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#132269 - 02/10/06 07:01 AM Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
In my quest to keep finding answers for the confusion that rears its ugly head from time to time, I have happened on many different sites where polls have been taken about men and their sexual experiences.

I have found many sites where men have responded (claiming that they were straight) have had and still carry on sexual activity with other men. they also report that they are aroused by other men. I thought at first, OK - we're talking about a small portion of the sampling. But I have been repeatedly shocked over and over that it's more than 50%!

So what is wrong with our society? Is everyone confused and in denial? In a way, it puts the sexual confusion into perspective. On the other hand, it just frustrates me even more because I get the feeling that I am part of that messed up group AND it doesn't stop the angst and guilt that I feel when these feelings crop up.

I have an appt with the T next week and want to deal with this issue once and for all. when I get into these periods of insecurity, I feel like a freak and totally ***ed up.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Does anyone else feel this way?

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#132270 - 02/10/06 10:52 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I think a lot of that has to do with the false view of sexuality as two sides of a coin - straight or gay. I suspect that most people have all sorts of feelings that would not fit into such a simple view of things.

To me the question isn't "Am I straight or gay?", although I went through that hurricane many times a few years ago. The real issue is this: Am I being honest with myself about my feelings?, Am I being responsible where other people are concerned?, and Do I feel fulfilled and happy?

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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#132271 - 02/10/06 02:52 PM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
WARNING: SLIGHTLY GRAPHIC SEXUAL CONTENT (More "R" rated than "X")

SD:
Revelations about people's sexual experiences often fly in the face of conventional wisdom. If you saw the movie "Kinsey" or are familiar with the stir his research caused more than 50 years ago, you get an idea of how difficult it is for people to accept research in human sexuality.

On one hand, people have a wide range of sexual attractions. We can be attracted/interested/turned on by a wide variety of stimuli that we probably wouldn't actually get involved with.

The range of sexual experiences, however is much less than what people are interested or attracted to. So, when guys here (or elsewhere) talk about feeling guilty or confused or upset because they are thinking/fantasizing about doing something sexual with a male, it is understandable and fairly common. They may be thinking of doing something sexual with another male but don't necessarily go through with it.

On the other hand, men can have sexual encounters with other men, such as mutual masturbation or oral sex, without their being homosexual in orientation.

This is a really interesting topic and I'll see if I can get my "go to guy" who is a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality to comment on this.

Ken


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#132272 - 02/12/06 08:26 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Thank you, Roadrunner and Ken for the observations. I hope that the thread will end up a very productive conversation. I find that it's a topic that is SO needed to comment on because of sexual confusion (not only with those of us who are survivors, but also with the average guy out there).

I think that our culture is really screwed up in a lot of ways and I think that we can thank our Puritan forefathers for a long-lingering "prudish" look at sexuality. Maybe if our society were a little more open we wouldn't have such a need for organizations such as Male Survivor..... we may even have a culture that is more sexually healthy than repressed. We also wouldn't feel the need to do such outlandish things as put a fig leaf on the statue of David (as what happened quite a few years ago in this country).

Sometimes I get jealous of the type of bond that women have with each other because they seem to be able to discuss just about everything - no matter how intimate. We guys (and I've used this term many times before) live lives of quiet desperation because we cannot find the strength to open up to other male friends.

Ken, I certainly hope that your friend will add some of his wisdom from his research and experience!

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#132273 - 02/12/06 09:28 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

You are so right. So many times I am talking with other men and you can almost smell the testosterone! Football, women, cars, working out, guns...

Poetry, music, art? Forget it! And things like sexuality and sexual confusion? Yeah right! It feels like such a freak show sometimes.

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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#132274 - 02/14/06 04:29 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
I think everyone else in the world is not what is bothering you. I think its the turmoil you deal with inside of yourself being a survivor. Can you fathom the idea that regardless of your sexuality, you need not be ashamed. People tend to hide from the truth and in doing so, they accept things that are false. This is a difficult stage for you and I know from experience how horrible it can be at times. Courage, and honesty with yourself are your greatest allies in this situation. Remember, You are not alone in that all survivors have to go through this unfortunate, gutwrenching issue. It's like walking on unstable ground. I believe you will conquer this soon enough. Stay strong and good luck. These things take time. Patience is a virtue.

_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

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#132275 - 02/14/06 07:22 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
EJ:

Thank you for the kind words. Actually, I don't have a fear of whatever answers eventually arise. It's just that life becomes so complicated sometimes and the choices that we have made in the past can be seriously affected by the discoveries that we make today.

Thanks,

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#132276 - 02/15/06 09:16 PM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Here's the long response from Dr. Ralph:

It is very difficult to discuss in a general manner any aspect of human sexuality. In part this is because healthy people function with autonomy and learn to be self-determining in exploring all aspects of their sexuality. So each individual learns to value or devalue aspects of their sexuality in the course of their life. Simply put, no theory will explain your feelings, or serve to interpret the meaning of the behavior.

To help clarify why some people engage in sexual behaviors that appear to be inconsistent with their expressed orientation, I must first discuss the three components of sexual identity: i.e., biological sex, gender behaviors, and orientations. Each of these causes such confusion that they deserve a little discussion.

Biological sex is seemingly easy enough. It consists of the chromosomes, hormones, and the external and internal genitalia. So unless you are a Transgendered person, simply check M for “male” and F for “female.”

The second component of sexuality relates to a wide range of culturally ascribed gender roles for male and female behaviors. Gender identity, is how each person enacts their sense of masculinity or femininity throughout their life. It is one's psychological sense of being male or female.

The concept of gender identity [how each of us enacts a range of masculine and/or feminine roles] varies from person to person with acceptable roles being determined by the dominant culture. So what is masculine may well depends on such variables as culture, race, historical moment, etc. You can tell nothing of a person’s sexual orientation from observing how they enact their gender. To ascribe an orientation to a person’s ability to act “masculine” or “feminine” will only lead to confusion.

In the course of a lifetime gay, bisexual, and heterosexual oriented individuals enact their gender identity through a range of shared behaviors. Ironically, attempting to rigidly maintaining ascribed roles and behaviors associated with masculinity and femininity appears to be detrimental to the individuals’ development, and most people learn to comfortably assume and share roles as needed.

Confusion occurs when too readily assume feelings and behavior are indicative of a person’s sexual orientation. Orientation is a matter of psychological, emotional, and social intimacy. It is not the biological sex or the nature of the sexual activity [i.e., oral, anal, whatever, etc.]. All sexual acts are neutral and not indicative of a person’s sexual orientation. Exploring oral and anal sex occur surprising equally among heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual individuals.

So, take a deep breath and listen carefully to how I define sexual orientation: It is a psychological, emotional, and social attraction and primary bonding with members of the same, other, or both genders---that may express itself in a range of sexual behaviors.

Now, before you categorize yourself as [bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual], you should know that there is no biological evidence to support the existence of sexual orientations. I don’t argue this point. The terms and concept related to sexual orientation emerge during the 19th century. They are scientific terms used to classify observed patterns of know sexual behavior. So, the terms do not exist in the original>

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#132277 - 02/19/06 12:17 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Ken & Dr. Battinieri:

Thank you so much for the long, detailed response. This is the first time that I have heard someone explain it as well as you have. I think that exploring sexuality and orientation is confusing enough, but for those of us who were SA, the issue is even more clouded. I hope this thread continues and is helpful to many.

SD

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#132278 - 02/20/06 04:16 AM Re: Is the whole world confused or in denial? (possible triggers)
abcdefghijklm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 21
Loc: UK
Hi SD.
I just read a post of yours on the thread started by Alex where you said about wanting to be true to yourself. I'm just thinking about Dr. Ralph's observation that the concepts of "heterosexuality", "homosexuality", "bisexuality" only emerged in the nineteenth century. They classified in order to pathologise. I wonder: Do we have to believe that there's a truth about ourselves, about the true character of our sexuality, and that we need to discover this truth and live by it? This isn't a rhetorical question: I'm not sure the answer is "no". But it seems to me (in my own circumstances) a more fruitful question than the "what am I?", "why don't I know what I am?" kind of question.
Tom.


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