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#182112 - 09/24/07 04:46 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Think (May Be Triggering) [Re: jakemed]
bp83 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/06
Posts: 111
Loc: Arkansas
that's what my therapist calls it...a "fetish" because I've never "fallen in love" with a man, I'm not attracted emotionally...it's all about a particualr sexual act. (I'm a virgin by the way)

_________________________
-
Scott

"Life is for living, we all know, and I don't want to live it alone..."-Chris Martin

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#182174 - 09/24/07 10:45 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: kellygtx]
Csmith Offline
New Here

Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Portland, OR
Kelly-

Thank you so much for starting this post. I woke up at 4:00 this morning (par for the course lately) with my head spinning. I almost called my girlfriend, but instead I turned to this site for the first time to unload some baggage.

I am 32 and have been wrestling with my sexual identity since I was 18. I was abused by at a babysitter (and possibly her friend) when I was somewhere between 5-7 on at least several occasions. The most disturbing memory is when she attempted to have me penetrate her, I couldn't for whatever reason, and she became angry at me for "not doing it right."

I learned to masturbate with my best friend in middle school (the same friend who often came over to "play" with the same babysitter. Our jerkoff sessions led to mutual masturbation which led to some oral play. He said he fantasized about the "hottest girl in class" while we played while I realized I didn't fantasize about anyone - was just WITH him.

Adolescence marched on, and my masturbation always involved female images. I was allowed sub>

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#182191 - 09/24/07 11:24 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: Csmith]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
Get a therapist, if you do not have one. The only thing that is truly clear from this post is that you have alot of different situations in your life and in each one you have a way to avoid the threat of being close to other people, male or female. (Your teenage friend, your high school girlfriend, your girlfriend, your committed male friends) You make it sound as though, in one way or another, none of these people are available. Why is that?

I don't want to sound too harsh (just my 2 cents) but focusing on your sexuality (especially given that obsessing about it seems like a way to stay at distance from your girlfriend) seems like it might not be very helpful and that perhaps there is something more fundamental about trust at play here.

I have the strong sense that your not wanting to see Tanya as an escape from homosexuality is a way of not letting her get close to what freaks you out. Like control masquerading as concern. I could be wrong though. Given that you tried calling yourself gay and that it felt wrong, seems like a rather conspicuous red flag. Most of the gay men I know were relieved to say that and acknowledge their realities wholly.

In fact you sort of said it yourself -- instead of calling your girlfriend, you tried to find another place to unload your baggage. Rather than reach out to her, or bother her with your "baggage", you came here. Why?

Good luck, TW

ps. I just re-read this and it seems a little harsh, but I'll let it stand. I'm only trying to help. Please take with some salt grains....


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#182261 - 09/25/07 10:07 AM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: Csmith]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Csmith
...but not the ecstatic rush I have in my fantasy life. Granted, the few sexual experiences with men I've had in my adulthood were with men I didn't love.

Which brings me to another interesting fact: I feel like I've fallen in love with several friends. One in particular right now, I really feel for. When I fantasize about him sexually, it feels like it should, you know? Right. The thing is, he's straight. I'm also in a committed relationship with my girlfriend that is becoming more stressful sexually to me.

Do you feel comfortable giving details about this "fantasy life"? What kind of fantasy is giving you the ecstatic rush?

Developing crushes on "straight" men can mean many things. It could be a way for you to let your desires run free, but without the threat and intensity of actual commitment. I know this one quite well, I still go through it from time to time. A crush on an unavailable person can be incredibly exhilerating and it can be incredibly painful and upsetting. In general, if the crush is fun and exhilerating, it is probably harmless and safe. On the other hand, if it is painful and upsetting (lowered self-esteem, depression, etc.) then I would say that the interaction is not safe for you, and you may need to find a way to cease interactions with this individual.

It can also mean that you need a male role model, someone who is the kind of male you would like to be. I don't have a lot of insight for this so maybe someone else can chime in if it seems like this fits you.

Originally Posted By: Csmith
I've vowed that this time, with Tanya, I would break my previous sexual cycles and "figure it all out." Either I'd commit to her for good, or break up and follow relationships with men.

That sounds like a HUGE bite to start off. "Figuring it all out" is something that can take many, many years, even 10+ years for some. Go easy on yourself, and don't be afraid to be ask if you need help deciding what might be some good starters for you. One thing that comes to mind would be to watch a movie involving a gay relationship (not porn!). There is a very good movie, "A Home at the End of the World" that might be suitable for this purpose.

Also, be careful not to set "guilt traps" for yourself, like promising yourself that you will not do something "next time". These traps are extremely damaging to our self-esteem. It doesn't quite sound like you are doing this with your "vow", but I thought I should mention it in case Tanya's visit does not turn out exactly as you requested. Go easy on the guilt, okay?

Tanya sounds like she is very supportive, hopefully she respects your boundaries and won't take advantage of your vulnerability since you have specifically asked that nothing sexual be allowed.

You are making progress, take a moment and allow yourself to be proud of it.

Best wishes,

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#182269 - 09/25/07 10:29 AM Re: I am Bisexual...I Think (May Be Triggering) [Re: bp83]
jakemed Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 37
even though intellectually I understand the 'fetish" concept, the objectification of the penis, emotionally it doesn't make sense. Because I am married to a very supportive woman for many years, it still caused us enormous pain in the past, especially when I was actively pursuing that penis. She knew at the time but damage none the less.

And of course, I honestly don't know if I am bi or just conditioned by my abuse. Very confusing. My therapist has said the same thing, that I am subconsciously focusing on the body part because of the detachment of all of the abuse except...the dick. She also said that it is a possiblity that through therapy, the realization and the the healing of those wounds, that the fetishism may lessen over time, like so many other emotional problems that stem from the abuse. But of course, I just might be bisexual...shit!!!!...see the confusion.

jake


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#182276 - 09/25/07 11:24 AM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: testingWaters]
Csmith Offline
New Here

Registered: 06/05/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Portland, OR
TW

Bless you for your thoughtful comments. I really appreciate it. And no, not too harsh. On the contrary, I'm SO ready for reality checks.

You've hit some nails that I have pondered. Namely, fear of intimacy. Emotional that is. I find myself browsing "fear of intimacy" or "fear of women" in Google lately. Tanya has been a Godsend for me in this department. For the first time, I have really made myself emotionally available for a girlfriend. Although you're right, I do put her and others at distances, I have had so many breakthrough moments of trust with her, that for once in my life I have truly pondered long term commitment. I have in fact, committed to her by saying I always want her in my life. Whether this is as a spouse or friend, I don't feel like I can say, but, I feel that this level of commitment is something that will hold me to the promise of being honest more honest with myself and my gf than I have in the past. I have always viewed GFs as someone temporary. Tanya is truly "marriage material".

But the M word is a long way off. Tanya is incredibly supportive and patient and as long as I am being honest with her, I accept this patience. The problem is guilt.

I feel like I hold things back from her. Namely, my homosexual thoughts. What inevitably happens is that something triggers the downward spiral: A man I see who I think is attractive, or a plot in a movie that is about "Being true to yourself", etc. These get me thinking, "I am meant to be gay, thus, staying with Tanya is wrong and untrue to yourself. And instead of talking about it, I let it stew, then it comes out as anger at her, myself, or both. The thing is, I dont feel like I can tell her every little trigger. Why not? I don't know. I'm seeing now that maybe I could tell her right away when things come up.

So my emotional distance I put between people: I have given myself two possible reasons for this: My abuse or other events have made me deeply fearful of sexual intimacy, especially with women; or, I am gay in my core and my denial of this causes me to put distance between myself and those who I perceive as ultimately causing this realization to occur in me fully.

Perhaps this ultimatum is unfair though.

I am in search of a therapist. Unfortunately, I am in the Middle East and it will be difficult to find one here. I am stuck in a job here until next June, when I can return stateside. Until then, we are stuck on the computer/phone with occasional visits. she may work here, but that's looking iffy. Meanwhile, I desperately want intimacy with Tanya. I have tasted it fully with her, love her deeply, yet, find it difficult to truly trust her with my self. How to reach this? What to communicate to her? Every little thought? But I don't want to bum her out.

I better stop before this gets more disjointed and extended. Thanks again, TW.

C


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#182313 - 09/25/07 04:08 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: kellygtx]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
Kelly
I just joined male survivor today and am too trying to figure out just who I am. I love my girl friend but have thoughts and fantacy's regarding my own sex. I hope I can come to some answers to my questions regarding my masculinity.
Kenken

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#182321 - 09/25/07 05:19 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: KENKEN]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Kenken -

Welcome to Male Survivor. Let me be the first to tell you you may not find answers here, but it does give you a safe place to 'think out load' without fear of being rejected or having anything to expalin. I started this thread to express my own confusion (hence the "I Think" all over it) and found out that no one can give me the answer...and that there are a whole lot of confused folks here to talk to. And that talk can help me understand about myself.

Welcome and I bid you Peace -



Edited by kellygtx (09/25/07 05:20 PM)
_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#182335 - 09/25/07 07:35 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: kellygtx]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
C

I'm glad this was helpful. To some degree I am just urging you to watch out for talking about this stuff on a thread that is really about sexual identity issues. You are talking about a series of triggers that cause a whole series of thoughts that make you feel unstable. It is almost as though it could be anything - not just the possibility you are gay. Again I could be wrong.

It sounds very much to me like you love this woman, trust her, would like to marry her, feel free enough in the relationship to ask for what you need (even if its just a test - the boundary stuff) and there is a part of you that does not trust yourself to take care of another person's integrity and vulnerability.

Whenever you talk about sexuality in these threads, you talk about being afraid you will "realize you are gay." Yet again, you're really comfortable with that possibility -- you have talked alot about it, said it out loud, etc. Do you think there is a possibility that you are afraid of discovering something else about yourself that really is frightening to you?

It is really out of whack that you are so conscientious about the possibility of hurting this woman, so, so conscientious in fact, hypervigilant almost, yet you remain with her. Sounds like you are on the right path there, to me at least.

Do you think it is *possible* that someone who was entrusted with protecting you when you were vulnerable really hurt you (regardless of the gender) and so you are utterly terrified you could do the same to someone else (anything else) that is entrusted to you.

A wild guess says that your straight male friends who are in committed relationships are at an absolutely zero level of risk by you. Same guess says you probably don't see these guys as particularly vulnerable (though I bet deep down they are).

Just some thoughts.....

Love, TW


ps. have some real falafel for me in the Middle East.......


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#182336 - 09/25/07 07:57 PM Re: I am Bisexual...I Thiink (May Be Triggering) [Re: Csmith]
Lazarus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Corbin (in particular) and the rest of you guys as well;

I feel compelled to reply because I can empathize with a lot of the feelings I've seen communicated here. I'm no expert, but sometimes hindsight lends a new perspective. First, a little history...

I was raped by several men, first at 4 (I've been told, I have no memory) and also at 7. I was molested by a male teacher when I was 8 and 9, and also about that time I started having sex with a boy my age. I was raped again at the age of 14, and again at the age of 25. I married a woman when I was 22, and we had a son. I was unfaithfull to her with men, and divorced her after my rape at 25. I had several boyfriends and girlfriends for the next several years, but the desire to be with my son brought me and my ex-wife back together again and we remarried and had a couple more kids. Yet still, I was not faithful to her (with both men and women). Finally, we were divorced in 1999 and I got custody of the two younger children. Our oldest son was in college.

I guess I knew I was gay back in 1969 but for 30 years I thought of myself as bisexual. Looking back though, 90% of my relationships have been with men. I think I was more afraid than loving toward women; my drive to have a family and a 'normal' relationship kept pushing me back to the girls, as much as my fear of being 'queer'. But nature will rule, and in 2002 I met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and 'married' him.

Enough about me. I wanted to address some of the ideas you listed in your post;

Originally Posted By: Csmith

Yet, the few girls I thought I was interested in intimidated me so much that I could never divulge what I thought about them. It was like my self-loathing around women was so strong that I couldn't allow myself to become infatuated.


Perhaps it was that you couldn't allow yourself to trust them. If you knew at the time that your abuser(s) were female, what would it take for you to trust another female, sexually?

I was never sexually abused by a female, so this is just a guess. But I did have an overbearing mother and two older sisters that in some regards may have been emotionally abusive (in the way that many siblings are). Whatever the reason is, I share many of the feelings of inadequacy and fear of intimacy with women that you do.

Originally Posted By: Csmith
A flash of juxtaposition between the discomfort I felt with being sexual with her and the comfort I felt with Matt hit me with a ton of bricks. For the first time I labeled myself with a possible identity by asking myself, "Does this mean I'm gay?"


My first true love was with that boy my own age that I mentioned earlier. Our relationship lasted almost 6 years, and for the rest of my life I have been searching to replace the feelings I had with him. I know that these feelings are a fantasy that I can never fulfill, and finally accepted the love of a man who is not at all like him.

I guess one of the things that made this boy so attractive in my memory was that having sex with him had none of the stress I experienced with girls/women. None of the uncertainty if I was doing 'it' right, no question about what felt good or what he wanted next... It just 'felt right' as you pointed out.

Originally Posted By: Csmith
I have had a number of girlfriends since Julie and each time is pretty much the same cycle: Meet them, have sex soon after we start dating, begin to get guilty of my unfulfillment and shame that I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing. Break up with her on the grounds that I don't love her, sometimes vowing to myself that I would "try men next time" only to become uninterested in men and start another cycle with another woman I meet and like.


Oh yeah, then there's the whole guilt thing. I didn't feel guilty about having sex with men, I felt guilty about having sex with women... like I had violated them, used them for my own pleasure... After all, I reasoned that women don't really like sex, they only do it to 'catch a guy' or to get pregnant. I know now that that sentiment is wrong, but at the time that was all I knew. The only truly satisfying sexual relationship I've ever had with a woman was with a lesbian who liked me well enough but was only in it for the sex. How absurd is that; a gay guy and a lesbian fucking each other's brains out...??? But she was the first and only woman I had sex with who made it clear that she didn't want to marry me, didn't want anything but a fling in the sheets with someone who had a penis for a change...

Originally Posted By: Csmith
I have "tried men" and each time has been... blah. It was comfortable in a way, none of the guilty feelings I associate with women and feeling like I am using them, but not the ecstatic rush I have in my fantasy life. Granted, the few sexual experiences with men I've had in my adulthood were with men I didn't love.


I guess this begs the question; what is your fantasy life? Have you ever had that ecstatic rush with anyone, male or female? While I'll be the first to agree that there is nothing that compares with a sexual relationship with someone you love, in my humble opinion it is not necessary to love someone to have good sex. Maybe not the ultimate high, but close... So, just what IS your ultimate jerk-off fantasy, and what is the closest you've ever come to that in real life? Nosey questions I know, but inquiring minds want to know.

Originally Posted By: Csmith
Which brings me to another interesting fact: I feel like I've fallen in love with several friends. One in particular right now, I really feel for. When I fantasize about him sexually, it feels like it should, you know? Right. The thing is, he's straight. I'm also in a committed relationship with my girlfriend that is becoming more stressful sexually to me.


Is it the 'forbidden fruit' that attracts you, or the fact that it is unattainable? And I'm sorry that your relationship with your girlfriend is stressful to you sexually. But I'm confused; is the stress because you 'aren't getting any', or that sooner or later you're gonna have to 'put out' for her? Are you afraid that when you do have sex it won't be good for her, or for you?

Originally Posted By: Csmith
I've vowed that this time, with Tanya, I would break my previous sexual cycles and "figure it all out." Either I'd commit to her for good, or break up and follow relationships with men. The thing is, I feel like I am finally allowing myself to open up with a woman. Trust her. Trust myself with her, both with my heart and body.


That's a great plan, but as you've already been warned, don't bite off more than you can chew. Just 'figuring it out' is kinda like saying 'just get over it', and we all know that THAT doesn't happen all by itself. If you are really interested in figuring out your sexuality with Tanya, here are a couple of suggestions;

First, you have to trust her enough to come clean with her. Tell her the truth about your fears and concerns. That way, you'll both know that if/when you stumble over a trigger, it's nobody's fault, no harm no foul as they say, and you can move past it without a lot of Q's and A's...

Second, consider revising your 'no sex' policy on her next visit so as to not preclude the myriad of non-intercourse sexual play that loving couples can do. Bubble baths, backrubs, 'toe jobs', blow jobs, butt massage, nipple play... the penis and vagina are not the only sexual organs on the human body. Think of it as going back to your lost childhood and discovering sexuality the way it was SUPPOSED to be done. Close the curtains and play!

Finally, take a que from the pages of a B/D manual and agree beforehand on a keyword that means "Stop", no questions asked. This will require a conversation beforehand, but believe me it helps. I can't tell you how many times I got myself into situations where I was uncomfortable going any further, but it was difficult knowing how to tell my partner to stop (and change directions) without ruining the mood. If you let her know in advance that you have triggers, which are not her fault and don't necessarily mean that you want to get dressed and go home but that you want to pause and redirect the action, might save the evening. I know the conversation that must take place beforehand might be awkward, but believe me if she is to love you she has to know these things. You have to know them too, and make these simple allowances for your own benefit.

Originally Posted By: Csmith
I am aware that I will never be okay with Tanya if I see her as an escape from homosexuality.


This is the absolute truth. Either you want to be with her, or you don't. That's not to say that either you or her can set boundaries, and take things at a pace that is comfortable with you. Some couples can rip each other's clothes off as soon as they are in private and make mad passionate love at a moment's notice. Some others, especially those of us with intimacy issues resulting from CSA trauma, want and need to do things at a different pace. There is nothing wrong with either way.

Originally Posted By: Csmith
I have talked about this with Tanya, even once said, "I'm gay." in the intent of trying to break up. When it came out, it just didn't feel right... The thing is, I have grown to have more emotional connections with (straight) male friends so there lies the confusion.


And here, my friend, is where I wish you the best of luck. We can have physical relationships all we want, but the emotional relationships we build are the key to who we really are. I'm not saying that you are gay, but only that you seem to need a male role model. Since you gravitate to straight men, it seems to me that your need is not as much sexual as it is emotional. It's hard not to confuse the two, but it is this one apsect of your post that leads me to suspect that you are not inherently homosexual. I understand and empathize with your confusion, and wish I had more concrete answers for you. I hope you will explore your feelings a good deal more before you decide on a path for yourself because no one can tell you what is the right path for you. This is not something that must be decided right away. At the very least, I hope you enjoy Tanya.

I wish you the best,

Lazarus

_________________________
"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

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