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#131480 - 12/28/05 10:22 AM Re: Open for business
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Ken,

From the very beginning of my abuse history I recall disliking the fact that I was a boy, with predictable results for my self-esteem.

So another dimension to what you are saying: One thing that caught my childish attention was that the first thing the abuser went for the first time he abused me was my penis - sticking his hand down my underpants and then other things. On later occasions that remained the focus of his attention. So it was my penis, the symbol of my identity as a boy, that had attracted the abuse. I hated the idea that I had one even before I started feeling betrayed by erections and so on.

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#131481 - 02/17/06 09:45 PM Re: Open for business
RWB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Phila, Pa
Other than adolescents, liars, and total egotists, I have never met a man who consistently liked his image as a male. Whether you are Gay, straight, bi, or in transition... the culture teaches you to compete with others, and that you are never adequate. The fact is you are adequate when you claim your own identity and you will always be inadequate when you compare yourself to another guy. Even the bulk boys in the gym feel inadequate. They just have acquired a range of defenses to mask them, and if the truth be known they may be much more vulneralbe in their hearts than their bulk suggests.

I am surprised with all this attention to Pee-pees. The penis is just neutral thing. Not good, bad, or necessarily the source of pleasure or pain.. Even without an abuse history, the penis will be a source of great disappointment in the course of a lifetime. The poor baby will get sick, injured, might not work...etc. But the penis will also be a great source of comfort and pleasure to yourself and others with whom you chose to be intimate. Please please.. try not to be so frightened, scared, hostile, or angry with your penis. Make up... if it has been the source of abuse by others or yourself, make up.. and forgive it.. reown it.. and promise not protect it as sacred in your life from this point on. And keep it out of the male competion game... It is what it is as you are. And that is just enough for those who wish to love you.

Dr.Ralph

_________________________
RWB

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#131482 - 02/18/06 12:04 AM Re: Open for business
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Forum Readers:
May I introduce you to Dr Ralph, my friend and colleague, the "go to guy" I refer to for questions about sexuality, gender, orientation, image, and lots of other areas related to maleness. (I suspect he also is fluent in femaleness as well.)

Ralph is funny, irreverant but extremly knowledgable. You can post your comments, observations, questions and confusion here, and hopefully get a straight (or gay or bi) answer from him.

Welcome to MS, Ralph.
Ken


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#131483 - 02/18/06 07:01 AM Re: Open for business
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Ralph,

Welcome - My penis and I liked and benefitted from your comments. ;\)

Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#131484 - 02/18/06 08:14 PM Re: Open for business
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
how can i ,or do i even want to feel like a man when men have done such horrible things to me ,where does a male fit in if not with other males ?adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#131485 - 02/19/06 06:47 AM Re: Open for business
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

Your response to abuse as you describe it above is shared by many survivors new to recovery. May I also say, but not in any patronizing way, that I see this idea a lot among young survivors who are just coming to terms with their manhood and deciding what it all means for them.

Bro, you were abused by an adult male, sure, but maybe it would be helpful to consider the difference between that and a man. Any guy who is physically mature can have sex, for example, but so can animals. After a certain age we are classified as "adults" and society lets us think that with this age transition something special happens that gives us all sorts of new privileges and responsibilities - as if, with our 18th or 21 birthday or whenever it is, we suddenly become more able to deal with all this stuff.

That's nonsense so far as I have seen. At the age of 21 I wasn't doing anything that I wasn't already doing at the age of 17, and I wasn't doing it any better - not sex, not relationships, not life. I don't think I really started to become a "man" until I was nearly 30.

Becoming a man as I see it means learning to define and justify your boundaries in the various aspects of your life and then living by these limits because you know them to be right. A man lives by what he believes and treats others with compassion and respect; he stands by what he believes, but is willing to listen to others, test his ideas, and accept challenges meant in good faith. He understands that learning never ends and that wisdom can come in many forms.

So I would propose to you, Adam, that while you were abused by an adult male, you were not abused by a man as I would define the term. You are right to be cautious about adult males for the time being. You have a lot of work to do where your recovery is concerned, and I can see that your ability to trust has been pretty much wrecked. That isn't your fault - you are right, as I said, to be careful.

But I hope you will think about this and see that what you need to do is look for men and allow them into your life. And I know what your next question will be: How do I know that someone is a man I can trust?

We all keep learning this throughout our lifes bro, but just a short rule of thumb that I find useful: Look at how guys treat others and deal with them. How would you feel if he treated YOU like that? What would the world be like if EVERYONE behaved like that?

It's late and I need to get to bed, but I did want to finish this one. We all need others to fertilize our thinking, inspire us, and lend us strength. You are a good guy already and are showing a lot of the traits you will need to become a man in the sense I am proposing here. As you make more progress and gain in confidence you will begin to recognize others who see the world as you do and seem to offer you good ideas and models you can follow. You will be safe with such men in your life.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#131486 - 02/20/06 08:10 AM Re: Open for business
sojourner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 4
Loc: washington
I have been brousing the web site for the last few days. Trying to muster the courage to sign on again. I haven't posted in a long time - two years or so. I have been numbing out with an affair, an older coworker for the last 3 and half years, it ended by my initiative two weeks ago. My drug now gone, I've come back to you all, full of shame and remorse but hopeful that I can begin again to work on my recovery. I know you are all here for me,I need you and I'm grateful you are here.

The topic of sexual/"gender" identity has always been one I have always struggled with. I too have never felt like one on the guys. I never really felt like one of my peers for that matter the secret separated me from them - if nothing else child sexual abuse is lonely. Maybe that's one of the reasons I chose to have an affair with a woman nearly twenty years older than me...

My father left shortly after my abuse from an older cousin. Although no one knew at that time of my abuse, Dad had been concerned that I was not "masculine" enough - whatever that means when you're 10 - Dad's solution to this problem was to leave his stash of pornography to his ten year old son. Hoping that he could ward off any possible homosexual biases that my sweet childlike nature might sugest. Although I'm not gay it certainly added to the sexual/gender identity issue that many children face. Crossdressing and masterbation with dad's porn became my solace, it too was isolating, shameful and lonely, The image of the strong independant male was scary for me. Although I participated in athletics, I too was uncomfortable with competition and the comraderie that comes with being with other men. I just wanted to opt out. I became very ambivalent about my gender and my age, trying to be the sensitive male and more mature for my age. I married young, to a girl that I could play a more mature person to, a woman who was not interested intimacy emotional or sexual, a woman that had no problem with me taking on the more traditional female role in a relationship, cooking, cleaning, etc. In some ways I needed her to be that way.

My affair did have some positives to it- at least as I see it. I was appreciated as a man. something I didn't get/ allow from my wife. I did experience the emotional intimacy that comes from a shared experience with someone I love, as disfuctional as it may have been.


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#131487 - 03/01/06 04:26 AM Re: Open for business
John Oarc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 633
Loc: Louisiana
Ken, thanks so much for this section. This gives us a place to post regarding what I think is the greatest problem in most of our lives "sex" even people who have not been molested or abused have problems with it.

Thanks goes out to MS also.

Thanks,

John

_________________________
Whatever It Takes, God


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#131488 - 07/07/06 03:17 AM Re: Open for business
hikers1116 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/30/06
Posts: 1
Loc: LI NY
I am new here, became a member just last week and I have been browsing the boards to get a feel of just were I fit in. I must agree that this is the topic I struggle with the most. I am glad there will be an area where one can share their thoguhs and feelings on the subject. Some of the key elements I picked up and identified immediately from reading the previous post are:

disliking your penis
pornagraphy
isolation
shame and guilt
Trusting other males (really trusting them)
Dad thinking I was not male enough
thinking of penises or obsessing about them

I also struggle with defining my sexuality because of the following statement made by Ken, "One important consideration is to look at why you desire to act out sexually with other men. If the acts are reenactments of your abuse, it may be because the trauma is still unresolved and the sex is a way of returning to the trauma, perhaps hoping on an unconscious level, that this time you are not the helpless one. It may also be that you have been taught or conditioned that doing this behavior will bring closeness, acceptance or some other emotional need that you may not have in your life at the moment."

I can not tell all of you how much I want to believe this to be true and yet at the same time I tell myself that this may just be wishful thinking and that I should just accept that I may be gay; however I also wish things were that simple.

I long for an embrace from a male who is physically stronger than me, that embrace can make one feel so safe and yet It's terrifying at the same time because they could easily that control. I believe this longing is from not having a father figure around in my early childhood. I believe this feeling was the one that left me vulnaberable to abuse because I would seek out older males to fill that void. Following blindly and trusting always to be rewarded with betrayal, pain, abuse, horror, emptyness, heartache I can go on and on.

I guess I made this long enough for now. It felt good to be able to get that out. Guess I will be regular poster on this forum.

Thanks all it's good to have a safe place to express one self with out fear.


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#131489 - 07/07/06 03:19 PM Re: Open for business
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Quote:
at the same time I tell myself that this may just be wishful thinking and that I should just accept that I may be gay;
I don't know if I stated it clearly in the part you quoted from me, but certainly is ok to be gay (or as Seinfeld used to say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that"). My point is that sometimes people who are not comfortable with their attraction/interest/arousal to penises are not truly gay but are fixated by the abuse experience and it is not about orientation.

It is also sometimes an attempt to re-enact the abuse in order to change the outcome of being controlled/abused from the past. In any event, sexuality in all its dimensions is a complex issue.

Glad this place can be of help. Welcome.
Ken


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