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#132116 - 09/28/05 05:04 AM Compulsions
Yrban15 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Connecticut
I was abused for several years starting when I was about ten and well into my teens...this presents a host of problems, but what I want to get to is this: the year after my abuse stopped (I stopped it) I began watching gay pornography intermittently although I am not gay. It wasn't until several years later when I began therapy that a pattern of my use of the porn emerged: namely that I would run/turn to it when I was distressed, when I felt like I was being picked on or made fun of, when I felt out of control, or whenever I felt depressed in general. The thing about the porn is that it never made me feel better but somehow I was convinced that it "normalized" me sufficient that I might be able to return to my daily routines of going to work, school, etc. With my therapist I realized that the very act of looking for the porn, whether it be in a store or online, was enough to put me in a state of numbness that reminded me of what I felt during my abuse. My problem is this: the more therapy I go through, the more I break out of the shell of my old perceptions and ideas, the more confused I get as to why I ever watched the porn. Am I somehow gay and never realized it? Am I being too simplistic? I have a girlfriend now who I love very much and there is a big difference between the way I feel when we are intimate and the way the porn made me feel. Also, I have never been attracted to men like I have to women; I've never gotten "the butterflies" from a guy, but am I supposed to be gay? Even as I write this I can see how little sense my logic makes, my sometimes it just feels like I am supposed to be here to please other men...because I know what to do...because I can still remember...and even now if I get anxious or nervous, the thoughts of finding the porn still enter my mind and I fight it because I know it won't make me feel better in the end or solve anything. My doctor says there are many levels to my use of the porn, but I still thought it would be nice to hear from someone else. If I am gay then it makes me very upset to have to end things with my girlfriend.


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#132117 - 09/28/05 06:05 AM Re: Compulsions
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Yrban, While I have not had your problem, there are guys on here who have it. I think they say it falls under acting out, not under being a guy who does not know he is gay.

You can do a search on (Lloydy), he used to be one of the mods, he has talked about acting out. You can also PM him if you like, he is a alright guy.
It may take a while but some of the other guys should be around to say hi.

Take care,
Lostcowboy

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#132118 - 09/28/05 12:32 PM Re: Compulsions
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Based on what you say, and this is my thoroghly non-professional opinion, I think what you were doing with the gay porn is using it like addicts use their drug of choice: to numb yourself to the pain you are feeling at the time. You learned at some point that viewing this type of pornography would turn off your feelings, which is preferable to dealing with the stress. I think if you look at it like this, as a drug addiction (and it is an addiction - again my non-professional opinion - that can be overcome), you can better see what was/is happening.

As for your orientation, again based on what you say, you sound like you are hetero to me. If you are happy with your girlfriend, then by all means be happy. Don't worry about being gay, don't worry about being straight, just be.

Labels are for cans.


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#132119 - 09/28/05 12:42 PM Re: Compulsions
LostnHell Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 34
I can totally relate Yrban. I have never felt attracted to men as I do to women. At the same time I've acted out and continue to do some acting out. At one point I was so afraid to even approach women, I'd start hyperventilating and couldn't being myself to do it and during that same period I was going to gay establishments for anonymous sex, and more for acting out abuse. It's a tough one still for me to rationalize it all and move beyond it. I think it's like Dewey says about labels.


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#132120 - 09/28/05 02:45 PM Re: Compulsions
Yrban15 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Connecticut
Yes! That's exactly what its always felt like....like a drug...like I was getting my fix...and I hated it. Sometimes I would sit there for hours just watching, not even doing anything. It's so strange.

I wish I could uncoil my feelings and emotions and deal with them individually. Instead, when I've felt angry, scared, or stressed, its always led back to the porn. I don't know how to be just angry in the present without punishing myself.


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#132121 - 09/29/05 04:13 AM Re: Compulsions
Yrban15 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Connecticut
can someone please tell me how to stop the triggers that lead to compulsive behaviors...I was just watching tv and there was a man in his underwear and the first thing I think of if finding the porn..I didn't do it because I don't want to anymore, but will it ever stop????????
I can't take it.


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#132122 - 09/29/05 04:35 AM Re: Compulsions
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
It sounds like a cliche, but the answer lies with self discovery and therapy. And somewhere kicking around in the back of my mind come the words, motivation, honesty, desire, good therapists, right and fulfilling relationships.
Don't know if that has been much of an answer. Hope you are well and happy. Keep posting. It does help. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#132123 - 09/29/05 05:52 AM Re: Compulsions
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
I agree with Andrew. The only way to gain a measure of control is to learn what your triggers are and how to deal with the compulsion when it strikes... and perhaps working through some of the emotional grief work to heal some of the old wounds.


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#132124 - 09/29/05 01:29 PM Re: Compulsions
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Yrban:

You wrote:
"can someone please tell me how to stop the triggers that lead to compulsive behaviors"

Check out http://www.malesurvivor.org/Professionals/Articles/singer2.htm

Ken


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#132125 - 09/30/05 06:28 PM Re: Compulsions
Yrban15 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Connecticut
thanks for writing back...I was reading through one of my books by Mic Hunter called Abused Boys and I realized that I am very ashamed of the things I've done...the thing is my shame only adds to the confusion and anxiety I already feel. I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, but when I look back now at my behavior then and my old modes of thinking and perceptions...it just makes me sick.

Was that the little boy acting out or me?


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#132126 - 10/03/05 06:06 AM Re: Compulsions
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
It is very possible that you may in fact be homosexual. It is also possible that you may be bisexual. After reading your post, I'm doubtful you are fully heterosexual. In my opinion, labels do not matter. Be the person you want to be, and try not to worry so much about giving it a name.


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#132127 - 10/03/05 12:48 PM Re: Compulsions
LostnHell Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 34
I think there are many people, in mainstream thought who may agree with Russ. I'm skeptical though of his answer (sorry Russ). At the same time as I posted before in this thread I have had similar compulsions. There was a junture in my life , in college where I was going through some major stuff including high anxiety. The high anxiety was triggered being around women. In college there were a number of women I was fantasizing about, not sexualy necessarily but romantically. I was very much attracted to them and I think I could have had success in getting to know them better. Yet I couldn't bring myself to talk to them and if a conversation started up I bailed quicly.
At the same time I was overwhelmed with fantasies of homosexual sex. Not totally foreign as I had experimented briefly at puberty with some friends. This time though was different as I wanted it so badly and my fantasy was to have completely anonymous sex. It came over me so strong and started going to gay movie theatres where I'd go to "private areas" or the rest rooms, strip naked and let anyone do what they wanted, and honestly hoping I'd be penetrated in all sorts of ways. Most of the time it was so anonymous because they were dark places or dimly lit.

Most of the time I was not sexually satisfied and left in a hurry with feelings of guilt and fear. Once AIDS and other communicatable diseases started being reported I shyed away from those activities. Here and there I've wanted to return and once or twice did in fact repeat those scenes. Online acting out helped me at least avoid more dangerous scenarios.

Anyway, I like Yrban also can't see myself attracted in what I'll call a romantic way to a man. The physical attraction is not there. A woman's body turns me on, a man's doesn't. I can tell if a man has a good body sure, but it doesn't get me excited.

I brought up the above activities to my T. She said it wasn't that I wanted to be molested as much as I was doing what felt the most comfortable.

The sexual spectrum is wide and there are many types of experiences that people may go through. Thus I agree that labels need not be applied. Still we live in a society where labels are very much in use. Meaning it's not so easy to get around and one's feelings and ego is still going to be effected. In the past I've tried to move beyond labels, yet the reality is with the experiences I had and other experiences I've never felt right. Those things didn't work for me and at the end of the day they were all about shame and humiliation.

Initially when I started with my T I related some of this stuff to her. She asked how would feel that if in 6 months, 1 year, whatever I discovered I was gay. This kind of threw me and I defended myself based on the facts of attraction that I felt towards women. Yet it lingers in my mind and the T is not locking into anything, just exploring. It is however weird to consider that I could have been denying something for so long. Even with what some people might say is hard evidence.

It's easy to say don't be concerned about labels. I know there are people out there who can easily and have / do exactly that. Living their lives how they want without guilt or concern. Even without the guilt and concern though I still feel something isn't right inside of me. In other words being a "libertine" , sexually liberated human doesn't work for me even in my mind.

Anyway I think I've rambled a bit here. Hopefully there is something of value in my post.

LNH


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#132128 - 10/03/05 10:31 PM Re: Compulsions
Yrban15 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Connecticut
The idea of being gay does not make me happy because it doesn't "feel right"--not in the sense that I am being judgemental and saying it isn't right, but simply versus the way I feel being with my girlfriend and our relationship now.

My compulsions have not been towards the gay lifestyle as a whole, just the gay pornography which does complicate things.

The only times I zombied out to the porn was when I was: depressed, scared, stressed, anxious, etc... and the whole time my heart would be racing and my hands would be shaking and sometimes I would go numb.

I feel like I'm getting defensive right now and I think its because if I found out someone who said they were straight had watched gay porn, then I would probably think they were gay too.

I'm not sure where that leaves me except that it makes me think that I can't trust my own feelings and that other people know more about me than I do.


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#132129 - 10/04/05 07:16 AM Re: Compulsions
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 826
Loc: Australia
I wanted to send you a Private Message (PM) but I think in your profile that you set up you didn't tick that option to use PM. If that's your deliberate choice that's fine, otherwise I'd appreciate being able to PM you. Feel free to PM me.


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#132130 - 10/04/05 01:17 PM Re: Compulsions
Sinking Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 577
Loc: Took my ball and went home.
Yrban15 - I've followed this thread. I wish you wouldn't torment yourself about this. Those of us who were abused at a young age (any age?) by someone of the same sex tend to get confused about their sexual orientation because we were physically aroused during the abuse. It's really that simple. It does not mean you are gay or straight or bi or whatever. It simply means that the physical part of the abuse aroused you physically, a perfectly normal response to touch.

I thin you get it right when you say that you know your sexual orientation by understanding the intimate feelings you have for your girlfriend and that you don't feel like you could have similar feelings for a man. I'm the same way. I like porn, gay porn ,straight porn, girl-on-girl porn, group porn, bi porn. I like watching people have sex on video. I like to read periodicals like Forum. Maybe this has something to do with my abuse, maybe not. My wife was never abused but she enjoys porn from time to time too.

I think the intent of your original post has gotten lost somewhere in this thread. It's more about how you use porn than what your sexual leanings are, right? If porn is getting in your way, if you are using it rather than dealing with your feelings, continue to look at it from that aspect. You know in your heart that you are not gay. Please stop tormenting yourself about that. Peace - John


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#132131 - 10/04/05 08:42 PM Re: Compulsions
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
LNH wrote:
Quote:
Anyway, I like Yrban also can't see myself attracted in what I'll call a romantic way to a man. The physical attraction is not there. A woman's body turns me on, a man's doesn't. I can tell if a man has a good body sure, but it doesn't get me excited.

I brought up the above activities to my T. She said it wasn't that I wanted to be molested as much as I was doing what felt the most comfortable.
I'm wondering if the T's interpretation that you were doing "what felt the most comfortable" is completely accurate. How much of a sense of being in control was there for you in those situations?

What I mean by that is a lot of survivors put themselves in sexual situations that are not about real sexual interest in the other person but somehow they can allow the person to be sexual with them (accept or reject the advances of the other person). That is a different outcome than the original abuse when they didn't have a choice to be sexual.

What do you think?

Ken


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#132132 - 10/04/05 09:27 PM Re: Compulsions
LostnHell Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 34
Ken,

Sure I think that can be possibly part of it. Sort of like giving myself options this time around is what I think you mean.

I was in control in those situations , well at least to some degree. Anything could have gone awry of course.

I still think that the dynamics are beyond my understanding at this point. This is for any possible logic and analysis. I have a great deal to overcome if that is even possible. There is a part of me that is still [trigger coming]:


a worthless fat cocksucker


Sorry, it probably didn't need to be put in there but it encapsulates the power of this conflict.

LNH


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#132133 - 10/04/05 10:01 PM Re: Compulsions
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
All I can contribute to this discussion are my own experiences.

I spent a lot of time confused about whether I was gay/straight or bi or something else yet to be named. Iíve always been attracted to women. If I see a woman walking down the street, I check her out. If I kiss a woman, thereís no doubt Iím physically attracted.

If I see a guy walking down the street, it has no effect on me. Many years ago I had the experience of having a guy make a pass at me, and it didnít work. There was no physical response. But that didnít end the problem.

I still had some compulsions that made me wonder if I was gay. I occasionally looked at gay porn, but the biggie was hanging out at this park where gay guys met up for sex. Guys would just drive around the park and then pull into a parking lot, talk for a while and then drive off together. Nothing overt ever happened. It was dark and I couldnít even see these guys. They were just lumps behind the steering wheel for the most part. I never met anyone there. I just watched. But it was absolutely a compulsion.

Part of my abuse involved voyeurism. And there was also a lot of fear involved. The more Iíve read, the more Iíve come to understand that we can sometimes get conditioned to associate sex with inappropriate feelings and emotions through these early traumatizing sexual experiences. For me, it was the illicitness of the activity at the park, the sort of shamefulness of it that was triggering me and making me come back. Sometimes looking at porn, either gay or straight, can have that effect on me, too.

LnH, I can see where your T is coming from, though comfortable isnít the word I would use. It kind of creeps me out. But I do think thereís a real element of learned behavior that comes into play as we live our lives. I think Iíd say conditioned rather than comfortable.

You know, there are people who actually love the holidays? For them, the holidays were a great time. And so, the smell of a Christmas tree or the sounds of Christmas carols make them really happy and excited. Why? It goes back to when they were little kids and it was a great experience. It comes so naturally to them that I donítí think they really understand what itís like to be me. Iím just the opposite. My childhood holidays sucked so much, that no matter how much I know that they arenít going to be a bad experience, I still just viscerally hate them. Itís just conditioning.

I think the same thing can happen around sex. No matter how much I know that itís not true, secrecy and shamefulness are still associated with sex in my head. Always will be. Iím not comfortable with it, but I have to accept that I was conditioned to it.

And Yrban, donít let anyone tell you youíre gay because you look at gay porn. Zombying out is the perfect expression for it. It starts that flow of chemicals rushing in the brain that are just natural drugs. Some of it is good. Too much of it causes problems. At least it did for me. It didnít mean I was gay, but it did lead me to some problems. My thought would be to make sure that whenever you feel triggered, take a second and think consciously about why it is. The more I put the spotlight on it, the less powerful these conditioned responses are.

Hell, I can even stomach the Christmas holiday if I put my mind to it.


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#132134 - 10/04/05 10:10 PM Re: Compulsions
LostnHell Offline
Member

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 34
Just wanted to say I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. More or less trying to relate to Yrban.


LNH


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#132135 - 10/05/05 02:25 AM Re: Compulsions
Yrban15 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 9
Loc: Connecticut
Wow. I can't believe the response to this thread by everyone here. (I'm still new) Thanks. Your viewpoints have certainly helped.

My doctor and I talked about this at length yesterday and I feel I am in a better place to understand what the porn represented for me personally.

This discussion began (as I said in my first post) because the more clarity I gain through counseling, the more I have looked back on my "old life" (modes of thinking, perceptions of the world) with shame and frustration. I won't do that anymore. This was one of many coping mechanisms I used to help me get this far and I won't chide myself any longer for that- not if it ends in a place where I am finally happy and "alive" (I don't know if that means anything to anyone else, but that's why I put it in quotes).

As far as the triggers go, I never felt before like I had a choice but to let the compulsions take control, but with counseling that is all changing.

Also, what's a PM?


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#132136 - 10/05/05 02:50 AM Re: Compulsions
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 826
Loc: Australia
PM means Private Message. Like email basically, but your profile doesn't have that facility activated. It can be changed by you.

I'm glad and surprised also by the level of input that this post has received. It's obvioulsy a big issue that many people can relate to. That's the power and benefit of this site I guess. Well done for the courage in being open, trusting and honest.


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#132137 - 10/05/05 08:22 PM Re: Compulsions
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
I think Ken's "in control" question/consideration is really fascinating, and very plausible.


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