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#218149 - 04/14/08 09:39 PM Intimacy
Jeff Amsel Offline


Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 17
Loc: NJ
I am terrified of being intimate. Have NEVER felt comfortable in bed with any of my wives(4)or any woman after a night or two.
Once I feel strongly about her, this fear of showing kindness, gentleness/etc becomes an obsession. Currently divorced and my ex wants to start a new relationship. I welcome her advances, but am totally terrified of winding up in bed with her. I am in search of a new therapist, and hope to find a way of overcoming this asap. Any suggestions????


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#218156 - 04/14/08 09:57 PM Re: Intimacy [Re: Jeff Amsel]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Hi Jeff, and welcome aboard.

Well, I'm a little mystified by your situation. You have some very strong emotional issues that keep you from being able to maintain long-term relationships, or to even have intimacy/sex. While at the same time, you've had your shit together and functioning well enough to the point where you're still able to attract someone in your life that and was interested in you enough to MARRY you. This is no small achievement. I should know, because I've never done it myself.

So, I must say that you should give yourself credit for being able to actually be appealing to someone else, be it for your personality, looks, talents, whatever. So, you OBVIOUSLY have some strengths to work with.

Do you WANT to have sex with her ANYWAY? In case you don't know this, no one is OBLIGATED to have sex with anyone. If you don't want to do it, then I don't see why you can't TELL her this.

It's kind of hard to elaborate more with what you posted here.

So, again, welcome aboard. Hope this helped.


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#218158 - 04/14/08 10:19 PM Re: Intimacy [Re: Hauser]
JustJeff Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 262
Hi Jeff(Nice Name Btw), believe it or not, i have the same problem as you. i am not comfortable in going to bed with a women and that is also one of the reason's i've mainted my singleness for such a long time. i to have your obsession and overgentleness.i feel i can easily get married but the fear of going to bed with a women is unusually strange. i can not for the life of me think why this happens or how to fix it.

_________________________
.

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#218228 - 04/15/08 03:18 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: JustJeff]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Hello Geff, and welcome to the forum.

From my own experiences, fear of intimacy is something I really understand, and I appreciate that this is something that's causing trouble for you at the moment. But as Hauser said, you seem to have come a long way with this yourself, and should be proud of where you've come.

I am 25, and have never even had an adult kiss let alone anything more unless you count my abuse. Even the sound of the S word is like a small electrict shock to me, and any sort of physical affection is something I find incredibly difficult, ---- holding hands with a girl for about five seconds last november nearly destroyed me!

Obviously I'm not you, and from your point of view things will be different, but having got to that level of closeness with someone would seem to me to be something to celibrate, and something to work out betwene you. I have always hoped that if I come to that point myself, I'll be able to explain things to the other person and have her understand the situation well enough that we can both work through it together.

I'm really sorry if this isn't much help, and I really hope you find what your looking for on this site.

luke.



Edited by dark empathy (04/15/08 03:21 AM)

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#218230 - 04/15/08 04:14 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: Jeff Amsel]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Hi- i hate to appear blunt and insensitive, but my 1st thought was, "If you have to ask, it's not the right time." Better to be be honest about your current ability to be genuinely intimate, than to put on a 5-star show, and have to explain the level of "special effects" afterwards.... after what i've been through, i'd rather be honest, than try any more juggling acts; after all, the camera never really shuts off, and a ball is bound to hit the floor at some point... at least that's always been my experience. Sorry if this response hasn't been more helpful,but at least it's honest...

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#218266 - 04/15/08 09:42 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: JustJeff]
Jeff Amsel Offline


Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 17
Loc: NJ
So Jeff, what do we do????? How to overcome this seems impossible. I do not want to live out my years like this. One night stands with someone that I have no feelings for is not the answer. I want intimacy, but wouldn't know it if it bit me in the ass.......HELP is needed.


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#218268 - 04/15/08 09:45 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: dark empathy]
Jeff Amsel Offline


Registered: 04/14/08
Posts: 17
Loc: NJ
Luke, you make perfect sense.....communication is a must here. I find it very difficult to open a dialogue. Embarrassed and tormented keep me from talking. I will try to overcome that first, and then hope to have a good chat.
Thanks


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#218270 - 04/15/08 09:51 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: Jeff Amsel]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Jeff (and Jeff),

One thing that might help you is to think about why it is that you fear intimacy so much. Once you know the reasons for your fears it becomes easier to deal with them. When we look at things this way we discover that the reasons for our fears no longer apply - we are just carrying into adulthood feelings we learned as abused boys.

For example, many guys have trouble with intimacy because intimacy means they will be vulnerable again. They are giving up an important element of control of the situation when they are in an intimate setting. This loss of control feels dangerous and unbearable, and it's easy to see why. As a boy the guy learned that loss of control in an intimate situation would lead him to terrible harm.

Once we see what sort of feelings we are carrying from boyhood that makes it possible to address them, and of course doing that in therapy is the best way to go.

This is just an example, but I hope it's a useful one.

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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#218277 - 04/15/08 10:22 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: roadrunner]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Kind of bluntly put...

I think Larry is right. We developed psychological defenses in childhood that are still in place, and perhaps completely unconscious. You don't realize/feel your fear, know what it is you're afraid of, but you act to avoid intimacy. I've needed an outside point of view, a therapist to get at this. I'd guess you would too.

You can't "figure this out" with your mind. Defenses act to protect your mind from knowing about possibilities that are just too frightening. Get help. I think it's the only way. It's not your fault.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#218280 - 04/15/08 10:25 AM Re: Intimacy [Re: Jeff Amsel]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Jeff,
When we are abused sexually that really messes with how we end up looking at sex almost on a subconcious level. First I think us guys need to understand that with women, sex and intimacy are two distinctly different things.

Intimacy is where us guys get confused. To a woman intimacy means a sharing of lives, thoughts, emotions. The want to get to really know us and for survivors that is very hard for us to allow. Many of us have been hurt allowing someone to get that close. We are not comfortable letting someone see inside of us to that degree. See our thoughts, feelings and motivations on any given subject.

We have been left with self doubt and insecurities and make that kind of openness scary, risky with the fear of rejection and pain. We tend to feel we need to keep people at a distance just in case so we stay superficial. Women can spot that immediately. You will hear comments like "Where are you? You are not here?. What are you thinking? Who are you really?

Sex is something we really think we understand. We think sex is just a performance. I can last, I can do this all night. I can give you multiple whoopee's. But that is only the mechanics of sex.

Women want you to make love to them. TO THEM. Not just have sex with their bodies. One woman told me after a session I was particularly proud of that I was not really there. ??? She pointed out correctly and sadly that she could have been any woman and to me it would not have mattered. I was having sex with a body and it was all about me.

Abuse and I think, casual sex tends to make it just a recreational activity in our heads. It objectifies people and tends to separate sex in our heads as something different and separate from intimacy with another person.

And yet, as you obviously seem to feel from your post, you wnat to connect with the other person during sex. You want to make it mean something to you and the other person. A vehicle in which you connect on an intimate level permanently and meaningfully with the woman your with. Women need a reason to have sex. Men to whom it has lost it's meaning just need a place.

The solution?? Maybe it is to take a step back and become friends, very close friends with a woman first before we open ourselves to that kind of vulnerability. It should mean something to us as well as to her. It should be a gift of ourselves instead of an act of release

I know there are those who see sex as just recreational. "I like you. You look hot. Instead of playing tennis lets have sex." That is fine if you find someone to whom that level of superficiality is ok.

Most women however, want more than that and if you expect to have a life long committment with one I think you have to consider that your thinking about sex and intimacy and vulnerability and self esteem will have to change.

A good therapist can help you work though these issues and help you find a satisfying relationship that will meet both of your needs together. Just my opinion.


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