what is not.

Clitoral Complex

As it turns out, it is not uncommon for women to feel as though they have to pee in relation to sexual arousal or sexual behavior. The clitoris, vagina and urethra (which connects to the bladder) are so closely connected that some scientists have suggested that we use the term “clitoral complex” to refer to these interconnections. Stimulation of one of these parts often affects the others.

As such, when women are touched on their clitoris or vagina, they sometimes feel as though they have to pee – even if they don’t. Other women notice these sensations as they become more aroused and closer to orgasm.

Sex on a Full Bladder

Women vary in how they respond to these sensations. Some choose to pee before they have sex. Others stop sex and get up to pee, then resume having sex. Still, other women try to concentrate on their pleasurable sexual sensations rather than think about the sensations that feel as though they have to urinate.

And then there are the women who prefer to have sex on a full bladder because they find that the sensations enhance their feelings of pleasure and arousal!

Getting More Information

All of this is not to say that your sensations are totally unrelated to your abuse. If you have a sense that your experience is related to your childhood abuse, you might want to discuss these concerns with a trained sex therapist who you can find through the Society for Sex Therapy and Research’s web site, which is

However, rest assured that this is a common enough experience that is shared by many women – some with abuse histories and some without. You may also find it helpful to read the updated edition of Becoming Orgasmic which includes a section related to moving on from sexual abuse.