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#2190 - 10/03/05 09:11 PM What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
I guess one of my bigger hangups is what exactly did I know about sex at the age of 12? I was watching this new show on FOX called "The War at Home" (which BTW is a great show, 8:30pm Sundays on FOX). Anyway, this 13 year old character Mike goes to his Dad for advice.
**TRIGGERS MAY BEGIN HERE**

Apparantly he's a chronic masturbator and has rubbed his penis raw. Dad tells him he shouldn't masterbate for a week and that he will get him something use while he is masterbating (aka a lubricant). Well his parents invite the sister's boyfriends parents to dinner to meet them and the boyfriends mother spills a white substance near her breasts. Not being able to masterbate this sexually frustrates Mike (the 13 year old). This brought up a lot of guilt issues as to what did I know at 12 years old, was I willing participant, this 13 year old seems to know alot about sex.

Maybe its just TV, but I feel like I need to get this out and see what other people think about a 12/13 year olds knowledge of sex.

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#2191 - 10/03/05 10:36 PM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Well I'm not a prude by any interpretation of the word. I certainly knew sod all at 12 years old (until I was given unwarranted education).

I suppose shows like this need to get the balance right between ensuring that young people do not see sex as something dirty. I do however wonder in this instance if the balance is correct.

Where do they draw the line - give it another 10 years, and are we going to have 5 year olds sat in a bath with a vibrating duck on live television?

In the media in the UK, we are constantly reading stories of American Female Teachers abusing their pupils - is it any wonder that the pupils are often receptive if this type of television program is accepted?

Best wishes ...Rik

What's the next episode? Some sort of paedo incestuous porno? It sounds like they are sexualising young children (even if it's an 'of age actor' that's playing the part).

Kids of that age should be climbing trees, collecting bugs & playing computer games - if they are experimenting by having the odd wank, fair enough.

I live in a country (England) that supposedly has some of the best sex education in the world - we also have one of the highest rates of under age pregnancies.

Kids might joke about sex, but do they ever understand the implications of what they are doing. To insinuate on television at 08:30pm that a 13 year old wants to jizz on his sisters potential mother-in-laws waps is not appropriate television however it's dressed up.

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#2192 - 10/03/05 10:37 PM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
jtt5254
,
The 12/13 yo kids of today are way more informed and educated than yesteryear. I have a 13 yo and almost 12 yo. They have been taught most of the mechanics of sex in school and from older friends, but very little about the emotional side of things. I remember when I was 12 (1963), despite the abuse, I still knew very little about sex. And saying that is kind of weird considering the forced experiences I had. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#2193 - 10/04/05 12:50 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
still 12 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/01
Posts: 167



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#2194 - 10/04/05 01:14 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
jtt 5254,

Your post raises an important issue that seems to be troubling you. If I understand what you are worried about, it goes something like this: you were abused at the age of 12 and you wonder what you really knew about sex at that age, and whether, if you were "aware" for your age, that would have made you a willing participant.

Maybe the most useful way to figure this one out is to talk around a few of the main points. Here are my ideas.

While it's true that kids these days know a lot more a lot earlier in life than was the case years ago, I still think that there must be a lot of variations. Kids in functional families where the subject of sex can be discussed openly learn not just the mechanics, to steal Andrew's term, but also the rest of it as well. Others growing up in families where sex is a taboo will get an entirely different picture, and probably a lot less useful information. So the range must be quite broad. But wherever a child is on the spectrum, this input does not translate into any culpability whatsoever in an abuse situation. A kid can never be judged on the basis of what he did or didn't know about sex.

Another point closely related to this is that what we learned about from our abusers was rape, not sex. By the age of 12, when my Dad gave me "the talk", I had a full range of "sexual" experiences, but all hung on a frame of fear, shame and deception. When my Dad started talking about love and commitment I had no idea what he was blabbering on about; my abuser had somehow left out that part. It took me years to learn how to share sex as an expression of affection and love, rather than just "do it".

Last is the demon of the "willing partner". If you have fears and turmoil about this one you are in a very large club. A child may seem to be a willing partner and may feel that he is, but the fact of the matter is that a confused and frightened child is an easy victim. And as abuse continues it just gets worse. Abuse and the abuser's tricks and shaming strategies strip a boy of every shred of his self-respect and esteem. He feels so defiled, alone and ashamed that he will do anything; he figures what the hell, this is all he deserves. But in no way is the boy ever a genuinely willing partner, not even if his body responds to abuse by arousal.

So the bottom line bro, is that you have nothing to feel guilty about. The feelings of guilt aren't surprising, but none of what happened was your fault. What you did or did not know about sex has nothing to do with it.

Take care,
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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#2195 - 10/04/05 04:04 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Yes, I think you've got the picture of what I'm trying to get at. However as many times as I've been told that what happened to me was abuse, it still goes back to well maybe it wasn't. I was "abused" by my brother at 12 when he was 15. I know that some times boys do experiment and I'm not exactly sure if thats not what this was. Plus the memories are sketchy enough so that I couldn't tell you if it happened 1 time or 20 times.

Thank you for all your insight but I think this is going to take alot more to convince me of what really happened.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#2196 - 10/04/05 04:21 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
lacansletter Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 67
Loc: St.Petersburg, FL
From reading the other posts, I feel that I may have been a bit sexually precosious for 12y/o. At that age, I had been stealing playboys from the drug store and experimenting with friends, both male and female, though mostly male.

*** possible trigger***

This thought haunts me even to this day. did this pedophile somehow see this in me, profile me as it were. I remember that one of the first things he said to me that was outside the realm of his position as a priest, was to ask me if I had done anything bad with my friend who was also an altar boy. it was only after that did he begin to prey on me.

I don't know how much i knew about the "mechanics" or even the emotional side of sex, but I knew that it was something forbidden and exciting. I did not get excited however when he began to abuse me. I recall that I did know the distinction and that what he was doing was wrong. However, as I have found as the common M.O. is, he threatened me, befriended my very devout parents who were very active in the church, and made me feel shame for what I (unwillingly) did with him. What a combination.

I cannot say if I would have done anything different had the perp been a stranger or family member instead of part of the clergy, someone who was supposedly God's representative on earth. Too many "what-ifs". I know that I would be afraid to have a child today, knowing how much more kids are exposed to, graphic/promiscuous MTV stars, Paris Hilton on every mag cover.

I wonder if there are any other survivors who have begun to resolve their trauma and still decided to have children.

_________________________
"The only Zen you find on the mountain top is the Zen that you bring with you" Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

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#2197 - 10/04/05 04:41 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Lacansletter's post made me realize something and that is that there is no answer to my question of "What does a 12 year old know?". Why? Because it varies, sometimes widely. I guess I'm going to have to trust what I think I remember about my level of knowledge and from what I remember I was a nieve 12 year old.

Jason

_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#2198 - 10/04/05 05:01 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
I've been working on resolving what happened to me for some time now.
It wasn't until this last round of therapy that anyone really knew what CSA was all about.
My daughters could have had a better dad, a better example of what a good father was all about, but I muddled through, with the help of a very fine woman.

I told each daughter what happened to me when they reached the age that I was when it happeded to me. They weren't out of my sight much before that age. We didn't have much money while they were growing up...they never made it to Disneyland...but each of them has been to Europe with college choirs, both of them are entertainers, one in opera, one in musical theater. They're loving people who have many friends and they both are looking forward to having children someday and make reference to the "great job," that Ranata and I did as mom and dad. Incredible. I never did have the career, but I've got daughters who don't think of me as the ogre, all of the time.
I did have fear and trepidation, what parent doesn't, but the highs far ourweighed the pain.

Does this answer any of your question?

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#2199 - 10/04/05 05:41 AM Re: What does a 12 year old know? *Possible Triggers*
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3362
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
I'm gonna put a "TRIGGER WARNING" right here as I know that some of what I say below could be triggering to some - but I know no other way to get out what I need to say...

I gotta admit that this is a question that has haunted me for over 20 years...

by 12 I did know it all... - but, I trully believe that the only reason I knew it was because I'd been abused for years before that already...

but I also see the question a bit diffrent, as I've always wondered what my Uncle knew about sex (and how he'd learned it all at that age) - he was the one that was 12 - I was 4 - last time I mentioned his age someone else mentioned to me that he was just a 'kid' too - and that he probably did'nt know what he was doing... - all i know is what I remember - and I can tell you he definately 'knew' exactly what he was doing... - the level of 'grooming' that he used on me was not possibly just a coincidence (who taught him?)

Larry - where you wrote of the 'willing partner' really hit to the core of me - as I freely traded the abuse for my uncles affection towards me - by the time I was 8 I knew that what he was doing with me was wrong and yet it took me till I was 9 to stop him... - yeah, I'm deffinatly a member of that large group that is still trying to undo what he did to me...
- and when dad gave me the 'talk' I just very plainly and unemmotionaly told him very straightforward that I already knew everything that there was to know about 'sex' and he never even so much as questioned me about how I'd come to be so 'knowledgable' at the age of 13... (I would like to think that had I 'not' been abused - and that having been raised in the very controlling and issolating family that I was - I would have known 'nothing' of sex when my dad asked me that question at 13)

jtt - this really hit home with me too...
Quote:
as many times as I've been told that what happened to me was abuse, it still goes back to well maybe it wasn't. I was "abused" by my brother at 12 when he was 15. I know that some times boys do experiment and I'm not exactly sure if thats not what this was.
my brother is 20 months older than me - we used to do all kinds of sexual stuff with each other when the folks would leave us home alone (which was quite a lot)(from the time I was 5 untill we where into our teens) - I can even remember him trying to penetrate me more than once (but I don't remember him ever being able to) - and yet somehow I've just never been able to look at it as abuse - I've just somehow always thought that brothers just normaly did that kinda stuff... - learning that it's not just 'experimenting' is a hard pill to swallow...

My biggest hope for all here (myself included) is that someday we will all be able to 'know' in our minds that what was done to us was in no way our 'faults' - and that we will 'feel' deep in our hearts that we were always good people that just had bad things happen to us...

TJ jeff

P.S. - I just gotta admit that - man did this part ever trigger me back to my past -
Quote:
Apparantly he's a chronic masturbator and has rubbed his penis raw.
- I can remember how I'd do it so much when I was young that the skin would just peel right off - and it'd be so raw - and yet I still could'nt stop - still do it too much...

sorry - probably said too much - but hadto get it out in the open...

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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