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#11566 - 10/09/02 05:13 PM colliding views
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I am struggling, suppressing feelings about sex and women and horniness. The area is so gray for me; there aren’t clear boundaries between what is appropriate and not. Nothing is really out of bounds. Some things should be out of bound, shouldn’t they? Nothing really is for me. It might not be my cup of tea, but unless it hurts or smells real bad, any sexual desire expressed between consenting adults doesn’t intrinsically offend me.

This makes for some very uncomfortable moments, because my wife finds a lot of sexual stuff disgusting. She even said last night she thinks that she is starting to hate sex. Then she absolutely harangued me about pornography and the idea of other people being involved in sex (a reference to our early courtship fantasy talk about a ménage a trios). I find sexual stimulus in fantasy and images of naked women, yet I am trying to keep my sexual activity strictly limited to my wife, including looking and getting turned on. But my wife isn’t interested in sex, and berates the idea of some things that I find arousing (as fantasy). I am kinda stuck. This is the kind of Good Boy repression that can lead to acting out. So I am scared. I have to hide my true feelings from my wife because she will get upset with them, but in order to survive I have to purge these feelings by expressing them, even just in words. And I have the self consciousness that she is watching me. Hidden feelings plus guilt and shame equals depression, at best.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#11567 - 10/10/02 03:00 AM Re: colliding views
Broken Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Huntingtun Beach, CA, US
Your wife sounds like she has some problems with sex. No matter how enlightened most of us are, we still are left with the residual conditioning of a sexually repressive society. It is not wrong, it is not bad, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. To feel desire is a natural part of a relationship, you should not feel the need to repress your desire. It is not fair that you feel you must repress your own sexuality to accomidate your wife. Start talking about it, dont let it sit still and grow into an even bigger problem.


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#11568 - 10/10/02 10:30 AM Re: colliding views
JamesMichael Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 134
Dear Cement,

I don't agree with Broken's sentiments. It is good that you realize you have some boundary issues re sex. If you are not already, I suggest you find a good therapist to work on this stuff.

Having said that, I offer the following:

Guys who have been sexually abused frequently have difficulty with hyperarousal...sort of free-range libido. They can make anything sexual.

Relationships are built on mutual respect, not mutual exploitation. If you're expecting your wife to fulfill your fantasies, and she's feeling used, you're doing to her what was done to you. You're not loving her. Why would she want to be sexual with you if it's all about you? What about her? She wants to be held, loved, validated, appreciated, made to feel safe. You're offering sexual gymnastics. This is not to say that sex shouldn't be fun, spontaneous, etc., but primarily I believe it's for the bonding of a relationship. It may be that I come across as somewhat high-minded when I say this, but really, it's rather pre-adolescent for us to expect that our appetites (whatever they may be) should be satisfied because we want, when we want, neverminding if the other doesn't want.

Self-command doesn't always mean sexual repression. It can mean focusing (from the Latin root for "fire") the sexual energy into something bigger than the fast food release many of us have become accustomed to.

You acknowledge that you have boundary concerns with this. What are you reenacting in your fantasies? Are you seeking to control or otherwise undo what you have previously experienced?

These issues are yours, don't make them your wife's by intimating that they're your right to fulfill. You're on a slippery slop, my friend, because the fulfillment of one fantasy, or even the escalation of it, has the same dissociative effects as other addictions. You're living in two worlds (or too many worlds), and you need to be about the business of integrating them into
One.

I encourage you to dig deep into what and who you are. Are your fantasies in charge of you, or are you, if not in charge of them, at least listening to them?

Having written all this, I can say that it's a tall order; it's not easy. I have been there, and unfortunately realize I could be there again in short order.

It takes a lot of courage to put your past in front of you and to stare at it. Try to make connections between what you want to enact and what you experienced in the past.

Respect you wife and the relationship. Your boundary stuff is taxing them both to the limit. Part of being a man, and what we didn't learn (because we were abused and our boundaries were violated)is to establish boundaries.

Again, I hope you are addressing these things with a qualified therapist.

JM


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#11569 - 10/10/02 07:33 PM Re: colliding views
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Thanks for the concern - my wife and I are each in individual therapy and in conjoint therapy.

We are talking, and that is good, but we come from two very divergent points of view, held together by our love for one another, yet constantly afraid the other will leave, or worse, betray.

So, I was sexualized incorrectly, to use the most innocuous term I can (in order to discuss the results as clinically as possible). I am, therefore, hypersexual, able to sexualize almost anything. My lust for pornography, strippers and prostitutes hasn't meshed well with my held philosophy of female empowerment. So, the difficult part for me is...

I would like to be able to put some space between me and this learned sexuality of humiliation and degradation, but it feels almost like an instinct. I need to relearn to abc's of sex, and I have, to some extent. I am VERY fond of cuddling and being held. Nevertheless, even though I have quit smoking, I still crave a cigarette sometimes. And smoking is NOTHING compared to this urge.

I don't know that the urge will ever go away. And even if I never act on it, I feel that I am betraying my wife unless I get rid of it.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#11570 - 10/10/02 07:47 PM Re: colliding views
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
oh, I have to give this PS.

I have been free and "clean" of porn, srippers, prostitutes and acting-out for more then four months now, excepting a near miss from last week, documented on this board. Even internal fantasy has slowed to nearly nothing. But the desire lingers.

James Michael, I just reread your post and I realize there may be some issues that I paint with broad strokes. The struggles my wife and I have are philosophical, not practical. Guilt is poison to passion and the guilt I already have (about these horrible THOUGHTS and wants I feel I shouldn't have) mix with my wife's now-stated view that anyone with such desires is a pervert. I end up feeling kinda shitty.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#11571 - 10/11/02 01:28 AM Re: colliding views
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Betrayal does not occur in the mind, it is the result of an action. As long as you do not betray your wife by acting in violation of whatever agreements you have regarding sex, you are still in possesion of your integrity. Lots of people have desires like yours, most of whom were probably never abused. I think its great that you are being so honest and forthright in talking about what is really going on in your head. I also thing its great that you have maintained four months of sexual "sobriety" in not acting out. You are still in the early phase of your sexual recovery and these feelings you are having are perfectly normal. In fact, it would be weird if, given your history, you weren't having thoughts and feelings like this. The important thing is to keep talking about it. I quit using speed one year ago this week, and I struggled a lot with cravings during the first six months, especially right around the six month point. Things have gotten a lot easier, but there are still times when I just want it. That will probably always be the case. As long as you don't act out, there is no betyral. So give yourself some credit! Take care.


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#11572 - 10/11/02 02:36 PM Re: colliding views
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I am very grateful to all you guys, especially Roy and Wuame.

I am struggling, and the struggle isn't located where I might expect it.

Get past acting out, and Philosophy awaits me, a bat in its hand. "Defeat me and you will face Boredom's smothering cloak. You will submit, you will give in to the anguish, whether by misstep, misfortune or simple failure."

There is no place to hide. I always hid so well - I could mesmerize myself, hypnotized, sedated and quiet. Everything is so raw...it is right here, and I don't like feeling it. Right now i prefer when I couldn't feel. At least it didn't hurt.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#11573 - 10/11/02 02:58 PM Re: colliding views
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Sorry to hear you are hurting so badly. We've all been there, and will be again. Remember that all feelings are temporary and life will get better. That may sound trite, but I know that I need to be reminded of that sometimes when I am suffering. So now its my turn to remind you. \:\)


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#11574 - 10/11/02 08:07 PM Re: colliding views
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Wuame
my "doc" is the same one as yours, he gets around ! But he's getting old and tired and his medicine's past its sell by date. He's losing his grip.
Someday soon he'll retire, hopefully to somewhere far away.

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#11575 - 10/12/02 11:01 AM Re: colliding views
RecoveringRyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 28
Loc: new york state
I've been continuing to struggle with my sexual dysfunctions and perverse fantasies and desires. I've found the following passages helpful:

"But as a result of working through his fantasies in analysis and experiencing his early relationship with his father and mother, these fears disappeared along with his other symptoms, and he could begin to develop in a free and healthy way." Alice Miller, For Your Own Good, p202

"He was acting out here the deep humiliation, intimidation, destruction of dignity, loss of power and torment of the little boy he once was."
Alice Miller, For Your Own Good, 223-4

She goes on to say how filled with shame about himself the person is. And this quote from Victims No Longer, by Mike Lew:

"If you get at the root of a problem, the symptoms tend to lessen and disappear.... It doesn't happen magically or overnight, but as they move through their shame, as they continue to rebuild trust and self-esteem, and as they continue to forge healthy friendships and intimacies, their sexual problems begin to diminish." p60

From my earlier studies of my perverted sexual fantasies, I had tried to analyse the fantasies themselves to see what feelings were being expressed in them. For this, I found [Private Thoughts] by Wendy Maltz helpful. I have so far discovered, basically, that I am aroused by hurting people, by causing them pain, to hurt, cry, whatever, and also by anonymous dirty sex, such as with a hooker or a one-night stand in a nightclub. For one thing, in both cases, there are no intimate feelings involved: I don't love them and I'm not concerned with whether they love me. Actually, I'm very concerned with whether they love me, that's why it has to be anonymous so I'd never see them again, anyway, or someone I somehow have control over or guaranteed affection from. Somebody who even if I hurt them or disappoint them or do something that is embarassing for me, I can trust that they will love me, nevertheless. Why am I aroused by hurting people or in anonymous situations?

I think the quotes above have helped me start to get to the roots of these feelings. I'm thinking that wanting to hurt somebody is an expression of anger/hatred/contempt/cruelty, which I have for one of two reasons, or both: when my father was humiliating me and also when I was being sexually abused, it caused me to hate them but I repressed it because I was afraid of them, and now I take it out in fantasy on weaker people whom I don't fear; and/or, when these things were happening and I was being humiliated, I also felt inferior (and ashamed) and I wanted to be like the people who were doing this to me, big and strong and better, as it seemed to me at the time. Either way, this sadism/cruelty/perversion/sickness/anger/hatred/contempt is within me, somehow, from somewhere.

For me it is still a struggle to accept myself as this way, or even if I get over all this, I will always have been this way for years. I am ashamed and horrified by being this way. I suppose two things are helping me become more accepting of myself as the monster that I sometimes feel myself to be. First, just feeling ashamed and horrified over and over again, like any other feeling, consciously, and they start to abate. And second, I need to make the connection between the abuse and the perversion more specific and more directly connected in my mind, ie, I need to keep asking myself, Am I just a sick fuck? or is this the sick contamination of some sick things that were done to me? I guess I really need to believe the second, but even thinking about this is hard.

If what the quotes above say is true, then in order to deal with my fantasies, I have to access my feelings of shame, humiliation, pain, fear, inferiority, low self-esteem, violation/betrayal, nakedness, disgust, self-contempt/hatred and the memories of the childhood trauma that caused these feelings. Sexual recovery, then, would be just like any other part of emotional recovery. One thing that seems to support the case that these emotions are the underlying causes of my sexual problems and my perverse fantasies, is that I definitely feel all of these bad feelings very strongly, in fact, they are most of what I feel. I am very ashamed of myself, feel inferior to the human race, and have very low self-esteem. I am also very contemptuous of others. And I have very little emotional intimacy or trust and I am afraid of rejection. So that connection is somewhat plausible.

I noticed something about my fantasies the other day while masturbating. If I masturbated about somebody whom I considered very sexy but above me, I couldn't get aroused. I felt so inferior to her that I couldn't even think or feel about sex towards her. I know at a deep emotional level that she wouldn't be interested in me and I would be so afraid of fucking things up and being humiliated by her laughing at me, rejecting me and abandoning me, that I couldn't even try to fantasize about her. Then I thought about somebody whose not as sexy, but who I know could become emotionally dependent on me, ie, she could my victim, I could hurt her and she wouldn't reject me, and I feel superior to her. And then I got aroused by the thought of doing all these bad things to her. This is my perversion. I am ashamed and sickened by it, but I've got to face it to cure it. As usual, so people don't get the wrong idea, I feel obligated to mention that I've never hurt anybody. In fact, when I'm actually with somebody, I'm so self-conconscious about my body and my performance, so afraid of rejection and anxious about what they think of me, I feel so disgusting and inferior, that I often become a sexual servant. I think that is the connection: the same feelings that make me an innocent almost asexual servant in real life also underly the feelings that make me a monster in my fantasies. The solution, as I now see it, is to work out my pain, low self-esteem, shame, etc, and be healthier and develop and express and act freely in both situations. Another possible wrong turn here is to try to avoid fantasies entirely. I've been lead down that path by the horror of my fantasies, but I occasionally remember that what I really want is not no fantasies, by exciting loving sexy fantasies.

I guess, right now, at the end of the day, I believe in the correctness of this approach enough to keep at it, but my insecurity makes me continuously doubt whether I'm doing the right/best thing and whether it will work.

Ryan


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